ACTE Announces Georgia Associate Professor as National Award Finalist


October 14, 2023

Contact: Dominique Frascoia


ACTE Announces Georgia Associate Professor as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Elaine Adams, Associate Professor – Workforce Education, Program Coordinator – New Teacher Institute, Director at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, as the 2023 ACTE Region II Teacher Educator of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) educators at the middle/secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

Career and Technical Education transformed Elaine Adams’ life. In 1985, Adams was working as a sales manager and training sponsor for a group of vocational students. She began to wonder about the possibility of becoming a teacher. At a time when there was no Internet and research was much further than a click away, she began her investigation. After a few months, Elaine discovered Virginia Tech had a certification program for vocational teachers. She phoned and made an appointment with Dr. Richard Lynch. Elaine entered his office with questions and left with an application for graduate school. She started classes the following week. Immediately, she was hooked – She loved everything about vocational education: the mission, goals, history, opportunities, instructional strategies, student organizations, and the passion that exuded from everyone she met. For the first time in her life, Elaine felt like she was in her perfect place. After completing her masters and teaching certification, she became the Merchandise Management Program Coordinator at Chowan College she was there from 1986-1990. In 1990, Virginia Tech recruited Elaine to return for her doctorate degree – something she had never considered.

During the next two years, Adams completed her doctoral courses and worked for the National Center for Research in Vocational Education. After finishing her coursework, from 1992-1996, Elaine taught Marketing Education at E. C. Glass High School and was an adjunct instructor at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She defended her dissertation on April 19, 1996. The next week, the University of Georgia offered her a position as a faculty teacher educator in the Department of Workforce Education (CTE), in the College of Education. Since that time, Elaine has been preparing Career and Technical Educators. In summer 2015, she became Program Coordinator for Workforce Education and in spring of 2018, Elaine became the Director of UGA’s CTE New Teacher Institute. Since 1996, Adams has served as academic advisor/professor to 406 documented CTE teachers. Elaine has the joy every day of helping to prepare the next generation of Career and Technical Education teachers.

Adams is one of five finalists for the 2024 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, an award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on November 29, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, The Army, and Stratasys. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.


About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.