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 Getting to Know SDCOE: Joe Frescatore Dishes up Care

In a world of fast food, packaged meals, and meal replacement drinks, sometimes you just need to stop and roast a chicken.

Joe Frescatore, principal-in-residence in Learning and Leadership Services, grew up in an Italian family kitchen. Celebrating or mourning, food was a main ingredient, the kitchen doubled as the living room, and home-cooked meals were the norm.

When Frescatore was clearing his administrative credential about eight years ago, one homework assignment was to start a blog.

“Does it have to be on an education topic?” he asked.

While teaching elementary school was a passion for Frescatore, cooking was a part of his DNA. And so he started the Cooking with Joe Frescatore blog.

Hundreds of recipes and more than 400 followers later, Frescatore continues to share his heritage, with joy, and encouragement to other home chefs. As a teacher and school principal in San Diego Unified, Frescatore would bring a variety of baked goods. Now, he brings a tray of the latest delicacy to his monthly District and School Improvement unit meetings.

Frescatore shares his care for others through more than food with his work as a coach at SDCOE. Frescatore meets with administrators throughout San Diego County and provides support for what can be a demanding and sometimes isolating job.

“Coaching is a lot of listening, asking questions that will help them think through their current state,” he explained.

In other words: Food for the soul.

Whether it’s a plate of delicious orange and cranberry scones or a shoulder to lean on, Frescatore is dishing up care for others.

“I loved my job as a school principal, which is why I love my job now. I get to focus on what I loved about being a school principal and every day I get to work with principals around the county and focus on teaching and learning,” he said.