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

Three scholarships totaling
$22,000 awarded to
Emily Patton, Drew Payne
& Lyndsey Phillips!

13 May 2014

READ NEWS STORY  - The Courier News 25 May 2014
Bucking Tradition - Coal Creek Watershed awards unusual scholarship

On stage at Anderson County High School Awards Program
(L to R): Lyndsey Phillips, Carol Moore, Drew Payne,
Emily Patton and Barry Thacker

Excerpt from CCWF scholarship award presentation
at Anderson County High School by Barry Thacker, P.E.

Before announcing this year’s recipients, I want to share an email we got from an Anderson County High School graduate that says she is finishing her undergraduate degree, preparing to apply to the UT College of Law.  She regrets not being active with us in high school and asked if she could do something now to qualify for a scholarship. 

We decided to fulfill her request, so she can become our Coal Creek lawyer gal.  In return, she agreed to tell her story at our annual Scholars Day event at Briceville School.  If she can motivate just one Briceville student to go to college, then our investment in her will pay dividends.     

We have two scholarship recipients from this year’s senior class. I’m an engineer, so I know when you have a job to do, the first volunteer can choose his or her task.  One of our recipients learned that lesson on her first community service project with us, when she laid back and wound up mixing concrete.  The next two times, she grabbed the level right out of the gate, thus becoming our Coal Creek level gal.

The other recipient organized our annual Coal Creek trash clean-up event.  She recruited volunteers, lined up food, supplies—even a band to perform—but on the day of the event it rained, so she become our Coal Creek rain gal.  What did she learn from that experience?  As they say in the movies, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.  Think about that for a while.”   

Carol Moore and I are honored to award a $2,000 scholarship to our lawyer gal Lyndsey Phillips, a $10,000 scholarships to our rain gal Emily Patton, along with another $10,000 scholarship to our level gal Drew Payne.  

(L to R): Lyndsey Phillips, Barry Thacker, Emily Patton, Drew Payne,
Carol Moore, Gordon Matheson, CEO of Schnabel Engineering


(L to R) Barry Thacker, Emily Patton,
Drew Payne & Carol Moore

Emily Patton (center back in orange shirt) and Drew Payne (center front in
maroon shirt) installing historical markers at the new Briceville Public Library

Drew Payne installing historical marker at the
Cross Mountain Miners' Circle Cemetery

The Coal Creek Watershed Foundation is proud to award Nantglo Scholarships to Emily Patton and Drew Payne, so they can achieve their career goals. Emily aspires to be a nurse by attending Lincoln Memorial University, while Drew will become a dental hygienist at Pellissippi State Community College.

They earned their scholarships by participating in community service projects and submitting essays on improving the quality of life in the watershed. 

According to Emily, “Lincoln Memorial University is my dream school.  After getting my degree, I plan to be the best nurse I can be by helping people.  I want to prove you can do anything if you set your mind to it.  No matter who you are or where you’re from, you can chose your destiny.”

Drew says, “After finishing my first two years of college, I plan to move to Johnson City to attend East Tennessee State University.  There I plan to branch out and become more independent as an adult.  I want to experience life on my own and see new things, in other words, to be adventurous.  I am excited about setting a good example for Briceville School students and giving back to the community that shaped me into what I am today.”    

CCWF President, Barry Thacker, P.E. says, “Our favorite day of the year is when our scholars in college return to serve as role models for current Briceville students.  Last year’s Scholars Day was a particularly memorable event, so we’re looking forward to Emily and Drew carrying on that tradition.”  

CCWF board-member Carol Moore says, “Our goal is to give every Briceville student the incentive to excel in middle school and high school because they know they have the potential to get a college education.” 

Briceville students who fail to participate in our program miss out on a golden opportunity.  We are providing $2,000 in scholarship assistance this year to such a student, Lyndsey Phillips.  She is now in her last year of undergraduate school at UT, preparing to apply to the UT College of Law.  She says, “Sadly, I did not take advantage of the opportunities to volunteer with you all in high school and, therefore, was ineligible to apply for the main scholarship upon graduation. I was wondering if there would be anything I could do in order to possibly earn some sort of scholarship for the upcoming school year, such as volunteering.” 

In return for awarding her a scholarship, Lyndsey is required to tell her story to current Briceville students at our next Coal Creek Scholars Day event.  If just one current student heeds Lyndsey’s advice, our investment in her will be worthwhile.  



Lyndsey Phillips has qualified for our new award
category as described to the left.

Emily Patton (pink jacket) organized the 2014
Coal Creek Spring Cleaning Trash Pick-up

Emily Patton (left) as part of the human chain who moved
books to the new Briceville Public Library

Drew Payne (front row, second from left)
after installing trail bench at Militia Hill

Nantglo is Welsh for Coal Creek and these scholarship recognize the contributions of the Welsh miners who helped East Tennessee rebuild after the Civil War.  They came to Coal Creek to escape persecution in Great Britain.  Here is where they wrote about their new land in their native language at a time when it was illegal to do so in Wales.  Those books now reside at Harvard University where they are still used as references by students today. 

The importance of education to the Welsh is recognized on one of the new historical markers at Briceville Public Library, which Emily and Drew helped install.  The other historical marker at the library tells how Condy Harmon, a former Briceville student, quit school to become a miner and support his family after his father died in the 1902 Fraterville Mine explosion. Emily and Drew honor his sacrifice by completing high school and attending college. 

Since 2002, thirty-six students from
Briceville have received CCWF Scholarships!


View list of previous Coal Creek
Scholarship award winners
and Scholar Events!!


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