2023-2024 Charlie Adams Endowed Scholarship

The Charlie Adams endowed scholarship awards are given in honor of the long-time NCHSAA executive director Charlie Adams, who retired after 42 years of service to the association in January 2010. Charlie was well-regarded in national state association circles and helped start the NCHSAA endowment fund which helps to provide the high level of championship and student programs that the association is able to provide membership and their students. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 81. 

Awards go to a male wrestler in memory of Charlie’s son Scott and to a female cross country runner in honor of Charlie’s daughter, Michelle Adams Szwajkun. Criteria include participation in the specific sport, scholarship, sportsmanship and leadership. The grants are each for $2,500.

This year’s recipients are Thomas Brann from D.H. Conley, Brielle Brown from Clover Garden School, Matthew Foil from Lumberton High School, and Ragan Speer from Elkin High School.

Thomas Brann participated in golf, lacrosse, and wrestling for D.H. Conley and sports a weighted GPA of 4.52. On the mat, Brann finished second in the Big East Conference Tournament this year, qualified for the State Championships, and was voted most improved by his teammates. He has helped coach wrestling at the middle school for the last two years and is now a certified CNA with plans to work at ECU Health this summer. Brann plans to attend East Carolina University and major in Biochemistry. “Thomas has proven that through hard work, self-motivation, and teamwork, he can accomplish any task to the fullest in a courteous and timely manner,” said S. Brooke Dougherty, his recommending teacher. 

Brielle Brown participated in cross country and soccer all four years of her high school career at Clover Garden School. She qualified for the Regional Championships every year and once qualified for the State Championships. She was also named to the All-Conference Team each season. She was All-Conference in soccer as well and was voted by her teammates as the recipient of the Resilience Award. Brown has a 3.88 unweighted GPA, is President of the Student Council, a Junior Civitan, and a member of the Mentorship Club, the DREAM Team, the Beta Club, the National Society of High School Scholars, and the National Honors Society. She is also a member of the NCHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Council. She plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in Biology. 

Matthew Foil wrestled for four years and ran cross country for three years in his time at Lumberton High School. He was All-Conference, a regional and State Championship participant three times, and won four conference championships. Foil participated in the National Duals in his sophomore and junior years. He won over 150 matches and finished in third place at the NCHSAA State Championships this year. Foil has a 4.0 unweighted GPA, is a Teacher Cadet, and is a member of the Beta Club, National Honors Society, Key Club, and History Club. He plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in Biology/Pre-Med. “He is a natural leader with the ability to communicate his ideas,” said Glenda Lee, his nominating teacher. “He can easily adapt to a new environment and solve problems as they are presented. Working with a student like Matthew is a joy because he is self-driven and has a hunger for success.”

Ragan Speer ran cross country and track for all four years at Elkin High School. She was All-Conference three times and won the Conference title twice. She qualified for the State Championships twice and was named to the West All-Region Team twice as well. Speer was a member of the 4×400 relay team that won the state championship. She has a 4.0 unweighted GPA and initiated the Women’s Empowerment Club at Elkin. She is the Secretary of the Students Against Violence Everywhere Club as well as an intern at ECHO Ministry The Ark Homeless Shelter for Women and Children. She will continue her running career at Montreat College where she plans to major in Criminal Justice. “Reagan is an exceptional student-athlete who possesses the intellect, ambition, and character necessary to excel in any academic or professional setting,” said Nicki Hiatt, her nominating teacher. “Her unwavering commitment to academic excellence, coupled with her passion for fitness and athletics, make her a truly outstanding candidate.”