Claire Defoe is the art teacher at Lawndale High.
Claire is a woman with long wavy red hair that is tied back with a yellow hair binder. She wears an ankle-length pink dress with yellow trim and shoes. For accessories, she wears a pair of teal hoop earrings and a teal beaded necklace.
Claire Defoe is more in tune with art than anything else. She was rarely seen actually creating any art of her own. The only example on-screen was her making something out of yarn during a teacher's convention in The F Word, but she did delight in nurturing the talents of others. The Daria Diaries shows a guideline for how the class should behave on a field trip to the County Museum of Modern Art, showing she's well aware of what her class is like.
Her guidelines include to "at least look" like they're paying attention, for Kevin Thompson not to shoplift, that no one is to snicker at the nudes or look for dinosaurs ("that's another museum"), and that if they're puzzled by art they can cover this up by saying "how postmodern!"
She also advises "Do jump up and down on the front steps like Rocky. You're only young once. The Daria Database shows some of her art: a macrame plant holder. She plans to start her own mail-order business selling them, at some vague point in the future when she's 'got it together'.
She works as the design consultant for Lawndale High's student-run website (She made batik computer cozies).
Defoe has her personal history fleshed out in both Diaries and Database. From the books, it is revealed that she resented having to choose between "Arts" and "Crafts" and that she makes wind chimes in her spare time (which Anthony DeMartino can't stand hearing and throws in the bin).
It is also revealed that she owns a studio apartment that's been occupied by freeloading ex-college suitemates, who she doesn't have the heart to throw out (a theme that has been explored in some fanfiction stories); as a result, she keeps a sleeping bag in the school staff room so she can stay there and washes with "homemade soap at truck-stop showers."
Ms. Defoe delights in nurturing the talents of others, particularly Jane Lane. Jane appears fond of Defoe as well, helping her with protest signs in Lucky Strike even though she'd just stated she'd tell any teacher asking her help "where to stick it." Claire was dismayed when she thought that Jane was mocking bulimics. When she found out Daria had collaborated on Jane's painting and had intended to send a message, she challenged Daria into explaining and justifying her artistic choices and admitting to the collaboration.
She is generally patient, albeit weary, in the face of students like Brittany Taylor who are quite bad at art.