South Pasadena Unified School District

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Board of Education

Michele Kipke
Michele Kipke, Ph.D. - Trustee Area 1
Board Member 2022-23
Term Expires 2026
Dr. Michele Kipke is a Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and the Associate Vice President for Strategic Health Alliances in the Office of the Senior Vice President of Health Affairs at the University of Southern California. A long-time resident of South Pasadena, Michele is the proud mother of two children.
Dr. Patricia Martinez-Miller
Patricia Martinez-Miller, Ph.D. - Trustee Area 2
Board Member 2023-24
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.
Karissa Adams - Trustee Area 3
Board President 2023-24
Term Expires 2024
Karissa Adams is a passionate community volunteer and dedicated children's advocate. She has lived in South Pasadena since 2007, having returned to California with her husband to raise their three children in the South Pasadena public school system. Karissa, also a product of public schools, was born and raised in San Diego. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in human physiology from Boston University, and worked in a research laboratory at Harvard Medical School. Karissa has contributed her time and expertise in many different roles - as President of the PTA at Arroyo Vista Elementary and, most recently, as the President of the Council PTA, as well as the Booster Clubs of South Pasadena Middle School and South Pasadena High School, Softball Commissioner for the South Pasadena Little League, and Troop Leader for the Girl Scouts. 
Zahir Robb
Zahir Robb - Trustee Area 4
Board Member 2022-23
Term Expires 2026
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.
Karen Tamis
Karen Tamis - Trustee Area 5
Board Member 2022-23
Term Expires 2026
Karen Tamis is an attorney with her own justice reform policy practice, currently working as a senior analyst for the County of Los Angeles. Karen has lived in South Pasadena since 2017, with her husband and three children - one each in the SPUSD elementary, middle and high schools. An active community volunteer, she has served on the South Pasadena Community Services Commission, the Marengo School Site Council, and the AYSO Executive Board. Before moving to South Pasadena, she served on the Pasadena Education Network Board, Hamilton Elementary School Site Council, and preschool board - and also represented children and families throughout L.A. County in education law.