Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

NC teachers from across the state awarded 
prestigious Kenan fellowships

The following is a press release from the Kenan Fellows Program

RALEIGH, N.C. – On National Teacher Day, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is pleased to announce its 2017–18 fellowship awards for K–12 educators. Twenty-eight teachers from across North Carolina have been selected from a pool of more than 125 highly qualified applicants. We anticipate awarding an additional fellowship later this spring dependent on funding.

The 2017–18 Kenan Fellows will spend at least three weeks of their summer interning with local experts in agriculture, telecommunications, nanotechnology, cell research, energy, computing and other STEM fields. Traditionally, teachers go from earning a college degree straight to the classroom and do not spend time working in business or industry. The Kenan Fellows Program internship gives educators the practical knowledge and application to better prepare students for college and careers by showing them how STEM at work is relevant to STEM in school. 

“Studies show that teachers are the most important in-school factor contributing to student achievement. Innovative and informed educators can provide tools to help students understand how STEM disciplines are applied in local businesses, industries, and research settings,” said Dr. Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program. “Through our program, teachers implement hands-on, student-focused tools to prepare students to become productive and informed citizens.”

As part of the award, Kenan Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend and participate in 80 hours of professional development focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development. Educators who complete the year-long program remain in the classroom while growing professionally as part of a statewide network of teacher leaders. Today, an elite network of more than 400 Kenan Fellows are working to improve STEM education in North Carolina and beyond.

Established in 2000 as an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University, the Kenan Fellows Program addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest (science, technology, engineering and math) STEM-focused teacher fellowship in North Carolina.

The fellowships are made possible through the generous support of the program’s many corporate, education and foundation partners including: Biogen Foundation, Google Fiber, GSK, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, Four County Electric Membership Corporation, North Carolina State University, Ply Gem, USDA, Alamance County Farm Bureau, Carteret County Farm Bureau, IBM, SAMSI, Goodnight Educational Foundation, Surry County Farm Bureau, Wilson County Farm Bureau, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

A list of 2017–18 Kenan Fellows, fellowship projects, mentors and supporters are listed by school district in a separate document. Visit to learn more.


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.