Home > Awards > 2016 State Award Winners

Excellence in Teaching Award

Elizabeth McAdams

It is a pleasure to nominate Elizabeth (Liz) McAdams for the Excellence in Teaching Award. For over 18 years, Liz has taught parenting to moms, dads, and grandparents, to both English and Spanish speakers alike at Napa Valley Adult Education. Her warm presence makes her students feel welcome and valued. Her students are attentive and actively participate, showing respect for each other and their teacher. In addition, Liz works in the Community Interest and Older Adults departments where she teaches Spanish Language to a diverse community. She also serves on school and local CCAE chapter committees whenever needed, always with grace and a spirit of service. Liz is the ultimate team player. Her versatility and availability make her a valuable asset to our CCAE chapter, community of teachers and to our students.

Liz has been willing to research new curriculum, including spending time in libraries and bookstores in Mexico to find appropriate materials for her Spanish classes. Recently, she’s taken on the task of creating a nutrition class for her students, figuring out ways to “take the fat out of Mexican cuisine.”

As noted, a consistent volunteer, Liz attends educational meetings and shares her knowledge with others. She’s filled in for sick teachers and attended trainings offered. She is generous with her time and has displayed organizational ability during the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process.

Liz has taught parenting to a wide variety of students: parents, grandparents, English and Spanish speakers. She’s covered issues about infants, toddlers, school age kids and teens. Despite the distractions of students’ children playing in the classroom, she’s held the attention and respect of her group.

Liz presents a warm and confident presence in the classroom, making her students feel welcome and valued. Students are attentive and actively participate, showing respect for each other and the teacher. Parenting students report increases in parenting skills, knowledge and self-confidence, and Spanish language learners take her classes often because they truly learn how to better communicate in a language foreign to them.

Liz’s membership and participation in CCAE has been invaluable. She attends monthly meetings and volunteers to work each year on the CCAE North Coast Chapter Wine Auction. Her assistance on the food and beverage committees and her enthusiasm for the event and the goals of the group are an enormous contribution to the organization. Both Bay Section and State conferences have found Liz in attendance for many years. She learns much from the conference sessions and shares that learning with colleagues.

Liz loves entertaining and is a fabulous hostess. She loves to cook and makes delicious dishes of all kinds to the delight of family and friends. Family is very important to Liz and getting together with family members is a very important part of her life. She’s a proud new grandmother to her adorable grandson Hudson. Liz cares about community members and supports second language learners by volunteering to teach English to residents in low income housing. Liz is curious and passionate about life and loves to travel Europe and Latin America are favorite travel destinations