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ETSU scholarship for University School students named in memory of former directors

Contributed • Dec 20, 2019 at 7:24 PM

Two legendary administrators of University School are being remembered through the creation of a new scholarship for graduates to attend East Tennessee State University.

The Paynter-Knechtel Memorial Scholarship is named in memory of the late Dr. Robert “Doc” Paynter and Dr. Troy Knechtel, both former directors of University School.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a graduate of University School and a first-time freshman enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at ETSU. University School students who have participated in the dual- enrollment program at ETSU are also eligible to apply. In addition to meeting the current admissions requirements for ETSU, applicants must demonstrate financial need and maintain a 2.5-grade point average.

The scholarship is renewable, and it is the intent of the donor that multiple students benefit from it each year.

Paynter served as a coach at University School for 14 years before assuming the role as director from 1963-68. He died in 2011. Knechtel arrived as director on July 1, 2015, and led the school for three years before stepping down for health reasons. This past July he passed away following a battle with Multiple System Atrophy.

“Dr. Paynter and Dr. Knechtel were committed to the future success of the University School student body – past, present and tomorrow – and this scholarship is a pathway to helping them achieve the dream of a college degree,” said Dr. Brian Partin, director of University School.

The Paynter-Knechtel Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to honor the two legendary leaders of University School, for different generations of students, by Richard Clarke, alumnus of both University School (Class of 1967) and ETSU (Class of 1971), who is “proud of both alma maters, and the quality of education provided by both schools.” Clarke hopes that others with similar pride will also offer assistance through tax-deductible contributions to the fund.

Additional donations are being accepted to help sustain the scholarship. Persons interested in supporting the Paynter-Knechtel Memorial Scholarship should contact Michael Webb in ETSU University Advancement at 423-439-5775 or [email protected]

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