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Scholar of the Month: Central junior wants to be inspired

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 08. 2018 9:28PM


MANCHESTER — Maxwell Nakos, February’s Francis Wayland Parker Scholar, believes Parker “could have only dreamed” what our public school system has blossomed into since he worked at “redefining the very business of education.”

In his winning essay, the junior at Manchester High School Central writes that if the 19th-century, Bedford-born educator were to sign on at Central as the new curriculum director, “he would resurrect his mission to make classroom learning creative and interesting.”

“Today, our school system has reverted to the standardized curriculum and testing that he worked so hard to diminish in his educational revolution,” Nakos writes in his essay. “Parker would inspire administrators, teachers, and students alike to set aside structure and regulation and find within themselves the natural curiosity that is the learning process.”

Nakos is currently ranked 12th in his class, and carries a 3.87 grade point average. He is the founder of The Little Greens’ Thumb, a student organization that works to improve Central’s urban campus and strengthen a positive community.

“The Little Greens’ Thumb is by definition a gardening club,” said Nakos. “Central is the oldest public high school in New Hampshire, and the buildings on campus are beautiful. I figured it was only fitting that our school’s grounds get the attention they deserve. Our goal is to improve those green spaces on Central’s urban campus. It has been wonderful to see so many students, teachers, and members of the Central community reach out and offer donations and support to our project. I can’t wait to plant later this spring.”

Nakos — the managing editor of The Little Green, Central’s student newspaper — also works with students at a local elementary school to help students build skills in reading, writing and communication.

Nakos said at this time he is uncertain what career path he might pursue.

“In education, the joy is in the journey,” he said. “My parents and teachers have taught me to love to learn, and I know I will carry that with me wherever I go.”

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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