Two of the state’s electric cooperatives will be providing unique real-world STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) experience to local educators through a year-long partnership with the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, based at N.C. State University, and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.
Central Electric will host 2018-19 Kenan fellow Daria Fedrick, a career technology teacher at Bragg Street Academy in Sanford, and Jones-Onslow EMC will host fellow Kari Cobb, a career technology and STEM teacher at Northside High School in Jacksonville.
Fedrick and Cobb are among 25 teachers from across North Carolina selected to participate in the 2018-19 fellowship year. Beginning in June, they will work alongside mentors and industry experts at the cooperatives learning how power is generated and delivered, exploring the history of the electric cooperative model and discovering first-hand how cooperatives are innovating their services and enhancing systems to continue to meet and exceed the expectations of their members.
“Central Electric is honored to partner with such a prestigious institute as the Kenan Fellows and we are very excited to host Daria with us this summer as a part of the program,” said Morris McClelion, Central Electric General Manager and CEO. “The cooperative has a strong commitment to our local communities and our partnership with the Kenan Fellows Program allows us to continue investing in the development of our local teachers and students.”
“Jones-Onslow is committed to the communities we serve, and we are excited to add the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership to that community support,” said CEO Jeff Clark. “Through the program, Kari will gain valuable knowledge about JOEMC and the electric utility industry while getting hands-on experiences she can take back to the classroom and share with her students.”
The fellows will transfer the knowledge they gain to their students by creating lessons that will help them understand how electricity is produced and delivered to cooperative members. These lessons will also increase students’ awareness of various career pathways in the energy field and at electric co-ops.
“Thanks to the support of industry leaders, we are able to empower more teachers to ignite students’ passion for STEM in more locations across the state,” said Dr. Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program. “Their support also allows us to provide educators with knowledge of local career opportunities available to students, and strengthens collaboration with industry. This is especially important in rural communities.”
As part of the award, Kenan Fellows participate in 80 hours of professional development focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development. Educators who complete the program remain in the classroom while growing professionally as part of a statewide network of teacher leaders. Today, more than 420 Kenan Fellows are working to improve STEM education in North Carolina and beyond.
This is the fifth consecutive year North Carolina’s electric co-ops have participated in the Kenan Fellows program. Previous fellows have been hosted by Surry-Yadkin EMC (2014-15), Edgecombe-Martin County EMC (2015-16), Pee Dee Electric (2016-17) and Four County EMC (2017-18).