Rutherford County Teacher Selected for 2020-21 Kenan Fellowship in Partnership with Burroughs Wellcome Fund

RALEIGH – Ashley Twitty, a teacher at Spindale Elementary  School in Rutherford County Schools, has been named a 2020-21 Kenan Fellow. Her fellowship was made possible through a partnership between the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at N.C. State University.

Twitty is among the 19 teachers from across North Carolina who have been selected to participate in the 2020-21 fellowship year. Beginning in June, she will partner with STEM West to assist them with the Diversity and Equity Asset Mapping Project which seeks to gather information on organizations, industry partners, and resources that can be utilized to improve pathways and access to educators with a focus on creating a more diverse representation in the STEM West service area. Twitty will create a product that best utilizes the information gained during the internship to move this important work forward.

“Equity, access, and opportunity to developing and available resources are essential elements to addressing diversity in STEM.  The mapping of assets within STEM West will provide opportunities for greater collaborative partnerships and the leveraging of investments within the western region of the state,” said Alfred Mays, Program Officer for Science Education and Diversity in Science at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

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 the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, we are able to contribute to the development of strategies and initiatives that will create more equitable opportunities for all students,” said Dr. Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. “This is the second consecutive year, we have been able to partner with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund on this effort and we hope to build on our shared success.”

About Burroughs Wellcome Fund: Founded in 1955, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.

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.