Retired School Teacher, CalSTRS Board Member
Karen Yamamoto was an elementary teacher in the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento for 15 years. During that time, she was appointed by the State Board Education as a member of its Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission in 1999 and later as Chair in 2003. During her term, she was also the Chair of the History-Social Science Subject Matter Committee of the Commission. This appointment led to her being selected to travel to Japan as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, she was appointed by Mayor Christopher Cabaldon to the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission on School Excellence in 2000.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Karen worked for the California State Legislature as a Legislative Assistant to former Assembly Members: Maxine Waters, Floyd Mori, Richard Alatorre and Burt Margolin. She also worked as a Legislative Secretary in the Legislative Unit of the Air Resources Board.
Now retired, Karen is actively involved in community service. She is a founding member of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project and continues to serve on its board. She is an active member of the Florin Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, and proud sponsor of the Asian Community Center Senior Services. Karen continues to teach -- she is a second grade Sunday School teacher at her church, a substitute teacher in her former district and a volunteer art teacher to a class of a former colleague.
Karen holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies; M.A. in Early Childhood Education, CSUS.
Karen and her husband, Gary, live in Sacramento and have two married daughters, Elaine Yamamoto of Gold River and Gina Nishihara of San Jose and are the proud grandparents of Emi and Kai.