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Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas is Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative's way of "energizing" creativity in and out of the classroom through educators at local schools. Mid-Carolina awards approximately $16,000 in grants each October to educators who have innovative ideas for their projects. Mid-Carolina Electric sponsors the Bright Ideas program to allow educators to compete for funding outside often-limited school district resources.

The "Bright Ideas Grant Patrol" makes special visits to grant winning teachers, surprising them with a check and other prizes to celebrate their awards with the entire school.

"The idea behind Bright Ideas," according to MCEC's CEO Bob Paulling, "is to help empower good teachers, to provide support outside of normal public school funding for great projects that deserve to be explored, yet need that extra assistance."  Thank you all for your hard work and dedication as you strive to brighten the futures of our area youth! 

Bright Ideas is open to educators in grades kindergarten through twelve in Lexington School Districts One, Two, Three and Five; Saluda County schools; or Pinegrove Elementary, Rhame Elementary, Sandel Elementary, St. Andrews Middle or Columbia High (Richland County). 

This year we awarded nearly $13,000 to 14 local educators to fund innovate class projects. Please join us in congratulating and thanking them for all their hard work and dedication!

Elizabeth Stevenson - Centerville Elementary

Kary Dufault - Cross Roads Intermediate

Renae Aman - Pleasant Hill Elementary

Mark Romano - Saluda High

Lauren Garner - Pelion High

Haylee Boltjes - Saxe Gotha Elementary

Craig Andrysczyk - Oak Pointe Elementary

Lois Byars - Beechwood Middle

Amanda Youmans - Pleasant Hill Elementary

Erica Gambrell - Lexington High

Megan Schulte - Saluda Elementary

Paula Bartholomew - Chapin High

Emily Ray - Oak Pointe Elementary

Karissa Cockrell - Carolina Springs Elementary

To learn more about MCEC's Bright Ideas program, contact Lacy Ridgell at 803-749-6471 or via email at

Visit us on Facebook to see photos of this year's winners! 

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