The castle soaks up the mid-fall sun while the surrounding trees change colors.

Leadership at Lab

The importance of leadership cannot be underestimated. Excellent leadership has everything to do with the outcomes for a school and its students. At Lab, it is the leader of the school along with her devoted team of educators, administrators, and clinical professionals who cultivate a school environment that allows students and teachers to flourish.

The Lab School of Washington has long benefited from strong, stable leadership. There have been just three heads of school since Lab’s founding in 1967 —all three thoughtful, forward-thinking educators, dedicated to the success of their students and whole community.

Meet our team: 

Head of School

Headshot of Kim Wargo

Kim Wargo

Taking on the role of head of school July 1, 2020, Kim Wargo comes to The Lab School with more than 20 years of experience in education, beginning her career as a teacher, then serving as associate head and head of school for four other schools across the country.

Kim Wargo serves as head of School of The Lab School of Washington. Prior to her headship at Lab, Kim has been head of three independent schools around the country, and has also had other senior leadership roles. Kim served as head of School at the Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco, as Eugene McDermott Headmistress at The Hockaday School in Dallas, and as head of school at GEMS World Academy in Chicago. Kim has also served as associate head of school at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans and as head of the Upper School at the Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans. She began her career in education at the Hill School of Ft. Worth, a school for students with learning differences, where she taught 2nd through 8th grade students and was named Teacher of the Year. Kim has also served as director of College Counseling, History Department chair, and Middle and Upper School History and Government teacher.

At Burke’s, Kim focused on improving professional development for faculty and staff, building parent-school partnership through parent education and conversation, and examining all programs with a focus on mission-alignment. At Hockaday, Kim led the school through its Centennial celebrations and a successful Centennial Capital Campaign, which included building a state-of-the-art integrated Science and Arts building, while also developing a new strategic plan and guiding the school’s ISAS self-study. At GEMS, Kim focused on building school culture and enrollment, critical components of developing a successful new school. At Newman, Kim led a board-level task force to develop principles for civil discourse and a new mission statement highlighting the school’s commitment to inclusion, while also leading the school through a successful self-study. At McGehee, Kim was instrumental in leading the Upper School through the challenges associated with Hurricane Katrina. She also focused on growing the enrollment of the Upper School and fostering excellence in the academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs.

Kim currently serves on the board of ERB and The Heads Network. She has served on the boards of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, the Southwest Preparatory Athletic Conference, and Aim High in San Francisco.

Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University, where she graduated summa cum laude with minors in History and English. She earned a master’s degree in History and is ABD from Tulane University.

Kim is married to Mark Cortez, a career math teacher in independent schools who now serves as director of Student Support for One Schoolhouse. Kim and Mark have one daughter, Ida Cortez, a recent graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and a new teaching fellow in mathematics at Groton School. Kim enjoys traveling, entertaining, jogging, reading, cheering on her beloved Saints, and spending time with friends and family.

More in this Section

Senior Leadership and Administration

Diana Meltzer

Diana Meltzer

Associate Head of School

Laurelle Sheedy McCready

Laurelle Sheedy McCready

Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations

Headshot of Marty Cathcart outside

Marty Cathcart

Director of Institutional Advancement

Academics and Activities

Staff headshot portrait

Rebecca Alberts

High School Director of Visual Arts

Noel Bicknell

Noel Bicknell

Head of Academic Clubs

Kim Brown

Kim Brown

Head of Intermediate

Angelo Carmina

Angelo Carmina

Athletic Director

Karen Duncan

Karen Duncan

Academic Director

Daniel Hartmann

Daniel Hartmann

Director of Educational Technology

Staff headshot portrait

Sara Hawkins

Director of Visual Arts, Grades 1-8

Staff headshot portrait

Robert Lane

Director of Admissions

Staff headshot portrait

Dan Lutsky

Director of Facilities

Jessica Lux

Jessica Lux

Head of Junior High

Lisa McMahon

Lisa McMahon

Head of High School

Staff headshot portrait

Shaun Miskell

Director of Performing Arts

Amy Oswalt

Amy Oswalt

Head of Elementary

Headshot of Anthony Perry

Anthony Perry

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Clinical Services

Doug Fagen

Doug Fagen

Director of Reservoir Psychology Group

Courtney Heldman

Courtney Heldman

Director of Occupational Therapy

Melissa Wood

Melissa Wood

Director of Speech-Language and Literacy Services

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Group photo outside

2020-2021

The Board of Trustees supports the work of The Lab School and provides mission-based leadership to ensure the school’s health and welfare both now and in the future.