Raised in a family of educators, Dr. Elizabeth S. Buchanan took a trip to Canada at 16 years old that inspired her teach French because the language excited her. Since 1998, she has expressed her passion as an English as a second language (ESL) teacher at Tabernacle Elementary School in Asheboro, North Carolina. Prior to this role, she began her teaching career with Charleston County Schools in South Carolina in 1962, remaining within the district for six years. She then transferred to Wake County Schools in Raleigh, Virginia, from 1968 to 1972 and Fairfax County Schools in Reston, Virginia, from 1978 to 1998 before accepting a job instructing at Randolph Community College in Asheboro from 1999 to 2006. During this time, Dr. Buchanan was a bilingual interpreter at Randolph Hospital, and later served as program director of the ESL department with Rutherford County Schools from 2006 to 2011.
One highlight that stood out in Dr. Buchanan’s career was when she worked at Southlake High School and created Friendship International, an open, all-inclusive club for immigrant students or anyone interested. During the first year of the club’s existence, she gave a presentation to an absent audience. However, the club’s second year saw a major turning point, and the turnout was so large that she gave four presentations in one day. Dr. Buchanan still teaches English to French children in France and invites them to her home in the United States, pro bono, to expand their knowledge of English.
Prior to the start of her career, Dr. Buchanan pursued a formal education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1962. She then matriculated at the University of South Carolina, where she received a Master of Arts in French in 1973. She went on to obtain a PhD in applied linguistics from Georgetown University in Washington in 1984 and a Master of Education in administration and supervision from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1990. In addition to these academic honors, Dr. Buchanan is a certified teacher, as well as in administration and supervision.
Active in her local community, Dr. Buchanan has been the secretary-treasurer of the Randolph Historical Society in Asheboro since 1998. In conjunction with this role, she has served on the Asheboro Undergraduate Admissions Board since 1999 and as treasurer of the Gamecock Alumni Club of Triad in High Point, North Carolina, since 2000. A prolific writer, Dr. Buchanan has authored one play, “Death of an American Dream,” in 1996 as well as contributed numerous poems.
To keep updated on new events in her field, Dr. Buchanan remains involved with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the North Carolina Association for Principals and Assistant Principals. In recognition of her efforts, she has been awarded Fulbright scholarships on three separate occasions: in Argentina in 1986, Mexico in 1992, and Scotland in 2003. Additionally, she received the Golden Eagle Award from Fairfax County Schools in 1996 and two Distinguished Educator Awards from Randolph County Schools in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Today, Dr. Buchanan is the proud mother of one wonderful daughter, Amy Louise, and has been known to enjoy pottery, quilting, travel, and theater in her spare time.