The Starlight Awards program annually celebrates educational excellence by recognizing the accomplishments of graduates, the dedication of those who serve the schools, and the partnerships of those who support educational opportunities in the Maryville community.
Contact Barbara Jenkins, Executive Director, Maryville City Schools Foundation at 865-982-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or want to reserve seats for the Starlight Awards Gala, February 16, 2013, Clayton Center for the Arts.
$3500 Social Hour Sponsor
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Maryville, Tenn. — The Maryville City Schools Foundation (MCSF) announced the winners of the Starlight Awards in the categories of distinguished alumni, distinguished service, outstanding young alumni, family partnership and community partnership. All recipients will be honored at the Starlight Awards Gala on February 16, 2013 at the Clayton Center for the Arts.
The distinguished alumni award is granted to Maryville High School (MHS) graduates who have made outstanding contributions to their professions or chosen fields of endeavor or for distinguished service to their community, state or nation. This year’s award recipient is Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, Class of 1973. Buzz is currently President of Great Schools Partnership in Knoxville, Tenn., and is a columnist in USA Today. Buzz has distinguished himself as a minister, lawyer, author, constitutional scholar, columnist, educational activist and reformer. Locally he is involved with Blount Achieves, the Welcome Table, Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, Community Food Connection, and First United Methodist Church. His desire to focus his career entirely on the improvement of public education began several years ago when he served as chairman of the Maryville City Schools Board of Education. Not only has he been a leader in his community, but he is also recognized as a leader at the state, regional and national level. This is evidenced through his active involvement as founding member and co-chair of the Public School Forum of East Tennessee, founding and current member of the steering committee of SCORE (State Collaborative On Reforming Education), founder of the Prospective Superintendents Academy in conjunction with the Tennessee School Board Association, and co-founder of the Niswonger Educational Foundation, a national model for public/private foundations devoted to reforming public education.
The distinguished service award is granted to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to education in the City of Maryville. This award can be presented to alumni or non-alumni of Maryville High School (MHS). This year’s award recipient is Tommy L. Stinnett, Class of 1974. Tommy has dedicated his life to education and to service to others. He has not only been a classroom teacher, but he has also coached MHS football for nine years and served as golf coach for 22 years for both boys and girls teams. What makes Tommy distinguished is his vision to develop a unique partnership between MHS and the Habitat for Humanity organization. He envisioned MHS students raising the money to build a Habitat house and then providing these students with the opportunity to build the house. Through his leadership, students organized fundraisers and began a marketing campaign. Soon the entire high school and community became engaged in the project. It quickly became known as the “Maryville High School Habitat House.” When he first started the project, Tommy had hopes of building just one home for a needy family. In the last 10 years, he has been the driving force behind the creation of homes and security for 10 families and a successful collaboration between MHS students and our community.
The outstanding young alumni award is granted to Maryville High School graduates, age 35 or younger when nominated, for significant accomplishments in their professions or chosen fields of endeavor or for distinguished human service to their community, state or nation. This year’s award recipient is Sarah Elder Chabot, Class of 1999. Sarah graduated with highest honors from Middle Tennessee State University in 2003 with a major in Public Relations. Sarah began her career with Blackberry Farm immediately following college. Today, she is the Director of Marketing responsible for all print and electronic marketing for Blackberry Farm. She manages five websites; creates and produces newsletters and brochures; manages appearances on national TV shows like the Food Network and Martha Stewart; secures placements with publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Town & Country and Prevention. She is also the team leader in creating the look for Farmstead Products sold in Williams-Sonoma and other fine retailers nationwide; she manages corporate partnerships with Lexus and Le Creuset; and she handles communications with all audiences and guests.
In her spare time, Sarah has received national acclaim in the horse show world. While competing against hundreds of entrants, she has placed in the top 10 at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) world and national shows in amateur hunt seat equitation; amateur working hunter; amateur equitation over fences; and amateur hunter hack. The Tennessee Quarter Horse Association (TQHA) named Sarah the top, all-around amateur in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. In the past, she has served on the TQHA Board and created their website and newsletter.
