Lily Din Woo was one of the 16 principals in the first cohort of the Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals 2003. She served as the principal of PS 130 Manhattan, District 2, for 25 years before retiring in August of 2014. She subsequently went on to serve as the program director of the Cahn Fellows Program from 2014 until her retirement in 2018.
Lily was instrumental in transforming P.S. 130 Manhattan from a struggling school into a consistently high performing school that has been recognized by New York City, New York State and US Department of Education as a Title I Distinguished School and as a demonstration site for its ability to incorporate the arts into the education of every child in the school.
In her 44 years in education, Lily has also served as a classroom teacher, an ESL teacher, an ESL staff developer, and as a director for a demonstration project for the Division of High Schools with the NYC Department of Education. Within that time span, she had also served six years with the New York State Education Department as an Associate with the Division of Bilingual Education.
She is a product of the NYC public school system. She received her B.A. from Queens College, CUNY, where she majored in Elementary Education and her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from New York University.
In 2004, Lily was chosen by the Summer World Olympics Committee as one of 120 “everyday heroes” to represent New York City in the 2014 Summer Olympics Torch Relay. In 2010, she received a “Principal of the Year” Blackboard Award from the New York City media for her exemplary work at her school, and in 2016, received recognition as an Outstanding CUNY Asian-American Woman of the Year for Leadership in Education by the City University of New York’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute.
Lily has had the honor of serving on many advisory committees and task forces for several chancellors of the NYC Department of Education, and was a mentor principal for both the NYC Leadership Academy and for the Department of Education. She was a member of the adjunct faculty at Baruch College for seven years and at Bank Street College for 10 years. She now serves as an alumni advisor for principals through the Cahn Fellows Program and works as an independent educational consultant.