8th Annual Coal Creek Scholars Day
(and visit from Santa's helpers)
at Briceville School in Coal Creek
18 December 2009

"You have the possibility of making a million dollars more over your career if you get a college degree!" said Barry Thacker to the Briceville 4th and 5th graders to begin Coal Creek Scholars Day. 

We think this is the most valuable day of the year at Briceville School!  Nine former Briceville School students and Coal Creek Nantglo scholarship winners came together to encourage the 4th and 5th graders at Briceville School to study hard, help their community, and get involved in a variety of activities so they can attend college one day. 

The scholars led a panel discussion and took questions from the students about what they need to begin early to prepare for college, their choices for college and careers, how they are learning a variety of ways to succeed in college, and what a difference it is making in their lives. 

Read story by Chris Silcox in the
Clinton  Courier News

Coal Creek Scholars
Link Page

Coal Creek Scholars with Briceville School
4th and 5th graders

Coal Creek Scholars

Back row L to R:
Phillip Smith, Ashley Sharp, Jonathan Sharp, April Byrge, Andy Harness, Cassie Phillips, Jacob Phillips
Front Row L to R: Frances-Lee Braden and Jennifer Phillips 


View a slideshow of photos at:


Click on images below to enlarge more photos:

Frances-Lee Braden graduated from Lincoln Memorial University and then graduated from Tennessee School of Beauty.  She is becoming a valuable employee with Scientific Sales in Oak Ridge and did a great job sharing her experiences with the students.  Frances-Lee loved college and says she plans to obtain higher degrees in the future.


Andy Harness graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Mass Communications.   He has begun a production company and works on other projects to finance his dream until the production company can fully support him.  That is what you do to see your dreams come true.

April Byrge (the founder of our annual Coal Creek Spring Cleaning Day) is in her third year at Maryville College.  She is studying for a degree in Biology.  Her college courses continue to help her learn more about the field in which she chooses to specialize.


Jacob Phillips says he is the Vice President of Fun (Vice President of Campus Activities Board) while he is attending Roane State to obtain his degree to become a history major.  Jacob has become involved in organizing social events at the school and is developing great networking skills along with obtaining his degree.

Jonathan Sharp is a sophomore at Eastern Kentucky University and is on their football team which includes additional scholarship money.  He is studying Physical Education.

Ashley Sharp is studying at Roane State to become a nurse.  She explained to the students that she placed her studies on hold to have two children, but is now back in school to get her degree and make a better life for her family.  She said it is much harder to study with a family to take care of, but she is determined to succeed.

Phillip Smith is a freshman at Roane State planning to obtain his degree in Chemical Engineering.  Phillip has learned it takes discipline to study and complete the requirements of college, but he knows it will pay off when he completes his degree.  He says students should become involved in additional social activities to make new contacts and learn polish up their social skills as well as study hard.

Cassie Phillips is a freshman at Roane State and plans to become a Registered Nurse.  She is really enjoying college and says she is tagging along with her brother Jacob to become involved in social activities at school. She has become a substitute teacher at Briceville School on occasion.

Jennifer Phillips is a freshman at Roane State currently majoring in Social Work and wants to help others improve their lives.  She has also become a substitute teacher at Briceville School on occasion.

The Scholars played Santa's helpers and delivered gifts to each student in the school from Kindergarten to Fifth grade.  Gifts included books, puzzles, beanie babies, games, craft kits, candy and ornaments.  The children were excited to get a few early gifts from Santa. 

A sampling of a few photos can be viewed by clicking on the images or viewing more photos in the slide show at

4th & 5th graders listen to Coal Creek Scholars and learn what it is like to attend college and what they should be doing now to prepare for this adventure

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