NY Times Behind the A B C's, a Buzz Saw
: "Ms. Lam is quite used to getting things done: as a 3-year-old in Lima, Peru, she said, she taught herself to read the newspapers that her father, a Chinese truck driver, brought home. Though she perfected English at an early age, her thick accent gives away her Latin American roots. Neither her father nor her mother, a Peruvian seamstress, was educated beyond elementary school. She debated social policy in the lunchroom of her Catholic school and won a scholarship to the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, where she majored in sociology and aspired to be an economist.
"She married a Minnesotan, Peter Plattes, and scrapped her dream of attending graduate school in Europe, staying in St. Cloud with him for a few years and teaching middle school. The couple taught children in a Peruvian mining camp in the early 70's, then moved to Boston, which Ms. Lam said she chose because its Roman Catholic cardinal had sent money to the school she attended in Lima." This is a big-time job -- deputy chancellor for teaching and learning at the NYC Public School System.