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Mentors & Principals

Mentor Teachers

ECP RD - 760x285 ExCEL Mentors

ExCEL seeks to partner each of its members with an experienced teacher, or mentor, who can guide this novice through the challenges of learning how to teach (and how to be a teacher).

Why are mentors so important to the ExCEL program?

  • Mentors are the on-site support providers for each ExCEL teacher, for whom everything is new: the school, the faculty, the students, and the work of teaching
  • Mentors help answer ExCEL teachers’ questions about the myriad day-to-day details involved in Catholic school teaching, questions like: How are my students supposed to line up for Mass? When should my class be practicing for the Christmas program?  And where’s the coffee machine around here???
  • Mentors provide fellowship and company as ExCEL teachers work their way into the community life of a faculty/ staff
  • Mentors provide emotional support for the ExCEL teacher, particularly in stressful times of the year like the first weeks of school, report card time, parent conferences, etc.
  • And perhaps most importantly, mentors provide ExCEL teachers with essential guidance and support in teaching, especially in the particular areas of growth that are common for novice teachers

How does the mentoring work?

ExCEL Timeline Mentors

Why should an experienced teacher consider serving as a mentor for an ExCEL teacher?

  • Serving as a mentor directly improves the teaching and instruction at the school site, which benefits all members of that school community
  • Serving as a mentor provides the mentor teacher with valuable experience in instructional leadership, which may help her/him discern and/or procure a position in school leadership and administration
  • Mentor teachers contribute to the development of the next generation of Catholic schools, which in turn strengthens Catholic schools for future generations of students
  • Mentor teachers are awarded a small ($500) stipend by Santa Clara University for their work with each ExCEL teacher

 What are the expectations for mentor teachers who work with an ExCEL member?

  • Mentors and ExCEL teachers establish a short list of instructional goals toward which the novice will work throughout the school year
  • Mentors informally check in with their ExCEL teacher once a week to provide advice and support in meeting those goals
  • Mentors formally observe their ExCEL teacher once per trimester to evaluate progress toward those goals
  • At the end of the school year, mentors submit a log of check-ins and observations to ExCEL and are compensated for their work with a small ($500) stipend

If you are interested in serving as a mentor teacher for an ExCEL teacher (at your school site or at a different school), please contact the ExCEL director, John Beltramo, at to set up a time to talk more about this opportunity.

Important Documents for Mentors:


ECP RD - 760x285 ExCEL Principals

ExCEL seeks to partner with principals and schools in the Diocese of San Jose by recruiting, selecting, preparing, and developing enthusiastic novice teachers committed to serving in Catholic schools. 

How does this partnership generally work?

ExCEL Timeline Principals

Why should principals consider partnering with ExCEL?

  • ExCEL prides itself on recruiting a deep pool of talented, faith-filled, justice-oriented, and enthusiastic candidates.
  • Partnering principals have access to interview and select any applicants from this pool, and are under no obligation to hire a candidate until a satisfactory match is found for both principal and applicant.
  • Once an applicant is accepted and becomes a member of ExCEL, she/he is afforded an intensive program of preparation and development centered specifically on learning how to teach in Catholic school settings.
  • ExCEL teachers agree to serve their schools at the introductory salary level for both years that they are in the program.
  • After their second year in ExCEL, teachers will have finished their Master of Arts in Teaching through Santa Clara University, and will have completed the coursework needed to apply for their California teaching credential. However, due to new changes in California law, ExCEL teachers (like all Catholic school teachers in the state) must complete a third year of private school teaching before the Department of Education will consider their credential application.  Thus, ExCEL teachers most often work for their placement schools for at least one year past their graduation from the program. 

What are the essential expectations for principals who partner with ExCEL and hire an ExCEL teacher? 

  • Visit a teacher’s classroom, observe her/his teaching, and provide coaching frequently
  • Conduct two formal and written evaluations per requirements for state credentialing purposes
  • Communicate with the ExCEL director regularly about a teacher’s progress
  • Identify and select an experienced faculty member to serve as a mentor teacher to the ExCEL member

If I’m interested in partnering with ExCEL and potentially hiring an ExCEL teacher, what should I do?

  • Please contact the director of ExCEL, John Beltramo, ( to schedule a meeting to speak individually about the program and ask any questions you might have about it
  • Fill out and submit to the director the ExCEL Teacher Request Form no later than December 15 

Important Documents for Current ExCEL Principals: