DOBSON — Two local teachers will receive 80 hours of professional development thanks to the Kenan Fellow Program for Teacher Leadership.
Sonia Dickerson, director of communications, said more than 125 qualified teachers applied for the Kenan fellowships, and 28 were selected from across the state. From Surry County Schools, Kathy Brintle from Gentry Middle School and Darrin Haywood of East Surry received the awards.
Dickerson told the county Board of Education this week that the two teachers are supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Surry County Farm Bureau.
“They have been selected for the project, Developing the State of Ag, which will provide them with the industry connections, immersive work experiences and professional development for designing innovative educational resources and programs and the leadership capacity to empower other educators,” Dickerson told the school board.
Beginning this month, the two teachers will spend three weeks working alongside mentors in the Surry County Farm Bureau office and with local agriculture businesses.
They will also have an opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research as part of a week-long exploration of N.C. State’s poultry science lab with Dr. Matt Koci and at Bayer’s facilities in Research Triangle Park. In the second year of the project, they will work with the North Carolina Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom initiative to develop resources and strategies to improve agricultural literacy.
“Studies show that teachers are the most important in-school factor contributing to student achievement. Innovative and informed educators can provide tools to help students understand how STEM disciplines are applied in local businesses, industries and research settings,” Dr. Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program, wrote in a prepared statement. “Through our program, teachers implement hands-on, student-focused tools to prepare students to become productive and informed citizens.”
As part of the award, Kenan Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend and participate in 80 hours of professional development focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development. Educators who complete the yearlong program remain in the classroom while growing professionally as part of a statewide network of teacher leaders. Today, a network of more than 400 Kenan fellows are working to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in North Carolina and beyond.
Established in 2000 as an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University, the Kenan Fellows Program addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest (science, technology, engineering and math) STEM-focused teacher fellowship in North Carolina.
• The school board recognized its assistant principals who took part in a pilot program this spring called the Instructional Leadership Practicum, developed in partnership with Research Triangle International.
Those honored were:
Central Middle School – Amanda Burton;
East Surry High School – Carla Coble and Jonathan Frasher;
Gentry Middle School – Jenny Alyn Key;
Meadowview Magnet Middle School – Matthew White;
North Surry High School – Amber Flippen and Michael Bodnar;
Pilot Mountain Middle School – Jared Jones;
Surry Central High School – Cheryl Hicks;
Surry Early College – Jonathan Amos, part-time assistant principal.
Also taking part in the practicum were Lynn Holmes, elementary schools literacy coach; Marcia Smith, middle schools literacy coach; and Misty Bruner, East Surry classroom teacher.
• In other school news, the board discussed upcoming renovations at Dobson, Franklin, Mountain Park elementary schools.
Before any work can be done, the school district needs to hire an architectural firm to design plans, said board attorney Fred Johnson. Rather than simply pick the firm with the cheapest price tag, Johnson said it is generally considered better to find a company that can do the work like the county wants and seem good to work with.
The board passed a motion to seek input from firms interested in eventually bidding on the projects.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.