Cleveland County Schools Science Teacher Named AZP Kenan Fellow

MOORESBORO, N.C. – Beverly Owens, a chemistry teacher at Cleveland Early College High School, has been named a 2021-22 Kenan Fellow. Her fellowship was made possible through a partnership between American Zinc Products (AZP) and the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at N.C. State University.

Owens is part of the 2021-22 Kenan Fellows cohort and will receive leadership training to drive innovations in STEM education and help students build career-ready skills. Owens has been teaching for 16 years and has her National Board Certification. In addition, she is a 2019 recipient of the Burroughs Welcome Fund Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers.

“The Kenan Fellows Program is an incredible opportunity for teachers and will help me to be a more effective as an educator,” Owens said about her decision to apply for the program.

During the summer, Owens will intern with experts at American Zinc Products, whose focus is to maximize the recovery and reuse of steel byproducts, turning them into valuable materials that help fuel the economy. She will learn how AZP creates a sustainable future through a commitment to safety and the environment in the communities they serve so that all can find success together, and use this new knowledge to create learning resources for her students and to share with fellow educators.

American Zinc Products is located in Rutherford County, NC and is a large employer of the region who aims to be an integral part of their community. AZP uses unique technology to transform a WAELZ Oxide into Special High Grade Zinc, one of the highest commercial grades of zinc, used primarily for galvanizing steel. Galvanized steel is used in numerous industrial applications, such as the fabrication of highway guard rails, car bodies, and household appliances. Zinc is a well-known dietary supplement and is also used in pharmaceutical applications..  To learn more about AZP visit,

”We are thrilled to offer this opportunity through the Kenan Fellowship to Ms. Beverly Owens. I am confident in her abilities to convey the many interesting aspects of our process to students through the development of valuable learning materials.” said Kobus de Wet, Vice President and General Manager of AZP

Kenan fellowships are awarded through a competitive application process. As part of the fellowship, the educators will attend a series of professional learning institutes focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development. Teachers remain in the classroom while completing the yearlong fellowship. Educators who complete the program say they feel a deeper connection to their community and grow professionally as part of a statewide network of teacher leaders. As their leadership skills grow, Kenan Fellows lead pro-actively within their schools and districts. Many become empowered to influence and lead educational innovation at state and national levels.

“Because of industry supporters like AZP, we are able to provide teachers with the skills needed to build industry-education partnerships that make stronger connections between desirable workforce skills and classroom content,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership.