Having led a successful career of over 35 years as a school teacher, Paula R. Caplinger garnered a laudable reputation as a teacher on behalf of the Sacramento Unified School District. Hired by the district in 1973 as a traveling instrumental music teacher, she later began teaching full time in 1992 and maintained activity in this role until her retirement in 2008. During the course of her tenure, Ms. Caplinger co-coordinated the Pacific Telesis Shared Decision Making Project at Will C. Wood Middle School, was a member of the restructuring committee of the Sacramento City Unified School District and served as a commissioner of the California Teacher Competency Panel.
A talented musician, Ms. Caplinger first played the trumpet for the Sacramento Valley Wind Ensemble between 1986 and 1991. She also played the trumpet and the horn for the American River College Community Band and served in the Musicians Union Local 12, the Sacramento Symphony and the Sacramento Music Circus. Furthermore, Ms. Caplinger played backup in the band with Smokey Robinson and played at the music circus along with such famous stars such as Liberace. She has been playing with the Jabberwocky Good Time Band since 2018.
In high school and college, Ms. Caplinger played softball at a Triple A skill level, playing for the Sacramento Sonics, Payless ShoeSource and the Roseville Flamingos. She played the positions of catcher, first base, outfield and shortstop. She attended California State University, Sacramento, where she achieved a Bachelor of Arts in 1973. While pursuing degrees, she was a member of the Junior College Honor Band. She is also a certified elementary teacher in the State of California. Ms. Caplinger became involved in her profession because she played in the Sacramento Symphony brass demonstration group before she went to college during the 60s. The thrill that the children got when they played made her want to give more to children. She notably received five music scholarships to attend college.
Aligned with several professional organizations relative to education, Ms. Caplinger is a member, assembly representative and delegate of the National Education Association. She has served in a variety of capacities for the California Teachers Association, is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and the Sacramento City Teachers Association. Likewise, she is a member and former policy board member of the Consumer Federation of California. In 1986, the Sacramento City Teachers Association honored Ms. Caplinger with a 1986 Golden Apple Award. A celebrated Marquis listee, she has been included in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
Outside of her professional responsibilities, Ms. Caplinger enjoys such avocations as raising monarch butterflies, playing mahjong, assembling jigsaw puzzles, gardening and patronizing community musical theater. Her sister took a class about monarch butterflies, and how they are endangered and deteriorating for many reasons. She started to save them and raised the eggs, which turned into caterpillars and then into butterflies, and marked them through the Southern Oregon Monarch Society. Three of Ms. Caplinger’s butterflies have been photographed in Santa Cruz, California, over 340 miles away to a wildlife preserve. They also plant milkweed and nectar flowers that will attract butterflies and bees.