9th Annual Starlight Awards Winners Announced

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Starlight Awards - Gala

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 bhjenkin@ci.maryville.tn.us