Skip to main content

Teacher of the Year

Kara Evans, Teacher on Special Assignment

Kara Evans - CUSD Teacher of the Year 2019
Education Services Department
Hire Date: 2/17/04
Years of Service: 14 
B.A. & M.A., University of La Verne

Introduction from Board Meeting:

As I have told you in the past, each year I have the great privilege of sitting down with the former Teachers of the Year to select this year’s honoree. During what always is a very lively discussion, all components of the candidates work and dedication to the Claremont community are examined. Being an exceptional teacher is not enough… the selected teacher is more. Tonight that committee has once again selected a teacher who is exceptional in their craft, tremendously dedicated to their students and their colleges… but goes beyond that.


In the classroom, this teacher is favorite of students, not because this person is easy, but because this teacher challenged them to grow, to push their learning and develop their skills. Classroom content is always meaningful, relevant and engaging. Assignments are connected, motivating and stretch students. The teacher is genuine, easy to connect with and each and every day in each and every way, caring and an advocate for students. Kids know who is there because they really want to and because they really care and they know who is not. Students agree this teacher is there for them and to ensure they succeed and are cared for and supported. Yes, an exceptional teacher… but wait there’s more.


This teacher is a mentor, collaborator, professional developer and practitioner of the craft who develops colleagues. More so than most staff members, this teachers dedication to developing quality teachers is extraordinary. From the multiple leadership roles she played at her school site, her passion has always been quality teaching. Her ability to not just share model practice, but to guide and develop teachers, often out of their comfort zone, is unique. The hours she continues to put in to work side by side with our teachers and develop their skill cannot be measured.


In 2014, this teacher took on a new role for CUSD as a Teacher on Special Assignment. She has simply thrived in this role… a true fit for her skill and passion. Not only has this role enabled her to reach more CUSD teachers, she has been an integral part of the team to reinvent how instruction is provided to our students. Her efforts to integrate digital content and to use devices as a seamless tool during instruction is one of the primary reasons she was selected. The impact this teacher has had on CUSD teachers, programs and instructional practices is downright fundamental. I know she can look out into the eyes of our students and see her direct impact on their learning environment.


Claremont’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year began her teaching career with Claremont Unified School District 14 years ago as an English teacher at CHS and began as one of our first Teachers on Special Assignment in 2014 with the Educational Services Department focused on supporting instructional technology.


I did not even mention the role she has played within the Claremont Faculty Association starting as a site rep, moving into the executive board and now currently vice-president and Lead Negotiator. She has a passion for her member’s rights and the unique ability to also understand the District operations and fiscal constraints. She is a skilled negotiator, but leaves contention and aggression to be part of other negotiations tables. Her thought and research into every issue and her desire to work toward agreements that benefit her members, without compromising students and other employees is a very important component to the good relationship we have as a District and Association.


I had the great pleasure of teaching her daughter some years ago and it is my pleasure also to work with this outstanding teacher all these years. I will apologize, as I usually do, for the ruse to get her here tonight… she is thinking she is standing in for the Association President in honoring one of her friend… I think she may have even purchase a bouquet that now she can keep.  


It is with great pleasure I present to you, the Board of Education, Dr. Elsasser and the staff and the community, the 2018-2019 Claremont Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year – Kara Evans.

Former Teachers of the Year

2017 - Dave Chamberlain - Claremont High School
2016 - Sandra Nesbit, Condit Elementary School
2015 - Deborah Plumley, Sumner Elementary
2014 - Terri Kegans, El Roble Intermediate School
2013 - Karen Corrette, Chaparral Elementary School
2012 - Krista Elhai, Claremont High School
2011 - Carolyn Spanier, Claremont High School
2010 - Leanna Prokop, Chaparral Elementary School
2009 - Ken Kirkwood, El Roble Intermediate School
2008 - Imetra Joiner, Oakmont Elementary School
2007 - Jenny McGourty-Riggs, El Roble Intermediate School
2006 - Stephanie Salamon, Claremont High School
2005 - Olivia Simpson, Oakmont Elementary School
2004 - Gail Mori, Claremont High School
2003 - Sally Grogg, Sumner Elementary School
2002 - Judi McKee, Vista del Valle Elementary School
2001 - Virginia Ellsworth, Sumner Elementary School
2000 - Jeanne Culbertson, Chaparral Elementary School
1999 - John Sedia, Danbury School
1998 - Jack Harper, Claremont High School
1997 - Joan Felsch,El Roble Intermediate School
1996 - LaRie Carter, Claremont High School
1995 - Heather Moore, Condit Elementary School
1994 - Rosemary Adam, Claremont High School
1993 - Frances Gilfry, Danbury School
1992 - Charlotte Brockway, El Roble Intermediate School
1991 - Gary Iida, Claremont High School
1990 - Dorothy Shamah, Claremont High School
1989 - Bob Walker, Claremont High School
1988 - Debbie McCurdy, Oakmont Elementary School
1987 - Esper Keiser, Claremont High School
1986 - Doreen Stalwick, Vista del Valle Elementary School
1985 - Dawn Ridder, Oakmont Elementary School
1984 - James Hill, Claremont High School
1983 - Lillian Page, Sycamore Elementary School