About Paulette Chaffee

​When I was a young girl, I moved to Fullerton, CA with my family. My parents bought a small house on Commonwealth Avenue where my father later set up his business. One of my memories from childhood was walking with my friends to Raymond Elementary School. I attended Ladera Vista Junior High and Troy High School where I graduated. During the summers, I worked as a camp counselor at the YWCA summer camp in the local mountains.

After I graduated high school, I attended the University of Redlands. To help with college expenses, I would work as a server at Knott’s Chicken Dinner restaurant during my summer breaks. I received both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Redlands in Communicative Disorders as well as a California Lifetime Teaching Credential. I worked in public schools as a teacher and later as a speech therapist. I have also worked as a speech therapist in clinics and hospitals.

I am a huge believer that all children deserve a quality education. For years I have been actively involved both professionally and as a volunteer with public education. I am a mother of two young men who attended public schools and I have been an active volunteer with the PTSA groups and in the classrooms. I was awarded the Above & Beyond Award from the Fullerton School District for my work with children.

I always put children first. My involvement with Science Olympiad, All the Arts for All the Kids, First Five Orange County, and Legislative Advocacy Groups has given me insight into best practices for quality education. Sound fiscal management is a top priority for quality education. It is vital to ensure that all children benefit from an education system that puts the children’s needs first. Children are our future and educating our children is of the utmost importance.

I also attended law school and was admitted to the California Bar. I continue to have a limited law practice. My husband, Doug Chaffee and I have had a law practice in Fullerton, California for many years. We chose to raise our sons in Fullerton and our eldest is currently an officer in the US Navy and our youngest son is a Data Scientist. As an experienced attorney, I have worked with individuals and small businesses and understand the challenges they face. Having an understanding of legal issues related to education, I have advocated for implementing the best practices in our public schools. I am grateful for my education and the ability to use the combination of my skills as an educator, lawyer and member of nonprofit boards.

Paulette with her husband, Doug Chaffee

Awards, Distinctions and Community Activities

Fullerton Community Involvement

Paulette with the Community

Paulette is an active member of the community. She is currently the Ambassador for Orange County 4th District. In the past, she has worked to save Coyote Hills, Fox Fullerton, Hunt Branch Public Library and the Plummer Auditorium murals. She participates in Love Fullerton Day projects, Arbor Day, Fullerton Clean Up, and Faces of Fullerton. She is a current board member of All the Arts for All the Kids and supports Fullerton’s public schools.

Paulette has earned awards and recognition for her work with the community and children including Woman of the Year in 2017 by North Orange County YWCA, Above and Beyond Award by the Fullerton School District, Woman of Distinction Award by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and the Maple Elementary Shining Star Award for Outstanding Volunteer Work.

Past Women of Distinction Event sponsored by
Assemblywoman, Sharon Quirk-

Current Community Activities

  • California Teachers Assoc. (CTA)
  • California Latino School Board Assoc. (CALSA)
  • California Assoc of Bilingual Education (CABE)
  • California School Board Assoc. (CSBA)
  • Board Member, All the Arts for All the Kids
  • Board Member, OC Children’s Partnership
  • Board Member, Fullerton Sister City Assoc.
  • Member, Fullerton Women’s Club
  • Member, ALPHA (branch of Assistance League)
  • Member, Friends of Jazz
  • Member, Fullerton Museum Center
  • Member, Art Alliance
  • Member, Friends of the Arboretum
  • Member, Friends of the Fullerton Public Library
  • Member, Muckenthaler Cultural Center
  • Member, North OC Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, YWCA of North OC
  • Member, Ladera Vista PTSA
  • Member, Maple School PTSA
  • Member, Fullerton Collaborative
  • Member NGA Fullerton

Paulette working with young children in the classroom

Paulette reading to local children


  • St. Jude Medical Center
  • Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton
  • Fullerton Cares (supporting programs for autism)
  • Commonwealth School
  • YMCA of North OC
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Historic Fox Theater Foundation
  • Fullerton Education Foundation
  • Leon Owens Foundation
  • JOYA Scholars
  • CSU Fullerton Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
  • Tara’s Chance
  • Rotary Clubs Fullerton
  • Fullerton Senior Center
  • Fullerton Public Library

Past Community  Involvement

  • Member, St. Jude Hospice Committee
  • Member, Damas de Caridad
  • Member, Save the Fox Committee
  • Coordinator, Science Olympiad at Ladera Vista Jr. High
  • Member, PTSA in Fullerton Public Schools
  • Member, OC YMCA Board
  • Member, Visiting Nurse Association Community Liaison
  • Fullerton’s Community Development Citizens Committee

Paulette with local veterans at a past veteran’s event