Laura Deisley, Founding Director
Creator and Founding Director Laura Deisley loves the city of Atlanta and its people. An innovative educator recognized for her work around the country, 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.
Mike Pardee, Associate Director
Associate 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.
Aretina Hamilton, Humanities Faculty
Aretina is a Human Geographer whose love of all things Atlanta has brought her back to the city and Lab Atlanta. In 2004, she left the city to pursue graduate studies and has spent a majority of her career researching, writing and teaching about Atlanta. After spending some years in higher education, she was drawn to the program because of its commitment to civic engagement with the city. As a former urban planner, she is also fascinated by the possibility of introducing students to participatory action research within diverse communities across the city.
Karl Hwang, STEM Faculty
Karl is a locally grown recycled engineer. Karl is passionate about using engineering design principles, technology, and interdisciplinary connections in the classroom. After teaching in Athens, Hawaii, Decatur, and Lovett, Karl was drawn to the potential of reimagining education at Lab Atlanta.
Agnès Browning, Language Faculty
Originally born and raised in France, Agnès fell in love with Atlanta where she moved to teach a decade ago. The city’s limitless pool of resources and prospects for fieldwork have inspired and shaped the work she has done with her students. The enormous appeal of Lab Atlanta is its groundbreaking school model, which will shape a new generation of makers, innovators, and thinkers through intellectual and experiential engagement.
Kristian Melom, Photography Faculty
Kristian Melom is a freelance visual artist and educator. Working mostly through the mediums of film and photography, Kristian believes that good stories are best told by finding one’s shared experiences with others. He believes the creative process holds most power and impact when built on empathy and understanding. When Kristian is not out walking the city of Atlanta with students or faculty, he is usually engaged in a commercial or documentary shoot. Kristian is constantly looking for new ways to connect students to holistic learning and meaningful education. His goal is to inspire a passion for socially practiced art with the students of Lab Atlanta.
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.
Adrienne Williams, Executive Assistant
Adrienne Williams is a Colorado native who recently relocated back to Atlanta from Philadelphia, PA. She is a psychotherapist in private practice; she is the Founder and Lead Therapist at Sexual Epiphany: The People’s Therapy Center.
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 high school developed in partnership with The Franklin Institute based in Philadelphia, PA.