A conversation with Dr. Charlie E. McAdoo II

Charlie E. McAdoo II, Ed.D., is a distinguished leader in career and technical education (CTE). Dr. McAdoo teaches CTE business education courses at Carl G. Renfroe Middle School in Decatur, Georgia. He also serves as an inclusion, equity, access and diversity (IAED) mentor in ACTE’s IAED Mentorship Program. For Techniques:

Meet Dr. Charlie E. McAdoo II

Please tell me a little bit about yourself. What inspired your interest in CTE?

I am originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, but currently live in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been married to my wife Dr. Billynda Booth McAdoo for 19 years and we have two boys (Charlie III and Billy). They help keep me sane and provide perspective to all of my pursuits. I enjoy reading, coaching, volunteering and watching sports.

My CTE experience started in high school. I graduated from the historic Little Rock Central High School but attended Metropolitan Career and Technical Center half of the instructional day. It was there that I became the program director for the school radio station while seeking industry certification in radio broadcasting. After being awarded the CTE student of the year, I realized that CTE provided opportunity and affirmation for students like me.

Growing up in a family of educators, I always saw examples of work-life balance and educational excellence. My maternal great-great grandfather, W.W. Peyton, was an educator and inventor. He received a U.S. patent in 1906. I have always understood that I stand on the shoulders of giants.

What was your education experience like? What did you study?

After high school, I knew that I wanted to attend a historically black college or university. My search led me to attend Clark Atlanta University where I pursued and obtained a bachelor of science in business administration and marketing. Twelve years later, I attended the University of West Georgia and obtained a master of education in business education. After finishing my master’s program I went to Valdosta State University and earned a doctorate of education in adult and career education.

Each degree equipped me with tools to become a stronger CTE practitioner. Additionally, I have had numerous learning experiences that were instrumental to my success. The Georgia CTAE LEAD Fellowship and guidance from my CTE Director Duane Sprull have been invaluable.

What barriers did you face in pursuit of postsecondary education? How did you overcome those obstacles?

The primary barrier that I faced during my postsecondary journey was the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. And though I couldn’t change this fixed construct, I was able to make the most of those 24 hours by improving my time management skills.  Time and family are two of the most significant considerations in all of my pursuits. Fortunately, during my postsecondary education, I became quite skilled at prioritization.

My family and academic mentors provided great examples of how to persevere during postsecondary education. I overcame these challenges with guidance from mentors like my father, Rev. Dr. C.E. McAdoo, Dr. Sunil Hazari, Dr. Reynoldo Martinez, and colleagues that offered help and assistance.

How has COVID-19 affected CTE program activities in your school?

COVID-19 has greatly affected all education program delivery. Student instruction has shifted to remote formats. And teachers have had to pivot while still creating lessons that meet the needs of all students. The CTE program delivery at Renfroe has remained strong and cohesive with the help of our CTE director. We have maintained our collaboration through the use of technology.  Virtual meetings have replaced face-to-face interactions.

Please briefly discuss your role with ACTE’s IAED Mentorship Program. In what ways do you hope that you will grow in your participation? 

As a current IAED mentor, I hope that my experience and perspective can help other members make a positive impact within the organization. I have participated in local, state, regional and national ACTE events. I would like to continue to learn more about ACTE and become a greater advocate for members with shared experiences.

What advice would you offer mentees of the IAED Mentorship Program?

 I would like for mentees to seek opportunities for leadership and visibility. If they have any questions, they are always welcome to contact me directly.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I believe in the greatness of ACTE. My hope is that that the organization mirrors and meets the needs of the communities that it serves. I truly believe that this is possible, and I am willing to help be the change that I would like to see.


IAED Mentorship Program participants were featured with names and headshots in the February 2021 print issue of Techniques. Regrettably, Dr. Charlie E. McAdoo II’s headshot was omitted. We apologize for the error.