Lennox L. McLendon

Lennox L. McLendon

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

adult education in the United States. Beginning in the 1960s, he navigated the adult education terrain in a humble, yet influential manner making a memorable impact in local, regional, state, national, and international venues.

As executive director of the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education and executive director of the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium, McLendon has influenced and shaped U.S. national adult education policy formation by frequently meeting with and educating members of the U.S. Congress. His relentless efforts helped ensure national policies represented the needs of adult learners and supported adult education practitioners. His policy efforts and ability to form solid relationships with key officials led to reauthorizing legislation for adult education and family literacy. His longstanding relationships with members of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO have placed him in a unique position to link U.S. policies with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Among national elected leaders and their staff, McLendon is one of the most respected representatives of the adult education field.

During his nearly 50-year career in adult education, McLendon has served in numerous capacities, from teacher and practitioner to researcher, administrator, and advocate. His resounding success with adult learners as a teacher (ABE, ESL, GED, AHS) resulted in advancement to local director, state staff, state director, national trainer, leader of national adult education organizations, and international consultant.  His work has spanned areas of adult basic education, adult literacy, workplace skills development, international exchange programs, and inquiry-based professional development for teachers of adults.

Supporting the continuing professional development of adult educators has been a consistent theme throughout all of Lennox’s work. His efforts to create Leadership Excellence Academies, a national certification program, has led to the certification of more than 2,100 adult program managers in 26 states. State directors continually report the positive impact on program performance.

McLendon is widely published and has contributed to literature on adult education and program improvement initiatives. As a consummate and well-respected leader, some of his most recent awards include the President’s Award for Lifelong Contributions to Adult Education from the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education, the Exemplary Service Award from the Commission on Adult Basic Education, and the Professional Development Excellence Award from the Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers.