School Physician’s Family Foundation Gives $50K to Tilton

John L. Maddox, Haverhill Public Schools’ pediatrician, presents a check for $50,000 to Tilton School.

A previously anonymous Haverhill schools’ benefactor Thursday night surprised the public with a $50,000 donation to help Tilton School library.

John L. Maddox, Haverhill Public Schools’ pediatrician, revealed he has been the representative behind more than $300,000 in grants to the school system since 2004. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who pledged the city would match the money, said he urged Maddox to make himself known when he learned of the gift.

“I made an exception this time because of the pride I have for Tilton School,” he said. Maddox’s gift comes from his family’s New Mexico-based J. F Maddox Foundation. He explained he is a native of New Mexico, but his wife is a Haverhill native. Money will be used to purchase books, audiobooks and technology.

Maddox said one can predict future high school dropout rates by looking at third graders’ reading scores.

Keith Boucher of the Mount Washington group Urban Kindness said Tilton School needs $300,000 in immediate repairs. He cited peeling ceiling paint, “antiquated bathrooms,” outdated cafeteria lighting and a poor gym as examples. A related slide presentation by school Superintendent James F. Scully showed a meager supply of books in the school library that serves 500 students.

Maddox has previously donated funds for the Bradford Rail Trail, fireworks, improvements at Nettle School and other city needs.