top of page

Our Team's Record of Success



Our founders brought together a growing coalition of parents, educators, businesses, and nonprofits. They share a vision for diverse, inclusive, and comprehensive schools that promote student excellence by changing the systems that perpetuate underperformance.



The Caat is led by educators and charter school leaders with decades of experience in high performing charter schools. They are experts at creating a culture of excellence, developing great teachers, and managing the business of running a high-quality charter school.


Leading Change

Caat's founders are Kern County natives committed to closing the opportunity gap. Families know and trust them. We know that families and educators in our community are hungry for change. We are working with families to give more children access to an education that meets their needs.

1706037304095 2.png

Meet Joanna Kendrick

Co-Founder, Executive Director

Joanna, a Bakersfield native deeply rooted in California's Central Valley, is raising her two daughters in her hometown. As the first in her family to graduate from college, she holds degrees from UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount, and her Ed.D from USC. Joanna has dedicated her career to improving opportunities for underserved students, leading charter schools and educational non-profits for over 14 years. She played a pivotal role in founding The Central Academy of Arts and Technology (Caat), Bakersfield's first independent public charter school. With a commitment to educational excellence and inclusivity, Joanna strives to prepare all Caat students for college, regardless of background and bring school choice to families without access to schools that are prepared to meet their children's needs.


Meet Zaena Araneta

Founding Principal

With sixteen years of diverse educational experience, Zaena is set to become the founding Principal of Central Academy of Arts and Technology. Her journey includes roles such as Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, middle school principal, teacher, and special education teacher. She holds multiple credentials as an elementary teacher, English Learner specialist, special education teacher, and school administrator. As a Bakersfield native, she's committed to student success. Holding degrees from Point Loma University and drawing inspiration from her experiences at renowned institutions like Harvard and Columbia University, she prioritizes teacher and student needs. Under Zaena's leadership, the Central Academy of Arts and Technology is poised for educational excellence, focusing on student growth and success.

bottom of page