Claire Verity didn’t plan to be a teacher. A trained theater professional and designer, she moved to Washington State when her three children were young to be a stay-at-home mom. Then a fellow soccer mom recommended her for a drama club advisor position at Battle Ground High School. She was offered the job and from Day One, was hooked.

She’s been passionately helping young people discover theater ever since.

Claire dedicated herself to building a district theater program by combining students from Battle Ground and Prairie high schools into large cast productions. While building the program, she taught a growing class schedule during the day, rehearsed in the evening and earned her Master’s in Education at night. She grew the program so successfully the district created two full-time positions: a new teacher was hired for Battle Ground and Claire now teaches three levels of Drama, Auditorium Tech and Dance at Prairie High School.

She directs three productions a year and creates additional opportunities for her students to perform in the community. Her students create dinner theatre for a yearly food bank fundraiser and this fall toured a production of 21 Chump Street to churches and middle schools, engaging youth audiences in conversation about peer pressure and difficult choices they face.

In a typical Prairie High School production, you’ll find teachers, community members, parents and alumni volunteering and collaborating, eager to support the program. Her productions have garnered thirty honors from Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theater School Theatre Awards. Many of her students enjoy professional success in theatre, film and television. But more important to Claire, her students connect to school with passion and purpose, hone creative and collaborative skills, build a strong work ethic, develop intuitive thinking and discover and celebrate who they are as young adults.


Our Teacher Feature highlights the outstanding work of those teachers in the southwest Washington region who were nominated for the honor of Teacher of the Year.