Home Outdoor education Poly remembers former school board member and principal Alexander ‘Mike’ Babcock – Pasadena Now

Poly remembers former school board member and principal Alexander ‘Mike’ Babcock – Pasadena Now


Alexander Mike Babcock, former trustee of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Trustees and principal of Pasadena Poly, died Oct. 18.

Babcock was surrounded by his four children.

“It is with great sadness that I share that Alexander “Mike” Babcock ’48, passed away peacefully this week,” said Poly’s school principal John Bracker in a prepared statement. “Mike’s legacy at Poly began in the 1960s as a high school math teacher before serving as high school principal for 15 years, then serving as principal from 1980 to 1998.”

Babcock once said of the school: “It is clear to me, as I am sure it is to many of you, that Polytechnic has a soul. It started in 1907 and over the years the school has brought people in and put them in touch with that soul, and not only do they become better people for it, but over time they turn around and give something which makes the soul bigger and stronger.

After retiring from Poly in 1998, Babcock served at Pasadena Unified School from 1991 to 2009 when he did not seek reelection.

Babcock was an active supporter of independent, public, and charter schools, and community organizations who dedicated his life to education.

“Mike’s warm, approachable manner and commitment to the community has led Poly through years of tremendous change and growth,” Bracker said.

“It’s fitting that Babcock Field, named in honor of Mike’s retirement, is where we come together as a community to celebrate traditions old and new, cheer on our teams and graduates, and reflect on where we have been and where we are going. Mike loved Poly’s generosity and spirit, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for sharing so much joy and compassion that he brought to life with us,” Bracker’s statement read.

“For many, it represented the school’s best and most enduring qualities and was a testament to all that Poly aspires to be as an educational institution. With his trusty bike ferrying him around campus, Mike led with vision, empathy and a great sense of humor.

Babcock also founded Partnership for success with former middle school principal Carmie Rodríguez and establishing the outdoor education program as an integral part of the Poly experience are two examples of her tremendous legacy.

In a statement, Babcock’s family said school was an integral part of Babcock’s life from when he was a student until his retirement in 1998.

“We hope your memories of him are as special to you as ours are to us,” the family said in a statement to the school community. “We look forward to reuniting in the near future to celebrate our father’s extraordinary life.”

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