Tri-County Student from Bellingham Wins Outstanding Vocational Student Award

FRANKLIN, MA – Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School senior Zachary Keeler, of Bellingham, has been selected as the recipient of the 31st annual Outstanding Vocational Student Award.

The Engineering Technology student received the award during a ceremony and dinner on Thursday, April 13, at the Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

The Outstanding Vocational Student Award is presented each year by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) and the Massachusetts Vocational Association (MVA) to one student from each vocational technical high school in Massachusetts. The award recognizes students who have made significant contributions to their local school district and to the statewide vocational education system. Recipients must have excellent attendance, a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and vocational-related work experience. The students must demonstrate leadership qualities, technical competence, involvement in the community and extracurricular activities.

Zachary, son of Kristen and Scott Keeler, is a natural leader. He was accepted into the National Honor Society in his junior year and was awarded the Cougar Culture award for his exemplary achievement in areas of scholarship, leadership, character, and service. 

At Tri-County, Zach is a respected athlete leading the way in football, basketball and baseball every year.  He was named captain of the varsity baseball team in his sophomore year and the varsity football captain in senior year. 

In addition to a lengthy list of athletic activities, Zach began competing in SkillsUSA in the 10th grade, a full grade ahead of most of his peers.  Zach competed in Urban Search and Rescue at SkillsUSA and won a Silver Medal at the state competition and competed in the Stratasys Extreme Redesign competition and finished in the top 10 nationally.  He is participating in a NASA sponsored project called HUNCH where he has developed a microgravity casting/molding system for astronauts to use in space.  Zach was invited to New Jersey to present this project to NASA officials.

Zach’s coursework includes Advanced Placement Physics and Calculus.  Engineering is Zach’s chosen career program where he has to work on teams to develop resolutions and design more effective and efficient products. Zach has worked a cooperative education job at Hamilton Storage Technologies.  He has contributed to designing new tools, manufacturing bio-refrigeration systems, and resolving design flaws with the automated liquid handling systems.

The Bellingham native plans to continue his Engineering education where he will major in Electromechanical Engineering.