Our Team


Linda nathan, executive director

Linda Nathan, EdD is the Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship (CAS). She oversees key programs including the Innovative School Design Incubator, as well as the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership (PSi) in partnership with the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Dr. Nathan also works closely with the leadership of Conservatory Lab Charter School to support its development as a national model of project-based learning and arts immersed education.

Dr. Nathan is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she teaches a course called “Building Democratic Schools: Studio Design Workshop.”  As an experienced leader in education, Dr. Nathan actively mentors teachers and principals, and consults nationally and internationally on issues of educational reform, leadership, teaching with a commitment to racial justice and equity, and the critical role of arts and creativity in schools. Dr. Nathan also facilitates workshops and conversations about issues of race, equity, and culturally relevant pedagogy for school leaders, teachers, parents, and students across the nation. She blogs about many of these issues at www.lindanathan.com.

Dr. Nathan’s widely praised book, The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test, about teaching and leadership in urban schools, was published in 2009 in both English and Spanish. Her new book, When Grit Isn’t Enough, was released by Beacon Press in October of 2017.

Dr. Nathan previously served as Faculty Director of the Creative Educational Leadership Institute at Boston University School of Education. Her prior positions also include Special Advisor to the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Arts in Education. Dr. Nathan was also the Founding Headmaster of the Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s first public high school for the visual and performing arts, and the Co-Director of Fenway High School, one of the first pilot schools in the Boston Public Schools. Dr. Nathan also founded two nonprofit organizations: El Pueblo Nuevo which focused on arts and youth development, and the Center for Collaborative Education which works on issues of school reform. She began her teaching career in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then came to Boston to work as a bilingual middle school teacher.

Dr. Nathan holds a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University, Masters’ degrees from Emerson College and Antioch University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. 


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Ms. Carmen Torres, Co-Founder of the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership, is a veteran urban school educator and school founder. She established the Health Careers Pathway at Brighton High School and the first pharmacy program at Fenway High School, which was a partnership with CVS Pharmacies. She was also founding assistant headmaster and then co-headmaster of Boston Arts Academy with Linda Nathan. Ms. Torres served as Senior Academic Design and Support Specialist  for High Schools in the Office of English Language Learners of  the Boston Public Schools, has been a Clinical Instructor at Boston University, and has mentored many emerging school leaders. Ms.Torres facilitates workshops and trainings focused on issues of race, equity, and culturally competent pedagogy for school leaders, healthcare professionals, and others.  She is currently the Director of Student and Family Services at Conservatory Lab Charter School, where she has developed relationships with Partnerships in Education and Resilience (PEAR), Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, and Children’s Hospital Training and Access Program(TAP).

Ms. Torres’ research focuses on best practices in social emotional learning, family engagement, evaluation, and social determinants of health.

She holds a Masters in Human Services Management from the Heller School, a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from Boston University.



Jill Davidson, Program Director

Jill Davidson works with schools, education-related organizations, and nonprofits as a communicator, convener, strategist, writer, editor, and speaker. In addition to her work at CAS, Jill teaches education leadership courses at Antioch University New England. Previously, Jill served as the Managing Director of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Director of Publications and Communications at Engaging Schools, and in other roles in education nonprofits. As a consultant, she's worked with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Great Schools Partnership, School Reform Initiative, Richer Picture, Big Picture Learning, the Education Alliance at Brown University, and the Rhode Island After School Plus Alliance. Jill has also been a website producer and high school English and humanities teacher. A graduate of Brown University, Jill received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A widely published education writer, she's the co-author of Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to School Transformation. Jill lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and three sons.



Lisa Sankowski, program manager

Lisa is a facilitator, program manager, and visual artist.  She has dedicated her career to working with not-for-profit organizations that serve adults and children in creative learning environments, including the Boston Children’s Museum, the Open Circle Social Competency Program, the Boston Area Reggio Inspired Network, Courage & Renewal Northeast at Wellesley College, and the national Center for Courage & Renewal. Lisa is co-developer of Leading Together: Building Adult Community in Schools, the Center for Courage & Renewal’s approach to building shared leadership and adult relational trust in schools. Lisa is a painter and sculptor, working on and with paper. Creative expression through visual art has been a constant thread from childhood and a practice of mindful awareness, woven into everything she does. A graduate of Smith College, Lisa received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.



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seth racine, Consultant

Seth is the founder of Open Architects (OA), a central office support organization for school district leaders. In addition, Seth supports the Perrone-Sizer Institute. Prior to founding OA, Seth was the Deputy Superintendent for the Lawrence Public Schools receivership, where he led the implementation of the district’s strategic plan. Over the first three years of this receivership, math and ELA proficiency rose by 16 and 4 percentage points, respectively; graduation rates increased by nearly 20 percentage points; and the dropout rate was cut in half. Prior to joining the Lawrence Public Schools, Seth was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the Boston Public Schools where he designed and implemented a new school funding model and weighted student funding. Seth holds a MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a B.A. from Colgate University.




Paul Sayed, Marketing & Communications Manager (Conservatory Lab Foundation)

Paul Sayed works for the Conservatory Lab Foundation and supports the marketing and social media efforts of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship. Previously, Paul held marketing positions at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, New York City Opera, and Royalty Etc. Records. Currently he is the Marketing Director of CW Taekwondo at Boston. Paul holds a Master of Music in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College and a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College.