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GNBVT Voc-Tech Retirees

On June 13, 2022, the faculty and staff at GNBVT gathered in the auditorium for the annual retiree recognition ceremony. This year, ten retirees were recognized by their supervisors for their service and dedication to our school community throughout their careers.

Mr. Steve Walker

Mr. Steve Walker has been a teacher, a coach, and an administrator retiring after 34 years of service here at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech.

Coach Walker graduated from GNBVT in 1983. He was a diligent student who played hockey, football and track. After graduating Steve went right to Bridgewater State College where he studied to teach science before returning to GNBVT and became a science teacher where he taught for many years. Before long Mr. Walker became the science department head where he started his journey as an administrator. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Walker transitioned into Academy Administrator.

Mr. Walker helped develop the Legal and Protective Services program. Which began 12 years ago. From the development of curriculum, hiring of teaching staff, acquiring equipment, building relationships with community partners to increase relevant student experiences; he has been able to watch this program grow to one the most sought after programs in our school.

Over the years Steve has always dedicated himself to the life of GNBVT outside of the classroom, ever present at student activities, and continually dedicated to coaching track and field as well as football.

One of the hallmarks of Steve’s career is having coached both of his son’s Jarrod and Justyn in football here at Voc-Tech. They both went on to play sports in college. Coach Walker coached freshman football this year, in his year of retirement alongside his son Coach Justyn Walker, which really was the “grand finale” to his career.

Mr. Walker plans to spend his retirement  at his  log cabin up in Maine that he has been working on for many years with his German Shepherd, Jackson, and his lovely wife Carol Ann. Mr. Walker, GNBVT wishes you the best in your next chapter and a long and happy retirement.

Mr. David Bigos

After a long and successful career at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Electrical Related Instructor Mr. David Bigos retired at the end of December. Originally, Mr. Bigos had planned on retiring last year in December. But after the Pandemic hit, he felt it was his duty to carry on until the students that had missed out on valuable electrical trade knowledge were ready to become electricians.

Mr. Bigos began his career at GNBVT on November 1, 2004 as the  Electrical teacher working until 2013. After a few Electrical related teachers left the Electrical program, Mr. Bigos was asked to step in and solidify theElectrical related classroom position. Mr. Bigos toiled many late nights learning Electrical theory, National Electrical Code and mathematics pertaining to the electrical field. Through coursework, he became the Occupational Safety Health trainer, certifying all his students with OSHA 10 certifications. Many of Mr. Bigos’s former students have gone on to obtain their Journeyman Electrical license and pass their test on the first attempt.

Ms. Jean Canastra

After a long and successful career at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Information Technology Related Teacher, Ms. Jean Canastra retired the first week of February 2022.

Ms. Canastra began her career at GNB Voc-Tech in 1988 as a Typing Keyboard Teacher’s Aide for one year. Shortly after, she moved into the position of a Special Education Teaching Assistant where she spent the next five years before transitioning into the role of an administrative assistant in the office overseeing Federal Grants for six years. In 2000, Jean transitioned into the role of the Information Technology Related Teacher.

Over her 34-year tenure, she has seen many students and their children pass through her classroom door. She was passionate about getting her students certified in the Microsoft Office Suite (MOS). She even had one student who was nationally recognized for his excellence in the MO Suite, specifically with the Excel Program. She was extremely helpful preparing her students to compete in BPA (Business Professionals of America) where many of her students went on to earn top honors at the local, state, and national levels.

One thing you may not know about Jean was that she is an avid Harley Davison motorcycle biker and tours often. Jean also loves her fast convertible sports cars. She travels whenever the opportunity arises and loves telling you about her unexpected exploits upon returning!

Jean has always been a welcoming teacher who had empathy for all students as she would go above and beyond for them. Her welcoming smile and signature laugh will be missed, but not forgotten.

Mr. Maurice Bergeron

After a 15 year career at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Machine Technology instructor is retiring. He began his career with GNBVT  in 2008serving his first 10 years as a Machine Technology instructor and later transitioned to Drafting as a Mechanical Design instructor for 3 years. Two years ago, he returned back to the Machine Technology classroom, serving as the related instructor.  Moe, as we call him, has had 33 years of experience in the industry, working his way up to Master tool and die maker

In his spare time, Moe is an avid commercial fisherman as well as a freshwater angler. He was actually on the show “the Mad Fishman with Charlie Moore” when they aired an episode down Cape Cod.

After retirement, Moe plans to downgrade his property management responsibilities by selling his remaining homes. He is eyeing a piece of land in Madison, New Hampshire to build his retirement dream house. There, he will continue his passion for fishing, as well as enjoy more time with his 5 grandchildren. By year-end, that number will grow as he is expecting 2 additional grandchildren before the end of November.

The Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech family wished Mr. Bergeron a long, healthy, and prosperous retirement.

