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Scholar of the Month: Central sophomore says it's important to give back

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 11. 2017 12:53AM
Karishma Manchanda 

Manchester High School Central standout Karishma Manchanda believes some of the greatest lessons she’s learned come from volunteering in the community.

“it’s important to give back to people,” said Manchanda.

The 15-year-old sophomore is the Francis Wayland Parker Scholar for November.

With a 4.0 grade-point average, Manchanda has excelled in the classroom and as a member of the Central High Orchestra, and worked as a reporter at the Central student newspaper, The Little Green.

In her Francis Wayland Parker essay, named for the 19th-century, Bedford-born education reformer, Manchanda writes Parker would be a “good fit” for her school because his philosophies would align well with someone in the modern-day position of curriculum director.

“Even with a marginal budget increase, Parker was able to revolutionize the education system using his philosophies in Quincy, Massachusetts,” Manchanda wrote.

She added: “In Quincy, Parker has a student-centered approach and made continuous improvement in the curriculum to measure student performance and effectiveness of the program.”

In her essay, Manchanda writes Parker’s beliefs align with the core values and beliefs at Central, which school staff has labeled “Central PRIDE.”

“PRIDE stands for Potential, Respect, Inspiration, Diversity and Engagement,” Manchanda wrote. “Parker believed in the whole child development, and his beliefs align well with Central as our school nurtures educational excellence and offers opportunities in sports, music, clubs and academic rigor to develop a well-rounded student.”

Manchanda is captain of the Central High math team, and is a member of the Key Club. She also volunteers her time at the soup kitchen in Manchester.

In addition, she performs traditional Indian classical dances and is a regular performer at events sponsored by the India Association of New Hampshire.

Manchanda said she has been studying and performing Kathak, a traditional Indian style of dance, at the Himanshi Dance Academy in Nashua for several years.

“I help mentor and train young members of the academy,” said Manchanda, who hopes to teach dance when she’s older.

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.

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