K-12 Teachers Awarded Kenan Fellowships for Clean Energy Education Initiative with NC DEQ Support

RALEIGH, N.C.⸺Eight K-12 educators across six North Carolina school districts have earned fellowships from the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, a STEM-focused teacher professional development program at N.C. State University

Supported by a $1 million grant from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), these fellowships are dedicated to advancing clean energy workforce education in the state. According to the Clean Jobs North Carolina 2023 report, the state ranks ninth in the U.S. for its clean energy workforce. Clean energy employment now constitutes over half of North Carolina’s energy sector jobs and is responsible for 44 percent of the new energy jobs created in the state over the past year, according to the report. These fellowships aim to introduce students to career opportunities in the clean energy sector, enhance their STEM knowledge and help them build essential workforce skills.

The Center for Energy Research & Technology at NC A&T State University is proud to partner with NCDEQ and the Kenan Fellowship Program for Teacher Leadership to assist in the development of the clean energy workforce in North Carolina, allowing students to gain vital knowledge through the participating K-12 educators,” said Ray Tesiero, interim director of C.E.R.T. (Center for Energy Research & Technology). 

The selected educators are among a cohort of 35 teachers statewide awarded fellowships through the Kenan Fellows Program in the 2024-25 fellowship year. The eight educators working on this year’s clean energy education initiative are:

  • Casey Schulte, Northside High School, Beaufort County Schools
  • Rodriques Clark, Ranson Middle School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Vashti Mosby, Northridge Middle School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Julie Little, Westover High School, Cumberland County Schools
  • Treba Howard, Northampton County High School, Northampton County Schools
  • Laurel Currie, Pitt County Schools Early College High School, Pitt County Schools
  • Natalie Daumen, Apex Friendship High School, Wake County Public School System
  • Dominique Ormond, Vernon Malone College &  Career Academy, Wake County Public School System

Now in its second year, the initiative builds on its inaugural year’s success and is part of a four-year program training 32 teachers in all. Last year’s cohort developed projects like student-built small-scale windmills, solar-powered cars, and solar-powered greenhouses on school campuses. Each lesson focused on applying critical thinking skills, problem-solving and engineering principles.

This year, the eight selected educators will spend three weeks between June and August with a host organization in the clean energy sector. Through job shadowing, the educators will gain exposure to the clean energy workforce, connect classroom STEM concepts to workplace applications and develop projects benefiting students and educators.

“We’re excited to welcome these dedicated educators to the Kenan Fellows Program. Their selection is a catalyst for bringing clean energy workforce education to North Carolina’s schools,” stated Vance Kite, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. “Thanks to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality grant, these teachers will get the tools and resources they need to inspire students and build a brighter future for our communities.”