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Kenan Fellows Program announces 2020-2021 cohort

On National Teacher Appreciation Day, the Kenan Fellows Program announced its newest cohort of education leaders in North Carolina. This coveted fellowship is awarded to 19 K-12 teachers throughout the state who will connect with experts in STEM-related fields such as agriculture, energy, manufacturing, scientific research, and more. The fellows receive a stipend of $5,000 and have the opportunity to participate in 80 hours of STEM professional development.

The fellowship was established in 2000 in response to the need for STEM educators to have professional development opportunities. The program now has a network of 483 Kenan Fellows who are working to increase STEM initiatives and education throughout North Carolina.

Map of 2020-21 Kenan Fellows cohort home. Courtesy of the Kenan Fellows

Dr. Elaine Franklin has been director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership for more than six years. She says, “Teacher leaders play a critical role in student achievement. We look forward to seeing how these educators will leverage this opportunity to benefit their schools and community.”

A list of the 2020-21 Kenan Fellows, mentors, locations, and projects can be found below. 

ASHE COUNTY SCHOOLS
Description of project: Beginning in June, she will partner with industry experts from the NC Farm Bureau, Ashe County Farm Bureau, and Alleghany County Farm Bureau to engage in real-world experiences related to the Christmas tree industry in North Carolina. She will use her experiences to create the content for a North Carolina-specific Christmas Tree Ag Mag which can be digitally dispersed, printed, and distributed, using the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Ag Mags as a template.

Barbara Heufel
Mountain View Elementary School
NC Christmas Trees with the NC Farm Bureau
Michele Smoot, Heather Willoughby, and Callie Carson
North Carolina Farm Bureau, Ashe County Farm Bureau,
Alleghany County Farm Bureau, and Watauga County Farm Bureau

CHARTER SCHOOL (MECKLENBURG)

Morgan Beldon
Bonnie Cone Classical Academy
Charter School Teacher Leadership Cluster

Jennifer Keeler
Bonnie Cone Classical Academy
Charter School Teacher Leadership Cluster

Clay Sanders
Mallard Creek STEM Academy
Spurring Innovation in Manufacturing with Cornerstone
Ginger Cone, Mike Humphreys, and Shane Alfonse
Cornerstone Building Brands

CHARTER SCHOOL (GASTON)

Harley Summey
Community Public Charter School
Charter School Teacher Leadership Cluster

Autumn Stobart
Community Public Charter School
Charter School Teacher Leadership Cluster

CHARTER SCHOOL (WAKE)

Emily Felker
The Exploris School
The Magnificent Cell
Dr. Paul Maddox
UNC-Chapel Hill

CRAVEN COUNTY SCHOOLS
Description of project: Beginning in June, she will partner with industry experts with the North Carolina Coastal Federation to assist them with their work to protect and restore coastal water quality and habitats throughout the NC coast through the development of a product that engages and informs students in your school and community. Her fellowship is supported by the Kenan Institute for Engineering Technology & Science Board of Trustees and Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership Board of Advisors

Erin Strohschein
Havelock Middle School
Working Together for a Healthy Coast
Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic, Rachel Bisesi,
and Todd Miller of North Carolina Coastal Federation
Kenan Institute for Engineering Technology & Science
Board of Trustees and Kenan Fellows Program
for Teacher Leadership Board of Advisors

DUPLIN COUNTY SCHOOLS
Description of project: Beginning in June, she will partner with mentors and industry experts at Tri-County EMC, based in Dudley, to explore how power is generated and delivered to members and communities served by the cooperative. Levai will learn the history of the electric cooperative model and see firsthand how Tri-County EMC is innovating its services and enhancing systems to continue to meet, and exceed, the expectations of its members.

Erica Levai
James Kenan High School
Tri-County EMC: EmPowering Education
Jennifer Heiss, Mike Davis, and Deidra Grantham
Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation and
North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives

DURHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Jacqueline Brown
Sherwood Githens Middle School
Caring Deeply, Working Fearlessly and Changing Lives with STEM
Tracy Ahrens of Biogen and Regina Lindsay
of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties
Biogen Foundation

Madison Wagner
Northern High School
Caring Deeply, Working Fearlessly and Changing Lives with STEM
Tracy Ahrens of Biogen and Regina Lindsay
of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties
Biogen Foundation

GUILFORD COUNTY SCHOOLS

Regeina Galloway
Northeast Guilford Middle School
Spurring Innovation in Manufacturing with Cornerstone
Garth Harris and Julie Williamson
Cornerstone Building Brands

HAYWOOD COUNTY SCHOOLS
Description of project: Beginning in June, he will partner with mentors and industry experts at Haywood EMC, based in Waynesville, to explore how power is generated and delivered to members and communities served by the cooperative. Castater will learn the history of the electric cooperative model and how Haywood EMC is innovating its services and enhancing systems to continue to meet, and exceed, the expectations of its members.

Noal Castater
Waynesville Middle School
EmPowering Education
Danielle Wittekind, Tom Batchelor, Ken Thomas
and Jennifer Heiss
Haywood EMC and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives

ORANGE COUNTY SCHOOLS

Britny Pinkney
Gravelly Hill Middle School
Technology and Personal Finance: Economics in the New Agile World
Siraj Pillae, Simmie Kastner, Leslie Walden, and John Simmonds
Fidelity Investments

POLK COUNTY SCHOOLS
Description of project: Beginning in June, Walter and Rhinehart will partner with experts at Eaton and Biltmore Farms to make connections between their classrooms and the local workforce. Over the course of the fellowship, the teachers will develop a deeper understanding of local industries, their workforce needs, and how they can make relevant connections for their students.

Andrea Walter
Polk Central Elementary School
Cultivating Inspiration with Biltmore Farms
Carol Steen of Biltmore Farms
Facebook

Leslie Rhinehart
Polk County High School
Providing Unique Solutions with Eaton
Lori Ray of Eaton
Facebook

RUTHERFORD COUNTY SCHOOLS
Description of project: Beginning in June, she will partner with STEM West to assist them with the Diversity and Equity Asset Mapping Project which seeks to gather information on organizations, industry partners, and resources that can be utilized to improve pathways and access to educators with a focus on creating a more diverse representation in the STEM West service area. Twitty will create a product that best utilizes the information gained during the internship to move this important work forward.

Ashley Twitty
Spindale Elementary School
STEM West Diversity and Equity Asset Mapping Project
Carol Moore of STEM West and
Alfred Mays of Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

WAKE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

Shane Barry
Athens Drive Magnet High School
Sustainable Energy through Chemical Looping Combustion
Dr. Fanxing Li
NC State University

MaryLu Ringwood
Forestville Road Elementary School
Using Statistics to Solve Problems
Dr. David Banks
SAMSI

Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker is a multimedia storyteller for EducationNC. She covers the stories of rural North Carolina, the arts, and STEM education.