Faculty & Staff

Laura Deisley, Founder and Executive Director

Founder and Executive Director Laura Deisley loves the city of Atlanta and its people. An innovative educator recognized around the country for her work, Laura seized the opportunity to envision an innovative school model with great civic purpose. Lab Atlanta is the first of what she hopes will be a model for cities around the country to bring bright, diverse young minds together as agents of change and empowered learners for tomorrow.

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Mike Pardee, Academic Program Director and Dean of Faculty

Academic Program Director Mike Pardee moved from Houston to help bring Lab Atlanta’s compelling vision to fruition. Lab Atlanta attracted Mike for many reasons. He loves its emphases on inquiry­-based experiential learning, on civic engagement, innovation and design. He relishes the opportunity to continue to grow personally and professionally in Lab Atlanta’s dynamic learning community.

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Dr. Lance Owen, Humanities Faculty

Dr. Owen is an urban geographer whose interest in the historical, economic, and social richness of cities has driven his interest in exploring urban landscapes and teaching young people about them. 

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LaTonya Bolden, STEM Faculty

LaTonya Bolden is a leader and educator with more than 17 years of experience as a successful problem solver, curriculum leader, teacher mentor, and a strategic planner for school improvement at the school and district level.  She has extensive experience in professional development and in the supervision of diverse learning groups of students.

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Dr. Spenser Simrill, Digital Photography and Photojournalism Faculty

A graduate of the Lovett School, Spenser Simrill, Jr, teaches writing and film at the University of Georgia. His documentaries have appeared in numerous film festivals, on Georgia Public Television, and in the online editions of The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and NME, among others.

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J. Scott Sanchez, Design and Innovation, Adjunct Faculty

Scott Sanchez is Vice President, Innovation, at First Data. Sanchez joined First Data in early 2011 to lead a user-driven approach to innovation and help enable innovation throughout First Data across products, clients, and employees. He runs the Innovation Lab at First Data, a cross functional team of product managers, user experience designers, user experience researchers, technology, and client innovation leaders, whose goal is to disrupt the future of commerce in collaboration with our clients.

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Adrienne Williams, Admissions Director and Dean of Students

Adrienne N. Williams is a Colorado native who recently relocated back to Atlanta from Philadelphia, PA. She is a psychotherapist in private practice and completing a clinical residency at Heartwork Counseling Center in historic Inman Park.

An enthusiast of innovative education, Ms. Williams joins Lab Atlanta as the former Director of Partnerships for Science Leadership Academy at Beeber; an inquiry-driven, project-based magnet high school developed in partnership with The Franklin Institute based in Philadelphia, PA. .

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