PLYMOUTH — Stephen Buttolph, the Francis Wayland Parker Scholar for March, is only 16, but is already on the path to a career as a computer engineer.
“I really love computer science,” he said.
The sophomore, who was home-schooled from preschool through eighth grade, is first in his class of 175 at Plymouth Regional High School.
In his winning essay, Buttolph wrote that the 19th-century educator Parker “was famous for achieving dramatic improvements without any significant increases in costs.”
Buttolph notes PRHS has already demonstrated how advances in technology have made that possible, with computers and iPads providing options including remote interactive learning.
Buttolph is following a familiar path in becoming a Francis Wayland Parker Scholar. His oldest brother, Michael, now at Cornell University, won three monthly scholar honors and was Scholar of the Year in 2011. His brother, Andrew, a senior at PRHS who has also won three monthly scholar honors in three years, also plans to attend Cornell.
Stephen Buttolph was a scholar runner-up in December.
He takes advanced and honors classes in calculus, computer science, statistics and chemistry. He’s also an Eagle Scout.
“I’m pretty involved with skiing,” he said, and is on the school alpine ski team.
He plays the trumpet and has been part of the jazz, pep and concert bands. He’s a member of the Student Senate, a Church of the Holy Spirit acolyte, and has accumulated more than 600 hours of community service. And that’s just a small sample of his non-academic activities.In the essay, Buttolph said Parker would be pleased about how the school was already applying his educational principles of student-centered education. An example cited is PRHS’ participation in mathematics competitions and the formation of several teams of students who compete on a monthly basis.
Participation in Granite State Challenge and Poetry Out Loud are other examples of how students “become engaged in a friendly competition while learning at the same time. No one is forced to join any of these groups, and students are eager to participate.”
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.