18th Annual
Coal Creek Scholars Day

19 December 2019






Coal Creek Scholars!!
Scholars spoke to and inspired the Briceville School
4th and 5th graders to attend college or technical school
and to work hard for a successful career!

When she was in the fifth grade at Briceville School in 2004, Megan Dugger attended a lecture by Welsh scholar, Dr. Eirug Davies of Harvard University, who told her that an education would enable her to do anything she wanted to do.  Little did Megan know that fifteen years later, she would be saying those same words of wisdom to Briceville fourth and fifth graders, via videoconference, while sitting in the Mannheim Baroque Palace in Mannheim, Germany, as part of the 18th annual Coal Creek Scholars Day event.  Megan is studying abroad while pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Tennessee in German, but took time out from her studies to inspire current Briceville students.

Mannheim Baroque Palace in Mannheim, Germany

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 joined Megan to tell this year’s fourth and fifth graders the importance of going to college.  Scholars in attendance today included Kyle Leinart, Amy (Dugger) Crabtree, Ricky Bailey, Samantha Campbell, Anna Braden, Noah Lamb, Joshalyn Harmon, Benny Foster, Skylar Mozingo, Hannah Sellers, Sydney Campbell, Ethan Windham, and Sean Foster.  Special thanks to Kyle Leinart for arranging the videoconference with Megan Dugger.

The theme of several of the students was to treasure their time at Briceville School.  It is a special place like no other. Never take it for granted.  They told them you might think you can't wait to get away from here, but once you leave, you long to return (even if it's just for a visit).

Many of our scholars told how with the help of their Coal Creek Scholarship, they left college or technical school with NO DEBT!


Coal Creek Watershed Foundation President Barry Thacker, PE
speaks to students.  One of the facts he shared with them is that you can
make up to a MILLION DOLLARS more in your lifetime if you receive
a college or technical degree and USE IT!

We were joined today by Ken Leinart of The Courier News, Jerry Owens from WBIR-TV and Christopher Covert from WVLT-TV.   

Since 2002, over $500,000 has been invested in college scholarships to help 59 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.

Briceville School 4th and 5th graders, Principal Travis Hutchison, teachers
Peyton Stooksbury & Loren Forgety with the Coal Creek Scholars

From article by Fred Brown, “Prints of Wales,” in
Knoxville News Sentinel on 9 May 2004

Ricky Bailey

Kyle Leinart

Hannah Sellers


Amy Dugger Crabtree

Jamie Poore

Ethan Windham

Skylar Mozingo

Noah Lamb

Benny Foster

Anna Braden

Joshalyn Harmon

Samantha Campbell

Sydney Campbell

Jerry Owens (WBIR-TV) and Christopher Covert (WVLT-TV)

Barry Thacker PE, Carol Moore and Briceville
School Principal Travis Hutchison

Barry Thacker PE and Carol Moore with
the Coal Creek Scholars

Joshalyn Harmon, Anna Braden and Carol Moore

Sean Foster

Barry Thacker PE, Janis Bishop (Briceville School Librarian/IT,
Principal Travis Hutchison and Carol Moore

Ricky Bailey Carol Moore & Barry Thacker PE

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