Lauren Wells. Lauren Wells, Ph.D. is an educator, researcher, and community organizer whose work centers on comprehensive, systemic, culturally responsive, and collaborative approaches to change in schools and communities. She began her work in education over twenty years ago while an undergraduate student at Temple University. She then went on to become a high school teacher in the Bronx. Her experiences led her on a quest to create schools that are designed to work for and elevate Black and Brown students and their communities. Wells is trained in qualitative research and uses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and working alongside communities and schools. She applies this approach not only to the work of school transformation, but also to transform how communities, educators, and policymakers think about, approach, and undertake school change. In so doing, she works to increase inclusiveness in decision-making, to foster integrated strategies that reconnect schools with communities and link education to other systems, and to establish cultural responsiveness as vital to how schools educate children.
Wells has been at the forefront of education policy and transformation in New Jersey for over 10 years. In 2009, Dr. Wells became the Director of the Broader Bolder Approach to Education at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University (NYU) where she the led the design and implementation of a major school reform initiative in Newark called the “Newark Global Village School Zone.” This reform has had a lasting impact on the Central High School, one of Newark’s comprehensive high schools. She has served as Chief Education Officer for Mayor Ras Baraka in the City of Newark, where she led education policy and developed initiatives on behalf of the City. She has also been a professor of education at the University of Southern California, Montclair State University, and American University. In 2016, Wells founded Creed Strategies to create a community of consultants whose core mission is to use their knowledge, experience, and resources to work alongside educators and communities to ignite learning conditions where the genius of every child and educator can blaze. She has worked in over a dozen school districts on educational equity and school transformation.
Dr. Wells serves of Co-Chair of the Newark Youth Policy Board and is a Trustee of the Newark Public Library. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the American University School of Education. Dr. Wells received a BA in English from Temple University, an MA in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and Ph.D. in Educational Policy from the University of California Los Angeles.