During the October 12 candidate forum sponsored by the South Pasadena Chinese American Club and the League of Women Voters, Dr. Abajian stated that, “during my second term I am committed to: ensuring the safety and social-emotional wellbeing of our students and staff; making sure that the district continues to provide high quality education on the new online platform; and advocating for a steady funding stream for our schools at the state level.”
Dr. Suzie Abajian has been serving on the South Pasadena School Board for the past five years. Since her election in 2015, she has consistently supported the expansion of academic and extracurricular programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and dual language immersion. She has also taken the lead in pushing for a multicultural literature course at the high school to engage students with culturally and linguistically responsive, LGBTQ positive and inclusive education and has tirelessly advocated for the closing of the opportunity gap for underserved students. During her tenure, the district has added over 40 academic, extracurricular programs and career pathways.
Stacey Petersen, Executive Director of SPEF, stated, “Suzie has done an exceptional job on the SPUSD School Board and her continued leadership is needed. She works well with her colleagues and is up to date on all the current issues and concerns. To change leadership now would be harmful to our District.”
Dr. Suzie Abajian is a lifelong educator who has taught at the K-12, college and graduate levels. She is the only candidate who has taught in South Pasadena schools. She also has a Ph.D. in education from UCLA and has worked as a field supervisor for the UCLA Teacher Education Program, a professor of education at Occidental College and a mathematics professor at LMU. She is currently an administrator at the Orange County Department of Education. She brings an important perspective to the board and understands how things work at the ground level.
With Dr. Abajian’s leadership, the board of education put a parcel tax and a $98 million bond measure on the ballot, which voters approved, enabling the district to expand programming and fund much needed upgrades and building projects in every school. She has also been advocating for the district at the state level, through her elected position on the California School Board Association Delegate Assembly, to push for a more steady funding stream for our schools.
When Dr. Abajian completed her term as School Board President, Dr. Michele Kipke who is the current Board President stated, “We so appreciated your leadership and guidance through the years. You govern from your heart. You have a very strong moral compass and I just want to thank you for everything.”
Our district is currently faced with unprecedented challenges concerning school funding, and COVID-19. Dr. Abajian’s extensive training and experience in the field of education and her successful leadership on the school board for the past five years makes her an ideal candidate for the school board during these challenging times. Throughout the past five years, not only has she tirelessly advocated for our students but she also has forged relationships with local, county and state partners which is not something that is attained overnight but over time and through collaboration.
Dr. Suzie Abajian is endorsed by the 200+ members of the Teachers Association of South Pasadena, the LA County Democratic Party, Congresswoman Judy Chu, National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC – San Gabriel Valley), Planned Parenthood Advocates, and numerous South Pasadena community leaders. You can visit her website at suzieabajian.com for a complete list of endorsements.