a woman smiling with a building behind her

      Dr. Suzie Abajian (Photos – @drSuzieAbajian, ColoradoBLvd.net)

      In a letter to the community, SPUSD Boardmember Suzie Abajian announced her resignation due to moving out of the city.

      By News Desk

      Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

      Dear South Pasadena Community,

      It is with great regret that I must submit my resignation from the school board effective Oct 13. My last board meeting will be on October 12th. My family and I will be relocating to another city shortly and I will no longer be eligible to serve on the school board. Supporting the families of South Pasadena has been a great honor, however, this pandemic has demonstrated to all of us how important family is and it has become clear to me that I need to devote more time and attention to my own family at this time.

      When I ran for school board in 2015, I knew that our district needed someone who understood the educational field inside out and someone who had a commitment to closing the opportunity gap for our underserved students while advocating for a more inclusive culture and curriculum in our district. I believe that over the past six years, I have made some important headway in this work through my advocacy for the expansion of the DI programs and my leadership in bringing the 9th grade multicultural literature class to fruition which now has become the 9th grade English Language Arts requirement. I am thrilled that more of our students can see themselves reflected in the curriculum. I have continually pushed for culturally/linguistically responsive, LGBTQ positive and inclusive pedagogy throughout our district and pressed for the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee to ensure that we continue keeping ourselves accountable to these ideals. My hope is that the board will carry on this work and that our district continually strives to become more welcoming, culturally responsive and equitable for all students…

      …When I ran for re-election last year, our district was going through one of the most challenging times in recent memory as we faced the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community and our schools. I considered and weighed the district’s need for an experienced and stable board to get us through the worst of the pandemic as I made the decision to run. This was a difficult decision for me. I was not only a new mother, but I was working full time and we were dealing with a challenging housing situation as CalTrans tenants in the midst of a pandemic. Despite all of this, I still felt that I had a responsibility to our students, teachers and community and I knew running for re-election was the right decision.

      I began my educational career in South Pasadena High School in the late 90’s and I have seen the district and the community go through many changes over the years. Serving on the South Pasadena school board has been among the most meaningful work in my life. My husband Sean and I have truly loved living in South Pasadena for the past decade and connecting with many amazing people. We will miss being part of this close-knit community.

      With gratitude,
      Dr. Suzie Abajian

      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. 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 recently started a new position at Glendale Unified School District. Dr. Abajian 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.

      The SPUSD Board will schedule a special meeting to discuss the next steps in filling the vacancy on the school board.

      [This article has been updated to include a new position at Glendale Unified and steps to fill a Board vacancy. Sept. 30, 2021, 11:20 am.]

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      1. Terry Munoz says:

        Thank you for all your work and your support for the special needs students’ families. We will miss you.

      2. Diane Gaytan Lasell says:

        We’ll miss you Suzie Abajian, all the best to your family.

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