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Esther Lee Welch Elementary Education Scholarship Endowment

Mrs. Judith Welch Barfield and Dr. Carolyn Harris Livingston ('59) along with members of their family, wish to establish The Esther Lee Welch Elementary Education Scholarship Endowment to honor their mother and aunt. Mrs. Welch's dedication to teaching has given her students and family the foundation to become honorable citizens and to achieve their goals.

Esther Lee Welch was born April 12, 1916 in Overton County, Tennessee to Jacob McMinnis Lee and Lou Boswell Lee. Her father, a graduate of Alpine Institute, taught school for ten years in Overton County. Her uncle, I. B. Lee, was Superintendent of Schools in Overton County, and her grandfathers, John Lee and Richard Boswell, were teachers as well. Esther attended elementary school at Happy Hollow in Overton County and graduated in 1934 from Pleasant Hill Academy in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee. Her family instilled in her and her two sisters, Claudia Phillips and Myrtle Harris, the value of an education and an eagerness for learning that inspired them to become teachers. In 1936, Esther began teaching at a one-teacher school at Muddy Pond in Overton County. She also taught at Anderson and Love Joy schoolhouses in Overton County until 1941. Throughout this time she worked on her degree, taking classes at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and correspondence courses from the University of Alabama and University of Arkansas.

Esther married Hollis Lee Welch on January 25, 1941 and moved to Dayton, OH. She did not return to teaching until 1946 when she and her family moved back to Monterey, Tennessee where she taught fourth grade at Uffelman Elementary School. In 1951, she received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute.

In 1957 her family moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee and she taught first grade at Elbert Long School until 1959. After moving on to Nashville she taught first grade at McGavock Elementary before retiring in 1981. She was awarded Teacher of the Year at McGavock, and was runner-up in Metro Nashville. Some of her teaching experiences have been spotlighted in Hilltop Express.
Scholarships associated with Esther Lee Welch Elementary Education Scholarship Endowment
  • Esther Lee Welch Endowed Elementary Education Scholarship