Co-op Kenan Fellow Honored as Education “Superhero” at N.C. State Basketball Game

Union County math teacher Pamela Johnson, the 2019-2020 Kenan Fellow hosted by Monroe-based  Union Power Cooperative, was recognized on the court at the N.C. State University men’s basketball game versus Pitt on Saturday, Feb. 29 as a “Superhero” of education. Through the N.C. State-based Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, Johnson was able to gain real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experience during an internship at her local electric cooperative and implement it in her classroom by developing a project that required students to identify, analyze and apply algebraic and geometric concepts as they proposed how to provide power to a new grocery store.

Kenan Fellow Pamela Johnson (left) and Union Power’s Luanne Sherron were recognized on the court during the game ball presentation.

“This internship has been a spectacular experience,” said Johnson. “My limits have been challenged both physically and intellectually. I have driven a forklift, been both under a house and in the attic searching for clues to high power usage, climbed a few feet up a pole with spikes and pulled high voltage wire to a new pole in a bucket truck. I want to thank Union Power and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives for welcoming me so willingly into their world. I will never forget all they have done for me and, in turn, for my students.”

Johnson and Luanne Sherron, Union Power’s vice president of key accounts and government relations, who served as Johnson’s mentor, also participated in a pre-game radio interview highlighting the long-standing partnership between North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and the Kenan Fellows program. Johnson also had the honor of leading the superhero costume parade at halftime, which featured kids dressed as their favorite superhero as part of the game’s Superhero Day theme.

Johnson and Sherron participate in a pre-game radio interview.

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 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 North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and Union Power Cooperative. As a 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.

Johnson leads the halftime Superhero parade.

Johnson is the seventh educator hosted as a Kenan Fellow by a North Carolina electric cooperative since 2014. Two more fellows will be hosted by our state’s cooperatives in 2020-21: one at Waynesville-based Haywood EMC in western North Carolina and one at Dudley-based Tri-County EMC in the eastern part of the state.

Visit the In the Community section of our website to learn more about our ongoing partnership with the Kenan Fellows Program.