Michele D. Kipke, Ph.D.

Michele Kipke has served on our School Board for nearly ten years. Appointed in 2008, elected in 2009 and then re-elected in 2013, Michele has been committed to our schools since she moved to South Pasadena over 15 years ago.  Prior to serving on the School Board, she served on the South Pasadena Educational Foundation Board as the Vice President of Strategic Planning, and also served an appointment to the city’s Youth Commission   Her work with SPEF and now with the School Board has been informed by engaging with the day to day workings of our schools and in our classrooms: she has been a member of the PTA since moving to South Pasadena eleven years ago, chaired the Science Fair Committee at Marengo Elementary, and served on the District’s Shade Committee.


As a member of the School Board, Michele has continued her passionate advocacy for public education, working hand-in-glove with her colleagues on the school board and in the community to maintain the high quality of South Pasadena schools despite the daunting challenges of the state budget’s collapse after the 2008 economic downturn.  During her time on the Board, the District has thrived:


  • All five schools have been designated a California Distinguished School.

  • We have assembled a team of the best and the brightest to lead our district.

  • We have expanded and carefully selected new leadership for all five schools.

  • We have implemented dual language immersion programs in Spanish and Mandarin. 

  • We now have academic pathways in areas such as computer science, engineering, biomedicine, broadcast journalism and the performing arts.

  • Our community believes in our success - voters have overwhelmingly  approved three parcel taxes, generating $2.3 million annually to help ensure fiscal strength and educational opportunity.



Michele has spent her career focused on the health and well being of children and adolescents.


  • She has served on the boards of the U.S. Mentor Foundation and The Saban Free Clinic. 

  • She has been an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine, the National Research Council, and the World Health Organization.

  • She has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the Los Angeles child welfare system.


A nationally recognized researcher and policy expert on children and families, Michele is a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.  Michele also serves of Vice Chair of Research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She remains actively engaged in research and is the principal investigator of several studies, including models of care for autism and the prevention of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Michele was born and raised in La Canada-Flintridge and attended the University of Southern California.  She holds a BA from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.  Michele is committed and compassionate, and she sets a high standard for herself and others.  More importantly, she expects transparency and accountability. 


Michele has two daughters, Lily who just graduated from South Pasadena High School and will soon be attending the University of San Francisco, and Kai who was just promoted from Marengo Elementary to the Middle School. 

Photographer: Thomas Foreman