The community partnership award is granted to a business that serves as a sustaining partner through financial support for the Maryville City Schools and youth programs in the community. This year’s award goes to Blount Excavating, Inc. President of Blount Excavating, Inc. Steve Garner is a 1985 alumnus of Maryville High School. Steve has grown a local business to a brand that is recognized throughout east and middle Tennessee. He has used the resources of Blount Excavating to aid our schools when the use of heavy equipment is needed. At Montgomery Ridge (formerly Maryville Intermediate School), he helped with an addition to a play field by providing material/labor at no cost to the school. At Sam Houston, he removed old asphalt and fencing for the construction of a pavilion and took out the old flagpole and base as well. He graded and applied crush and run down to create a parking area. The back of the Sam Houston playground was also graded for the baseball area. Steve consulted with and helped the school system with drainage issues at John Sevier Elementary and with bank erosion at Maryville Junior High School. During September 2011, Blount Excavating provided the relocation and installation of the flagpole at MHS honoring the late Fred Forster.
Steve not only provides assistance to Maryville City Schools but extends his reach into our community-at-large by helping all youth. He led the rebuilding of the Everett Field for kids who participate in the Parks & Recreation programs and has provided numerous enhancements to Maryville Little League Park.
One letter said: “It’s great to have one of our own be successful and give back to the system he so dearly loves.”
The family partnership award is granted to a family or individual who exemplifies dedication to education in every aspect of his or her life. Awardees deserve recognition for their spirit of giving, not only financially but also through their involvement with the students of Maryville City Schools. This year’s award recipient is the Phillips Family. This year the award honors Bill and Gwen Phillips along with their daughters, Sarah Phillips Shepherd, Susan Phillips Knoll, and Sharon Phillips Earley, all graduates of Maryville High School.
Both Bill and Gwen graduated from Maryville High School in 1956. They began their teaching careers in Powell, Tenn. Bill later became head basketball coach at Maryville High School and taught Industrial Arts. His life took a new direction when he began working for the Tennessee State Department of Education. Bill was part of an advisory and planning team that spearheaded the development, expansion, and promotion of vocational education across the state in the 1970’s. With a budget supplied by the State Department of Education, vocational centers were built across Tennessee. A partnership was created between Blount County and the City of Maryville to create the Vocational Center at William Blount. Bill became the new principal and led the program from 1977-1983. When he left education, he became self-employed and provided jobs for others. He is a United Way volunteer and provides an operations building for the Food Connection. He is also involved in the MHS Red to Black project.
Gwen taught math at Maryville Junior High School and Maryville Middle for 28 years where she invested in the academic success of many generations of students.
Eldest daughter Sarah graduated from MHS in 1983. Today she is actively involved as troop leader, product sales manager and service unit team member with the Girl Scouts; with the Historic Zoning Commission (City of Maryville); and with the Downtown Design Review Board (City of Maryville).
Their daughter Sharon (MHS Class of 1985) is carrying on the family tradition. Sharon is a guidance counselor at John Sevier Elementary. She recently created an innovative program for the school called Community Connections. The program brings a variety of people from many different professions and levels of expertise into contact with John Sevier students. Like her mother, Sharon is creating a springboard for students to visualize a special future while feeling the love and support of a dedicated professional.
The award honors Sharon’s twin sister Susan posthumously. Susan lost a courageous battle to cancer in 2010. She was a member of Junior Service League of Maryville where she served as president; Toys for Tots, co-chair; and parent volunteer within the Maryville City Schools system. She was also an art teacher at Wesley Day School in Maryville.
The Phillips family legacy is one of faith, love, and service to others.
Maryville, Tenn. — The Maryville City Schools Foundation (MCSF) announced the winners of the Starlight Awards in the categories of distinguished alumni, distinguished service, outstanding young alumni, family partnership and community partnership.
