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Four Students Honored with Jack Diller Education Award

by Alexis Tahara / Nashville Predators

On Sunday, March 29, during the first period of the Predators game against the Calgary Flames, the Nashville Predators Foundation presented four Middle Tennessee high school seniors with $2,500 Jack Diller Education Award scholarships. This year, more than 200 high school students from 73 different high schools applied for the award.

The scholarship is named after Jack Diller, the first president of the Nashville Predators organization who was instrumental in helping launch the Nashville Predators Foundation, where he also served as the first president. Upon his retirement from the Preds in June of 2005, Diller became chairman of the Foundation, a role he still holds today.

Since 2006, the Nashville Predators Foundation has been honoring two male and two female students from Nashville or Middle Tennessee with this prestigious award. The candidates, who must be nominated by a teacher or coach, must be a college-bound senior currently attending a Middle Tennessee area high school, display leadership in the classroom and on the athletic field, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate the value of education, good work ethic and community outreach.

Melanie Brumfield

Brumfield, who is graduating from Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro this spring, has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and competed with the school’s varsity swim team. Brumfield has volunteered at many local and nationally known community service organizations, including: St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Live 4 Tay Foundation, Greenhouse Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, Discovery Center of Murfreesboro, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Rutherford County Special Olympics. In the fall, Brumfield will attend Mississippi State University.

William Kaufmann

A three-sport athlete who competed in soccer, football and basketball during his time at Lighthouse Christian School, Kaufmann will attend Trevecca Nazarene University in the fall of 2015. While maintaining a 4.0 average in high school, Kaufmann regularly volunteered more than 80 hours at his church’s vacation Bible school, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Walk and his local food pantry.

Lauren Reese

After her graduation from Antioch High School, Reese will attend Tennessee Tech University. During her high school career, Reese has maintained a grade-point average of 4.19 (weighted) and played varsity volleyball. She regularly volunteers through leadership positions at her high school, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Nashville Humane Society.

Dylan Sandoval

In addition to volunteering at Loved Linked Dogs and Convoy of Hope, Sandoval participated in a mission’s trip to Puerto Rico with his church. After his graduation from Coffee County Central High School, where he maintained a 3.95 grade-point average and played varsity baseball, Sandoval will attend Middle Tennessee State University.

Including this year’s recipients, the Nashville Predators Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 to the 41 recipients of the Jack Diller Education Award. Past award winners include:


Christian Harris of Columbia (TBD)

Chase Lutz of Spring Hill (University of Missouri)

Kaycee Hurd of Ashland City (Martin Methodist College)

Emily Spence of Lewisburg (University of Tennessee – Knoxville)


Jayce Arnette of Franklin (North Carolina State University)

Taylor Blanton of Woodbury (Tennessee Tech University)

Katherine Ferguson of Nashville (Auburn University)

Hunter Kinslow of Nashville (TBD)


Haley Doty of White House (Lincoln Memorial University)

Jordan LaRocca of Spring Hill (Lee University)

Sarah Plantz of Brentwood (University of South Carolina at Columbia)

Christopher Wilson of Gallatin (Tennessee Tech University)


Leena Patel of Springfield (Sewanee University)

Abigail Wilson of Gallatin (Cumberland University)

Patrick Brooks of Brentwood

Ian Kukowski of Brentwood (University of Pennsylvania)


Greg Ray of Manchester (Middle Tennessee State University)

Whitley Rowlett of Mt. Juliet (Middle Tennessee State University)

Tazlyn Saez of Lebanon (Volunteer State Community College)

Joseph Scearce of Murfreesboro (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)


Anna Caruso of Winchester (Middle Tennessee State University)

Reginald Ford of Nashville (Vanderbilt University)

Rudi Monyjang of Nashville (University of Tennessee at Knoxville)

Tavares Smith of Nashville (Bethune-Cookman University)


Jeremy Bost of Mt. Juliet (Lipscomb University)

Rebecca Brewster of Brentwood (University of Georgia - Athens)

Michael Heslin of Hendersonville (University of Tennessee at Knoxville)

Chelsey Traughber of Cedar Hill (Austin Peay State University)


Isabel Boersma of Franklin (College of Charleston)

Ryan Proctor of Nashville (Auburn University)

Adriana Short of Madison (Middle Tennessee State University)

Charles Tomkins of Gallatin (University of Tennessee – Chattanooga)


Lisa Bentley of Springfield (Tennessee Tech)

Sara Bentley of Springfield (Belmont University)

William Dale of Nashville (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)

Hayley Harmon of Lebanon (Tennessee Tech)

Bao Nguyen of Antioch (Belmont University)

About the Nashville Predators Foundation:

The Nashville Predators recognize they play an important role in the community beyond what takes place on the ice. Established in September 1998, the Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations, awarding more than $4 million to the greater Nashville community. Between grants and other charitable donations, such as player ticket programs and fund-raising efforts, the Foundation donated nearly $900,000 in cash to community organizations during the 2013-14 season.

To learn more about the Nashville Predators Foundation and the Jack Diller Education Award Scholarship, visit

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