President’s Message

Nancy Cappelloni, Ed.D., Fall 2015

Dear CKA members,

Welcome to the California Kindergarten Association!  As President of this incredible organization, I personally welcome you as a valued member of CKA!

CKA’s Mission Statement, “ …to foster the development of the whole child by promoting best practices in teaching and learning,” is our beacon. It keeps us focused on what we can do as educators, administrators, and teachers to contribute to what we know is best for young children in their early learning and development. The Mission Statement keeps us committed  to deliver the highest quality educational experiences  possible to our youngest learners.

As President of CKA, my goals include continuing the amazing work we do as an organization by serving educators and young children, and reaching out further to our state legislators so that our voices are heard and accounted for. On a personal note, I strongly advocate for:

  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) being the foundation of young children’s teaching and learning–building on children’s interests, making learning meaningful and relevant, and designing learning experiences that are hands-on, inquiry based, and experiential;
  • Best practices in teaching based on scientifically based research methods;
  • Establishing engaging learning environments and meaningful teacher-student relationships;
  • Understanding that children learn and demonstrate their understanding in many different ways and styles;
  • Embracing and celebrating the diversity of our students and their families; and
  • Creating caring learning communities with a focus on the whole child—including social and emotional development, early literacy, cognitive development, and physical/motor development.

Welcome to CKA!


Dr.  Nancy Cappelloni was elected President of CKA in January 2015 after serving on the Board of Directors for three years. Nancy has been a member of CKA for almost 20 years, joining when she first began teaching kindergarten in 1997.

Nancy taught kindergarten in the Reed Union School district in Tiburon between 1997 and 2011. Before that, Nancy taught preschool and prekindergarten students for several years. Nancy took time out during her teaching career to pursue a doctorate degree in education from the University of San Francisco’s School of Education.  Not only did Nancy receive her Ed.D there in 2010, but she began teaching the Dual Degree students in the Teaching Education Department there, as well, in 2010.

Nancy continues as an adjunct professor at USF and works privately as an Educational Consultant. Nancy works primarily with children ages four through twelve, working closely with their families to enhance their academic success.  Nancy’s area of expertise is in the area of Kindergarten Readiness. For her dissertation study, she designed a survey which was responded to by 653 CKA members regarding their attitudes towards children’s readiness for kindergarten. She published her results and findings in the book, Kindergarten Readiness (Corwin Press, 2013). Nancy began a model Jr. K program (equivalent to private TK), she co-authored The New Elementary Teacher’s Handbook (3rd Ed.) (Corwin Press, 2010) and frequently writes articles for CKA, CAEYC, and MAEYC.

Nancy provides professional development workshops to early educators, administrators, and families on kindergarten readiness, early literacy, and inquiry- based learning.  Nancy presented teacher training for the second year this summer at Kinderstar, an international school in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where past president Debra Weller established a collaborative working relationship. Nancy, Debra, and CKA Board members Judy Crenshaw and Kimberly DeMille trained 100 teachers last year during a one-week training. This year Nancy returned with CKA Board Member Michelle Jones, for another exciting teacher training on movement and math. Nancy also trained teachers and parents at Magic Learning School in Quanzhou, China this past August. She has established an exciting working relationship with this Kindergarten in China and hopes to continue in her work with kindergartens in China.

As CKA Board President, Nancy advocates for our youngest learners, encourages excellence in research-based teaching practices, and hopes to build future  partnerships with teachers and schools not only across California, but throughout the United States and abroad. She recognizes the impact CKA makes as a critically important organization encouraging developmentally appropriate practice and high quality early childhood educational opportunities for ALL children!!

Nancy Cappelloni, Ed.D., Fall 2015 CKA President