Mrs. June Meunier

After a 20 year career at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Mrs. Meunier is retiring at the end of the school year. June has played many roles in the English Department over her many years at GNBVT. June is known by her colleagues as the foundation of the English department at our school — she has served in so many capacities. If there was a job to be done, June was sure to be the person to do it, and do it well.

In her spare time, you can find Mrs. Meunier hanging in Newport, and spending time with her family and huge network of friends. After retirement, June plans on spending time doing what she loves and spending her time with the people she cares for most.

June is also known for her personality and outstanding sense of humor and wit. You can always count on laughing when Mrs. Meunier is around. June is loved by her department and will be sorely missed as she ends her career at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech. We wish Mrs. Meunier a long, healthy, happy retirement.

Mrs. Shannon Nobrega

After a six year career at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Mrs. Shannon Nobrega, our attendance officer, is retiring at the end of this school year. Mrs. Nobrega came to us six years ago with just about 33 years of experience in the field — first working for the district court, then transitioning to Child and Family services, and then transitioning into the New Bedford school system.

Her experience in the field is a testament to qualified Mrs. Nobrega was for the job at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech. During her time here, she put policies in place to address chronic absenteeism and tardiness.  She is known for holding students accountable, while building strong relationships with the students and families.

Despite some challenges that come with the job Mrs. Nobrega does daily, she always comes to the job ready to tackle any task at hand.

In her spare time, Mrs. Nobrega enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren and hopes to do more of that when she does retire. We wish Mrs. Nobrega a wonderful retirement.

Mrs. Debra Allain

After over 30 years of service at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Mrs. Allain retired in September of 2021. Mrs. Allain began her career working with Mr. Lipp in Early Childhood Education before moving into the library and working as the Library Media Assistant for 10 years. Mrs. Allain also worked as a class advisor and yearbook advisor.

In her spare time, Mrs. Allain enjoys spending time with her husband, children and seven grandchildren. She is an avid cook, gardener and loves to travel. During her retirement, Mrs. Allain plans to travel often, and care for her grandchildren.

Ms. Lisa Begley

Ms. Begley worked in our cafeteria for 25 years. She is known for her dedication to the students, staff and her team to ensure that students were fed every day. Her sense of humor was loved and appreciated by all who worked with her.

During her retirement she is looking forward to spending time with her husband, children, and two grandchildren Congratulations to Ms. Begley. We wish you a happy, healthy retirement.

Mr. Steve Paul

After 28 years of service after working in the mental health field in hospital, crisis center and in-patient settings, and Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech. Mr. Paul is retiring at the end of this school year. Mr. Paul specializes in assisting students through coping with grief and loss, dealing with the effects of substance use and abuse, finding services for students and families with emerging mental health diagnosis and assisting faculty and staff in understanding the effects that mental health challenges impose on academic and behavioral functioning.

During his time at GNBVT, Mr. Paul has always been an avid supporter of extracurriculars for Voc-Tech students including attending sporting events for all sports teams, Prom/After Prom, Graduation, often attending with his wife Janey and son, Adrian.

Mr. Paul spent some time coaching Girls Soccer and Softball and Spearheaded several of the Guidance Protocols and Procedures that are still in use in our school today. Mr. Paul is admired by his colleagues and mentors several current and former Guidance staff and building Administrators. Mr. Paul has had a hand in the success of several hundred former students, assisting them in making the transition to becoming self-reliant, independent adults who attribute their success to his influence and advocacy. Mr. Paul has always been a consistent face in our cafeteria, with his impeccable style and signature smile every time he greeted students or staff. GNBVT wishes Mr. Paul a happy, healthy retirement.

Mr. Christopher Pires

After over 20 years at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, Mr. Christopher Pires is retiring at the end of this school year. Mr. Christopher Pires is a 1982 Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech graduate of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning program. Mr. Pires began his career teaching science at Roosevelt Junior and came back to GNBVT in September of  2001. He taught Earth

Science, Biology and Chemistry. Mr. Pires has been a lifelong educator; during the  summers Mr. Pires teaches SeaLab. In 2005, the Geodesy Engineering program at GNBVT was created and Mr. Pires was recruited to the CVTE area to help develop the Environmental Science program.

Mr. Pires taught the Marine Sciences and water chemistry of both salt and freshwater ecosystems, ROV. He taught the Freshman and Sophomore students and he was the Curriculum Leader. Mr. Pires led with this passion for the environment, and along with Mr. Carlesi, created and ran the Sustainability Club at GNBVT. The club looked to implement all aspects of sustainability into everyday life. Mr. Pires also coached the envirothon, which is an environmental competition that  focuses on sustainability issues within the community and challenges students to come up with solutions. He won numerous awards from the state of Massachusetts for excellence in Environmental Education. Mr. Pires received his Master’s Degree in GeoScience.

Mr. Pires plans to spend his retirement with his family and his dogs. GNBVT wishes Mr. Pires a happy and healthy retirement.