Schuller Award Winners

David S. Schuller was a consultant, advisor, and friend to AMERC. For several years, his wife, Mrs. Modelle L. Schuller joined with AMERC to celebrate and remember Davidís life and work. The Schuller Spirit of AMERC Award went to the mentor or Appalachian resident who had most impacted the lives of our AMERC students. This honor is no longer being awarded, but we still want to honor those who received the Schuller Award in the past.

2002-2003
Sister Bernie Kenny
Sister Kenny is of the Medical Missionaries of Mary and is a certified nurse practitioner who has been promoting preventive medicine and care for the sick in the Appalachian Mountains for over 20 years.

2003-2004
Ms. Eula Hall
Eula is the founder of the Mud Creek Clinic near Grethel, Kentucky. Eula is an activist for the poor and pioneer in Kentucky health care.

2004-2005
Mr. Ben Poage
Ben Poage has spent most of his life working and ministering in Appalachia. He has worked in economic development, the Presbyterian Hunger program, and was a middle judicatory executive for the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. Ben is the past Director of AMERC and a long time AMERC mentor.

2005-2006
Sister Mary Herr
Sister Herr has spent most of her adult life working among the Cherokee People in Appalachia and helps organize and mentor an outstanding class on Cherokee spirituality for AMERC.


2006-2007
Ms. Irene Thornburg and Mr. Brooks Vice
Irene and Brooks own family farms in Bath County, Kentucky. They are master farmers and long time organizers on behalf of small family farms. They have opened their farms, church, and homes to students for over 30 years.

2007-2008
Mr. Ray Slone
Ray was a musician, craftsman, and master teacher. He was retired from the Knott County school system where he taught math. He played the fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin. One of the last banjo lessons he gave, before his death, was to an AMERC student. Ray is deeply loved and missed.

2008-2009
Mr. Ben Begley
Ben is the Naturalist at Pine Mountain Settlement School in Eastern Kentucky. Benís knowledge of plants and geography is combined with wonderful humor and energy to make him a favorite of students of all ages.

2009-2010
Ms. Polly Cheek
Polly has been a mentor of Wake Forestís ďFierce LandscapesĒ class for many years. She lives and minister in Appalachia.

2010-2011
Ms. Renee Alexander
Renee is the Director of West Care, Irvine, Kentucky. She gives sacrificially to her work and ministry with those addicted to drugs and alcohol. She is also an outstanding teacher and advocate for better treatment for chemical addiction in Appalachia.