South Pasadena Unified School District

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Board of Education

 
 
Dr. Ruby Kalra
Board President 2020-21
Term Expires 2022
 
Ruby Kalra, M.D., is a pediatrician specializing in the treatment of childhood cancers and blood disorders. A South Pasadena resident since 2002, Ruby has also served South Pasadena schools in leadership roles on PTA executive boards at all levels, and as president of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation. Ruby's three boys have each attended South Pasadena school since kindergarten, with the two oldest graduating from SPHS in 2016 and 2018, and the youngest in the high school's Class of 2022. Ruby is a lifelong child advocate whose passion is student wellness and success.
 
 
Zahir Robb
Board Clerk 2020-21
Term Expires 2022
 
Zahir Robb is a career educator in K-12 settings. As a lifelong resident of South Pasadena, he graduated from South Pasadena schools, and went on to earn an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Throughout his career, Zahir has been a classroom teacher, College Counselor, Assistant Principal, and Head of School, and currently serves as part of a Leadership Team for a school in Santa Monica. For the past decade, he has served on accreditation teams for the Western Association of School and Colleges. In his personal life, Zahir has played an active role in community organizations including D.U.D.E.S. (Dads Uniting Dads in Education and Service), AYSO, and the YMCA, and has served as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of South Pasadena. Zahir has three children and a niece and nephew enrolled in South Pasadena schools, and is from a family of educators which includes his wife and parents.
 
 
 
Dr. Suzie Abajian
Board Member 2020-21
Term Expires 2024
 
Dr. Suzie Abajian began her career in education in 1999, as a Mathematics teacher at SPHS after graduating from Occidental College with a B.A. in Mathematics and a M.A. in Mathematics Education. Following her career as a K-12 teacher, Dr. Abajian received her Ph.D. in Education form UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Over the past fifteen years she has served as a field supervisor for the Teacher Education Program at UCLA, an educational researcher at UCLA, a Mathematics professor at Loyola Marymount University and an Education professor at Occidental College. She is currently a district administrator for the Orange County Department of Education. As Dr. Abajian has made South Pasadena her home, she has served the community through her volunteer work on executive boards of local non-profits, including Women Involved in South Pasadena Political Action (WISPPA) and Vecinos de South Pasadena. In 2018, she was named Congressional Woman of the Year for the City of South Pasadena by Congresswoman Judy Chu.
 
 
Dr. Michele Kipke
Board Member 2020-21
Term Expires 2022
 
Dr. Michele Kipke has served on the Governing Board since 2008. She was the Board President in 2010-2011 and 2014-2015, and the District Liaison to the City of South Pasadena's Youth Commission in 2006. From 2006-2008, she served on the Board of Trustees of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation. Since 2004, she has been a Court-Appointed Special Advocate and an educational guardian for children under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Family Services. Michele is a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventative Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, and Vice-Chair of Research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. A longtime resident of South Pasadena, Michele is the proud mother of two children.
 
 
Dr. Patricia Martinez-Miller
Dr. Patricia Martinez-Miller
Board Member 2020-21
Term Expires 2024
 
Dr. Patricia Martinez-Miller first served on the Governing Board from 1989 to 2001, returning in 2020. Her professional career includes more than two decades as a teacher and principal in Los Angeles. Concurrently she served as Adjunct Professor of Education at California State University-Los Angeles, and other area universities, preparing teachers and administrators for work in local schools. In 1993, she was named Director of Faculty for the School Management Program of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Services. For 20-plus years, the program supported schools and districts in California and several other states from Connecticut to Hawaii in improving learning for all students. Patricia is pleased to be a part of several local and national boards and advisory groups, including Let's Talk Learning Diversity with a base here in South Pasadena but serving students and families internationally. A resident of South Pasadena since 1979, Patricia is the mother of two former SPUSD students and grandmother of three current SPUSD students.