GSK Helps Triangle Area Teachers Connect Elementary Curriculum to STEM Industries

RALEIGH, N.C., (May 9, 2017) – The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is pleased to announce it has received a $100,000 charitable grant from GSK to support four 2017–18 Kenan Fellows from elementary schools in Orange County Schools and the Wake County Public School System. The teachers, known as GSK Kenan STEM Fellows, will collaborate to enable innovative STEM teaching. They are among 28 new Kenan Fellows statewide.

The announcement comes in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-12). Today is National Teacher Day, which recognizes the commitment of America’s teachers.

“Teachers have an incredible influence on developing the students of today who will become the workforce of tomorrow.  We all rely on great teachers in classrooms across the state to inspire North Carolina students to love and study math and science and ultimately, pursue careers in important STEM-related fields. GSK is delighted to support this great program,” said Marti Skold-Jordan, Manager, US Community Partnerships, GSK.

Starting in June, the teachers will engage in three-week internships in Triangle area businesses to make connections to their instruction. The teachers will immerse themselves in the following Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields: coding, environmental science, engineering, biotech manufacturing and finance. Working alongside industry experts, the teachers will integrate their internship experiences into engaging STEM curriculum tailored to classroom needs.

More broadly, they will expose students to the STEM skills necessary to work in a thriving industry and a 21st century team-based work environment. “Through this program, Kenan Fellows implement hands-on, student-focused tools to prepare students to become productive and informed citizens,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. “As a longtime supporter of our program, GSK’s leadership level of support helps teachers create relevant learning experiences for students.”

The 2017–18 GSK Kenan STEM Fellows are:

  • Carson Anderson, a fourth grade teacher at Cary Elementary School in Cary. Her project is “Formulating a Love of STEM Education” with Alyson Davis of LORD Corporation.
  • Jennifer Cypra, an Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) teacher at Grady Brown Elementary School in Hillsborough. Her project is “Sparking Student Curiosity” with Kelly Witter of the EPA.
  • Megan Peterson, a fifth grade teacher at Fox Road Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, Her project is “Games, Supercomputing & Learning” with Phaedra Boinodiris of IBM.
  • Stephanie Walker, a second grade teacher at Bugg Elementary School in Raleigh. Her project is “Making Cents of Financial Literacy” with Creighton Blackwell of Coastal Federal Credit Union.

About GSK: One of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information, please visit

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