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Seven Teachers in Avery and Watauga Counties Awarded 2014-15 Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Electric

By Jesse Wood

BremcoOct. 29, 2014. Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation (BREMCO) is honoring the educators in Watauga and Avery counties who won a 2014-15 Bright Ideas Grant on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at BREMCO’s Watauga District Office in Boone.

BREMCO’s Bright Ideas Grant provides local educators and principals in grade school up to $1,500 per grant “for innovative classroom projects that benefit students and would not otherwise be covered by the school budget,” according to BREMCO.

Past grants have funded hands-on projects focused on music, art, history, language, reading, science, math and information technology.

These seven teachers in Watauga and Avery received more than $6,000 combined in grants:

Avery County

  • Kimberly Tufts of Cranberry Middle – $900
  • Joelle Poore of Cranberry Middle – $1,000

Watauga County

  • Kim Shields of Hardin Park Elementary – $565
  • Rae Filsinger of Parkway Elementary – $770
  • Emily Edwards of Mabel Elementary – $776
  • Dacia Trethewey of Watauga High – $850
  • Thomas M. Brown of Watauga High – $1,380

BREMCO is celebrating its 20th year of the Bright Ideas program, and since its inception, BREMCO has awarded more than $380,000 to educators. The funding has impacted more than 100,000 students through nearly 500 grants, according to BREMCO.

This year, $21,197 worth of grants will impact 25 classrooms in the BREMCO service area, which includes Alleghany, Avery, Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes and Watauga. The other winners from other counties are below.

In addition to the grant program, BREMCO is offering another contest for residents who may not be educators to get into the act. BREMCO is asking for folks to “give a shout-out” to their favorite winner on BREMCO’s Facebook page by Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. The winner with the most congratulatory posts will receive an additional 10 percent.

More information about the statewide Bright Ideas program can be found here.

As for the luncheon in Watauga where the winners will receive their checks, teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members and Blue Ridge Electric’s Board of Directors are invited to help BREMCO celebrate and honor the creative educators. The luncheon takes place from 12 to 1:30 p.m. For more info, contact LuAnn Bradshaw at lbradshaw@blueridgeemc.com or call 828-759-8907.

Ashe County

  • Kevin Miller of Westwood Elementary – $310
  • Dawn Richardson of Ashe County Middle – $436
  • Rachel Nave-Lewis of Blue Ridge Elementary – $1,000
  • Jodi Grubb of Ashe County Middle – $1,050
  • Janis Harless of Ashe County Middle – $1,086

Alleghany County

  • Jill Gambill of Piney Creek Elementary – $700
  • Sam McClure of Glade Creek Elementary – $1,200
  • Sherry Maines of Glade Creek Elementary – $1,483

Wilkes County

  • Julie Estes of Millers Creek Elementary – $325
  • Russell Sparks of East Wilkes Middle – $340
  • Kelly Norton Pipes of Wilkes Early College – $977
  • Shelley Somers of East Wilkes Middle – $1,215

Caldwell County

  • Michael Sides of William Lenoir Middle – $600
  • Connie Root of Caldwell Career Center – $727
  • Randy Seldomridge of Granite Falls Middle – $868
  • Alex Martin of Hibriten High – $1,142
  • David R. Brown of South Caldwell High – $1,497