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Chester County Woman Devotes Career to Catholic Education

JoAnne McAdams

Dr. JoAnne McAdams to be Honored at the Chester County Hall of Fame

Dr. JoAnne McAdams has been chosen as an honoree at the 8th Annual Chester County Hall of Fame Gala on Thursday November 15, at 6:00 p.m.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized in this manner,” says McAdams. “I have been blessed by the love and support of family, friends, and peers for the small contribution I have made to Catholic education in Chester County.” According to McAdams, “We must continue to educate our youth in their Catholic faith if we want our faith to flourish.”

With experience at all levels of education, McAdams has been a teacher, principal, and professor in Chester County for over 42 years. She attended Holy Cross and St. Timothy elementary schools, as well as St. Hubert High School for Girls. Her teaching journey began when she started volunteering as a reading aide and playground monitor. While continuing her volunteer work, she decided to go back to college. She spent 19 years at Immaculata University studying to obtain her B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, and her Doctorate of Education.

Her professional teaching career began during the 1976-1977 school year, as a substitute teacher at five different Archdiocesan schools. She was then hired as the 5th and 6th grade teacher at Coatesville Area Catholic Elementary where she taught for eight years until she was offered the position of principal at St. Patrick School in Malvern where she served for 23 years. While at St. Patrick, she served on the board of Elementary School Administrators’ Association for several terms. After retiring, she became an adjunct faculty member at Immaculata University where she also serves as coordinator of student observations and chairperson for dissertation candidates.

In addition to her professional dedication to education, McAdams has spent decades volunteering for a variety of positions with various Catholic schools including her alma mater. McAdams is a minister of the Eucharist at her home parish, St. Agnes in West Chester. In 2006, she established a scholarship for students to attend Bishop Shanahan High School.

“JoAnne McAdams is at her core a professional educator,” states Sister M. Carroll Isselmann, IHM, director of Strategic Initiatives at Immaculata and co-chair of the Chester County Advisory Council for Catholic Elementary Education. “Her focus is on the individual learner while always aware of the community impact of education. JoAnne approaches all aspects of the educational process and learning with enthusiasm, passion, and creativity that inspires students and professional colleagues. Devotion to serving the student, the school and the Church with warmth and caring are hallmarks of JoAnne’s commitment to Catholic Education.”

The 8th Annual Chester County Hall of Fame Gala will benefit the Chester County Advisory Council who, in coordination with the Foundation for Catholic Education, support initiatives that will help increase enrollment and provide scholarship money to low income families.

Today’s Immaculata University is a vibrant coeducational community of active and engaged learners. Established in 1920 and guided by the servant leadership tradition of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the University empowers graduates for lifelong success, leadership and service. Immaculata offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs and is home to 23 NCAA athletic teams. The expansive suburban campus is located in renowned Chester County, Pa, 30 miles west of Philadelphia.

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