Kate Kelly

kate kelly bio head Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly is a featured reporter on KPIX 5. Every week she brought viewers inspiring profiles of Bay Area Jefferson Award winners, recognizing people who do outstanding public service in the community.

For 30 years Kelly has worked at KPIX 5 as an anchor and reporter. She began as a reporter with KPIX in 1984. A few months later Kelly and co-anchor Doug Murphy assumed anchor responsibilities on the weekends. In 1987 Kelly began co-anchoring Eyewitness News weeknights at 11pm with veteran newscaster Dave McElhatton. Her duties expanded to include the 5pm weeknight news after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Ten years later Kate moved to mornings for two years, co-anchoring the early morning newscasts with Ken Bastida. Between 2000 and 2004, Kate returned to weeknights, co-anchoring the 5pm and 4:30 newscasts.

In January of 2005, Kelly debuted the first of the Bay Area Jefferson Awards. A weekly tribute to volunteers doing outstanding public service in the community. Working together with the National Institute for Public Service in Washington D.C., and a local committee of non-profit representatives, KPIX 5 takes nominations and selects local award winners. Kelly’s profiles then air weekly on Eyewitness News at 6pm and on KCBS radio. In 2006 the Bay Area Jefferson Awards received the Northern California Area EMMY® Award for Community Service. Last year KPIX 5 was recognized by the Northern California American Women in Radio and Television with its Good News Award for this outstanding series.

Kelly began her broadcast career as a reporter/photographer/anchor for KRCR-TV in Redding California, after graduating from Stanford University in 1979. Kelly shot, edited and produced stories for the newscasts. In 1980 Kelly went to work as a reporter and anchor at KVUE-TV in Austin TX. , where she stayed three years. During that time the station won the UPI and AP Best Newscast Award in Texas for three years in a row.

Kelly has covered a wide variety of stories since joining CBS, including the Presidential elections, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and Pope John Paul II’s U.S. tour. Kelly even flew with the Blue Angels during a Fleet Week appearance.

In 1984, Kelly was named the outstanding young journalist by the Association of Professional Journalists, her more recent recognitions include the 2002 Radio and Television News Directors Assoc. award for “The Alaskan Refuge; America’s Treasure, America’s Oil”, the 2004 California Teacher’s Association’s John Swett Award for Media Excellence for “Schools in Crisis”, the 2005 Good News Award from the NorCal Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) for the Jefferson Awards.

In October of 2005, Kelly was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) NorCal Chapter, for having made a significant contribution to Northern California Television over 25 years.

Kelly, a Bay Area native, was born and raised in Marin County. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

E-mail Kate

To schedule an appearance for KPIX 5 on-air reporters/anchors, please contact Akilah Monifa, Director of Communications and Public Affairs. Please provide the date, time, location of the event, number of attendees expected, and name of sponsoring organization.

Carol Ayers drums with her taiko group in San Francisco. (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winner Keeps Seniors Drumming Along

Walk past the senior annex of the San Francisco Stonestown YMCA and chances are good you’ll hear drumming. But it’s no garage band – it’s this week’s Jefferson Award winner, working with her fellow musicians on a centuries-old art form.


Richard Kauffman leads a class of volunteers in Beaconsfield Canyon. (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winner Nurtures Nature To Restore Habitats

In the heart of the Montclair District in Oakland, a little slice of nature is being restored. It’s a project that probably will never be finished, but thanks to this week’s Jefferson Award winner, Beaconsfield Canyon is already coming back to life.


Karl Debro chats with his former student Robert Marrujo at Contra Costa College. (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winner Steers Students To College

For almost 30 years, this week’s Jefferson Award winner has been teaching high school students in the East Bay, and says in all that time he has never met a “stupid student.” So when many of his students weren’t going on to college, he did something about it.


Dave and Sheila Rowntree at a recent meeting of Troop 1994. (CBS)

True Scouting Troop Embraces Special Needs Boys

All Boy Scouts recite an oath saying, “On my honor I will do my best.” It’s a promise this week’s Jefferson Award winners have been fulfilling for more than two decades for boys who are often excluded by their peers.


Dan McClosky (left) distributes fliers for his holiday food drive. (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winner Rallies Congregations To Support Food Banks

This week’s Jefferson Award winner always enjoyed Thanksgiving with his family even when there wasn’t a lot to go around. So when he learned there wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving for many of his neighbors, he did something about it.


Bettina Mok (center) helps SCA students practice setting up tents at Lake Temescal in Oakland. (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winner Inspires Students To Connect With The Environment

As a young woman growing up in Oakland, this week’s Jefferson Award winner found purpose in her family hiking and camping trips. Today, she is working to build the next generation of conservation leaders through a unique program that introduces young adults to the world outdoors.


Dr. Diana Sylvestre leads the education group at the OASIS clinic in Oakland (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winner Diagnoses Hope In The Midst Of An Epidemic

Hepatitis C is the most common bloodborne infection in the country. In fact, nearly two out of every 100 people have been exposed. This week’s Jefferson Award winner started a clinic in Oakland to help those infected with this liver damaging virus — a unique place where patients are not only changing their lives, but also a community.


Tim Jahnigen and Lisa Tarver (CBS)

No-Puncture Ball Ignites Power of Play Around the World

The idea started with a news story on refugee children in Darfur: children finding a way to play soccer even in war-torn areas. That’s when this week’s Jefferson Award winners set out to create a ball that wouldn’t let these kids down in the harshest of conditions.


Jefferson Award winners Tim Harper (center) with Peanut Louie Harper (right). (CBS)

Jefferson Award Winners Coach Kids To Build Future Success

Thanks to modern culture, a lot of kids measure success by money, power, and status – at any cost. But this week’s Jefferson Award winners are coaching a different message at schools around California and their students are thriving.


(CBS) Olenka Villarreal (left) with her daughters in Palo Alto.

Jefferson Award Winner Creates A Playground To Include Kids Of All Abilities

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, most children’s playgrounds today are wheelchair accessible. But for many kids with special needs, that doesn’t make it a level playing field. This week’s Jefferson Award goes to a Peninsula mother who has spent the last 6 years working to create a magical space for everyone in her community to enjoy.



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