Inspirational: Roy Shoults' lessons
Manchester's Ward 4 school board member Roy Shoults was not on the ballot in last week's election. After one term, he decided not to run again. The board, he told us last week, did a great deal of talking, but not much else. It was "kind of like an appendix," he said. So he stepped down to focus on his own project for helping Manchester's students.
Shoults runs a little outfit he calls Expanding Students' Horizons. With it, he raises private funds to enrich the lives of Manchester students. In March he raised enough money to send 25 high school students to the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, where they watched a live simulcast performance of New York City's Metropolitan Opera. Then he raised money to cover the costs of advance placement exams for low-income students.
His latest project is to take 40 students to St. Anselm College's Dana Center to see the Nov. 22 performance of Aeschylus' Agamemnon. The cost is only $12 per student. Anyone who donates $100 will get a $25 gift card to the Puritan Backroom, which donated the cards.
Shoults won his 2011 school board election by 10 votes. Just by running he provided young people with an important lesson: Every vote counts. Now he is teaching another: One man with initiative can change lives.
Shoults did not wait for anyone's permission to form Expanding Students' Horizons. He didn't send it through committees and hope it got approved as an official school board program. He created it himself, talked school officials into setting up an account for donations, and hit the pavement to look for supporters. Shoults wants to inspire city students by exposing them to top-level arts and academics. The rest of the city can be inspired by its exposure to him.
(To help out, you can email Shoults at firstname.lastname@example.org.)