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President Stephen Minnis and Dean Kimberly Shankman present the Distinguished Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Christi Adams.

Adams Named 2024 Educator of the Year

Atchison, Kan. (April 24, 2024) – Benedictine College has announced that its 2024 Distinguished Educator of the Year is Dr. Christi Adams, Associate Professor and Chair of Benedictine’s Education Department. The award, which is the highest honor a faculty member at the college can receive, has been given for more than 30 years. Benedictine College students, faculty and staff make nominations for the distinction. Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis and Dean Kimberly Shankman presented the award (pictured).

“It’s a humbling honor to be named Educator of the Year. I found my purpose and vocation as an educator here at Benedictine College as a student, and for the past ten years, I have been blessed to train educators and school leaders in a community of faith and scholarship and thus contribute to the Benedictine College vision of transforming culture in America,” Adams said. “There is no better community in which to work, and no better group of students to serve each day.”

Adams graduated from Benedictine College in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Emporia State University and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Kansas.

Before coming to Benedictine 10 years ago, she worked in the Leavenworth, Kansas, school district as a first-grade teacher, K-8 virtual education teacher, and virtual education administrator.

“I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher since I was four years old and now, as I complete my twentieth year as an educator, I am deeply grateful for the ability to work with future teachers and school leaders who are dedicated to this beautiful profession of sacrifice, responsibility and joyful service,” she said.

“We are all the beneficiaries of education and the caring educators who have poured truth and love into our lives, and it’s a great blessing to be called to do this work at a faith-filled institution like Benedictine College. I have the privilege of teaching future teachers and leaders who will go forth and change the world by their love and sacrifice, and it’s an amazing gift to be a steward of this mission.”

Although nominations are anonymous, one faculty member said in the submission, “Dr. Adams is a fair and effective teacher who dedicates time and energy to be an example in the Education Department to upcoming teachers. She sets high expectations for herself and the students. In addition to being an excellent educator in the classroom, she is also a role model of what it means to be a high achieving working professional dedicated to family and is unafraid to seek God in every aspect.”

A student commented, “Dr. Adams displays true faith and love for Christ, Benedictine and students. She is never afraid to answer any questions we have and exemplifies community in the classroom.”

Another said, “Dr. Adams is a kind and wonderful person who is extremely qualified and does the job incredibly well with thoroughness and precision. She is also kind, real, and has a loving attitude to all she encounters.”

Adams lives with her husband, Bryan (a fellow Raven), and four children in Atchison, Kansas. In her free time, she enjoys family time, reading, cooking, coffee and porch-sitting.


Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.