Haywood EMC Selects Waynesville Middle School Teacher for 2020-21 Kenan Fellowship

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. – Noal Castater, a career technical education teacher at Waynesville Middle School with Haywood County Schools, has been named a 2020-21 Kenan Fellow. His fellowship was made possible through a partnership between Haywood EMC, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, and the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at N.C. State University.

Castater, who has been teaching for 19 years and has his National Board Certification, is among the 19 teachers from across North Carolina selected to participate in the 2020-21 fellowship year. Beginning in June, he will partner with mentors and industry experts at Haywood EMC, based in Waynesville, to explore how power is generated and delivered to members and communities served by the cooperative. Castater will learn the history of the electric cooperative model and how Haywood EMC is innovating its services and enhancing systems to continue to meet, and exceed, the expectations of its members.

Castater will transfer this knowledge to his students by creating lessons that will help them understand how electricity is produced and delivered to their homes. His lessons will also increase their awareness of various career pathways in the energy field and at the cooperative.

“Sponsoring a Kenan Fellow is another way for Haywood EMC to give back to the communities we serve by providing opportunities to educators through a unique program that allows them to gain knowledge, as well as experience the day-to-day workings of an electric utility, which they can in turn pass along their students who one day may become employees of an electric cooperative such as Haywood EMC,” said Tom Batchelor, CEO and Executive Vice President with Haywood EMC.

As part of the award, 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. Educators who complete the year-long program remain in the classroom while growing professionally as part of a statewide network of teacher leaders. Today, an elite network of 493 Kenan Fellows are working to improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in North Carolina and beyond.

“Thanks to the support of industry leaders such as Haywood EMC and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, 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 for Teacher Leadership. “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.”

 About Haywood EMC: Haywood EMC was chartered as Cruso Mutual Electric on October 31, 1938, with 170 members. During their 82-year history, Haywood EMC has grown to serve more than 27,000 member accounts across parts of eight counties and three states. Haywood EMC is governed by an eight-member board of directors made up of members representing the co-op’s eight districts.

About North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives: North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives collectively power the lives of approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties. For more information, visit ncelectriccooperatives.com.

About the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership: Established in 2000 as an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. 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.