Mindy Thornlow, a science teacher at Trinity High School with Randolph County Schools, has been named a 2022-23 Kenan Fellow. Her fellowship was made possible through a partnership between the Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, and the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at N.C. State University.
Thornlow, who has been teaching for 15 years, is among 24 teachers from across North Carolina who have been selected to participate in the 2022-23 fellowship year. Beginning in June, she will work alongside mentors and industry experts at Randolph EMC, exploring the history of the electric cooperative model, learning how power is generated and delivered, and how Randolph EMC is innovating its services and enhancing systems to continue to meet, and exceed, the expectations of its members.
Thornlow will transfer this knowledge to her students by creating lessons that will help them understand how electricity is produced and delivered to cooperative members. Her lessons will also increase their awareness of various career pathways in the energy field and at electric cooperatives.
“We are proud to offer this fellowship to outstanding local educator, Mindy Thornlow,” said Nicole Arnold, communications and public affairs manager for Randolph EMC. “Partnering with Kenan Fellows is yet another example of our commitment to community. With Mindy’s help, we look forward to introducing young minds to the evolving electric grid and potential STEM-oriented job opportunities that could impact their future.”
As a part of the award, Kenan Fellows participate in 80 hours of professional development focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development. Educators remain in the classroom while completing the fellowship. Today, more than 500 Kenan Fellows are working to improve workforce education in North Carolina and beyond.
“Thanks to the support of industry leaders such as Randolph EMC and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, 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 for Teacher Leadership. “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 underserved areas of the state.”