Home > 2018 CCAE State Award Winners

Excellence in Teaching

Kerry Principato

Bay Section


Kerry has worked in career training programs for over 11 years, as an instructor, program director, dean and coordinator. She has been the CTE Coordinator at Castro Valley Adult & Career Ed since February, 2013.

Kerry Principato has been a highly effective CTE Program Coordinator, not only in developing new and innovative programs, but also in expansion of current programs, and continual improvement of existing programs to support adults in their transition to higher paying employment and meaningful careers. In collaboration with community partners, Kerry has developed a new Wastewater Treatment Operator program, a Dietary Aide training program primarily designed for adults with special needs, and a Healthcare Administration certificate program. She has expanded the Medical Academy to include more support and refresher classes and additional sections of the Clinical Medical Assistant Program due to her outreach and marketing efforts. She has also been instrumental in hiring numerous CTE instructors each year for both expansion and to enable us to revive classes not offered for many years.

Kerry leads and motivates her staff to continually innovate and improve their program’s curriculum and instructional strategies, based on feedback from students, industry partners and student learning data. The courses are never the same from term to term, but continually improving and adapting to students’ needs. She maintains high standards for herself, her staff and her students, resulting in high completion, certification and placement rates. 

The reputation for program quality under Kerry’s leadership has not only increased student demand, it has resulted in expanded opportunities for real-world training and student externships by community partners who recognize the high standards of the program. Kerry’s superb collaboration skills have greatly increased partnerships with members of the community. She reaches out to critical healthcare partners, procuring an abundance of externship sites for students, regularly obtaining industry input on course curriculum, and recruiting key partners for her first highly successful medical academy job fair. Kerry and her team frequently participate in community healthcare and water career fairs in both our district and in the greater community and presents to our high school’s Health Careers class. Kerry actively participates in our consortium’s CTE Strategy Team meetings, has supported other schools in their development of CTE programs, and has developed three new articulation agreements with Las Positas College.

Kerry is exceptionally supportive of every student that enters our CTE programs. She is gifted in counseling, motivating and encouraging students who are struggling to succeed, and has been the catalyst for countless students who have gone from being at risk of failing or dropping the program, to earning their certificate and becoming successfully employed. Because of her persistence and skill in supporting students, our medical academy maintains a very high completion rate. She has organized ABE math support classes to help students get through challenging math-related curriculum, resulting in increased test scores and higher program completion rates. She expertly resolves student/teacher conflicts that inevitably arise, keeping those conflicts from getting to an administrator level (and very appreciated by the administrator!). Lastly, she works closely with her teaching staff in professional learning community meetings to ensure that they are teaching to all students through Universal Design for Learning strategies, and providing learning accommodations for those students needing additional support.

Kerry is passionate, hard-working and steady in her commitment to our school, her team, and her students. She consistently exhibits and models a centered, focused, positive, open and caring approach to her work. She is very dependable, handles much on her own, and always has the best interest of our students and programs in mind. She is an excellent non-judgmental listener and collaborator, creative in her approach, open to new ideas, and an absolute joy to work with.