Duplin educator awarded Kenan Fellowship with Four County EMC and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives

BURGAW, N.C. Duplin County Schools educator, Garrick Purdie, has been named a 2024-25 Kenan Fellow by the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at N.C. State University.

Headshot of Purdie.

Purdie is the STEAM coordinator and teaches science at Duplin Early College High School. Purdie expressed his enthusiasm for the fellowship, “Becoming a Kenan Fellow is an exciting opportunity for me to continue learning from local industry experts and share that knowledge with my students.”

The Kenan Fellows Program fosters connections between K-12 educators and local industry professionals, allowing educators to bridge the gap between classroom learning and workplace STEM applications. During a three-week summer immersion with their host organization, educators gain insights into local industries, workforce needs, and ways to integrate these insights into their teaching.

“We are thrilled and deeply honored to partner with Garrick Purdie as he embarks on his journey as a Kenan Fellow. Hosting a Kenan Fellow is a testament to our commitment to supporting education and empowering the leaders of tomorrow. By sharing our expertise in the electrical industry and cooperatives, we aim to inspire students and educators alike, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of the critical role electricity plays in our communities and the exciting career opportunities it presents. We look forward to collaborating with Mr. Purdie and the Kenan Fellows Program to shape a brighter future for our region,” stated Molly Griffin, communications specialist at Four County EMC.

Purdie’s fellowship will immerse him in the operations of Four County EMC, where he will learn about the cooperative business model, electricity distribution across the region, and the cooperative’s innovative technology-driven approaches to shaping the future grid. Armed with this firsthand experience, Purdie plans to develop engaging lessons that illuminate electricity production, distribution, and diverse career paths in the energy sector for his students.

“We’re grateful to Four County EMC and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives for their commitment to educator professional development and for nurturing the future workforce of their community. These industry-education partnerships are vital in guiding students towards local career opportunities and equipping them with essential skills,” stated Vance Kite, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership.


About Four County EMC:

Four County EMC is a member-owned electric cooperative serving the energy needs of residential, agricultural, and commercial customers across Bladen, Duplin, Pender, and Sampson Counties. Committed to delivering reliable, safe, and affordable electricity, Four County EMC prioritizes community engagement and sustainable practices to ensure the well-being of its members and the regions it serves. With a steadfast dedication to excellence, Four County EMC continues to innovate and evolve, continuing to meet the energy needs of its diverse membership base.

About the Kenan Fellows Program: The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership 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 through authentic, hands-on experiences in industry-world settings, fostering innovation and excellence in education across North Carolina. To learn more, visit www.kenanfellows.org.