CHELCO Grants Provide New Opportunities for Teachers

Four teachers at Baker School and two teachers at Bluewater Bay Elementary received $500 instructional grants thanks to CHELCO’s contributions to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  The teachers applied for the competitive grants, detailing the ways in which they would spend the grant funds and how the grant would help their students and classrooms.

Bluewater Elementary School

Bryan Gilbert, CHELCO Manager of Marketing, and Kevin Campbell, CHELCO Marketing/Key Account Representative, visited the schools to present checks to the award-winning teachers:

  • Lauren Brown, Bluewater Elementary: Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Tour: Real World Application of STEM Concepts;
  • Claire Elk, Bluewater Elementary: Using Computers and Robots to Enhance STEM Instruction in the Elementary Classroom;

Picture of Bluewater ES Chelco grant recipients

Pictured above left to right are Bryan Gilbert, CHELCO Manager of Marketing; Grant Recipient Claire Erk, Fifth Grade Teacher; Amy Klugh, Principal; Grant Recipient Lauren Brown, Fifth Grade Teacher; and, Kevin Campbell, CHELCO Marketing/Key Account Representative.

Lauren Brown, a fifth grade teacher at Bluewater Bay Elementary, will use her grant so that students will get a real-world look at STEM applications at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Plant.  They will visit the plant in Alabama on May 27th and will observe more than 250 robots weld and seal car parts using an automated process.  The grant will fund the cost of the trip.

Baker School

  • Fiona Lukas, Baker School: TI-30XA Calculators;
  • Haley Caraway, Baker School: Giving Access to Our Reading Students (GATOR) Grant;
  • Michael Ramirez, Baker School: Drone Team; and,
  • Marion Meggers, Baker School: Morning Show Teleprompter.

Picture of Baker School Chelco grant recipients

Pictured above left to right are Mike Martello, Baker Principal; Grant Recipient Marion Meggers, Digital Media Teacher; Bryan Gilbert, CHELCO Manager of Marketing; Grant Reipient Haley Caraway, Leadership/Reading Teacher; Grant Recipient Fiona Lukas, Math Teacher; Grant Recipient Mike Ramirez, JROTC Instructor; Kevin Campbell,CHELCO Marketing/Key Account Representative; and, Grant Recipient Joe Nunley, JROTC Instructor.

Marion Meggers, media teacher at Baker School was so excited to be selected for the grant.  She was able to purchase a Telemax portable iPad prompter for producing the school’s morning television show and other productions.  It is used daily, and the equipment has improved the quality of the production while saving time.


CHELCO is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative employing more than 140 people and serving 48,000 accounts in Walton, Okaloosa, Holmes and Santa Rosa counties in the panhandle of Florida.  CHELCO's official name is Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, which is named after the river and bay that are prominent features of the area.  CHELCO’s headquarters is in DeFuniak Springs, with area offices in Freeport, Bluewater Bay, Baker, Auburn and South Walton County.

The mission of CHELCO is to safely provide quality services and products at competitive value while adhering to the cooperative principles.  The vision is to continuously promote the quality of life for our members, employees and communities within the scope of CHELCO’s core business.

CHELCO is proud to be a part of the Touchstone Energy network of cooperatives. Touchstone Energy is a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to members large and small. More than 750 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in 46 states are delivering energy and energy solutions to more than 32 million members every day. Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve their members with integrity, accountability, innovation and a longstanding commitment to communities.

About the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF)

The OPSF is a not-for-profit community-based public schools foundation.  It is a partnership between families, schools, community and business.  The Foundation is dedicated to supporting and extending the educational opportunities of all individuals within Okaloosa County.  Since its establishment in 1995, OPSF has funded educational enrichment programs including teacher grants for unique programs, student scholars in the Take Stock in Children Program, community educational initiatives, and student and teacher recognition awards. For more information about Take Stock in Children and the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, visit