The Maryville City Schools Foundation has presented annual awards to honor outstanding alumni and supporters of Maryville City Schools since 2003. The Starlight Awards recipients include:
The distinguished alumni award is granted to Maryville High School (MHS) graduates who have made outstanding contributions to their professions or chosen fields of endeavor or for distinguished service to their community, state or nation. This year’s award recipient is State Representative Harry R. Brooks.
Rep. Brooks comes from a family of educators, his father, his mother, his wife and himself. Following retirement he pursued his lifelong dream to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly. Elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2002, Rep. Brooks has placed education as one of his foremost priorities. He served on the Education Committee from 2002 through 2009 when he was appointed Chair of the Education Committee. During his chairmanship, he led a special session on education that ultimately resulted in the state receiving more than half a billion dollars in Race to the Top funds for education. Representative Bob Ramsey wrote in a nomination form, “He has used his experience in education as well as being a special needs parent to bring about reforms necessary to guarantee every student a quality education.”
ARC of Tennessee named him as the 2010 Legislator of the Year for his work and support on issues that are important to individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The distinguished service award is granted to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to education in the City of Maryville. This award can be presented to alumni or non-alumni of Maryville High School. This year’s award recipient is Mayor Tom Taylor.
Taylor is a resident of Maryville, Tenn., and a graduate of Maryville High School and Maryville College. Mayor Taylor is a public servant, educator, youth leader and an environmental and education advocate. Sharon Anglim calls Mayor Taylor, “…the consummate voice of educational excellence in the City of Maryville.”
His community involvement includes the Great Smoky Mountain Council Executive Board, the Board of Trustees during the building of the Blount County Library, the Advisory Board of the Civic Arts Center and numerous roles with the Boy Scouts of America over the years.
The outstanding young alumni award is granted to Maryville High School graduates, age 35 or younger when nominated, for significant accomplishments in their professions or chosen fields of endeavor or for distinguished human service to their community, state or nation. This year’s award recipient is Amanda Ingram.
Ingram is a graduate of Maryville High School and the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She holds a Masters and Artists Diploma in Opera from Yale University. Ingram set high professional goals for herself and continues to pursue that dream in spite of setbacks. She was on the fast track in the opera profession as a Mezzo Soprano when she experienced a vocal hemorrhage that required her to take time off. As her voice healed, it changed and that required all of her training as a Mezzo Soprano to be changed. She could no longer produce the sound and volume required for her roles.
Amanda resides in New York City where she is in specialized classes to retrain her voice as she builds her repertoire and larger range as a Dramatic Soprano. Her early career from 2003 through 2009 included numerous operatic experiences throughout the United States. She distinguished herself at the local, state, and national levels winning several awards. On occasion, she has returned to her hometown to share her gift of voice in a variety of venues including the UT Alumni Association Benefit Concert for Pat Summit and the Women of Courage Benefit Concert at Maryville College.
The community partnership award is granted to a business that serves as a sustaining partner through financial support for the Maryville City Schools and youth programs in the community. This year’s award goes to Personal Computer Systems (PCS).
PCS has been a partner in technology education with Maryville City Schools and the Maryville City Schools Foundation. They helped launch the million-dollar initiative to put interactive whiteboard technology in every classroom in the district. They have provided teacher training, incentives, door prizes, Promethean Boards for Starlight and in-home technology presentations and sponsorship of all MCSF events.
The family partnership award is granted to a family or individual who exemplifies dedication to education in every aspect of his or her life. Awardees deserve recognition for their spirit of giving, not only financially but also through their involvement with the students of Maryville City Schools. This year’s award recipient is the Coleman Family.
The Coleman Family, owners of Anderson Lumber Company, have been supporters of Maryville City Schools’ athletic programs for many years. They have donated materials, labor, time and money for a variety of projects including outdoor batting cages, improvements to the Maryville College baseball field where the Rebels play their games and a new hitting facility on Sam Houston’s campus. They were instrumental in erecting the new football scoreboard and made repairs to the press box. They have participated in fundraisers for basketball, football, the booster club and the elementary schools. Both sons volunteered to help with the MHS baseball program following college.
