Board Member, Dr. Elizabeth McCauley

Dr. Elizabeth McCauley

Dr. McCauley has been living and teaching on the Navajo Nation for 26 years after earning her Arizona K-8 teaching certificate from Northern Arizona University (NAU), working as a teacher and serving as principal, as assigned. Currently she teaches science at a remote school on the Navajo Nation.

In her previous career as a certified associate wildlife biologist (The Wildlife Society), she worked with the U.S. National Park Service in several western park units as a naturalist and field research biologist on conservation biology projects with her BS degree in Biology and MS degree in Zoology.

As an educator, Dr. McCauley has taught preschool students through graduate students, including pre-service teachers and principals; she is also certified in Principal K-12, SEI, middle grades 5-9, science, and language arts. She has worked as an instructor or adjunct faculty member of Prescott College, Berea College and NAU. She has collaborated with multi-disciplinary teams to write curricula for natural history, cultural history, and research needs in National Park Service units. She serves on an advisory team at Lowell Observatory in the Navajo-Hopi Outreach Education Program.   She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at NAU with distinction; her qualitative research dissertation, “Our Songs Are Alive”: Traditional Diné Leaders and a Pedagogy of Possibility for Diné Education, involved interviews with Diné medicine people regarding their vision to improve education for students across the Navajo Nation and was awarded the Outstanding Educational Leadership Dissertation.


She has received numerous awards in the educational field, including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers several years. She has conducted in–service training locally and invited presentations regionally and nationally in her areas of educational expertise. Recently, she earned her National Board Teacher Certification in early adolescence-science and she is training as a National Board Candidate Support Provider with the AZK12 Center. 

She serves on the Board of Directors of Tynkertopia, Inc., a non-profit organization promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) for teachers, children, and families in northern Arizona.  She remains an active member of the educational Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She has served as team member and lead evaluator for Navajo Nation AdvancED Quality Assurance Review visiting teams since 2004. She earned her certification as a School Improvement Specialist and in 2010, she received an award of National Excellence in Education – Award for Innovative Teacher of the Year, NCA-AdvancED. She continues to serve as a member of the Navajo Nation AdvancED Council, representing teachers. She is currently trained as an Engagement Review Team Member and is now an AdvancED Qualified School Lead Evaluator.