Kenan Fellows Program awarded ARC grant to advance K-12 STEM Workforce Education in Western NC

Kenan Fellows Program awarded ARC grant to advance K-12 STEM Workforce Education in Western NC

RALEIGH, N.C., (May 7, 2019) – The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to support six Western North Carolina educators who will make connections between their classrooms and authentic STEM practices in the workplace. The teachers, known as WNC STEMwork Kenan Fellows, are part of the 2019-20 cohort of Kenan Fellows.

Kenan Fellows are outstanding public-school teachers selected through a competitive application process to participate in a prestigious one-year fellowship while remaining active in the classroom. During the year, Kenan Fellows partner with industry experts to develop curriculum and teaching resources that bring workforce preparedness and cutting-edge research into the hands of students.

Starting in June, the teachers will participate in three-week internships with local businesses and industries in Western North Carolina. They will immerse themselves in the following Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields: intercommunications, textiles, power management, agriculture, aviation, and manufacturing. Over the course of the Fellowship, the WNC STEMwork Fellows will work together to develop a deeper understanding of the industries located throughout Western North Carolina, their workforce needs, and how K-12 educators can make relevant connections for their students.

They will also gain expertise in developing and conducting Project Based Learning units that can bridge STEM in school with STEM at work. Next summer, the teachers will become trained as facilitators for the STEMwork Professional Development Institute, a blended learning program designed by the Kenan Fellows Program to scale workforce education across a region.

“Developing K-12 teacher leaders with expertise in workforce education will help to build those links between industry and the classroom that provide students with the necessary skills and resources to better prepare for the careers of tomorrow,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership.

The 2019–20 WNC STEMwork Kenan Fellows are:

  • Jennifer Allsbrook of Polk County High School in Polk County Schools will partner with Lori Ray of Eaton Corporation.
  • Amanda Clapp of The Catamount School (Western Carolina University and Jackson County Schools) will partner with Teresa Mallonee of TekTone Sound and Signal.
  • Austin Hedden of Hayesville High School in Clay County Schools will partner with Greg Boehem of Team Industries.
  • Tom House of Montford North Star Academy in Asheville City Schools will partner with Sarah Hutcheson of GE Aviation.
  • Tyler Honeycutt of Henderson County Early College in Henderson County Schools will partner with Jennifer Lynch of Gaia Herbs.
  • Donna Pyatt of East McDowell Middle School in McDowell County Schools will partner with Mike Cothran of Coats North America.

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. Visit to learn more.