Laura Schwalm

As Chief of Staff, Laura provides strategic counsel to key leaders in Ed Partners to consistently move work forward in alignment with the organization’s mission and objectives.  By creating and maintaining relationships with outside partners, cross-departmental relationships with internal staff and working collaboratively with the Executive Director and Board of Directors, she is charged with helping to ensure continued program excellence and continuous organizational improvement.

Laura’s career in public education began as a student teacher in the Garden Grove Unified School District and concluded 42 years later as the superintendent.  Her experiences included teaching and administration at both the elementary and secondary level, district office roles in curriculum and instruction, human resources and business and 15 years serving the district as the superintendent.  During her tenure as superintendent the district was awarded the Broad Prize as the top urban district in the nation and received state and national recognition for improving outcomes for poor and minority students.

Laura earned a PhD from the University of California but credits the remarkable teachers and educators with whom she worked with the common sense wisdom that comes from great practitioners. “The opportunities I had to work with masterful teachers taught me the importance of building caring relationships with students, establishing high expectations and providing all the support necessary for students to meet those expectations.   Skillful leaders taught me the importance of applying these same principles to leading schools and to leading a system of schools.”