The Boothbay Region High School community honored a student and a teacher Oct. 25 for their achievements. At an all-school assembly, BRHS Interim Principal Tricia Campbell announced Will Perkins was a Commended Student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program and teacher Mary Miller won the James McBride Teaching Award.
Campbell said around 34,000 students are commended for exceptional academic promise. “Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered ... by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.”
After the assembly, Perkins said his mother had to coax him from his early school release back to campus for the assembly.
“… An interview thing with guidance for college,” said Perkins. “It was a while ago when the test took place, but I was proud of the score and I was happy with it. This is an awesome award and I'm just proud to be part of the community that recognizes this.”
Campbell introduced Jonathan D. Krist Foundation co-founder Peggy Krist to present Miller with its James McBride Teaching Award. Krist and husband Bob started the foundation in memory of their son, who died in a car accident at 19.
The award is named after author James McBride, who left a mark on Jonathan in sixth grade with his book, “The Color of Water.” It raised Jonathan’s awareness about race and poverty and motivated him to do something about it, his mother said. “We sort of picked up where he left off. Our family supports many programs in the environmental sciences … and music programs all around the country.”
Established in 2014, the award recognizes excellent teachers serving under-resourced communities and inspiring others to make the same commitment, Campbell noted. Krist said she asked around about the Boothbay region’s music scene and Miller’s name came up frequently along with her many programs and accomplishments at BRHS.
“She doesn't just teach you how to sing, she teaches you how to sing with heart,” Krist said. “For her commitment, we'd like to recognize her by giving her James's book, an unrestricted $1,000 award and commend her publicly for her commitment to your school.”
Miller has been part of the BRHS and Elementary School community since 1994. She is a music teacher, drama advisor, musical advisor and mentor to other teachers, Campbell said.
After the assembly, Miller said she had received an email in May about being recommended for the award, but had heard nothing since. “I'm touched actually. It’s really nice,” she said about the award.
Learn more about the foundation and the James McBride Teaching Award at: https://www.jonathankrist.org