Heroes Honored

Exchange Club Police Officer of the Year Joe Rynne

By: Jen Jones – December, 2014

The Methuen Exchange Club hosted their 20th Annual Awards Night on November 18th at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club. This is a special event all around as the club presents awards to a few very special people who have displayed incredible acts throughout the community. The awards presented consisted of: Firefighter of the Year, Police Officer of the Year, So Proudly We Hail for both a resident and a business, as well as the highest honor presented by the National Exchange Club, The Book of Golden Deeds.

This year The Exchange Club was privileged to honor two Firefighters, and a Police Officer whose quick thinking, and actions assisted in saving a woman’s life. One evening, all three award recipients responded to the same emergency call at the Texas Roadhouse for a woman who was choking on her meal. The responders were able to loosen the object from obstructing the airway just enough to breathe. However, the responders recognized that the victim’s shallow breathing required additional medical treatment, and quickly transported her to a nearby hospital where she required emergency surgery to remove the piece of steak.

Both recipients (Adam Suliveras and Jessie Kattar) were nominated by the Chief and Superior Officers for actions or services above and beyond the call of duty.
A firefighter since 2005, currently assigned to Engine-1 at the Central Fire Station, Adam Suliveras. Adam graduated from North Shore Community College with an Associate Degree in Science for Fire Protection and Safety Technology. He also holds a variety of certifications: Firefighter levels I & II from Massachusetts Fire Training Council, National Emergency Medical Technician, Telecommunications, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Stress Identifications & Management, Hazardous Materials at both Recognition and Operational levels.
Jessie Kattar is currently assigned to Ambulance-2 at the Central Fire Station. Jessie graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, he has earned and currently holds a variety of certifications: Firefighter levels I & II, Massachusetts and National Emergency Telecommunications and Emergency Medical Dispatch, Hazardous Materials at both Recognition and Operational levels.


The distinguished Police Officer of the year is Joseph L. Rynne Jr., a lifetime resident of Methuen who now serves the community. Joseph is a patrolmen, and 12 year veteran of the police force, and graduate of Northern Essex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell with degrees in Criminal Justice. A Tenney St Park Youth Basketball Coach and referee with several other officers for the last 12 years, he continues to be a positive role model and leader. The league is run as a partnership with the Methuen Police Department and the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood (MAN) Inc. Joseph is also an active member: of the Police Special Operations Unit (SOU), North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), and the Regional Response Team (RRT).

So Proudly We Hail is a unique award given to both an individual, and a business who shows an act of Americanism, in this case proudly and properly displaying the American Flag on a regular basis. This year’s recipients are Joesph Sterner and the DeLucca Fence Company, Inc.

Joseph took it upon himself to reach out to the Methuen Firefighters about buying them a new flag pole and flag. Joseph, procured the materials and even made arrangements for it to be installed. His decision to do this was because he thought that the flag displayed was too small, and should be larger especially for the men and women who serve our community and country.

DeLucca Fence Company, Inc. was founded by life-long residents of Methuen. The company is the largest contractor in New England and specializes in the installation of highway guard rails and fencing. Barbara DeLucca –Rae and Janet DeLucca accepted the award on behalf of the company. Their father, Salvatore DeLucca was a World War II Veteran and proudly flew the American Flag at his home, so it was only fitting that after they completed renovations and the expansion to their offices and maintenance facilities that the flag be flown in his honor.

The Book of Golden Deeds is awarded to a person who distinguishes themselves in the community for selfless service over a lengthy period of time. This award was presented to Judith A. Scannell, whose career has been dedicated to educating the children of Methuen in a variety of capacities over her 39 years of service. Judith started out as a Kindergarten teacher at the Marsh Grammar School in 1975. She taught various grade levels throughout the CGS, Tenney, Timony, and the Marsh Grammar Schools until 1995 when she was appointed Curriculum Specialist and District Wide Gifted and Talented Facilitator for the Grammar Schools. In 2002, Judith was appointed Supervising Principal of the Tenney, in 2007 appointed as the Supervising Principal of the Timony, and in 2009 was appointed Supervising Principal of both Tenney and Timony Grammar schools. In 2010 Judith was hired as the Superintendent of Methuen Public Schools, and continues to thrive as a positive role model and leader for not only the students, but the teacher’s alike in a challenging field.
It was truly a privilege for the Methuen Exchange Club to honor Adam Suliveras, Jessie Kattar, Joseph L. Rynne Jr., Joseph Sterner, DeLucca Fence Company Inc., and Judith Scannell for all that they do for the community and hope that others recognize their efforts as well. If you would like additional information on the National Exchange Club (how to become a member, or where to donate) please visit HERE

Methuen Exchange Club is the oldest service organization operating in the United States. It was originally started as a way for business people to “exchange” ideas. The club is known for sponsoring activities throughout the community that promote Americanism, crime prevention, prevention of child abuse, as well as serving senior citizens, recognizing the military and other public safety service providers, and awards several scholarships to seniors.

jen jones
Jen Jones

Jennifer Jones was born and raised in Methuen. She is an active member of the community who participates in many events and activities, as well as belongs to a social club that benefit the community. Jennifer obtained a degree from Northern Essex Community College in 2008 for an Associate in Arts General Studies, and most recently graduated Northeastern University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management.