Phone: (610) 868-2971 Ext. 3108
Diane LaBelle became the Executive Director & CEO of The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts) in June 2010. She brought with her twenty years of experience as one of the premier arts and education administrators in the country. Upon arrival at Charter Arts, which had been operating out of a restored factory building for seven years, LaBelle began working with the Board of Directors to plan the development of a brand-new facility that would meet the needs of one of the most respected high schools for the arts in the nation.
After ten years of service to the school, LaBelle announced her retirement in September 2019, and remained as Executive Director until Jun 30, 2020.
In 2012, LaBelle began the fundraising effort that would support the construction of the school’s new 91,000 sq. ft. facility located in the heart of the arts and cultural district of South Bethlehem. In September 2015, she introduced the completed LEED Gold facility with its innovative studio spaces, practice rooms, science labs, classrooms, resource library, computer room, black box theater, art gallery and 360-seat theatre to the community at the official grand opening. A few days later, LaBelle, with her faculty and staff, welcomed 550 Charter Arts students, who hail from over forty-five school districts, to their new home at 321 East 3rd Street for the first day of school.
During LaBelle’s tenure, Charter Arts has witnessed student success demonstrated by both academic and artistic excellence. The school’s impressive PA School Performance Profile (SPP) Academic Score, AP and Keystone exam statistics, student SAT scores, prestigious artistic accolades, and graduation rate are a testament to the outstanding education Charter Arts provides.
Prior to her current position at Charter Arts, in 2003, LaBelle was hired as a consultant to design and oversee the renovation and construction of the 145,000 sq. ft. former Willson Goggle Factory into the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, located in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her background as an architect led LaBelle to spearhead the facility’s $15 million renovation, which was honored with a Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award. LaBelle was named Executive Director in 2005. Over the seven years of her involvement, the GoggleWorks project became a national model for community revitalization.
From 1998 to 2003, LaBelle was the Director of the Banana Factory, a dynamic cultural arts and education center located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, she was the CEO of the non-profit organization, FreeHand, also located in Bethlehem, which worked with children in the community, university students and design professionals to take a hands-on approach to neighborhood revitalization. Her career in arts education began while working as an architect in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania following graduation from the Master of Architecture program at Carnegie Mellon University. Her award-winning ArchiKids curriculum involved inner city public school children in projects that revitalized their neighborhoods and sparked her understanding of how differently students learn.