Bright Ideas Awards Presented to Jasper, Beaufort and Hampton Teachers



Step of Faith Christian Academy teacher Alisha Herlong, right, recently received a $1,000 Bright Ideas scholarship from Step of Faith school administrator Donna Carter.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative and Palmetto Electric Trust awarded $44,133 in Bright Ideas grants to 49 deserving teachers in southern Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.

Earlier this year, teachers submitted proposals for innovative classroom projects. A total of 85 grant applications were received, according to a press release.

“Commitment to the community is a core value of Palmetto Electric, and we are proud to support our local students and teachers through Bright Ideas,” said Berl Davis, president and CEO of Palmetto Electric Cooperative. “We are thrilled to award 49 grants to benefit students in our three-county service area.”

Cheques, gifts and signs stating “Brilliant Ideas Grant Winner Teach Here” were presented to each winning school. Winners from the region include:

Jasper County

Jasper CATE Center—Shane King, $1,000

Ridgeland Elementary School—Jeffrey Abanto, $783; David DeLoach, $1,000; Kenneth Fisher, $910; and Karesha Taylor-Parnell, $1,000

Ridgeland Secondary Excellence Academy – Halle Keiffer, $1,000

Royal Live Oaks Academy of Arts and Sciences Charter School – Bethanne Barner, $1,000; Lynne Davis, $1,000; Amber Palmer, $997; Stephen Reilly, $1,000; Terri Timothy, $626; and Patricia Wilson, $1,000

Step of Faith Christian Academy- Alisha Herlong, $1,000

Thomas Heyward—Alfred Boni Academy, $1,000; Alicia Crosby, $384; and Shari Smith, $1,000

May River High School teacher Joseph Williams recently received a $1,000 Bright Ideas Scholarship as one of many teachers to receive the award in Beaufort County.
Cross Schools teacher Heather Brougham-Cook recently received an $898 Palmetto Electric Bright Ideas award as one of many Beaufort County teachers to receive awards.

Beaufort County

Bluffton Elementary School and Early Years Center—Dara Kappel, $982

Cross Schools—Heather Brougham-Cook, $898

Heritage Academy – Laurie Biggs, $989 and Lynn Owen, $860

Hilton Head Christian Academy – Amy Inglis, $970

Hilton Head Island High School—Matthew Pheiffer, $1,000; Corinne Spisz, $1,000; and Robert Stine, $1,000

Hilton Head Island IB Elementary School – Jill Fernandez, $800; Beth Stern, $393; and Wen Wu, $620

Hilton Head Island Middle School – Sarah Owen, $603

Hilton Head Island School of Creative Arts – Jennifer Friend-Kerr, $900

Hilton Head Preparatory School—Laura Campbell, $1,000; Alyssa Gillis, $616; Louise Goodman, $910; Peg Hamilton, $1,000; Stephanie Pullon, $1,000; and Bethanie Ramseur, $1,000

May River High School — Rhonda Platt, $500 and Joseph Williams, $1,000

St. Francis—Troi Hopkins Catholic School, $1,000

St. Gregory the Great Catholic School – Christina Cleveland, $1,000 and Megan Gunkle, $1,000

Hampton County

Estill High School – Beena Krishnamma, $1,000

Hampton Elementary School — Ian Welch, $850

Varnville—Kelyne Buxton Elementary School, $915; Darlene Ferrente, $1,000; Amanda Padgett, $1,000; Dawn Smith, $1,000; and Robin Taylor, $856

Wade Hampton High School — Brianna Evans, $999 and Frances Fowler, $772

The Bright Ideas program was established in 2004 to benefit local K-12 teachers. Many teachers develop innovative classroom projects but lack the funds to implement them. These grants give teachers the money to implement their innovative projects in the classroom.

Palmetto Electric Trust is supported by funds from Operation Round Up, a program in which cooperative members round their electricity bill to the nearest higher dollar. The program is a true example of how a small change…changes lives.

For more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, contact Palmetto Electric Cooperative at (843) 208-5551 or visit

Palmetto Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit electric utility owned by the members it serves. The Cooperative serves more than 75,000 consumers in southern Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.

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