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Bright Ideas in Education
Current 2011-2012 Winners and Program History
For twenty-seven teachers in seventeen schools in the area, Christmas came in early November in the form of a check. These teachers were awarded funding for the Bright Ideas project proposals they submitted earlier in the fall. They were selected from applications submitted to French Broad EMC for consideration. The grants, in amounts ranging from $200 to $1,500, will help fund innovative ways to improve classroom instruction. The grants will purchase supplies that are not affordable through normal school budgets, which typically are strained to meet the basic needs of teachers.
Congratulations to the following teachers for having "Bright Ideas!
North Buncombe Elementary: Marti Svoboda-Sidelnick
Erwin High: Martha Ann Rice
Joe P Eblen Intermediate: Georgina Ray
Brush Creek Elementary: Anita Henry, Chastity Jenkins, Jennifer Knapp, Selina Worley
Laurel Elementary: Charles Cutshall, Connie Metcalf, Don Schiffhauer
Mars Hill Elementary: Holly Massey
Madison Middle: Nicole Willis
Mitchell High: Jennifer Robinson
Gouge Elementary: Mimi Rezzonico
Greenlee Primary: Kishia Fletche
Unicoi County, TN
Love Chapel Elementary: Evelyn Dwye
Burnsville Elementary: Tracie Bartlett-Dover, Rebecca Fox, Steven Grindstaff
Bald Creek Elementary: Jessica Duncan Jeanie Miller
South Toe Elementary: Brenda Phetteplace
Bee Log Elementary: Teena McCurry Robinson
Cane River Middle: Christy Deyton
Mountain Heritage High: Aimee Hall, Renee McCurry, Thomas Surber
North Carolina teachers are professionals who consistently and creatively inspire our state’s youth, usually stretching shoestring budgets or spending from their own pockets as they educate. In addition to instructing their students in academics, teachers serve as role models, boost self esteem, teach individual and community values, coach sports, lead clubs and stress the importance of education and its grounding effect on their future life’s work.
French Broad EMC is one of the 27 North Carolina electric cooperatives which recognizes that success in the classroom comes from more than textbook lessons and that teachers with “bright ideas” add incalculable value to the educational process. To encourage such innovation, the electric cooperatives offer Bright Ideas grants, which provide North Carolina K-12 teachers with money to finance yearlong creative projects that would otherwise not be funded. Since it began in 1994, the Bright Ideas program has awarded more than $5 million in grant money to North Carolina teachers. Unicoi County has been included in the Bright Ideas program since 1999 due to portions of the county being located in French Broad EMC’s service territory.
In addition to stimulating student participation, these diverse classroom projects, which frequently benefit the school and its greater community, integrate multiple academic subjects, cutting-edge technology, social awareness and multigenerational relationships.
Besides providing electric service to members, North Carolina’s rural electric cooperatives believe supporting teachers – and their bright ideas – is a vital part of their mission to improve the lives of the more than 2.5 million people they serve in 93 counties throughout the state.
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