Trio of Orange County educators named 2024 Kenan Fellows

Three Orange County teachers will pursue teaching fellowships after recently being selected by a statewide program.

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at NC State University announced on May 7 the selection of 38 North Carolina public elementary school teachers, with Erin Lisi of Phillips Middle School, Savannah Patterson of Cedar Ridge High School and Kumar Sathy of the Orange County Schools administration each deserves a scholarship. The initiative was started as a way to improve retention of math and science teachers around the Research Triangle and to enhance workforce development partnerships with many North Carolina school districts.

Through the program, the 38 teachers will take three weeks this summer to complete an immersive program with individual local experts in various STEM fields, and will receive 80 hours of professional development focused on innovative teaching methods, leadership skills and building of connections between teachers. ‘schools and their surrounding communities. The fellowship also awards each educator a $5,000 stipend.

Lisi, the only Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools teacher in this year’s class, will work with Amy Maddox, who researches cell biology through the UNC School of Medicine.

“I am so excited to have been chosen as this year’s Kenan Fellow,” Lisi told Chapelboro. “The Fellowship this summer with Dr. Amy Maddox at UNC will allow me to deepen my love for bringing real-world scientific research to high school students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. I am honored to have been supported by North Carolina multiple times in my teaching journey thus far, and I look forward to how this summer experience will transform my teaching journey to better serve students.”

Patterson will also have a scientific focus on her fellowship, studying genetics with Fred Gould, the executive director of the Genetics and Genomics Academy at NC State. The high school teacher said it is an honor to have been chosen as a Kenan Fellow.

“It already feels so rewarding to start this journey with other educators,” Patterson added. “I look forward to working with Dr. Gould and his team in NCSU’s Department of Genetics and Genomics, along with another Kenan Science Fellow. I think I’m most excited to be in community with more educators across the state and hear about their experiences and fellowships. I also look forward to incorporating my experiences into my classroom next school year and sharing what I have learned with my colleagues!”

Sathy, meanwhile, will use his fellowship to better prepare teachers before they reach the classrooms. The Orange County Schools employee will train with some NC State teachers on ways to provide perspective and support to pre-service teachers.

“The Kenan Fellows program truly values ​​and elevates educators as professionals,” said Sathy. “Receiving this fellowship is not only an honor, it is a calling. It is a call to use the network, training and platform to shape the next generation of leaders and innovators. At a time when funding and supporting educators has become an increasingly polarized issue, I am grateful to join a movement that is steadfast in its core belief that teachers play a critical role in shaping the future, and indeed are worth investing in. I look forward to the opportunity to develop professional development for pre-service STEM and special education teachers with a strategic focus on highly effective teaching, classroom culture, inclusion and belonging.”

The entire Kenan Fellows class of 2024-25 and their mentorship partners can be found on the program’s website. does not charge subscription fees and you can directly support our local journalism efforts here. Want to see more of what you see on Chapelboro? Let us bring you free local news and community information by signing up for our newsletter.

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