Co-op Kenan Fellow honored on Education Appreciation Day


Randolph County science teacher Mindy Thornlow was honored Oct. 8 at the N.C. State University football game for her work as a 2022-23 Kenan Fellow, hosted by Randolph EMC. Thornlow was recognized on the field and presented with a game ball as the Wolfpack took on the Florida State Seminoles on Education Appreciation Day at Carter-Finley Stadium.

“I was honored to be chosen as a Kenan Fellow and work with Randolph EMC,” said Mindy Thornlow, science teacher at Trinity High School. “My favorite part of the experience was going out in the field with the line crews and seeing how they went above and beyond to assist their members in the community. My students will greatly benefit from my experience because I can teach them the real-life skills that are needed in today’s workforce which will benefit our local community.”


The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at N.C. State University is a year-long professional development program that makes real-world learning and career-readiness connections to STEM lessons. During the year-long fellowship, teachers participate in professional development and spend three weeks embedded at a local business. At Randolph EMC, Mindy experienced the cooperative business model, learned about employment opportunities and career readiness, and spent time in the field to see energy innovation, the electric grid and energy management services for members in action.


Kenan Fellow Mindy Thornlow (right) and Randolph EMC’s Nicole Arnold (left) were recognized during a timeout at Carter-Finley Stadium

“It was such a rewarding experience to host Mindy as a Kenan Fellow,” said Nicole Arnold, communications and public affairs manager at Randolph EMC. “Her passion for education and the success of her students is so inspiring. Randolph EMC and co-ops across the state are dedicated to the professional development of our educators and we are excited to see the impact of Mindy’s experience in our local community.”

Vance Kite, director of the Kenan Fellows Program added, “We are so grateful for the support of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and Randolph EMC. Education-industry partnerships like ours are vital to advancing workforce education across North Carolina and ensuring that all students graduate with foundational skills, are aware of the local job market and understand careers that are available in their own communities.”

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have supported nine Kenan Fellows since 2014. Applications for 2023-24 fellowships will open on Nov. 14. Learn more and apply at