Coal Creek Watershed Foundation awards three college scholarships
to help educate a new generation of community leaders

Jacob Phillips, April Byrge, and April Golden receive scholarships

As 5th graders at Briceville Elementary School in 2000, Jacob Phillips, April Byrge, and April Golden documented their dreams for the Coal Creek Watershed in narratives and sketches as shown at http://www.coalcreekaml.com/dream_contest.htm.   They are now taking an important step in making those dreams a reality by planning to attend college next year. 

According to Barry Thacker, P.E., a professional engineer and president of CCWF, “These three scholars are an integral part of our organization with ambitious goals for the future.  The Coal Creek Watershed Foundation is proud to award each of them a $10,000 scholarship to assist in their career endeavors.”  

L to R:  Della Daugherty (widow of Rev. Roy  Daugherty), April Byrge, Jacob Phillips, Barry Thacker PE, April Golden

Jacob Phillips is receiving the Nantglo Scholarship, named in honor of the Welsh miners who settled Coal Creek after the Civil War.  Nantglo is Welsh for Coal Creek and our 2007 scholarship winner will attend Lincoln Memorial University.  Jacob has volunteered on bank stabilization projects, watershed clean-up events, and served as a guide during historical tours at the Coal Creek Miners’ Festival.  He also researched state prison records to document the names of those buried in Convict Miners’ Cemetery before the Coal Creek War and he participated in an archeological dig at Militia Hill.

In an essay on improving the quality of life in the watershed, Jacob says, “When I graduate from college, I am going to pursue my career as a teacher. I would like to teach at Briceville Elementary School in order to give back a little to the school that has given me so much.”    

Jacob Phillips (center)
at the abandoned Knoxville Iron
Company Mine adjacent to the
Convict Miners' Cemetery

April Byrge pictured at the first annual
Coal Creek Spring Cleaning Day
which she organized
(Cleaning up others' trash is not pleasant!)

April Byrge and April Golden will receive Rev. Roy Daugherty Memorial Scholarships, named to honor one of our founding board members who passed away last year. 

Ms. Byrge will study Sociology, Appalachian Studies, and Art at Maryville College.  Two years ago, she sent us an email saying, "I have noticed a situation that has grown really out of hand in Coal Creek - litter.  There is not one square foot of unpolluted ground from Anderson County High School all the way to my house.  I have to look at this everyday on my way home from school.  I have to say, it hurts to see a place so dear to me being destroyed by its inhabitants.”   She then organized what has become an annual spring clean-up event to remove litter and trash from Highway 116 (Fraterville Miners’ Memorial Highway).  For her leadership efforts, she was recognized by State Senator Randy McNally.  April also served as a guide during historical tours at the Coal Creek Miners’ Festival and has volunteered on bank stabilization projects.


April Byrge spent a week with Briceville School students in May, not to mention spending the summer in Alaska, as part of her thesis research toward her Master of Science degree in Environmental Education at Montreat College in North Carolina.  While pursuing her MS degree, April works as a park ranger at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.   


April has started grad school, and has been in the Montreat College MS in Environmental Education program since last January.  She's in the process of planning out her thesis research, and is hoping she can do it at Briceville School.  She's applying for grants right now to hopefully get some funds to make the project more feasible. 

April is also working as a park ranger in the Smokies!  It's not a permanent position, but it is a great opportunity and an amazing job.  She's stationed at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center outside Cherokee, NC with all the elk.  She'll be there through the end of 2014.  See photos of her at her job below:

April Golden will study political science at Lee University, and plans to spend at least one semester studying abroad.  Afterwards, she aspires to attend Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.

In her essay, Ms. Golden says, “Improving the quality of life in the Coal Creek Watershed is not just participation in community service projects, but in the minds of the younger generation. Those of us who graduated from Briceville Elementary set our goals high academically and personally and we achieve them.   We are the future and together we can make a difference.  Living is about giving back.  My greatest goal is to be a living example.  Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Aspiring lawyers should learn to be constructive citizens and leaders of their communities, states, and nation, as well as skilled legal practitioners,’ which is exactly what I want to achieve.”

April also served as a guide during historical tours at the Coal Creek Miners’ Festival and on watershed clean-up events.

April Golden pictured on Coal Creek
Scholars' visit to
Middle Tennessee State University
The Oak Ridger article and
The Clinton Courier News

UPDATE 2013:  April is now a Licensed Practical Nurse and taking additional courses.  She is working as an LPN at a rehabilitation center and loves her job! The staff there brag on her hard work.  She's also newly engaged!  See photos of April in action below:

April Golden, LPN

April with Carol Moore
of the Coal Creek
Watershed Foundation

The Nantglo and Rev. Roy Daugherty Memorial Scholarships are offered to graduates of Briceville Elementary School to assist them in attending college.  Requirements to earn the scholarships include participation in community service projects organized or sponsored by the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, competing in an essay contest on improving the quality of life in the watershed, and being a mentor to current Briceville students CCWF's goal is to give Briceville students the incentive to excel in middle school and high school, knowing that they have the potential to get a college education.  Since 2002, fifteen students from Briceville have received CCWF scholarships as described at http://www.coalcreekaml.com/ScholarsProgramPage.htm.

The 2007 scholarships will be presented at an awards ceremony on 14 May 2007 at 7:00 pm at Anderson County High School.

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