Anna Lam Pilloton’s Legacy (in Retirement) – Collaboration in Action

July 25, 2022

Anna Lam Pilloton, Director of School and Community Partnerships at the College of Marin, retires but leaves behind an inspiring legacy -- championing educational equity, shifting systems, and working together to achieve collective impact.

As many of you probably know by now, Anna Lam Pilloton, Director of School and Community Partnerships at the College of Marin, retired this summer. What you may not know is that Anna was with the Partnership from inception, attending several Strive Together conferences with Backbone staff, and participating in at least 2 different Acton Teams. “From the very beginning of Marin Promise Partnership, I deeply appreciated the laser focus on educational equity and the importance of key data points to spotlight and measure the most actionable work.” said Pilloton in her email to the Backbone staff. “You have all been wonderful teachers and partners in the work, and it’s been an honor to have been part of the effort.”

The honor has been all ours.

Anna was a pioneer in working with her partners to see and shift systemic barriers toward equity. As part of the Enrollment Action Team, Anna was instrumental in changing the COM application deadline to align with the 4 year college application deadline so that team members could seamlessly and efficiently integrate their 2 year and 4 year application support services. Not only did this improve the enrollment process but, perhaps more importantly, it shifted the narrative. By integrating the 2 year and 4 year college application process, applying to COM became normalized as something many students were doing, not just an “afterthought” only for students who “couldn’t get into a 4 year college.”

As part of the Future Ready Team, Anna was also a game changing partner in her collaborative approach to breaking down the silos between high school and college by championing dual enrollment. “One of the best strategies that emerged during my time working with Partners was figuring out how to support and promote dual enrollment. This process of enrolling in college classes at COM while still in high school not only increased enrollment because students’ made the decision to enroll in college early, but also earned them transferable college credit, saving their families thousands of dollars, and built college completion success through developing the confidence and competence to stick with it.”

Anna also worked with partners to develop the highly successful SummerBridge program and developed an innovative multiple-measures assessment approach to placing students in math classes that accelerated, rather than remediated, their learning.

We will miss Anna Lam Pilloton as we move forward without her, but will remain ever inspired by her action oriented collaborative approach to improving the lives of so many Marin students.