The awards will be given to the recipients at the Starlight Gala on Feb. 18, 2012, at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus. Community members are encouraged to purchase tickets to attend the award ceremony and dinner. The evening will also include a live auction. For more information or to purchase the $125 ticket, please contact Barbara Jenkins, MCSF executive director, at 865-982-7121 or email@example.com.
Now a resident of Nashville, Scooter is a graduate of the Maryville High School Class of 1968 and the University of Tennessee. Along with his wife, Fran, Scooter founded the Center for Living and Learning – a residential care facility for adults with persistent mental illness in Franklin, Tenn. He has served as the Center’s Foundation Chair.
Active in politics, Scooter has been involved in many campaigns including Winfield Dunn, former President George W. Bush, Don Sundquist and John McCain. He also served as Fred Thompson’s national finance chair.
Previously held positions include Chief Development Officer and Chairman of the Advisory Board at FirstBank, as well as President and CEO of the Ayers Foundation and the AJ Smith Company. Scooter was the founding chair of the TSSAA Football State Championships in 1982.
The 2010 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Richard Harbison. Richard is a graduate of Maryville High School, the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University. He is the Director of Facilities and Vocational Director for Maryvillle City Schools and Executive Director of Maryville Public Building Authority. From 2000-2002, he served as Project Director for numerous facilities development, including construction of Maryville Intermediate School, expansion of Maryville Middle School and expansion of Maryville High School.
Formerly an industrial arts teacher at Maryville High School, a positiion he held for 23 years, Richard built cabinets for the computer and technology labs in the Maryville City Schools system and along with Martin Walker, introduced fiberglass boat building into the industrial arts curriculum.
As a student at MHS, he was a varsity basketball standout and later had the opportunity to coach the MHS freshman basketball and junior varsity teams for nine years. Richard later served as a basketball official for five years. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking and teaching woodworking to adult classes.
The 2010 recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award was given to Katie Gamble , a graduate of the Maryville High School Class of 1994 and Western Carolina University, is the owner/artist of Lady Earth Studios. She specializes in oils on canvas/linen and Trompe-l'oeil Murals. Her artistic talent has been displayed in numerous exhibitions and she has also been commissioned by many local residents to create original pieces and murals.
Her art community affiliations include Knoxville Art and Culture Alliance, A1 Lab Knoxville and Fine Arts Blount. She was also founder and director of the Maryville Arts Coalition and the Last Friday Art Walk. Her past experience includes art instructor, demonstration artist, lecturer and art juror.
"Artist on Location" Honorarium, Knoxville Museum of Art
Best in Oils, Arts in the Park
Best in Show, Dogwood Diva Luncheon and Juried Show
Cindy Wilson, Maryville resident and owner of Great American Cookie Company with her husband Dave, shows support of Maryville City Schools through numerous volunteer activities. Even though her children have graduated from the system, she continues to help MCS by donating many cookie cakes throughout the year for different education initiatives. There have been numerous occasions where she would bring cookies to teachers just for encouragement.
As a former special education teacher, Cindy knows the importance of education and letting teachers and children know people care about them and the job they are doing. For that reason, she insists that she and her husband will continue to give back to the community that has helped educate her children.
Her community involvement includes:
Sam Houston Elementary Smokie Strut
Foothills Elementary Raccoon Romp
Fort Craig Elementary, Foothills Elementary and Maryville Intermediate School parent/teacher organizations
Maryville Middle School Parent-Teacher Cooperative
Maryviille High School sports, band and numerous clubs
Well-known for its community involvement and educational support, Clayton Homes has been a sustaining partner for the Maryville City Schools through its financial support and youth programs in our community. Over the past three years, Clayton has given more than $2 million to various charities and communities – most of them local – not including the many thousands of dollars given by individuals Clayton team members.
With the main philanthropic focus of education, Clayton local school foundations directly and was the lead donor for the 21st Century Classroom Partnership.
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