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Top of the Hill recognizes accomplished HHS alumni

by | Nov 13, 2019 | Education

Inductees include Scarlata, Lynch, Sennott, Sadler, Ellam

Five Hopkinton High School alumni will be honored for their “exceptional achievements and contributions to society” during a special ceremony on Nov. 26.

Organized by the Hopkinton Parent-Teacher Association, Hopkinton Education Foundation, and Hopkinton High School, the Top of the Hill Program inducts alumni who have graduated from HHS and have gone on to make significant impacts to the community — whether it be through volunteerism, activism or their life’s work.

“An institution is best defined by its graduates,” said HHS assistant principal Joshua Hanna, founder of the HHS Top of the Hill program. “Not surprisingly, the alumni from here have gone on to do some impressive things.”

Every other year, nominations are gathered and reviewed by a committee of administrators, teachers, students and community members in order to choose a new group of Top of the Hill inductees.

This year’s inductees were chosen from more than 50 nominations. They are invited to spend time with students in their classes during the day on Nov. 26, speaking to them about their paths after leaving HHS.

“It is great to see folks come back and share with students what they learned and what inspired their passions,” Hanna said.

That evening, the inductees will be honored during a ceremony at the HHS auditorium at 7 p.m.

“The Student Council will introduce the inductees and each inductee will have a chance to speak about their work,” Hanna said. “It is a pretty special event for the community.”

Following are the Class of 2019 inductees.

Jean Scarlata (Class of 1947) — Scarlata was nominated for always leading by example, and she is a good role model for women. She attended Center School and Hopkinton High School when it occupied the building at 85 Main St. After graduating from high school, she worked for the Veterans Administration at the Cushing General Hospital complex in Framingham and then continued to work at the VA Medical Center when it relocated to West Roxbury. After taking time off to raise a family, Scarlata spent time volunteering in the Hopkinton Public Schools and taught religious education at St. John the Evangelist Church, for which she is currently the treasurer as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In 1981 she went to work full-time at the Town of Hopkinton Water Department, from which she retired in 2015.

Patrick Lynch, M.D. (Class of 1977) — A high school football injury left Lynch paralyzed from a broken neck. Although confined to a wheelchair, the HHS graduate graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1985, completed an internship in internal medicine at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield in 1986, and concluded his education with a residency in diagnostic radiology at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in 1990. Lynch has amassed an extensive knowledge and unrivaled expertise in women’s imaging, including ultrasonography, mammography and breast MRI. As a radiologist, he has dedicated training and unique experience in diagnosing and treating disease and injury through the use of medical imaging techniques such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET), fusion imaging and ultrasound.

Samuel Sennott (Class of 1996) — Sennott discovered his life’s passion after volunteering at the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center. After graduating from HHS, Sennott attended Gordon College, where he received his B.S. in special education, elementary education and history while working a series of jobs assisting children with disabilities. He went on to earn an M.S. in assistive special education technology from Simmons College (now Simmons University) and a Ph.D. in augmentative and alternative communication, assistive technology and special education from Penn State University. In 2009, Sennott co-created and launched the original Proloquo2Go, an iPhone program that takes on-screen text and reads it electronically. The iOS application helps people who have difficulty speaking due to a range of disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, and has been featured on the front page of The New York Times, by ABC News and on 60 Minutes. He currently is an assistant professor of special education at Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education.

Missy (MacDonald) Sadler (Class of 2000) — While at HHS, Sadler was chosen as the captain for her field hockey, basketball and softball teams and was elected vice president of her class and president of the HHS chapter of the National Honor Society. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from Fairfield University in 2004, where she was the starter at third base on the school’s Division 1 softball team. Sadler returned to Hopkinton to begin her career at EMC Corporation in its sales training program. For the next 10 years, Sadler was promoted numerous times and was recognized as a top sales performer in the Americas. She also served as vice president of the EMC Field Women’s Leadership Forum, which sought to encourage greater female participation in a traditionally male dominated tech industry. She currently is leveraging her athletic expertise as a volunteer coach for the Medfield High School softball team and volunteers for several community organization while she takes time off from her career to raise her young family.

Matt Ellam (Class of 2006) — Ellam founded the Hiller Grillers, a tailgating fan club that has been grilling since 2004. A fourth-generation native of Hopkinton, he returned to Massachusetts after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a B.A. in Africana studies and history and continued his education at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in 2012, earning a B.S. and an M.S. in nursing to become a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Since then, Ellam has devoted his academic and clinical time to promoting access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment in underserved and compromised populations and managed nurse-run medication assisted treatment programs for opioid and alcohol use disorders in East Boston and Brockton, and provided comprehensive psychiatric care in English, Spanish and Portuguese at community health centers in Worcester, Framingham and Roxbury. Currently, Ellam sees patients at a group private practice in Brookline while focusing on the growth of various projects to support equitable mental health care for all people regardless of ability to pay or speak English.