Duke Energy grant helps Kenan Fellows Program expand Charlotte area STEM education initiative

RALEIGH, N.C.The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership (KFP) at N.C. State University is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Duke Energy to grow its K-12 STEM education teacher-focused initiative in Mecklenburg County.

Ongoing School District Partnership

In partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), KFP is advancing K-12 STEM education and building ecosystems that support career and workforce development in the Greater Charlotte region. As part of the initiative, KFP and CMS are forming a district-wide teacher leadership cluster that partners with Mecklenburg County industries to vertically align the middle and high school CTE Computer Science and IT curriculum.

CMS Duke Energy Kenan Fellows

Three CMS teacher leaders were selected to participate in the initiative. They are among the 24 Kenan Fellows who were awarded 2022-23 fellowships statewide.

Karen Kyei-Fordjour
CTE business education teacher
William Hough High School

Alicia Moss
CTE PLTW Gateway educator
JM Alexander Middle School

Charles Mikesell
CTE business education teacher
Davidson K-8

Kyei-Fordjour, Mikesell and Moss are spending three weeks this summer interning with computer science researchers at UNC-Charlotte and industry leaders at Siemens Energy and Bosch-Rexroth. Their work-based learning experiences will highlight the workforce development skills required for students to eventually earn a promising career in their community. Using the insights gained during the internship, the educators will create a product that will help CMS build workforce development resources from 6th through 12th grade.

Making Industry Connections for Students

This is the fifth year that KFP and CMS are partnering to move this initiative forward. So far, more than a dozen outstanding educators have participated in the leadership program. Final curriculum products vary from hands-on lessons to digital career resources.

Last year’s cohort of CMS Teacher Leaders launched a website that contains resources for students from underrepresented communities to help them visualize career pathways in computer science and information technology.

“This project enhances the leadership capacity of CMS through the development of strong teacher leaders that can help advance school and district initiatives,” said Vance Kite, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. “We are grateful for the continued support of the Duke Energy and CMS to grow the network of effective teacher leaders across the district.”