Davis Senior High School  Logo
About DHS Academic Center Councils and Committees Final Exam Schedule Graduation Mission Statement and Schoolwide Learner Outcomes Course Descriptions Parent Information Schedule SolarGuard Special News and Events Summer Office Hours TESTING Tours of Campus Yearbook
Staff Directory Administration Art Career Technical Education Counseling English Library Math Music Physical Education Science Social Science Special Education World Languages
Library Student Resources Subject Resources
Counseling DSHS Student Health & Wellness College Application Information College Night Naviance Career Center Enrollment TRANSCRIPTS
ATHLETICS Athletics Calendar


It is an honor to be asked to write a Letter of Recommendation and to participate in a student’s college application process.   Because your need for a letter coincides with a busy time in the fall, I’d like to start my letters over the summer. 

*If you plan to apply Early Action / Early Decision and you are absolutely sure that you will need a letter from me, I will write yours before September. 

*If you are not 100% positive that you need a letter, check with me when we return to school.  We'll have time...

During the summer,   I will check my work email at least once a week; if you do not hear back from me right away, don’t worry.  I may be traveling.   I’ll get back to you when I can. 

GOOGLE FORMS: I use GoogleForms to organize key details of the letter writing process. If I have already agreed to write you a letter or you would like to request a letter over the summer,  please email me at cpilon@djusd.net and I will send you a link to the form.  Complete it when you have the necessary info.     

  • Be prepared to answer some questions – beginning with “why me?”   That is, what led you to ask me for a letter of recommendation?    Not looking for flattery here…  I tailor my letter to your needs.  This info helps. 
  • Provide me with some details about your experience within my class:  what worked for you?  What was challenging and how did you deal with that?  What made you feel particularly successful?    What did you gain from our time together?  Specific academic skills?  a new “Habit of Mind?”  a life lesson?   How have you applied any lessons or skills you learned while in my class?  Again, this isn’t a sneaky way of fishing for compliments; your responses provide me with another way to bring more details about you into my letter. 


1.  Please request your letter at least 3 weeks before it is due.  If I won’t have time to write you a letter, I will let you know immediately so you can ask someone else.

2.  I do not release copies of letters of recommendations.  Be assured that if I agree to write you a letter, I will write a positive letter that will emphasize your strengths and show you in your best light.If I do not feel I can write a positive letter of rec, I will politely decline.

3.  Check your email regularly.  Most often, I will communicate with you through email.  Sometimes I need to double check a detail, ask about a due date, follow up on whether you still need a letter if I haven’t heard from you for a while.   I will also set up a REMIND  text messaging account specifically for my college letter people. 

4Download a copy of the Letter of Rec info packet  from the Counseling Website locker  http://dshs.djusd.net/counseling (lower left-hand corner of the page). You will be able to download the forms from there. Completing these will help you to gather the information that your teachers and counselors will need and also help you to organize the info that you will provide on your own college app forms.   


Good luck as you begin the process... 

Carin Pilon

Writing Matters

An effective writing assignment does more than ask students to write about what they have read or experienced.  It engages students in a series of cognitive processes, such as reflection, analysis, and synthesis, so that they are required to transform the information for the reading material to complete the writing assignment. 

Because Writing Matters  47



I bring to the classroom a lifelong passion for English and 30+ years of teaching experience, including junior high school, high school, community college, teacher training, presentations at professional conferences and community workshops, individual tutoring, and seminar-style instruction for homeschooling students.  


I have been taught for DJUSD since 2006. After several wonderful years spent teaching 9th grade at Harper JHS teaching 9th grade, I came to Davis High School in 2013.  In addition to teaching 11th and 12th graders,  I coordinate the site-based professional development program at DHS. 


In May 2016, I received the Floyd Fenocchio Memorial Educator of the Year Award -- a honor that both humbles and inspires me. 


FAMILY: My family and I have lived in Davis for 24 years.  My husband teaches 2nd grade in West Sacramento, and we have four children - all DSHS Grads (Classes of 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016). My experience as a parent very much informs my pedagogy as an educator.

Having been DHS Parents for 12 straight years -- and having had a least one teeenager in our familiy (often two, occasionally three!) every year from 2002 until this past June, I understand well what it is to live with this age-group. Adolescence is an adventure!  And for us 'already-adults' who care deeply for our youth, the adventure can be hectic and harrowing, joyful and inspiring as they transition into becoming young adults.  

I am also keenly aware of the pressures that many DHS students face and share the concerns of our community in seeking ways to help our youth navigate these pressures in healthy ways.  



Single-Subject Teaching Credential, English. Bay Area Writing Project /  UC Berkeley.

MA, English.  Stanford University. 

BA, English.  Stanford University



2011 - 2017:  Collaborator and Coordinator for DJUSD's Districtwide 9-10 Writing Assessment


2016:  College Ready Writers Programs Advanced Institute for Teacher Leaders. 

A yearlong collaboration with A3WP Teacher Consultants from districts throughout greater Sacramento area and part of a larger project of the National Writing Project.  Leadership team to focus  on developing,  implementing, and refining units to strengthen student skills with source-based argument.

2016 Advanced Placement Annual Conference (Anaheim)

Attended a full day session on teaching AP Language & Composition -- and several breakout sessions on teaching critical thinking, analysis, and writing. 

2015 (and 2016) National Writing Project College Ready Writers' Program Scoring Conference  (Chicago).  

Intensive training and practice in scoring Source-Based Argument  essays from 41 districts in 11 states. 

2014 Area 3 Writing Project Summer Invitational Institute (UC Davis)

4 weeks of reading, writing, research, discussion, and the development of professional demonstrations on the teaching of writing. 

2013  Advanced Placement Summer Institute  (AP by the Sea, USD)

Intensive 4 day session on teaching AP Language and Composition, a college-level course on critical thinking in reading and writing; emphasis on rhetorical analysis, original argument, and writing from sources 

2012  Globe Education Academy (UC Davis / London)

9 month program in learning and experiencing techniques for actively engaging students in Shakespeare's PLAYS!  Included a 2 week residency at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.  I have continued my involvement with this unique program as part of the GEA Steering Committee.  












Carrie and Andrew.jpg

Need to Contact Me?

The very best way to contact me is by district email: cpilon@djusd.net.   When school is in session, I usually reply to email messages within 48 hours.

If a parent or guardian prefers to be contacted by phone, please send a note with your child.

I am also willing to schedule conferences at a mutually convenient time in which we can meet and discuss individual student progress in greater depth. If you would like to arrange a meeting, please allow at least one full week for me to arrange my schedule to accomodate you.