Dr. Suzie Abajian, who has been serving on the South Pasadena School Board for the past five years, is running for re-election this November. Since joining the South Pasadena School Board in 2015, Dr. Abajian has consistently supported the expansion of academic and extracurricular programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and dual-language immersion in the district.
As the school district is currently faced with unprecedented challenges concerning school funding, navigating the impact of COVID-19 on students and staff, the district has the difficult task of making sure that the instructional programs are continuing to meet the needs of all students and particularly underserved students, special education students and English Language Learners.
“In these uncertain times, the school district needs sure and proven leadership that will put the safety and well-being of students and staff first and ensure that the district continues to offer meaningful educational experiences for all students while attending to their social-emotional needs” stated Dr. Abajian as to the reasons why she is committed to running for a second term.
As a lifelong educator whose experience spans K-12, college, and graduate levels, Dr. Abajian believes that she brings an important perspective to the board. She understands how things work at the ground level and is able to discern the impacts of district policies on the classroom.
Dr. Abajian describes herself as a fierce advocate for all students and particularly students who need additional support. She has tirelessly advocated for the closing of the opportunity gap for underserved students and she has 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 curricula and instruction, which is crucial given the current political context.
During Dr. Abajian’s time on the school board, the board of education was able to 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 in the district.
Dr. Abajian has been endorsed by many South Pasadena community leaders, for a complete list visit www.suzieabajian.com. She is the only candidate endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley. She has also been endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus of San Gabriel Valley.
Dr. Abajian began her career in education in 1999 as a Mathematics teacher at SPHS. Over the twenty-one years of her educational career, she has served as a field supervisor at the UCLA Teacher Education Program, an educational researcher at UCLA, a Mathematics professor at LMU, and an Education Professor at Occidental College. She is currently an administrator at the Orange County Department of Education. She has a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, an M.A. in Teaching Mathematics, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Occidental College.
Over the past decade that 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 WISPPA and Vecinos de South Pasadena. In 2017 Dr. Abajian was honored as the Democrat of the Year for the 41st Assembly District. In 2018 she was named Congressional Woman of the Year by Congresswoman Judy Chu.
In addition to her service on the South Pasadena School Board, Dr. Abajian serves on the Delegate Assembly of the California School Board Association. She also serves on the steering committee of the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition. In 2020 Dr. Abajian was elected to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee for the 41st Assembly District.