CWU News

CWU Education Graduate Attracts Nationwide Recognition

A recent Central Washington University graduate has been attracting a wave of media attention this fall with her peppy, personable virtual teaching videos. 

Mackenzie Adams, a 2018 CWU graduate and Lake Stevens kindergarten teacher, started recording her classroom sessions on Tik Tok to improve her teaching skills. Now, she has officially gone viral. 

One of Adams’ four videos has received more than 11 million views on the popular smartphone app, and the other three have garnered at least one million views. That level of attention quickly led to a mention in the New York Times, an appearance on the NBC morning show, Today, an appearance on the Bravo network, a write-up in the Everett Herald newspaper, and a news feature on KIRO-TV in Seattle.

“I wanted to make sure I looked engaging enough, that I was interacting with them enough, and keeping their attention,” Adams told KIRO. “So I thought, I’ll just prop my phone up, take a quick video, watch it later, and reflect on my teaching.” 

Adams has been teaching kindergarten at Glenwood Elementary School in Lake Stevens for three years. And like most other teachers around the state, the Snohomish County native has been trying to make the most of online-only learning this fall. She said she wanted to make online teaching more fun for her young students, most of whom have never seen the inside of a classroom before.

“I would say I’ve definitely upped the ante for online,” she told KIRO.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Adams’ most popular Tik Tok video had been viewed more than 11.3 million times within the app. Another video had been watched 2.9 million times and two others have more than a million views. Adams has been gaining thousands of followers a day at @kenziiewenz and topped 160,000 earlier this week. 

As for all the media attention: “It’s very unexpected,” she said.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1518.