Co-op awards 50 teachers $44,875 in Bright Ideas grants

2020 has been filled with challenges and change for all of us, especially our local teachers.  Whether teaching virtually or in-person, teachers have been forced to get creative with how they reach their students, and they need our support now, more than ever!

Recognizing innovation in creative classroom projects is the focus of Palmetto Electric’s Bright Ideas grant program. Funded primarily from donations through the Palmetto Electric Trust and Operation Round Up, Bright Ideas has awarded teachers in Hampton, Jasper and southern Beaufort counties more than $600,000, since the program launched in 2004.  This year, Palmetto Electric awarded $44,875 in Bright Ideas grants to 50 deserving teachers during a virtual Zoom presentation on October 28.

Our 2020 winners include:


Bluffton Middle School—$955, Heidi McAllister.

Cross Schools – $520, Heather Brougham-Cook; $1,000, Pam Donahue; $675, Amanda Kropiewnicki; $1,000, Karen Penale; $900, Ashley Sanders; $990, Dr. Nancy Ungvarsky.

Hilton Head Island High School – $1,000, Tarken K. Best; $1,000, Matthew Pheiffer; $1,000, John Wyatt.

Hilton Head Island Middle School – $330, Kelley Duffy; $920, Irma Rameizl.

Hilton Head Preparatory – $800, Louise Goodman; $675, Bethany Ramseur.

May River Montessori – $1,000, Sari Kandel.

Okatie Elementary School:  $1,000, Siobhan McCann.

St. Francis Catholic School – $745, Lesley Brewster.



Ben Hazel Primary School – $850, Anita Turner Padgett; $1,000, Michelle H. Purdy.

Hampton Elementary School – $1,000, Susie Laffitte.

Patrick Henry Academy – $1,000, Nicole Barnes; $800, Sarah Padget; $1,000 Tricia Stanley.

Wade Hampton High School – $735, Gangadhar Padigela.



Hardeeville Elementary/Jasper County Alternative Program – $975, Tawanna Chatman.

Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School – $600, Christina J. Randall.

Polaris Tech Charter School – $980, Kirsten Palmer.

Ridgeland Elementary School – $900, Kenneth M. Fisher.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School/Jasper Advanced Career and Technology Center – $995, Terry Grant-Robinson.

Royal Live Oaks Academy – $930, Bethanne Barner; $475, Brian Barry; $995, Anne Brown; $1,000, Allison Butler-Carson; $1,000, Robin Connolly; $1,000, Gregg Dixon; $1,000, Kodwo Dowell; $1,000, Elizabeth Gunderson; $980, Ced’Rica Johnson; $1,000, Angela Occasion; $1,000, Origaima Padilla; $1,000, Donald Pearson; $990, Romeo Ranera; $1,000, Angela Richardson; $1,000, Christopher Smith.

Step of Faith Christian Academy – $860, Karen Creech; $1,000, Alisha Herlong; $1,000, Savannah Womble.

Thomas Heyward Academy – $1,000, Al Boni; $300, Ben Herod; $1,000, Kandi Hewlett.


Thank you to all our members who round their electric bill up to the nearest whole dollar each month.  Bright Ideas is another example of how small change changes lives!


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