Darren Welch named
Bearden Alumnus of the Year

Darren Welch, BHS Class of 2002, was named Alumnus of the Year for 2021 at school graduation ceremonies in early June. 

Welch’s long history of serving Bearden began with various Student Government positions including SGA President his senior year. He went on to earn a degree from the University of Tennessee before starting his professional career with Hilliard Lyons Financial, now RW Baird.


Darren Welch

Alongside his career and family, Welch has continued to show a commitment to the Bearden community through his work on the BHS Foundation Board. He has served as Treasurer and helped organize numerous fundraisers. 

With his hard work, the Foundation has been able to ensure that staff and students are supported and receive the financial assistance they need. In the words of his former teacher and advisor, Amy Shipley, “He has always had a serving heart, one which did not go away after he graduated.” 

It is that spirit and commitment to Bearden High School that makes Welch an outstanding member of our alumni community and deserving of this recognition.


Annual Award

Alumni of the Year

The Alumnus of the Year award reflects the good deeds of individuals who have made significant contributions to Bearden High School. The award was established by the Foundation and former Bearden High School Principal Dr. John Bartlett in 2010. 


Year    Winner                              Class

2020   Beverly Anderson             1980

2019   Buddy Pelot                       1982

2018   Dr. David Harris                1972

2017   Tim Burchett                      1982

2016   Amy Shipley-Moskal         1979

2015   Doug Harris                       1978

2014   Jack Tate                             1978 

2013   Bert Bertelkamp               1976

2012   Buddy Heins                      1978

2011    Dennis Hwang                  1997 

2010   Jim Bruner                          1967

Planning a
Class Reunion?

Contact Alumni Coordinator Amy Shipley at amy.shipley@knoxschools.org. She can provide reunion coordinators with a class roster and help share links to class websites. 


Don’t forget

your old school,


There are nearly 20,000 Bearden graduates and together they can make a significant difference in the current and future education of Bearden students. Many alumni have participated in Foundation fundraising events. Several have made significant contributions to the school in the form of scholarships, sponsorships, or contributions directed to facilities improvements. Some of these donations have honored former teachers, coaches, classmates or family members. The gifts from alumni have been invaluable in the Foundation’s efforts to support Bearden High School. Any and all donations are appreciated!