Send Us Your Feedback

Each month, we deliver an e-newsletter designed to help us stay connected throughout the Fellowship year. The newsletter offers a lead story and accompanying stories including an App of the Month, important dates and a list of opportunities.

The open rate on the e-newsletter is not great. We would love for all of you to look forward to it and take a moment to read it each month. We understand time constraints but it is a quick read and something that can be skimmed.

But we are always looking to improve. Please take a moment to tell us what the newsletter is missing.

How can we make it more compelling and relevant to your work as a Kenan Fellow?

Please send your feedback to Amneris Solano at Write “KFP Insider” in the subject line.

Thanks for your sharing your insights and ideas. They are always appreciated.

The Rundown

Fall Institute

In just a week, we will meet again for our third and final Professional Advancement Institute. If all goes as planned, you will be visited by two high-profile special guests who are scheduled to speak to you during lunch on Oct. 17 and breakfast Oct. 18.

I would relieve their identities but what’s the fun in that? Life is better with a little mystery don’t you think?

In addition to our special guests, the fall Institute will focus on developing your advocacy and leadership skills. There will also be a formal tour of the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library.

Monthly Newsletter

The KFP Insider hit your inboxes on Oct. 1. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to read it. It is a quick read with lots of great opportunities that are available to NC teachers. The newsletter also has a new format that we hope will make it easier to navigate.

If you have any suggestions for improving the newsletter, please email me at Your feedback is always welcome.

Website User Survey

Speaking of feedback, today we sent out a survey asking about the usability and design of our website. We are developing a new website and the first step is to assess your thoughts on what is working, what is not working and what features would be useful to add to the website.

That’s all for now! See you all next week.

Fall is Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latteYou know fall is here when school buses roll down the highway and Starbucks starts serving its Pumpkin Spice latte.

Since I am pregnant, I have avoided coffee for the most part but I still love the idea of a cool autumn afternoon spent sipping a frothy latte that tastes like the inside of a pumpkin pie.

Where am I going with this? Glad you asked.

That was a long way of saying “Fall is here.” And that means we will be meeting next month for our October professional development institute.

October PD is my favorite because it focuses on leadership. This is the time when our Fellows start thinking about how they can lead innovation outside of their classrooms.

So many of you are there already! We can’t express enough how proud we are of all of you and the strides you have made this year.

Wish I could buy each of you a Pumpkin Spice latte.

In the Classroom

School’s back in the session!

We know this is a super busy time and we are glad to hear so many reports of how this summer has inspired you all to try new teaching techniques. As you pilot your new lessons, we plan to visit as many of you as we are able to in your classrooms.

We can’t wait to see how your hard work from this summer is paying off.

To borrow a line from Kari Haddy, “Happy New School Year.”


You’ve Got Mail

If you haven’t already, please check your inboxes for the August 2013 KFP Insider Newsletter. In it you will see a recap from our July PD with a link to photos, a listing of opportunities and Lenovo’s App of the Month.

We also announced plans to launch a series of online externship stories we are calling “Beyond the Classroom.” These are Q&A style features that allow 2013-14 Fellows to talk about their externship experiences in their own words. The stories will be posted to our website with pictures of the Fellows at their work sites.

Everyone is encouraged to participate. We only contacted a few of you directly depending on our site visits but we want all of you to be able to share your experiences.

If you want to participate, please contact me at and I will send you a list of questions. Answer them briefly and send them back with a picture of you at your externship site. These stories are a great way to show the public and our supporters the amazing work you all are doing in your communities.

Video Tips: Sharing Your Success Stories

Hopefully, everyone made it home safely following our three-day professional learning session in Raleigh. You were fed a great deal of information and we hope you all found it informative and useful.

We won’t meet again as a group until October. But we won’t be strangers! We will stay connected via our blogs, the monthly newsletters and Craig and Lisa (as always) will be working with you individually.

As I mentioned in my rapid-fire presentation, please feel free to contact me for your communications needs. I am here to support you in that capacity.

To get us started, I have made a short video presentation with five ideas for sharing your success stories. There is nothing revolutionary here. The purpose is to get you all thinking about the significance of sharing your hard work.

If you have questions, please email me at or call the office at (919) 518-5118.

To watch the video, follow this link.

Sharing Our Success Stories

On Wednesday morning, Lisa has allotted me 10 minutes to discuss how we share your success stories and how you all can serve as your own cheerleaders in your communities. The work you do with the Kenan Fellows Program is extraordinary and you deserve recognition.

I greatly appreciate those of you who have been filling out the Impact Sheet and emailing me  with news of grant awards, legislative recognition and other accolades. I try to celebrate you with updates on our social media sites and in some cases stories on our website.

Coming soon will be a series of stories from the externship site visits that I have been able to attend with Craig and Lisa. I wish I could visit all of you because you all have so many great stories to tell.

The few stories that will make it on our website are by no means all inclusive. So please keep the great news coming!

From Chapel Hill to Duplin County

This week, I tagged along with Craig Tucker (thank you, Craig) on several site visits that took us from Chapel Hill to Duplin County. We talked to Fellows and their Mentors about their progress in the program and Craig picked their brains about curriculum ideas.

Without a doubt this has been a highlight of my time with the Kenan Fellows Program. Getting to meet many of you in person and seeing first-hand how this program is exposing you to new experiences and sparking your imagination affirms our mission.

A common thread we have witnessed is that some of you have self doubts. You might ask yourself: “Am I doing what I am supposed to?” or “Am I am doing this right?”

That is the beauty of this program. By taking you out of your comfort zone, we are asking you to trust your instincts.

If you are growing, learning, asking questions, opening yourself to new experiences, new ways of thinking and thinking of ways to facilitate a better learning environment for your students, the answer is yes! You are doing it right.

Road Tripping with Kenan Fellows

As many of you know, Kenan Fellows Program staff members are hitting the road this summer visiting as many of our Fellows and mentors at externship sites as possible.

Our main goal is to support you in this unique endeavor. But it is also a chance for us get pictures and collect information for stories for our website to help us promote your achievements and the benefits we hope you are obtaining from participating in this program.

Before anything goes on our website, I will send you the pictures and stories for you to proof. It is important that we represent you and the Kenan Fellows Program in the best light. So please submit any edits or corrections to the stories.

Until now, our summer research projects have been an aspect of our program that we have not shown much of to the public. It is a shame because connecting teachers with the real world is at the heart of what we do.

It is an aspect that sets the Kenan Fellows Program apart from the rest. And one that should be celebrated and highlighted as much as possible.

We appreciate your support during this time and welcome any suggestions.

I hope to see many of you on our travels!

Mountain Retreat

We hope your experience at NC CAT so far has been informative, inspiring and enjoyable. I had hoped to join you to document the week but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

So from my mountainless vista in Raleigh, I have been doing my best to update our social media sites about your time at NC CAT.

Thank you to so many of you for joining us on these sites and keeping the conservation going. Please feel free to post pictures from your adventures and comments about your experience. (Some of you have already and we appreciate it.)

The July newsletter comes out on Monday and you’ll be getting a recap of the week.

Until then!