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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

South Pasadena Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Michele D. Kipke

Michele D. Kipke

5,474 votes (22.34%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure all students reach their full potential.
  • Offer state-of-the-art curriculum and instruction to enable greater achievement for all students.
  • Achieve fiscal strength and sustainability.



Profession:Professor, Scientist, Child Health Specialist
Board Member, South Pasadena Unified School District’s Governing Board — Elected position (2008–current)
Professor of Pediatrics & Preventive Medicine; Vice Chair of Research, USC & Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (1990–2018)


Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University PhD, Health/Experimental Psychology (1989)

Community Activities

Coach, Girls Basketball, YMCA (2005–2008)
VIce President, Strategic Planning, South Pasadena Educational Foundation (2006–2008)
Member, Board of Trustees, Los Angeles Free Clinic (2003–2007)
Court Apointed Special Advocate (CASA), Los Angeles Department of Child & Family Services (2003–2007)


I am the mother of two fantastic kids, Lily who just graduated from the South Pasadena High School and is now attending college in San Francisco and Kai who is a 6th grader at the middle school. I am also a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and am Vice Chair of Research within the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I have committed my career to supporting the healthy development of children and adolescents, particularly those most vulnerable. I am am also fully immersed in the latest research about early child and adolescent development. 

In addition, I am the Co-Director of USC’s $36.6 million Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute, one of 66 such institutes funded by the National Institutes of Health. As Co-Director of the SC CTSI, I also oversee the Community Engagement Program, which seeks to engage our diverse and high-disparity communities in clinical and translational research, including patients in clinical trials. Highly innovative approaches to community engagement are currently being developed and evaluated, including use of promotoras as research ambassadors and patient navigators; a virtual character, called “Zippy”, designed to engage pediatric populations in clinical research; and outreach to Hollywood writers of the Screen Actor’s Guild to including storylines related to clinical trials in popular television programs.

Finally, I have served on the South Pasadena Unified School District’s Governing Board for the past 10 years. I am proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure on the Board. All five schools have been designated a California Distinguished School. We have assembled an outstanding team to lead our schools and our district. We have implemented dual language immersion programs in Spanish and Mandarin, and we have developed academic pathways in computer science, engineering, biomedicine, broadcast journalism and the performing arts. Further, voters have overwhelmingly approved three parcel taxes, generating over $2.3 million annually to help ensure fiscal strength and educational opportunity. While our schools have thrived, property values remain high, outpacing neighboring communities. But there is still more work to be done, which is why I am running for re-election. We have initiated strategies to close our district’s achievement gap but we still have more work to accomplish. Upgrades and expansion of our school facilities are now underway and I want to continue to ensure accountability and transparency. Finally, our district is best served by a successful, experienced, cohesive team of Board members who are dedicated to working as a team to strengthen and support the district. I want to continue to contribute to thatv successful team.  

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • All current City County Members: Michael Cacciotti, Dr. Marina Khubesrian, Robert Joe, Richard Schneider, Diana Mahmud

Organizations (1)

  • National Women’s Political Caucus of Greater Pasadena

Elected Officials (2)

  • All current SPUSD School Board Members: Jonathan Primuth, Suzie Abajian, Elisabeth Eilers, Julie Giulioni
  • All current City Council Members: Michael Cacciotti, Marina Khubesrian, Robert Joe, Richard Schneider, Diana Mahmud

Individuals (1)

  • Hundreds of parents and members within our community

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