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Meet Lauren Lam – Glendale Prep Alumni Returns to Great Hearts to Teach and Coach

Archway Glendale June 7, 2024 -

Ms. Lam in front of a bulletin board

Lauren Lam’s journey from student to lead teacher at Great Hearts Glendale is a testament to dedication, perseverance, and a deep connection to her educational roots. Just finishing her first year as a second-grade lead teacher, Lam’s story began years ago as a student at the very campus where she now inspires young minds. “I feel so grateful to teach at the same campus that I attended. I am still able to connect with previous teachers I had,” Lam reflects.

Ms. Lam at Field Day

She just finished her first year as a second-grade lead teacher at Archway Glendale. “I actually interviewed to teach middle school math or science for Glendale Prep,” said Lam. “Mrs. DeStefano, the Archway Glendale Headmaster, was present during my interview and teaching demo, and offered me a position as a third-grade Teacher’s Assistant.” Lam said she had amazing first year as a TA before she was offered her current lead teaching position.

But Lam was already a familiar face at the Great Hearts Glendale campus, returning to teach and coach at the same campus she graduated from in 2018. She attended Glendale Prep from 6th to 12th grade, and those years were special to her. “The feeling of a small school is unmatched. My teachers not only cared about my education, but who I was as a person. They always encouraged me to be the best person and leader I could be,” she said.

Ms. Lam with her family

Lam said she has a diverse family background, raised by her mother, who was originally from South Korea and her father, who was originally from Vietnam. You will see her father, Tony Lam, at many sporting events as well, not just to support his daughter, but also to capture the athletes through photos as a photographer for Great Hearts. She has a twin brother who currently serves in the U.S. Army and a younger brother who just graduated from Arizona State University and will be attending law school. All three of them are graduates of Glendale Prep.

Being an athlete at Glendale Prep was another amazing experience for her. “I loved being able to play sports for coaches who cared about me as an athlete and individual as well,” she said. “My first basketball coach, Mr. Rickey, has become such an important person in my life to this day.” Rickey now serves as the Arizona Director of Athletics for Great Hearts and continues to mentor Lam.

Coach Lam with JV basketball girls

Lam started her coaching career at Glendale Prep while she was still a student. “When I was in high school, I helped in the middle school program whether it was assisting in drills or running scoreboard and book for game days,” she said. “In the summer, I would always come to the middle school basketball camps and learn how to coach. After I graduated in 2018, I was offered a position coaching the middle school girl’s C team and have coached middle school ever since.

Coach Lam at 2023-24 State Playoffs

While continuing to coach for Glendale Prep, Lam attended college at Grand Canyon University. “Intramural sports was one of the best things I participated in while attending GCU. As a player and a student leader, I made so many memories,” she recalled. “As a player I was on several teams that won championships in volleyball, basketball, and flag football.”

Coach Lam Coaching Strength and Conditioning

“In 2020, I was then offered a position as a JV coach and assistant varsity coach. Coaching at Glendale Prep for the last 6 years has allowed me to watch and develop our program. We just had one of the best high school seasons this school year ranking 5th in state and having numerous region winners as well as a conference honorable mention.”

Ms. Lam holding a small plant

Lam said she loves being able to care for and impact the lives her students and athletes. “Each age group that I either teach or coach brings a smile to my face every day. I never knew how impactful a teacher could be in a student’s life,” she said. “We make decisions every day to help them grow not only in their education but also as an individual who should strive towards Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. I am grateful for each student I have had and each athlete I have ever coached. Each of them impacts my life in various ways and I love having them in my life.”

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