The statewide award is the first for a Tracy Unified School District principal, a feat the district announced Monday, March 19.
Domenichelli received the award from the Association of California School Administrators.
In January, she received the Region VII Principal of the Year award, which covered San Joaquin, Amador, Calaveras, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties. That put her in the running for the statewide honor.
“I was very pleased and honored,” Domenichelli said. “It’s an amazing thing to be honored as secondary principal of the year.”
The school year has been a busy one for Domenichelli and Kimball High. The first senior class is nearing graduation, and the school recently completed its Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation application. Officials will find out in May if they were successful.
“We’re very, very busy, but very proud of the staff, families and kids,” Domenichelli said. “I’m passionate about Kimball High, passionate for education.”
Tracy Unified Superintendent James Franco joined Domenichelli on a conference call to give her the news and said he was proud of her accomplishments in the four years she had led Kimball.
“She has put a lot of her heart and soul into getting that school (open),” Franco said. “She’s an outstanding instructional teacher — she put together an outstanding collection of teachers and curriculum. It’s nice to see someone honored for their efforts.”
Domenichelli said she believed the award was partly for her efforts in opening Kimball High, saying it was a challenge to build a brand-new culture at a school, blending new students and staff with those transferring from Tracy and West high schools.
Franco said Domenichelli had Kimball High off to a good start as the school neared its first graduation.
“She has put together innovative programs — there is something for every student to do on that campus,” Franco said. “(There is) a positive environment on the campus, and gives the students leadership opportunities.”
Domenichelli stressed that her accomplishments at the school required a team effort.
“It’s not just me — it’s the Kimball staff, the parents, the students, the district office, and all their support,” she said.
Franco said that, following a Tracy Unified tradition, he would take doughnuts to the school’s faculty to celebrate.
Domenichelli will be honored at an upcoming TUSD board meeting and will travel to San Diego in November to receive her award.