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Wayland alumni making their mark

Melanie Barber

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Sitting at a desk at Wayland High School might not mean much to you at this moment, but it could lead you to sitting in the oval office helping the president write speeches. Being in a production in the Little Theater may not seem significant now, but it could lead you to a lead role on a Hollywood set. Think it’s crazy? Look what these graduates have gone on to do.

Take Taylor Schilling, class of 2002. She currently plays the lead role on new NBC medical drama, Mercy. Acting alongside Michelle Trachtenberg, Schilling deals with illness and drama as Nurse Veronica Callahan. She is also credited with the role of Jackie in the movie Dark Matter, 2007.

Schilling was involved in the drama program here in Wayland. Her first performance was in Fiddler on the Roof at the middle school. She participated in numerous shows between Walnut Hill School and Wayland. “I could always tell she had natural talent,” said theater arts teacher and play director Mr. Weingartner. “She had a great sense of humor; she was good.”

Check out this interview with Schilling about her role as Nurse Veronica Callahan on Mercy:

Sarah Hurwitz, a 1995 graduate, is another example. Now a White House speechwriter, she works alongside such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and even President Barack Obama, helping them with and writing their speeches. “She was one of best writers who ever went through this school,” said Brian Keaney, head of the English department.

“I got a world-class education in the Wayland public school system, and it’s been a foundation for everything that came after – from college to law school to my career,” Hurwitz told the MetroWest Daily News this past September.


Sarah Hurwitz, a Wayland High School alumn, is a speech writer for President Barack Obama. She wrote his recent speech on education. (Credit: Public Domain)

Mrs. Pam Miller, a librarian and a longtime presence at WHS, said, “I didn’t know her well but she seemed to be very active in the school.”  When asked if Hurwitz had a passion for writing, Mrs. Miller said, “Yes, she did. I’ve heard she made an exceptional speech at graduation.”

Check out Sarah Hurwitz in the recent education documentary “Get Schooled.” You can watch the full documentary at GetSchooled.com

Other famous Wayland citizens include Alberto Salazar, a long-distance runner who won the New York Marathon three consecutive times and the Boston Marathon once. Plus, did you know that Areosmith played on of their first concerts in the WHS Field House? Tom Hamilton, the bass player in the rock band Aerosmith, is an alumni of Wayland High.

Look around you. You might be sitting with the next Bill Gates in algebra, or the next Abe Lincoln in U.S. History. Who do you think will become a famous singer? Anything is possible, just ask one of the alumni above.

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4 Responses to “Wayland alumni making their mark”

  1. bostonbob on November 15th, 2009 9:06 PM

    this is actually prety cool. i knew about tom hamilton, but nothing about taylor schilling or sarah hurwitz. good job!

  2. Sandy (McNeill) Curtis on November 16th, 2009 3:20 PM

    What about Jan?

    Jan Richard Schlichtmann (19 March 1951–) is an American attorney specializing in personal injury law and toxic torts. He was educated at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.A., and Cornell University, J.D., and was admitted to the bar in 1977.
    Wayland High ’69
    A Civil Action is a 1996 non-fiction novel by Jonathan Harr depicting the real-life water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980s. The book became a best-seller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.

    The case is Anderson v. Cryovac. The first reported decision in the case is at 96 F.R.D. 431 (denial of defendants’ motion to dismiss).

    A film by the same name based on the book was produced in 1998, starring John Travolta as Jan Schlichtmann and Robert Duvall as Jerome Facher.

  3. reader on November 18th, 2009 12:39 AM

    i didnt kno he was from wayland? anyways i think the article was talking about more recent graduates… she only briefly mentioned tom hamilton and alberto salazar

  4. The Wiki Master on November 30th, 2009 12:24 AM

    looks like somebody searched “wayland high school” on wikipedia

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