Maryville City Schools Foundation announces 2011 Starlight Award winners

B.C. “Scooter” Clippard, Jr.

B.C. “Scooter” Clippard, Jr.

Richard Harbison

Richard Harbison

Katie Gamble

Katie Gamble

Cindy Wilson

Cindy Wilson

The Maryville City Schools Foundation (MCSF)have chosen 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 2011 Starlight Awards recipients are:

Distinguished Alumni -- B.C. Clippard

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 B. C. “Scooter” Clippard, Jr.

Clippard is a Nashville resident and a graduate of Maryville High School and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Clippard is a consultant and member of the board of directors at Community South Bank. Prior to his time at Community South Bank, he was the Chief Development Officer and Chairman of the Advisory Board at FirstBank. He previously held positions as the President and CEO of the Ayers Foundation as well as the A.J. Smith Company. Of his many achievements, Clippard and his wife Fran founded the Center for Living and Learning. The Center for Living and Learning is a residential care facility for adults with persistent mental illness in Franklin, Tenn. He has served as the Center’s Foundation chair. His other civic activities include past chair of the Board of Trustees of Christ United Methodist Church, founding chair of the TSSAA Football State Championships in 1982, past finance chair of Brentwood Academy and member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. Clippard is also active in politics, having been involved in many campaigns including Winfield Dunn, President George W. Bush, former Governor Sundquist and John McCain. He also served as Fred Thompson’s national finance chair. In 1995, Governor Sundquist named Clippard the State GOP Finance Chair. He held that position until 1997. Clippard was awarded the distinguished service award in 1971 for his active duty in Germany and was honorably discharged from the Tennessee Air National Guard in 1974.

Distinguished Service -- Richard Harbison

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 Richard Harbison.

Harbison is a resident of Maryville and a graduate of Maryville High School, the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University. Harbison is currently the Director of Facilities and Vocational Education for the Maryville City Schools and Executive Director of the City of Maryville Public Building Authority. From 2000-2002, he was the project director for construction of Maryville Intermediate School, expansion of Maryville High School and expansion of Maryville Middle School. Prior to his current position, he was an industrial arts teacher at Maryville High School for 23 years. During that time, he built the cabinets for the computer and technology labs in the Maryville City Schools and along with Martin Walker introduced fiberglass boat building into the industrial arts curriculum.

As a student at MHS, Harbison was a varsity basketball standout and later had the opportunity to coach the MHS freshman basketball and junior varsity teams for nine years. Harbison later served as a basketball official for five years. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking and teaching woodworking to adult classes.

Outstanding Young Alumni -- Katie Gamble

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 Katie Gamble.

Gamble is a Maryville resident and a graduate of Maryville High School as well as Western Carolina University. Gamble is the owner/artist of Lady Earth Studios. Gamble’s art specialties include oils on canvas/linen and Trompe L’Oeil Murals. Her affiliations include the Art and Culture Alliance Knoxville, A1 Lab Knoxville and Fine Arts Blount. Gamble was founder and director of the Maryville Arts Coalition and the Last Friday Art Walk. In previous years, she has been an instructor, demonstration artist, lecturer and art juror. Gamble has shown her artwork in numerous exhibitions and has also been commissioned by many local residents to create original oil pieces and murals. A few of her previous awards include KMA “Artist on Location” Honorarium, “Arts in the Park” Best in Oils and Dogwood Diva Luncheon and Juried Show “Best in Show.”

Community Partnership Award - Clayton Homes

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 Clayton Homes.

Clayton Homes has as one of its stated company values to “Support the communities where we live and work.” Over the past three years, Clayton has given more than $2 million to various charities and community projects - most of them local. This does not include the many thousands of dollars given by individual Clayton team members. Clayton Homes was the lead donor for the 21st Century Classroom Partnership when that program was launched by a partnership between the Maryville City Schools Foundation, Maryville City Schools and Maryville City Council.

The main philanthropic focus for Clayton Homes is education. Other than supporting the local school foundations directly and through the Clayton Homes Turkey Trot for Education, Clayton Homes has lent its support to Project Grad, the Greater Schools Partnership, East Tennessee Discovery Center and Pellissippi State. Other organizations supported by Clayton Homes include the United Way, Clayton Center for the Arts, Fall Festival, Boys and Girls Clubs, JDRF, Relay for Life, Buddy’s Race Against Cancer, Second Harvest Food Bank, Helen Ross McNabb, Childhelp USA and the Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Kevin Clayton is president and CEO of Clayton Homes.

Family Partnership -- Cindy Wilson

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 Cindy Wilson.

Wilson is a supporter of the Maryville City Schools through her numerous volunteer activities. As a former special education teacher, Wilson knows the importance of education. Wilson and her husband Dave own the Great American Cookie Company at Foothills Mall. Wilson has donated many cookie cakes throughout the years for different education initiatives in Maryville City Schools. In the past, Wilson has helped with the Smoky Strut, Foothills Elementary School parent teacher organization, Raccoon Romp, Fort Craig, Maryville Intermediate School parent teacher organization, Maryville Middle School parent-teacher cooperative and Maryville High School sports, band and clubs.

“Where we can help, we do,” said Wilson. “We will always give back to the community that helps educate our children because it is important that the teachers and children know people care about them and the job they are doing.” There have been numerous occasions where she would bring in cookies to teachers just for encouragement. She also served as a parent volunteer in the school offices for seven years. Wilson continues to help Maryville City Schools even though her children have graduated from the system.

The awards will be given to the recipients at the Starlight Gala on Saturday, Feb. 19, 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 $100 ticket, contact Barbara Jenkins, MCSF executive director, at 865-982-7121 or

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