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Campbell High freshman: I like to stay busy

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 21. 2018 8:46PM


LITCHFIELD — Campbell High School freshman Abigail Buxton believes Francis Wayland Parker — a 19th-century founder of progressive elementary education in the United States — would be an excellent fit as curriculum director at the Litchfield high school.

Buxton, 14, has been chosen as the Francis Wayland Parker Scholar for December.

As a freshman, Buxton is enrolled in two honors classes and three honors options. She is a member of the Campbell High School band, student council and the Campbell Key Club.

In her Francis Wayland Parker essay, named for the Bedford-born education reformer, Buxton writes Parker would be an “enourmous asset” for her school because his philosophies would align well with someone in the modern-day position of curriculum director.

“Mr. Parker understands that some students do better with interactive learning, while others do better with lectures,” Buxton wrote. “He wants all students to have a chance to succeed, regardless of their preferred learning style.”

She added: “One of Francis Parker’s methods is that instead of telling teachers how to teach and insisting they do it exactly that way, he lets teachers develop their own methods. This helps all students because it allows teachers to adapt to their class’ overall learning style instead of forcing them to teach in a particular way, which might be less effective.”

In her essay, Buxt6on writes that Parker used his methods to help students become “lifelong learners.”

“Francis Parker believes that students don’t need to simply memorize facts; rather, they need to be taught how to learn and think,” Buxton wrote. “If students can do this for themselves, they can continue acquiring information throughout their lives.”

Buxton writes Parker’s teaching philosophy can be summed up in one adage.

“‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,’” writes Buxton. “You could add that he also believed, ‘If you teach a man to love fishing, he will forever enjoy a bountiful feast.’ The students at CHS are honored to have the opportunity to cast our lines under the well-seasoned guidance of Francis Wayland Parker.”

Buxton volunteers at several organizations in Litchfield and around the state, including at Special Olympics events, local soccer tournaments, community service with a church youth group, and the St. Jude community dinner.

“I like to stay busy,” said Buxton. “I’ve benefited from a lot of groups in the community, and volunteering lets me give back.”

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.

Education Litchfield

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