Roseville High School’s Kelly Capell
Placer County’s 2020 High School Teacher of the Year!
Each year, the Placer County Office of Education honors three Teachers of the Year – Elementary School, Middle School and High School – through a process that highlights educational innovation, student learning, a commitment to professional development and empathy for all students to ensure equity in education.
In December, Kelly Capell (RHS) and Alex Wurden (OHS) were selected as the Roseville Joint Union High School District Teachers of the Year and their names and applications were forwarded to the Placer County Office of Education for consideration in the County Teacher of the Year program.
I’m pleased to announce that Roseville High School English Language Arts and AVID teacher Kelly Capell has been selected as the Placer County’s 2020 High School Teacher of the Year. Kelly has been an outstanding classroom teacher, educational leader and athletic coach throughout her 14 year tenure at Roseville High School. In addition to teaching English and AVID, Kelly has coached swimming and water polo, served as a class advisor and co-chaired the AVID department. Her work with the AVID Institute has been instrumental in maintaining Roseville High School’s designation as an AVID National Demonstration School. Above all, Kelly is a caring, engaging, and innovative teacher who builds positive relationships and develops a passion for learning within her students.
Kelly was pleasantly surprised by Placer County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica and RJUHSD Interim Superintendent Jess Borjon when they arrived unexpectedly during the recording of a virtual version of the annual Academic Merit Awards Senior Celebration Ceremony. Although the school was closed and Kelly’s students were at home, she was still able to be recognized by several of her colleagues, including the AVID team and RHS Principal Dr. Nicholas Richter. We were even able to sneak in her parents and brother, RHS teacher Paul Stewart.
Here is a copy of the letter or recommendation submitted to the Placer County Office of Education, which was written by her friend and colleague Anna Marie Clark:
Kelly Capell is a dynamic teacher who has the flexibility and expertise to work with a broad range of students. She is both an English and an AVID teacher who works tirelessly in the interest of students.
As an English teacher, Kelly collaborates within her department and her Professional Learning Team to bring engaging and rigorous learning to her students. She is always willing to update a lesson or try something new. She is a certified Google instructor and not only does she engage students in content through the use of technology but Kelly also shares her expertise and learning with her colleagues.
In addition, Kelly teaches Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and she co-coordinates this program as well. Her duties include data analysis, annual program evaluation, student recruitment and scholarship selection committee chair to name a few. Coordinating this program is no small task as Roseville High School is an AVID National Demonstration Site and must meet a multitude of data markers and pass a variety of assessments by AVID Center in order to maintain national status. Kelly continues to hold AVID teachers and students to rigorous standards and Roseville High continues to enjoy national recognition.
Kelly is also a national staff developer for AVID, sharing best practices in English Language Arts with teachers all over the country. She was recently honored by being selected as the teacher speaker at the AVID Sacramento Summer Institute, addressing and inspiring over 2000 educators.
Kelly’s contributions to Roseville High School extend beyond the classroom. She has been a Home Hospital teacher, administering to and supporting students who are on temporary medical leave from the classroom. In this role, Kelly was the liaison between the student and all of his or her teachers, providing academic support to help the student stay current with schoolwork.
Kelly has further served students over the years as an Advisor for various student clubs and she was a Class Advisor. This last role includes a 4-year commitment to supporting student leaders in planning Homecoming floats, Junior Prom, Senior Ball, and fundraising to name a few. In this capacity, Kelly instituted what has become a new practice on our campus with honoring students. She coordinated a Senior Messages program whereby all staff can write a line or two of appreciation or note a favorite memory to a graduating senior. The messages are printed out and given to students the day before they graduate. Kelly is especially diligent in ensuring that no student is left out.
This list of accomplishments is stellar; but it pales in comparison to the relationships Kelly builds with students. Her ability to connect, support, empathize, and understand students is extraordinary. She does not shy away from managing uncomfortable situations that arise in the classroom dealing with race and students’ identities. For example, in her literature class, students were grouped to present on various poems. One student, unbeknownst to his group mates, added the sound effect of a cracking whip to the cover slide. When it was presented, one student, a young woman of color, was impacted by the sound effect and needed to step outside. Instead of minimizing this event, Kelly addressed it head-on, working with and checking in with the impacted student over several days and addressing it with the class as an opportunity to learn about issues of race.
In short, Kelly Capell is Teacher of the Year on our campus and in our district because of her passion for kids, her passion for teaching, and her desire to share her expertise with her colleagues and colleagues around the country to improve education in our state and in our nation.
Please join me in congratulating Placer County’s 2020 High School Teacher of the Year Ms. Kelly Capell.
Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources