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Michelle Chao
ECE faculty and department chair
(her/she/ella)
Early Childhood Education
working remotely and on campus

Please call me Michelle!

My pronouns are she/her/ella.

I have been teaching at Cabrillo College and in the Early Childhood Education Department since 2001. I started as a bilingual elementary school teacher in Santa Cruz in1997. How time flies!


I grew up in Southern California in a bilingual, Spanish speaking home. I am the daughter of immigrants and identify as Latinx.

I am the proud and busy mother of two children. We identify as a transracial family with American, Latinx and Ethiopian roots. You may see my children's pictures scattered throughout my courses. They are my greatest teachers and I have found that there is always something new to learn as a parent, teacher, and life-long learner.

I attended community college to achieve my academic and professional goals in southern California, then transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz to complete my B.A. in Politics and Psychology. I obtained my Master's degree in Education and teaching credential at San Jose State College while working as a full-time teacher and attending night classes. I personally understand how busy and challenging students' lives can be in terms of balancing the needs of family, work, and school.

I consider myself an anti-bias/anti-racist/ social justice educator and strive to serve and empower all students. Some of my areas of specialization include bilingual education, issues related to social justice, equity and inclusion, anti-bias education, partnering with families, positive guidance and social emotional development. I am also a resource for issues related to adoption and foster care.

I feel privileged to work at Cabrillo College and hope to support you in your academic and professional journey.

Michelle Chao

Please visit the Early Childhood Education website to learn more about the Program and to view our resources.

Office Hours (on Zoom)

Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 11am-12pm