Four County EMC is honoring teachers and celebrating innovation in education this month by awarding Bright Ideas grants to educators in Bladen, Duplin, Pender and Sampson counties. The education grants will fund engaging classroom learning projects that will benefit more than 3,000 students who will participate in the Bright Ideas projects funded by Four County.

“The Bright Ideas grant winners are making a real difference for students,” said Gay Johnson, Director of Corporate Communications of Four County EMC.  “Their creative projects will no doubt help students reach their full potential and spark higher interest in learning for years to come.”

In total, Four County EMC awarded over $19,860 to 19 teachers in Bladen, Duplin, Pender and Sampson counties this year. Four County EMC has contributed more than $455,360 to local teachers through the Bright Ideas program since the program began in 1994.

“North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively awarded more than $12.2 million for approximately 11,699 projects benefitting more than 2.3 million students in our state over the past 25 years.  “Education is key in building and maintaining strong communities. At Four County EMC, we are proud to support the communities we serve by supporting the educators who shape our future leaders,” added Johnson.

Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year through mid-September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive evaluation process by a panel of judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2020. North Carolina K-12 teachers may learn more at www.ncbrightideas.com.

Four County EMC serves over 32,500 members in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow counties.

The winning teachers are listed by respective county, along with the amount of funds they received (listed in order of teacher who submitted grant, school, project name and the amount awarded):

2019-2020 Bright Ideas Grant Winners


Bladen County

Teacher School Grant Title Amount
Ron Warren East Bladen High Giant Moving Hexaflex $2,000
Melanie V. Wohlford Elizabethtown Primary The Colors of Music $1,053
Tamara Smith Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy P.R.B.L.A. Choir $500
Becky Davisson Dublin Elementary Clappin’ and Rappin’ while Learnin’ is Happenin’ $1,310


Duplin County

Teacher School Grant Title Amount
Britani Walker Becher Chinquapin Elementary Buddy Benches $1,000
Eric Collins Wallace-Rose Hill High School Bulldog Eyes in the Sky $200
Hope English Wallace Elementary Stretch and Go! $1,785
Sulnora Spencer Oluyemi Wallace Elementary Art is: STEAMA, Language Arts, Social Studies, ESL, Health/PE $1,900


Pender County

Teacher School Grant Title Amount
Elizabeth Edwards Heide Trask High Interior Design/Fashion Merchandising $1,966
Jared Pinkston Pender High Team PHEnix Infinite Recharge Robotics $1,000
Tim McAuliffe Pender High Balancing the Scales in Innovation in Biology $486
Thomas Herren Pender High Stem Cycle Starter for Electric Vehicle at Pender $536.50
Jessica Croson Heide Trask High As the World Turns: Using Station Rotations to Investigate Cells $235.50
Margo Melton Pender Early College High Hydroponic and Aquaponic Lab $1,642

 Sampson County

Teacher School Grant Title Amount
Nikki Wood Union Middle Creating a Love for Literature $293
Dan Chabot Union High Signatures in Metal $2,000
Nancie Jaynia Kay Betts Hood Union Middle Bounce and Build $800
Caren Long Union Intermediate School WWE: Wright Brothers, Wind Tunnels, and Experimentation! $168
Jennifer King Union Intermediate School Let’s “Make” it a “Bit” More $985

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