Ply Gem Renews Support for Teacher Leaders with gift to Kenan Fellows Program

RALEIGH, N.C., (May 27, 2016) – Ply Gem Holdings, Inc., a leading manufacturer of building products in North America, has again committed to championing Teacher Leaders in STEM education with its support of a 2016-17 Kenan Fellow.

This is the fourth consecutive year Ply Gem has sponsored a Kenan Fellow to intern for three weeks in the summer under the mentorship of innovation officer, Lee Clark-Sellers. Ply Gem has selected Marjorie Light, an English teacher at J.D. Clement Early College High School in Durham Public Schools, for its project, “Spurring Innovation in Project Creation,” to learn about the innovative ways the company is helping to build more energy efficient and low maintenance homes. This experience will then translate to innovative, related project-based lessons in Light’s classroom and demonstrate the STEM-focused learning and career options in modern manufacturing.

“We feel the Kenan Fellows Program provides a critical step in the evolution of STEM education,” Clark-Sellers said.

Light has been teaching for 18 years and holds a B.S. in English and an M.S. in Teaching from SUNY Plattsburgh. This year, in addition to being awarded a Kenan Fellowship, she was also selected for the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, and will travel to the University of Nottingham, UK.

“Since I teach at a specialized school geared toward helping underrepresented minorities, first-generation college, and children of poverty prepare for university, I seek opportunities allowing me to help them succeed in college and future careers,” Light said. “As a Kenan Fellowship recipient, I will be able to create additional cutting-edge learning units for my students and expand their educational opportunities so they become global learners.”

Educators who become Kenan Fellows remain in the classroom while completing the year-long fellowship. In addition to the summer internship, Kenan Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend and participate in 80 hours of professional development focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development. “Sustaining partners such as Ply Gem help make our work a success. It is because of the company’s continued support that we are able to offer high-quality professional development to STEM educators across the state, and to build a proactive network of effective teacher leaders,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program.

About Ply Gem Holdings, Inc.: For 70 years Ply Gem has been an industry pioneer and continues to lead and innovate through its unique ability to create The Designed Exterior. This complete solution combines materials, colors and textures — all intended to work together to create dramatic curb appeal and allow customers to spend time enjoying their home, instead of fixing it. Visit to learn more.

About the Kenan Fellows Program: Established in 2000 as an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University, the Program addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest (science, technology, engineering and math) STEM-focused teacher leader fellowship in North Carolina. The fellowships are made possible through the generous support of the program’s many corporate, education and foundation partners including Ply Gem. Visit to learn more.