Diane Rivers

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Diane Shock Rivers (born November 22, 1948 in Conway, Arkansas – died February 5, 2010 at Shoal Creek) was an educator, school administrator, and educational performance consultant. She founded Quality Educational Systems and served on the National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences.

Rivers was the daughter of Edward Lee and Lorene Fleming Schock of Conway, Arkansas. She graduated from Conway High School in 1966 and completed a bachelor's and master's in special education at the University of Arkansas in 1971 and 1972, later earning her Ed.D. in special education at the same institution in 1986.

Rivers taught in elementary and secondary schools as well as in colleges and worked as a psychometrist and educational psychologist while developing programs for improving educational performance in schools. She based her program on the "Total Quality Management" techniques promulgated by statistician W. Edwards Deming.

She applied some of those techniques to Wilkerson Middle School, identifying poor reading skills as the underlying obstacle toward learning and implementing a peer tutoring program that led to test score improvements in all subjects and improved discipline. The school was the first recipient of the Rochester Institute of Technology/USA Today Quality Cup Award in 1994.

Two years later Rivers founded Quality Educational Systems which consults with other schools wishing to implement a similar model for improvement and provides technological tools and training for performance management. The company won the 2003 Alabama Quality Award, given by the University of Alabama's non-profit Alabama Productivity Center. She was a founding member of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and was appointed to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences by President George W. Bush in 2005.

Rivers was an active member of Double Oak Community Church in Mt Laurel and developed Sunday School courses there. She died in 2010 and was survived by her husband, Douglas, two children and five grandchildren. She is interred at the Southern Heritage Cemetery in Pelham.


  • "Local businesswoman named to national library commission" (August 26, 2005) Birmingham Business Journal
  • "Quality Educational Systems' CEO to attend women's business conference" (May 9, 2006) Birmingham Business Journal
  • "Diane Shock Rivers" obituary (February 7, 2010) Birmingham News