South Pasadena Unified School District

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Board of Education

Jon Primuth received his juris doctor degree from UCLA School of Law in 1989 and is currently in private law practice in Pasadena.  An eighteen-year resident of South Pasadena, Jon and his wife, Karin, educated their three children in the South Pasadena schools.  Jon has served the school district in various volunteer organizations such as the PTA, South Pasadena High School Music Boosters and the South Pasadena Educational Foundation.  He has been an active volunteer in the community, serving on leadership boards for the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) and various charitable organizations.
 
 
Jon Primuth
Board President 2017-18
Term Expires 2020
 
 
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. Suzie Abajian
Board Clerk 2017-18
Term Expires 2020
 
 
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. Michele Kipke
Board Member 2017-18
Term Expires 2018
 
 
Julie Giulioni began her term on the Governing Board in 2013, after a lengthy "volunteer career" with South Pasadena schools. She has served in executive board roles (including President) in the PTAs at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and is a Past President of the Board of Trustees of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation. Julie grew up in South Pasadena and moved back so that her two children would benefit from the same high quality education that she enjoyed. A former teacher, professor and university department chair, today Julie is a consultant, speaker and author on a variety of leadership and workplace learning topics.
 
Julie Giulioni
Board Member 2017-18
Term Expires 2018
 
 
Elisabeth Eilers has an MA in Teaching Education from Stanford University and a single subject teaching credential to teach Spanish. She also has an MA in Counseling Education and a Pupil Personnel Credential. Elisabeth worked in the school system as both a teacher and a counselor for 15 years before becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a private practice in Pasadena specializing in family therapy and trauma recovery. Elisabeth is an advocate for public education, believing it is the responsibility of our society to educate our youth for their individual success as well as the well-being of our society at-large.
 
 
Elisabeth Eilers
Board Member 2017-18
Term Expires 2018