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

Three scholarships totaling
$30,000 awarded to
Jeffery Housley, Chad Whitaker,
and Kyle Leinart!

10 May 2016

To learn more about our
Coal Creek Scholarships, visit
the Program Page


2016 Scholars Awards
L to R:  Carol Moore, Jeffery Housley, Chad Whitaker,
Barry Thacker and Kyle Leinart

With the addition of the Class of 2016, forty-four students from Briceville have received CCWF Scholarships since 2002!

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

“The Coal Creek Watershed Foundation has awarded 42 scholarships to Briceville students over the past 14 years.  Also, our postgraduate scholarships have helped one scholar go to law school and another go to medical school.  This year, we will be awarding $30,000 in scholarship assistance. 

We had planned on giving Kyle Leinart a postgraduate scholarship this year, but a funny thing happened to him while he was a senior at UT’s College of Engineering.  He got a patent on a virtual reality device he invented and then co-founded the company ImmersaCAD to produce and market it. 

So, we made a deal with Kyle.  We are awarding him an innovation scholarship for his start-up company, provided he helps future Briceville students go to college when he becomes rich as the next Tech Guru. 

Two ACHS seniors from Briceville will receive scholarships this year—Come on down Chad Whitaker and Jeffery Housley.

People of my generation who fret about the work-ethic of Millennials should get to know students from Briceville.  As we’ve been telling you for 14 years, they are the smartest, hardest-working people we know…They keep us young.” 

Jeffery will study criminal justice with a goal of becoming a police officer and then a lawyer.  Chad will study videography and film production. 

Coal Creek Scholars Community Service Project in 2012

L to R:  Writer/Author Fred Brown, Bobby Carroll, Chad Whitaker,
Dr. George Schweitzer, Carol Moore, Barry Thacker PE, &
Cherel Henderson -- Executive Director of the East Tennessee Historical Society
Painting in the background is by artist Catherine Wiley, who
was born in Coal Creek.

Jeffery Housley with his parents Jeff and Donna

Chad Whitaker and his mom Lisa Pyle

Innovation Scholarship winner Kyle Leinart with his
parents Kippie and Lynn

L to R:  Carol Moore, Jeffery Housley,
Chad Whitaker and Barry Thacker

On stage L to R:  Kyle Leinart, Jeffery Housley, Chad Whitaker,
Barry Thacker and Carol Moore

Scholars Community Service Project April 2016
Jeffery Housley and his dad Jeff collected the most trash

Carol Moore and Barry Thacker with retiring
Director of Anderson County Schools Larry Foster

Two of Kyle's new business partners attended the awards ceremony
L to R:  Jesse McCrary, Kyle Leinart and Eli Harris

L to R:  Eli Harris, Jesse McCrary, Kyle Leinart and his fiance' Jessica Vande

They earned their scholarships by participating in community service projects and submitting essays on improving the quality of life in the watershed.  Pick a work day over the past four years and you’ll see photos of the Class of 2016 Scholars. 

 Installing historical markers at Briceville Library

·     Human book chain at Briceville Library

·     Installing historical markers at Militia Hill

·     Highway trash cleanup and

·     Installation of historical markers along Fraterville Miners Memorial Highway

·     Conducted research at East TN History Center on miner Dick Drummond

·     Work day at Militia Hill

·     Work day at Briceville Church and Cemetery

·     Mountain Mayhem Tour

·     Cleanup in preparation for Cross Mountain Mine 100th anniversary service

CCWF President, Barry Thacker, P.E. says, “Our favorite day of the year is when Coal Creek Scholars in college return to serve as role models for current Briceville students. You name it and we have a student or practitioner in that field—doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists, nurses, teachers, accountants, ministers, business leaders, analysts, and more.” 

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.” 

Coal Creek Scholars who attended the 2014 - 13th annual Scholars Day

Front Row (L to R):  Sarah Byrge, Ryan Vandergriff, Victoria Wright, Krystina Long, Samantha Randolph, Lyndsay Phillips, April Byge, Seth Taylor
Back Row (L to R):  Tyler Vandergriff, Kyle Leinart, Jonathan Sharp, Jonathan Towe, Ricky Bailey,
Director of Anderson County Schools - Larry Foster, and Emily Patton

Nantglo is Welsh for Coal Creek and these scholarships 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 historical markers at Briceville Public Library, which Scholars from the Class of 2016 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.  Jeffery and Chad honor his sacrifice by completing high school and attending college. 

Scholars Community Service Day October 2015

Dream Team of Volunteer Coal Creek Scholars!!
These great students got out of bed on a rainy
Saturday morning to contribute to the Coal Creek community!


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