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A Plymouth family tradition for 3-time winner of Francis Wayland Parker Scholar honor

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 10. 2013 9:27PM


PLYMOUTH — Being named a Francis Wayland Parker Scholar of the Month is becoming part of Andrew Buttolph’s annual scholarly routine.

Buttolph is the September Scholar of the Month, marking the third time in three years the 18-year-old Plymouth Regional High School senior has had his essay selected.

“It just kind of fell into place and worked out that way,” he said.

All he needs now is to earn the Scholar of the Year honor in May to match the feat accomplished by his older brother, Michael, who was a Scholar of the Month three times and was the 2011 Scholar of the Year.

“Then we’ll be all tied,” Andrew Buttolph said.

Buttolph, who is applying for admission to Cornell University, is the top-ranked student in his class and is involved in so many school and extracurricular activities that he needs three sheets of paper to list them all. He plays the trumpet, is on the ski-jumping team and trivia club and is a member of the student Senate. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, has received the national Presidential volunteer service award three times and is an Eagle Scout.

In his essay, he imagines that Parker, the revolutionary 19th-century educator and Bedford native, has been appointed chairman of the school board and asked for “a status report on how PRHS prepares students to be effective citizens by implementing his vision.”

He said the school meets Parker’s vision — Parker emphasized independent thinking instead of rote memorization — because it “focuses on teamwork, encourages hands-on learning, and tailors approaches in order to nurture each individual’s skills and abilities.”

Buttolph’s past winning essays were similarly styled. His sophomore-year essay was an open letter to Parker; his junior-year essay highlighted his school’s use of distance-learning platforms.

“I like to try to think of something different for the essay,” he said.

And the Buttolph legacy may not be finished — Andrew has a younger brother, Stephen.

“There’s another, so we’ll see,” Andrew said of Stephen. “He works pretty hard.”

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 September were: Brittany Marshall, Hopkinton High School; Jack Salvatore, Manchester High School Central and Maria Barger from Manchester High School West.

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