Funding for scholarships was provided
by Schnabel Engineering and the
Coal Creek Watershed Foundation

17th Annual
Coal Creek Scholars Day

20 December 2018



The Coal Creek Scholars program began in 2002 as a dream for an unbroken circle where Briceville students can participate in K-12 community service projects to celebrate their heritage and qualify for college scholarships.  In return, they agree to inspire Briceville fourth and fifth graders to continue that tradition.

The unbroken circle was on display today when thirteen college students or graduates from Briceville told this year’s fourth and fifth graders the importance of going to college during the 17th annual Coal Creek Scholars Day event.  Scholars in attendance today included
Amy (Dugger) Crabtree, Jonathan Towe, Emily Patton, Megan Dugger, April (Byrge) Hicks, Chad Whittaker, Samantha Campbell, Peyton Jenkins, Anna Braden, Noah Lamb, Joshalyn Harmon, Benny Foster, and Nathan Cox.    

Today’s special guest star was Tom Braden, who was principal of Briceville School when the Scholars program began and when most of the current Scholars attended Briceville Elementary School.  After hearing their success stories, Tom told them how he is “bursting with pride.”   

April Byrge Hicks told how she left Briceville to attend college to get Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in environmental education, which enabled her to go as far away as Alaska to work, but she always yearned to come home.  She recently fulfilled that dream by getting a job with Girls, Inc. at Briceville School.

Amy Dugger Crabtree told how she is able to manage a career and family as a result of the mutual respect she has with her boss.  When she had her son Chance, Amy went to her boss and asked if an arrangement could be worked out to enable her to work part-time in her job as an therapist, so she could spend more time with her family.  Her boss went to bat for her due to the trust and respect they share to make it happen. Her daughter Addison joined us today!     

Jonathan Towe described how he was not a model student at Briceville Elementary School, but grew up fast afterwards.  He is now in his fourth year of medical school, and has applied for residency at UT Medical Center.   

Megan Dugger told how she is completing her Master of Arts Degree in German at UT, with plans to complete a Doctor of Philosophy degree to qualify her to teach German at UT.  When she succeeds, Megan will become our first Coal Creek Scholar PhD.   

Emily Patton told how life has a way of throwing you a curve, but that’s no excuse for losing sight of your goal to finish college. Having to take time off from college makes you appreciate the advantages of life with a college degree.  She is now well on her way to earning a degree in nursing.  

Scholars gave Briceville students a taste of life on campuses from across the region—Anna Braden and Samantha Campbell at Roane State, Benny Foster and Peyton Jenkins at UT’s College of Engineering, Joshalyn Harmon at UT’s College of Arts and Sciences, Chadd Whitaker at Pellissippi State, and Noah Lamb at East Tennessee State University.  

Nearly $500,000 has been invested in college scholarships to help 52 Coal Creek Scholars from Briceville go to college.  Coal Creek Scholars are current and future nurses, engineers, doctors, teachers, therapists, scientists, lawyers, business leaders, business owners, as well as medical/computer/artistic specialists. 

Our friend Jim Matheny from WBIR-TV participated in Scholars Day this year.  He is an Emmy and National Edward R. Murrow Award-winning reporter.  Jim does it all for the 10News team by shooting, writing, and editing his own stories.

View over 160 pictures of the event here:

History is made

by those

who show up!


[Master Plan] [Map] [Photo Gallery]
[Bank Stabilization Projects]
[Deadwood Removal Days] [Discovery Day 2000] [Scrape, Paint & Clean Day 2000
[Historic Fraterville Mine Disaster Field Trip 2001] [Fraterville Mine Disaster 100th Anniversary]
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[Awards] [Coal Creek Health Days]
[Briceville School History Field Trips] [Ghost Stories]
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[Articles in the News] [Dream Contest]

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