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Kristen Nelson

Kristen Nelson is an elementary school principal for the Capistrano Unified School District in California. She also serves as a college professor, leadership teacher, educational consultant, author, and leader of her district’s Spanish dual-language immersion programs.

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Kristen Nelson

Kristen Nelson is an elementary school principal for the Capistrano Unified School District in California. She has been the principal of several elementary schools, as well as the district’s executive director of state and federal programs. Kristen is also a professor at Concordia University Irvine and teaches leadership courses for the Orange County Department of Education.

Kristen has been instrumental in starting and supporting thriving Spanish dual-language immersion programs and launched the district’s fifth language-immersion program at the elementary level. In 2022, the California School Boards Association presented this program with a Golden Bell Award for being an outstanding and innovative program in the state of California. Kristen specializes in working with underrepresented populations in Title I schools.

As an educational consultant, Kristen provides support and assistance to education administration programs throughout the state of California. She is a frequent guest lecturer and assists with overall program design. Kristen is the author of several books, including Starting Strong: Surviving and Thriving as a New Teacher; Teaching in the Cyberage: Linking the Internet and Brain Theory; and Developing Students’ Multiple Intelligences.

Kristen earned a bachelor of science degree in child psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara, where she was a NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball player. Kristen also earned a master’s degree in education from California State University, Fullerton.