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May 05. 2013 10:02PM

Exeter student, the April Francis Wayland Parker scholar, pens thank you note to educator


EXETER - Writing as though she's giving a thank you note to a revolutionary 19th-century educator, Exeter High School ninth-grader Anna Sang has been named the Francis Wayland Parker Scholar of the Month for April.

"The practices that you have developed focus solely on the student and that's the most important part," Sang wrote. "Without your ideas, I'm not sure where our school would be. So I want to thank you for that. Thank you for believing and fighting for education that prepares students for the real world."

Sang, who is at the top of her class, said she originally intended her essay to read as though she were showing Parker around her school.

The 14-year-old said she didn't fully understand the impacts Parker had on education until her essay was complete. ?Parker was a Bedford native and the pioneer of the progressive school movement who transformed the educational process while working in Ohio, Massachusetts and Illinois in the late 19th century,

"I ended up just thanking him at the end because I didn't realize all of the contributions until I'd finished writing the essay," said Sang.

Sang, a member of the film club, student council and the school's marching and concert bands, said she didn't expect her essay to be selected.

"I was definitely really really surprised," she said. "I hadn't thought my essay was as good as I guess they thought it was. I was really excited, too."

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 April included Drew McLaughlin, Plymouth Regional High School; Taylor Sullivan, Laconia High School; Kylie Elliott, Campbell High School; Nermin Hasanovic, Manchester High School West; and Nick Meserve, Hopkinton High School.

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