Coal Creek
Watershed Foundation (CCWF)
2011 Scholarship Awards

Six scholarships totaling $40,000 for
some fine Coal Creek students!

We are happy to report that life is good in Coal Creek this year and we are awarding $40,000 in scholarships to six students with diverse interests.  To qualify for our scholarships, these former students of Briceville Elementary School have participated in our community service projects and completed essays on improving the quality of life in the watershed.

Scholars' Program Page

See Clinton Courier News story

Front row seated: Megan Dugger & Sarah Byrge
Back L to R: Carol Moore, Tyler Vandergriff, Ricky
Bailey, Kyle Leinart, Jonathan Towe & Barry Thacker

According to Barry Thacker, P.E., a professional engineer and president of CCWF, “We encourage our Coal Creek Scholars to follow their dreams in college, provided it is a career in which they can find a job.  Kyle Leinart is receiving the 2011 Nantglo Scholarship for $10,000 and wants to pursue a career as a scientist at the University of Tennessee.   I’ve encouraged him to study engineering because I know he can then find a job upon graduation.  In fact, if he studies civil engineering I can guarantee it, because I’ll hire him.”

"I will be graduating at UT with a bachelor's in Computer Science come December. I am submitting two papers to the CHI conference in San Diego for September. The first paper is a data visualization study that I helped build last winter with the SAVA/CSE group at ORNL. The second is a controlled experiment study with multiplayer video games that started with a Department of Energy project. In September, I will also find out if I will be accepted to Texas A&M for spring semester for a M.S. in Comp Sci, specializing in computer graphics and visualization. 

I am also leading a team for a senior capstone project involving virtual reality. I'm hoping to show what we've done to the Briceville students this December to get them interested in science & technology. 

It's been a busy and exciting year nonetheless, and I wouldn't be here without you guys. I still can't thank you enough for these opportunities!"

See scholars' visit to UT Engineering School

Scholars visit Tusculum College

Scholars conduct research at
East TN History Center in Knoxville

Seated:  Megan Dugger & Sarah Byrge
Back L to R:  Tyler Vandergriff, Ricky Bailey,
Kyle Leinart & Jonathan Towe

Tyler Vandergriff and Ricky Bailey will each receive 2011 Rev. Roy Daugherty Memorial Scholarships for $7,500.  Tyler wants to become a chef and will study culinary arts at Sullivan University in Kentucky.  In his essay, Tyler writes, “As with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, I would love to create a dish that changes the landscape of the culinary world.”  Everybody needs to eat, so Tyler should have ample opportunities for employment.

Ricky will pursue a degree in biblical studies at Tennessee Temple University with the goal of becoming a minister.  He writes in his essay, “A pastor’s job is to provide encouragement and if he lives according to his biblical guidelines, he will be a superb example and influence to the people in Briceville.”

Sarah Byrge, Jonathan Towe, and Megan Dugger will each receive $5,000 scholarships to pursue careers in the medical/healthcare field.  Sarah will attend Lincoln Memorial University and Jonathan will attend East Tennessee State University.  Megan plans to attend Roane State Community College for two years and then transfer to the University of Tennessee.  

CCWF's goal is to give Briceville students the incentive to excel in middle school and high school, knowing they have the potential to get a college education.  Since 2002, twenty-nine students from Briceville have received CCWF scholarships as described at

Ricky Bailey & Tyler Vandergriff with bowling
balls they found on Trash Day 2010


Sarah Byrge reports, “I will graduate in December from LMU with my Bachelor's in Biology, and I'm looking for marine biology internships at the moment for when I graduate. I'm wanting to work with coral reef conservation and aquaculture. At this time I am president of my sorority, Zeta Tau Kappa, as well as president of LMU's Inter-Greek Council. I started an etsy shop recently to sell my artwork, called Oceandamour. Also, even though my sister April is the park ranger, I got bitten by a copperhead last August.”

Click on image to enlarge:

Scholars with
Dr. Eirug Davies
from Harvard during his
visit to Briceville School
in 2004
 (From Knoxville
News Sentinel Article)

UPDATE - 2013

Lincoln Memorial
University Scholarship

CCWF scholarships honor the rich history of the watershed by helping to educate the next generation of community leaders.  Nantglo is Welsh for Coal Creek and represents the heritage of the early Welsh miners to the watershed.  Rev. Roy Daugherty was a founding board member of CCWF who passed away in 2006.

The 2011 CCWF scholarships were presented at the Anderson County High School awards ceremony on May 14, 2011.

Scholars assist in installing historic markers on Militia Hill

Tyler Vandergriff & Kyle Leinart
at Militia Hill archaeological dig

Scholars plant trees on the
Fraterville bank stabilization project
9 October 2010

2011 AWARDS:

$10,000   Kyle Leinart
$ 7,500   Tyler Vandergriff
$ 7,500   Ricky Bailey
$ 5,000   Jonathan Towe
$ 5,000   Sarah Byrge
$ 5,000   Megan Dugger


Check out a few of the students' entries into our 2000 DREAM contest when they were in 1st grade.

Kyle Leinart's
1st grade dream

Sarah Byrge's
1st grade dream

Ricky Bailey
1st grade dream

Megan Dugger
1st grade dream


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