PELHAM — Meghan Montminy, the first Francis Wayland Parker Scholar winner of the 2018-2019 school year, believes Parker would recognize the popular game Kahoot! as an innovative example of “modern education” if he were a school administrator in Pelham.
In her winning essay, the Pelham High School senior writes that modern students owe the 19th-century, Bedford-born educator “an enormous round of applause.”
“It is because of Parker that schools started to find more innovative and creative ways to teach students,” writes Montminy. “My health teacher was constantly trying to find exciting ways to teach her students the curriculum because, through her own research, she learned that a student’s attention span only lasts an average of 10 minutes.
“That is not a lot of time. However, through using methods that Parker once used on his students, such as teaching through hands-on activities and going on educational field trips, all of my past and current teachers have made learning something to enjoy.”
Montminy is president of Pelham High School’s Psychology Club. She is also the president of the National English Honor Society, secretary of the Spanish Honor Society, and a member of the National Honor Society.
In her winning essay, Montminy writes that Kahoot! — the popular educational, interactive platform out of Norway that lets users play quizzes together or build their own quizzes and play them — is an innovative method to help students “truly understand the material they are learning.”
“The questions, as well as the answers and the leader board, are projected in front of the classroom,” writes Montminy. “Sometimes the teacher will offer candy, or even bonus points, to the highest-scoring students. Trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say, we students love candy and bonus points.”
Montminy writes she believes Kahoot! is so successful at Pelham High School because students there are “very competitive.”
“When a teacher tells their students that next class there will be a game of Kahoot!, every student studies like they’ve never studied before,” writes Montminy. “Why is that so, you ask? We are all in it to win it. That is why.
“If students get a question wrong, they are presented with the correct answer and can add it to their notes. This has proven to be an extremely useful studying technique for my friends and I. I have noticed that my classes do better on tests as a whole, when we play some type of review game.”
Montminy writes that Francis Wayland Parker would likely approve of this method of teaching and learning “because students are able to balance having fun with having a proper education.”
Montminy says she estimates she has spent about 90 hours mentoring students involved with her ‘Meghan’s Angels’ effort, which she describes as a fight to end childhood poverty.
“I have dedicated the past four years to mentoring children to be the change that society needs,” said Montminy. “I have pinned those who join me in my fight against childhood poverty with an angel pin to signify that they have worked to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.”
Montminy said after speaking to 200 Pelham Elementary School fifth-graders as part of their “Lead to Succeed Seminar,” she received a Facebook message from several of the students’ parents, who thanked her for inspiring their children to want to make a difference in our community. Among those students was Jordan Robito.
“After listening to my presentation she decided that she wanted to be the change,” said Montminy. “Jordan held a toy and stuffed animal drive to donate to the Boston Children’s Hospital for the holiday season. I was so excited and so proud to pin her as one of my angels live on stage at one of her drama performances.”
Montminy has also donated her time to dozens of other causes and events, including the Anne-Marie House of Greater Nashua, Exeter Summerfest and a Hurricane Harvey fundraiser.
The Francis Wayland Parker Scholar program is sponsored by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Union Leader.