Dr. James Elsasser with students in class.


As the Superintendent of Claremont Unified School District, the role encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities. It involves overseeing all district divisions, departments, and operations. The Superintendent ensures that each department, from administration to academics, operates in sync to create an environment conducive to the highest quality of education for every student.

The mission of CUSD is to provide an education that enriches students' lives and prepares them for the future. The Superintendent's duty is to ensure this mission is at the core of all actions and decisions, aligning with The CUSD Commitment and continuously pursuing excellence in all undertakings.

In addition to overseeing district operations, the Superintendent serves as the Secretary to the Board of Education. This critical role ensures smooth communication between the board and the larger school district. It keeps everyone focused on the district's mission, always responsive to the needs of students, staff, and the Claremont community.

At Claremont Unified School District, the commitment is to create an environment where every student can flourish.

Dr. Jim Elsasser's Headshot.


With a career in public education spanning more than 30 years, Dr. James 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.

After a successful eight and one-half years at CUSD, Dr. Elsasser joined the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District as their superintendent on January 1, 2021. In July 2022, Dr. Elsasser returned to Claremont Unified School District – a District that under his leadership pioneered a multitude of strategic initiatives, community partnerships, and professional development activities that positively impacted student learning and earned unprecedented recognition for the District. In 2017, Dr. Elsasser was named Region 15 Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators for his visionary leadership and student-centered work.

Dr. Elsasser’s career includes serving in executive roles with the Anaheim Elementary School District, Los Alamitos Unified School District, and Downey Unified School District. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Azusa Pacific University, his master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific University, and his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California. Dr. Elsasser 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.

Dr. Elsasser is an active member of several professional organizations including the National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT); Suburban School Superintendents (SSS); Association of California School Administrators (ACSA); American Association of School Administrators (AASA); 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 organization.

Dr. Elsasser lives in Anaheim with his wife, Lori. In their free time, they enjoy traveling and spending time with their adult children: Corey and his wife Emma; Brooke; and Nicholas. 


Dr. Jim Elsasser

Superintendent of Schools

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Angela Gearhart

Exec. Secretary to the Superintendent

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Stephanie Wilbur

Administrative Assistant

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