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Dr. James Elsasser

Superintendent of Schools

Jim Elsasser, Ed.D.Under the leadership of James Elsasser, Ed.D., the Superintendent's Office oversees all District divisions,  departments, and operations.


Dr. James Elsasser has been the Superintendent of Schools of Claremont Unified School District since July 1, 2012. With a career in public education spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Elsasser remains committed to excellence in education, and is passionate about preparing students with myriad opportunities to thrive now and in the future through rigorous instruction, the integration of technology, and cultivating the development of the whole child.

Prior to joining CUSD, Dr. Elsasser served as assistant superintendent of human resources for Anaheim City School District, and director of classified personnel and special projects in Los Alamitos Unified School District. He was principal of Oak Middle School in Los Alamitos Unified School District, and assistant principal of East Middle School in Downey Unified School District. He began his career as a music teacher at East Middle School in Downey Unified School District.

Dr. Elsasser earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Azusa Pacific University, a master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific University, and his doctorate in educational leadership from USC. He has a strong background in human resources with extensive experience in employee relations, contract negotiations, and the creation and implementation of a comprehensive professional development program for teachers, classified staff, and management.

Among his accomplishments, Dr. Elsasser was named Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Region XV. Under his leadership, CUSD has been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions, which include:

  • California Distinguished Schools 
  • Gold Ribbon School
  • California Model Continuation High School
  • Apple Distinguished Schools
  • California Green Ribbon School District
  • Golden Bell Awards
  • College Board’s AP District Honor Roll
  • PBIS Gold and Silver
  • LA County Top Performing School by USC Rossier School of Education
  • Best High Schools in California by US News and World Report

The visual and performing arts program continues to be one of Dr. Elsasser’s greatest passions. Through his commitment to the arts and partnership with the Claremont Educational Foundation, CUSD offers a comprehensive K-12 music and art program. As a result, the CUSD visual and performing arts program has received numerous national, state, and local awards and recognition.

Dr. Elsasser is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Education Research Development Institute (ERDI); National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT); Suburban School Superintendents (SSS); Association of California School Administrators (ACSA); the Dean’s Superintendents’ Advisory Group for the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, and a member of the Southern California Superintendents group. Locally, Dr. Elsasser is also extremely engaged in the Claremont community. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Claremont and also serves on the Executive Board Committee for the Claremont Chamber of Commerce. His personal commitment to the community has created a deep level of trust with stakeholders and contributed to the passage and implementation of Measure G, a $58 million General Obligation facilities bond.

Dr. Elsasser resides in Anaheim Hills with his wife of 27 years, Lori, and their three children, Corey, Brooke, and Nicholas.

Superintendent's Message

2020-2021 School Year

Summer 2020

Archived Messages


Contact the Superintendent's Office

James Elsasser, Ed.D.


Office Support

Eva Barriga

Executive Secretary to the Superintendent



Caitlyn Olesniewicz, Administrative Secretary



Phone: (909) 398-0609 x.70102   |   Fax: (909) 398-0690


Business Hours

Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.