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The first CTE coordinator in her district, Alicia Caddell was integral in the development of CTE facilities, programs and equipment purchases that have transformed CTE in Folsom Cordova USD.
Caddell transformed CTE landscape in her district
May 29, 2023
ACSA Administrators of the Year graphic.
Name: Alicia Caddell Award: Career Technical Education Administrator of the Year Title: Career Technical Education Coordinator, Folsom Cordova Unified School District ACSA highlights: Member since 2016; CTE State Council Representative, Region 3 (2020-present); Legislative Action Committee (2019); Curriculum & Instruction Academy (2018-2019).
As the first Career Technical Education coordinator for Folsom Cordova USD, Alicia Caddell was presented with both opportunities and challenges. In her seven years as a CTE administrator, she has proven that one person’s dedication and efforts can make a lasting positive impact on a district and the students it serves.
Caddell began a career in education at the age of 40 as a substitute teacher. Prior to her position at FCUSD, she taught Business and Technology CTE courses and served as webmaster for Rio Linda High School, having previously served as a vice principal for summer schools and teacher of Business and Computer Applications, among other positions in the Sacramento region.
Caddell’s passion for ensuring every student can thrive in college and career has led to impressive results. During the past seven years, she secured over $16 million in grant funding that supports new computer labs, facilities and state-of-the-art technology for all pathways, including 3D printers, welding equipment and an ambulance simulator. She established the first Dual Enrollment courses for FCUSD and was integral in the development of CTE facilities at Folsom and Cordova high schools, including a new CTE building, renovated classrooms and a new Agricultural Complex. She created a CTE Summer Preceptorship Program hosting 75-80 students and engaging 25-plus business partners, as part of her ongoing work in developing business and education partners within the greater community.
Her initiatives implement the 12 Elements of High Quality CTE, some of which include Industry Certificates, Work-Based Learning, Early College Credits, Career Technical Student Organizations and Advisory Committees. In addition to her commitment to CTE at the high school level, she works with elementary and middle schools on career exploration and STEAM, and created and administers a summer professional development course, “CTE 101,” for CTE teachers, administrators and staff. As a former CTE teacher, she recognizes the value they provide, and negotiated CTE teacher stipends with the district and education association.
“[Caddell’s] work has completely transformed the educational landscape within the Folsom Cordova Unified School District,” wrote Jim Huber, assistant superintendent of Educational Services. “All the attention to detail, educational and professional knowledge and organizational/interpersonal skills makes Alicia the model of a successful Career Technical Education educator.”
Sarah Koligian, superintendent of FCUSD, added, “She is truly a beacon within our ACSA region and continues to lead with passion and ingenuity to foster student access and engagement to prepare students for their futures.”
What’s your favorite book or quote on leadership? “Come from a place of yes!” — Bethenny Frankel
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? “Slow down.”
What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? What is work/life balance? Be grateful for the gifts in your life and love your family and friends!
“Be grateful for the gifts in your life.”
— Alicia Caddell
What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? OHIO (Only Handle It Once), be flexible and create trusting relationships.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? Education is my third career! Started in high school ROP Medical Program and worked in nursing, then business and sales, and at 40 years old at my sister Linda’s direction, I started my career in education as a substitute teacher.
What made you want to become a school administrator? To benefit more students and prepare them for College & Career Readiness.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are?
Teaching others the importance of Career Technical Education and that the programs are for all students!
What are you most proud of accomplishing? Creating high quality CTE Programs of Study, student participation in Career Technical Student Organizations and the new CTE Building at Folsom High School.
How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? Positive support, communication and instruction in the C&I Academy. Serving on the CTE Council has created opportunities to network and keep abreast of the latest developments in Career Technical Education.
How are you prioritizing mental health for yourself, your staff and/or your students? I try to take at least one day off on the weekend and not work. Laughter and prioritizing work in a morning meeting with my administrative assistant helps to reduce the stress load.
2023 CTE Administrator of the Year Alicia Caddell.
2023 CTE Administrator of the Year Alicia Caddell.