Haywood EMC and Tri-County EMC to host Kenan Fellows - Carolina Country

Haywood EMC and Tri-County EMC to host Kenan Fellows

NC co-op shave hosted nine Kenan Fellows since 2014

By Jennifer Heiss

Haywood EMC and Tri-County EMC to host Kenan Fellows

Kari Cobb, a career technology and STEM teacher at Northside High School in Onslow County, was hosted by Jones-Onslow EMC through Kenan Fellows in 2018.

Two North Carolina electric cooperatives are mentoring local teacher leaders through a continuing partnership with the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at NC State University.

Noal Castater

Noal Castater

Erica Levai

Erica Levai

Haywood EMC will partner with Noal Castater, a career technical education teacher at Waynesville Middle School, for a three-week internship based at their office in Waynesville. Castater has been teaching for 19 years, is National Board certified and is a repeat recipient of Bright Ideas grants from Haywood EMC.

“Sponsoring a Kenan Fellow is another way for Haywood EMC to give back to the communities we serve by providing opportunities to educators through a unique program that allows them to gain knowledge, as well as experience the day-to-day workings of an electric utility, which they can in turn pass along their students who one day may become employees of an electric cooperative such as Haywood EMC,” said Haywood EMC CEO and Executive Vice President Tom Batchelor.

Tri-County EMC will partner with Erica Levai, a science teacher at James Kenan High School in Duplin County, who will spend three weeks learning from mentors at the co-op’s office in Dudley. Levai has been teaching for 10 years and said the experience will provide new tools and resources to connect students with relevant experiences in the classroom.

“Tri-County EMC is committed to the educational flourish of students in the communities we serve, and we are thrilled to have Ms. Levai join us this summer to expand her knowledge of our electric cooperative,” said Tri-County EMC General Manager Mike Davis. “This partnership with the Kenan Fellows Program is a wonderful opportunity not only for the cooperative and Ms. Levai, but the students as well.”

Year-long Kenan fellowships equip teachers to help students see real‑world relevance in their lessons.

The year-long Kenan fellowships equip teachers to help students see real-world relevance in their lessons and be prepared for the future through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Both Castater and Levai will partner with mentors and industry experts at their host cooperatives to explore how power is generated and delivered to members and communities. They will also learn about the cooperative business model and how electric co-ops are using innovation to meet and exceed the needs of their members. The educators will integrate these learnings into the lessons they teach students and develop a classroom project that will be implemented during the school year.

Including Castater and Levai, North Carolina electric cooperatives have sponsored and hosted nine Kenan Fellows since 2014.

For more information about the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, visit ncelectriccooperatives.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Heiss is the communications specialist for North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives.

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