Who is Jon Primuth?
Father, Trusted Advisor, and Community Leader
Jon and his family moved to South Pasadena in 1998, and he began volunteering for the schools and community. Jon eventually became the president of SPEF and served as a board member to several South Pasadena nonprofit organizations (Chamber of Commerce, Chinese-American Club, Senior Citizens’ Foundation, Institute for the Redesign of Learning) and legal advisor to SPARC.
As an attorney in private practice in Pasadena, Jon helps families and organizations navigate complex areas of law. Jon serves as mediator between opposing sides in litigation. He assists seniors and special needs clients with their unique legal challenges.
Jon has loved every aspect of living in our multi-faceted town for the last 22 years and looks forward to continuing to serve this community.
Committed Leader and Collaborator
Jon speaking at a school board meeting.
Since 2015, Jon has been a member of the governing board of the South Pasadena Unified School District, serving as president during the 2017-2018 school year. Along with his four colleagues, he has shared responsibility for the school district’s budget, strategic direction and policies.
During his tenure, Jon together with the other board members, achieved many accomplishments including:
Approved in 2016, Measure SP provided funding for repair and modernization of school facilities through a property tax
A 2018 voter approved parcel tax to support school programs and services
New STEM building at the high school
Modernized classrooms and a new performance theater at the middle school
Upgrade of athletics facilities at the middle and high schools
Roofing, HVAC and electrical repairs and upgrades on all five campuses
New High School Programs
Career pathways in biomedicine, computer science, and engineering
Support for career technical education programs in industrial arts, business, and visual and performing arts
Enhanced support for the socio-emotional needs of students
Statewide advocacy for South Pasadena schools
Jon launched a coalition of public school districts that successfully advocated for increased school funding, resulting in a higher base grant allocation to our schools.
"Jon saw the need for advocacy at the state level on behalf of high-performing K-12 districts in California. The coalition he initiated and helped lead played an important role in successfully obtaining more base grant funding for all schools.“ - Jack O'Connell, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction
International Principals and Educators Exchange in Jiangsu, China
Jon led an American delegation of educators in an international exchange with Chinese educators in Jiangsu province of China.
SPHS Dragon Tour of China
Jon pioneered a joint effort to create a cross-cultural language immersion program at the high school.
"A teacher wanting to make the high school Chinese language class more relevant; a longtime community club wanting to bring back their meaningful and educational cultural trip; and a student with a passion for embracing and learning about her heritage. Jon’s inspiration and leadership brought together the teacher, student and community organization in a life-changing experience for 30 SPHS students. Jon connects people. He strives to make his community stronger through authentically caring, welcoming people’s concerns, and being a significant part of the solution" - Yuki Cutcheon
Jon in Shanghai with SPHS students.
20+ Years of Community Leadership and Activism
For the past two decades, whether as coach, board member, attorney or activist, Jon has invested his time and enthusiasm in numerous organizations throughout South Pasadena.
Jon has been an active volunteer in AYSO, SPEF, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese American Club, the South Pasadena Prayer Breakfast, the Senior Citizens Foundation and the South Pasadena Arts Council, among many others. Serving the community in many ways has given Jon a deep appreciation for our diversity. He's learned so much from serving alongside people who sacrifice personally for the sake of bettering the community.
In addition, Jon also serves on the board of two special needs educational nonprofits, the Institute for the Redesign of Learning, based in South Pasadena, and Club 21, a network of resources for families of children with Down Syndrome.
“Jon Primuth has been an amazing gift to our non-profit. He is a wise and dedicated board member who listens intently, questions thoughtfully, thinks strategically, and builds accountability. Jon’s vast knowledge combined with his desire to give back to his community has informed his passion for justice, equity and community service. His integrity, kindness and great mind are much needed qualities in this season. He is the kind of person you want to represent you because you can trust him and know that he will bring his whole self to every organization and family he touches.” - Nancy Litteken, executive director of Club 21 Learning and Resource Center
Jon has been involved in community affairs as an activist and volunteer since the early 1990s when he lived in Los Angeles. Closer to home in South Pasadena, Jon has worked with neighbors concerned with impacts from new developments, advocating before public agencies and in court.
In 2012, Jon went door to door campaigning for a continuance of the parcel tax to maintain school funding levels in South Pasadena. In 2018, he served on a city advisory committee on the utility users tax (UUT), and volunteered for the Measure S campaign. He also contributed ideas to the development of the Mission Street Specific Plan in focus groups throughout 2018.
"Jon has been an effective advocate for our neighborhood with the city. He advocated against the 710 tunnels among his school board colleagues in surrounding cities which was important to building the coalition that ultimately defeated the proposed toll tunnel project. He understands the importance of protecting the community and all our neighborhoods." - Joanne Nuckols, former commissioner South Pasadena Transportation Commission and one of the founding members of No 710 Action Committee