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Plymouth Regional junior, Francis Wayland Parker Award winner, thinks outside the box

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 18. 2012 9:06PM


PLYMOUTH - Plymouth Regional High School junior Andrew Buttolph has been selected as the October Francis Wayland Parker Scholar of the Month.

"According to Parker, an effective education requires an approach that is flexible, that encourages independent thinking, and that allows students to learn in a variety of ways without rigid discipline," Buttolph, 17, wrote in his winning essay. "One approach that successfully implements these theories at PRHS is the increasing usage of Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO)."

Buttolph wrote that Plymouth Regional offers extended learning through Plymouth State University, Johns Hopkins University and the state's Virtual Learning Academy.

"The key is flexibility combined with proper supervision," he wrote. "There are virtually unlimited ways that a student might approach an ELO."

Buttolph is taking AP chemistry through a Johns Hopkins University program, for example.

He wrote that Plymouth Regional has "modernized" its requirements so students who pursue distance learning do not sacrifice class ranking.

"This type of proactive administration would be most impressive to Parker," Buttolph wrote, referring to the New Hampshire native who revolutionized education in the 19th century.

Buttolph, who was also selected as a Scholar of the Month in November 2011, is at the top of his class, according to his essay application.

He is heavily involved in scouting and plays the trumpet, participating in band. He just auditioned for All State Music Festival, which he took part in last year.

The Francis Wayland Parker Scholar program is sponsored by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Lifetouch Studios and the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Northern New England.

Other nominees for October were:

Rosie Webb, Sunapee Middle High School; Hibah Haider, Manchester Central High School; Abigail Gill, Monadnock Regional High School; Colby Whitcomb, Conant High School; Jacob Nazarian, Alvirne High School; Angela Valenti, Campbell High School; Kendra Stone,Mascoma Valley Regional High School; Joseph Discua, Manchester Memorial High School; Dillon Sylvester, Franklin High School; and Maria Barger, Manchester High School West.

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