Home > 2018 CCAE State Award Winners

George C. Mann Distinguished Service Award

Dominic "Dom" Gagliardi

Southern Section

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Dominic (Dom) Gagliardi has worked in the educational field for nearly four decades before his retirement in July 2017. He taught ABE, ASE, and ESL in the Grossmont district, some of which was in a correctional setting. He served as assistant principal in the Escondido district from 1999-2003 before becoming principal in 2003 and steadfastly leading Escondido Adult School until he stepped down in 2017.

In addition to working at the teaching and administrative levels of adult education for 38 years, Mr. Gagliardi served as an officer at the local and state levels of CCAE, including as president. He was a past president of COABE and was named administrator of the year in 2015. Dom was also the administrator of the CTE program for Escondido Unified HS District, was heavily involved in the local consortium, and has spearheaded the cause of adult education at the grassroots and national level as a member of ACSA and CALPRO for years.

Dom was integral in Escondido Adult School acquiring its own facility unique from already held district site properties. Securing a "home" for our school may go down as his crowning achievement, but there are many to claim to be certain. Above, multiple awards and accomplishments with respect to Dom's many years of service and leadership through CCAE and other adult education councils such as COABE were listed, but another core recognition that illustrates his impact on our local section came in the last three years when Southern Section created an annual award of recognition in his honor. The "Dominic Gagliardi" award recognizes an exemplary member of the adult education community who has consistently demonstrated strong support, belief, and vision for adult education in our Southern California section and beyond. This award is given out annually at our section conference, but Southern Section would also like Mr. Gagliardi to be recognized for his many years of unwavering service and unique vision at the State level as well.

Mr. Gagliardi served as a key member and leader of the Education to Career Network of North County, our local consortium. He also championed CTE courses for adult education throughout the district and was at the vanguard of CTE implementation through AEBG. Additionally, his uniquely calm and steadfast leadership over recent years allowed Escondido Adult School to survive significant fiscal challenges due to budget cutbacks. Further, Dom oversaw the first schoolwide six-year WASC accreditation at Escondido Adult School and has given back by chairing various visiting committees for other adult schools. National and statewide recognition on multiple occasions have reflected these contributions. Many schools, principals, and district administrators continue to look to him for advice and guidance, especially in matters pertaining to AEBG, data collection, and CTE programming.

Dom has a thoughtful and considerate leadership style with a vision for the future. This was evident at his retirement party in June 2017. When asked his most memorable accomplishment, he mentioned two students who had literally grown up during his tenure and whom he had taken under his wing. He had helped them choose CTE programs that they had gone on to excel in and eventually turn into respective careers. Dom never lost sight of the individual impact his position could have on others. Moreover, he was always looking for ways to improve our school, be it programmatic, establishing MOU's within the community, or partnering with the district on various CTE endeavors. This seemingly magic touch and ability to unite people around his mission was noticed by the head of the WASC visiting committee in early 2016. She marveled at all he had undertaken, the multiple plates he seemed to constantly be spinning, and his track record for getting things done while also achieving buy in from the stakeholders involved. She coined this, "The Dom Effect," and to those who have witnessed it over the years there could not be a better name to summarize all he has done.