Ms. Diana Lam, Head of School
Diana Lam, Head of School is a visionary with sophisticated first hand knowledge of education policy and change. She has a strong national reputation for possessing an unrelenting focus on teaching and learning to raise student academic and artistic achievement.
Conservatory Lab is the only music-infused public elementary school in the state and provides all students free vocal and instrumental instruction. Ms. Lam has initiated a partnership with El Sistema, the successful music education and youth development model from Venezuela, making Conservatory Lab the first U.S. public school to serve as a site for El Sistema within the school day.
Most recently she worked as Vice-President for Global Education and Community Outreach for Christel House International and co-edited the book Educational Improvement: What Makes It Happen and Why, (Editors: John Bransford, Louis Gomez, Diana Lam, Deborah Stipek, Nancy Vye, Harvard Education Press, 2009).
Ms. Lam was the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the New York City Department of Education, where she was responsible for joint implementation of Children First reforms: a multi-year effort aimed at dramatically improving New York City Public Schools. Ms. Lam is committed to working with others to create a system of schools where effective teaching and learning is a reality for every child. She ensured Arts were made an equal priority area with Literacy and Mathematics based on her belief that each is critical to a complete education.
She served as Superintendent for Providence Public Schools. In Providence, Ms. Lam overhauled the administration, implemented a citywide literacy initiative, initiated the redesign of high schools with an emphasis on youth development and worked closely with the community.
Prior to her tenure in Providence, Ms. Lam was the first female superintendent in San Antonio, Texas where she won national acclaim for her accomplishments, including a dramatic increase in student achievement. In 1994 when Ms. Lam first came to San Antonio, it was the worst performing school district in Texas, with 42 schools rated as “low-performing” by the state. By 1999, none received that rating, and student scores increased dramatically in all subject areas.
Ms. Lam has also served as superintendent in Dubuque, Iowa and Chelsea, Massachusetts, where she worked to eliminate tracking by race and gender, thus ensuring all students equal access to a good education. She was named Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year. Ms. Lam understands what it means to live up to the credo of “success for all children.” In the communities where she has served as an educator, she has envisioned the changes required and put in place the structures that allow educators and families to work together to reach new levels of achievement.