Two NC Co-ops Host Kenan Fellows - Carolina Country

Two NC Co-ops Host Kenan Fellows

Real-world STEM applications are being shared with students

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership offers a wide variety of immersive summer work experiences for educators.

Two North Carolina teachers stepped out of the classroom this summer and teamed up with their local electric co-ops, where they learned firsthand what it takes to keep power flowing to their communities.

Kenan JOEMC Kari

Cobb (left) and Jones-Onslow EMC Apprentice Lineman Troy Raynor work with pipe used to install underground cable.

Kari Cobb, a career technology and STEM teacher at Northside High School in Onslow County, and Daria Fedrick, a career technology teacher at Bragg Street Academy in Lee County, were hosted by Jones-Onslow EMC and Central Electric, respectively, through the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership.

The pair were selected to participate in the program through a partnership with their local co-ops, North Carolina Electric Cooperatives and NC State University.

Kenan Central Morris and Daria

Fedrick (right) and Central Electric General Manager and CEO Morris McClelion walk a community solar site.

“Kari’s excitement and enthusiasm, as well as her exuberant personality, was a great fit for our organization, and we know this will carry over into her classroom as she shares the knowledge she gained this summer with her students,” said Jones-Onslow EMC CEO Jeff Clark.

“Central Electric was honored to have hosted Daria with us this summer, and we are very excited about the impact it will have on our local students,” said Central Electric General Manager and CEO Morris McClelion. “Her enthusiasm was remarkable from day one, and it will without a doubt carry over into her classroom as she uses the knowledge she gained this summer to positively impact her students.”

Kenan Central Daria

Fedrick got a taste for linework during her time with Central Electric.

The pair had the opportunity to tour generation resources, including solar photovoltaic farms, a natural gas-fired peaking plant and the Catawba Nuclear Station in York County, South Carolina. They also worked with all departments at the co-op, learning how the co-ops are continually innovating to better serve their members, and seeing how serving members is their top priority. They are now transferring that technical and career opportunity knowledge to local students.

“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.”

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).

Visit for more information about the program.

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