Emily Dugger, a graduate student at Milligan, received the award on April 17. She received her undergraduate degree from Milligan in May 2017, obtaining a degree in Exercise Science.
Dugger was a member of the Milligan cheerleading squad from spring 2013 until spring 2017 and was chosen a captain her senior year. She began the M.E.D. program in the summer of 2017 in physical education. Dugger chose physical education due to her love for students and her passion for sports.
She is a 2013 graduate of Elizabethton High School. During her time at EHS, Dugger was a member of the Lady Cyclone softball team, the EHS cheerleading squad, and was a color guard member in the Betsy Band.
She is a member of First Baptist Church in Elizabethton and is a daughter of Brent and Suzanne Dugger and granddaughter of the late former Elizabethton City Schools Superintendent T.A. Dugger Jr.
Dugger comes from a long line of educators. Her mother is a pre-K teacher in the Elizabethton City School System. She also has several aunts and cousins on both sides of her family who presently are or have been teachers in various school systems throughout East Tennessee. Dugger is a part-time employee through Elizabethton City Schools, where she serves as a child care provider for the extended school program.
Her inspiration in wanting to become a teacher was due to numerous positive experiences she encountered throughout her educational career. Several of Emily’s teachers along the way, such as Vera Peters, John Oakley, Sara Hardin and Perry Elliott, were positive influences in sparking her interest in entering the field of education. She also credits Milligan professor Leslie Hanneken for greatly influencing her drive and passion in the field of physical education. Hanneken not only demonstrated to Dugger how a quality physical education program should operate, but also has provided continuous assistance and support throughout both her undergraduate and graduate experiences.
Another professor at Milligan who also played a significant role in molding Dugger’s educational influence is Dr. Billye Joyce Fine. In Dugger’s Introduction to Education class, one of Fine’s assignments was to read the book “Molder of Dreams.” The main character in the book, Guy Doud, discusses certain teachers of his who helped to mold his dreams and greatly influenced him into becoming a teacher. It was a major “eye-opener.” which made Dugger reflect on her own educational experiences and the educators and administrators who inspired her and went the extra mile to ensure that she succeeded.
She began interning in the Johnson City School System in the fall of 2017. This internship has been an extremely rewarding experience for her. She has had the opportunity to intern with mentors at North Side Elementary School, Indian Trail Intermediate School and Science Hill High School.
For Dugger, Milligan College has blessed her with an amazing and rewarding college experience through incredible professors and mentors who go out of their way to ensure that students are prepared and ready to succeed in both the workplace and in life. She is excited to see what future plans God has for her in the field of education and will strive to influence her students the same way her teachers and professors influenced her.