Dogwood Health Trust grant helps support KFP’s STEM education initiatives in Western NC

ASHEVILLE, N.C. —The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership (KFP) at N.C. State University is pleased to announce that four K-12 educators from the Dogwood Health Trust region have been selected as 2023-24 Kenan Fellows. Dogwood Health Trust is also supporting five teams of K-12 educators to participate in STEMwork, a hybrid professional learning institute that is part of KFP’s programming.

This is the second consecutive year, the Dogwood Health Trust has supported fellowships and STEMwork teams as part of a multiyear grant to bridge the gap between industry and K-12 STEM education in Western North Carolina while improving diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The four selected educators are part of the Kenan Fellows cohort of 38 educators statewide. During a three-week immersive industry-based work experience in the summer, the Dogwood Health Trust Kenan Fellows will work closely with industry professionals from Continental, Baxter Healthcare, Biltmore Farms, and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) to develop learning resources that connect workplace skills to classroom curricula and introduce students to local career opportunities.

“Science, technology, engineering and math skills are imperative to obtaining and succeeding in the jobs that will drive Western North Carolina’s economy, providing greater stability and prosperity for families and ultimately leading toward our vision for creating a Western North Carolina where everyone can live, learn, earn and thrive – no exceptions,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO, Dogwood Health Trust. “We are honored to support this effort to increase critical knowledge and grow the STEM community throughout our region.”

The Dogwood Health Trust Kenan Fellows are:

  • Amanda Corbitt, AC Reynolds Middle School, Buncombe County Schools
  • Tammy Dayton, Nebo Elementary School, McDowell County Schools
  • Kendra Hughes, Eastfield Global Magnet School, McDowell County Schools
  • Holly Kolarova, Clear Creek Elementary School, Henderson County Schools

The KFP is dedicated to empowering educators to become leaders in their schools, districts and communities. Through these immersive industry-based experiences, the program equips educators with the skills and knowledge to integrate authentic hands-on learning experiences that help students become future-ready.

“We are immensely grateful for the continued support from Dogwood Health Trust,” said Vance Kite, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Leadership. “Thanks to their generosity, we are able to extend our outreach to K-12 educators in traditionally underserved areas of the state, introducing them to regional career pathways and enriching the lives of their students for years to come.”


About the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership:

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership (KFP) is a K-12 education initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University. The program aims to enhance the teaching profession by providing educators from all disciplines with immersive experiences in STEM industries and research settings, fostering innovation and excellence in education across North Carolina. To learn more, visit

About Dogwood Health Trust
Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville, North Carolina with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and wellbeing of all people and communities of 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust focuses on innovative and equitable ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. With a focus on housing, education, economic opportunity and health and wellness, Dogwood Health Trust works to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all, no exceptions. To learn more, please visit