MAC Scholars’ Next Steps


David Vahey

In addition to running the existing program, Reese will make MAC year-round. The scholars summer program is to begin in 2019.

Nathaniel H. Reese Jr., a former sixth grade math and science teacher at Woodbury Elementary School, is now the Minority Achievement Committee Scholars adviser and will lead the program and its expansion to third and fourth graders.

As of Oct. 2, Reese relocated to his new workplace in the high school main office. Desmari Carter will replace Reese as sixth grade math and science teacher at Woodbury.

With the appointment of Reese, MAC Scholars is expanding. Third and fourth graders at all elementary schools will soon be introduced to the positive ideas of achievement and hard work, according to Mary Lynne McGovern, who was the MAC Scholars adviser for 25 years before retiring.

“By the time they come here they will know all about what it’s about. They wear shirts and ties, they have a handshake, and all of those parts of the program will be introduced to them when they are very young,” she said. “They won’t know any different by the time they get here. Hopefully, they’re devoted to it.”

As MAC Scholars adviser, Reese will have several new duties. “He will be the coordinator of the scholars programs that are starting in third grade and going all the way up [to the high school],” McGovern explained.

Reese will also be making MAC Scholars year-round. “I’ve been charged with creating a program for the summer,” he said. The MAC Scholars summer program is to begin in 2019.

Reese has several goals for the scholars program. His main focus is to make academic success appealing to students. Reese said, “From the time that I started working with the scholars here, my mindset has always been, ‘Let’s make being smart cool — let’s make being successful something that is viewed as being cool.’ ”

Reese also wants to get to know his new scholar students more. “A lot of students have a lot of baggage that they’re bringing from home, and sometimes being so busy as teachers, we don’t even think about that,” he explained. “So I think I’ll have more time to focus on finding out more about the students, so I can get to know what makes them move and what gets them motivated and so forth. And then I can adjust them there and just express the importance of the future.”

Reese’s appointment has received positive support from students and teachers. Residents, and particularly students, are excited about the future with Reese as adviser. “He’s motivating, he’s a leader and he’s someone to look up to,” said junior Brandon Golston, a MAC scholar.

Junior Dakota Cochran, another MAC scholar, said that Reese wants the best for everyone. “He’s a positive African-American role model,” Cochran said.

McGovern thinks that Reese is passionate about the scholars program, and will interact well with the students. “He’s got a personality that will help him connect with the scholars here, and with the teachers, counselors and others that he will interact with when he comes over to the high school,” she said.

Sophomore scholar Marcus Danner said that he and the other scholars will miss McGovern, but he has hopes for a bright future for scholars. “It’s going to be a great start, so I wish the best for the new director. I hope he leads us well and does good things for us,” he said.

In McGovern’s words, “This program has to be something that is in your heart, and it is in Mr. Reese’s heart.”

A version of this article appears in print on page 7 of Volume 89, Issue I, published Dec. 21, 2018.

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