Lela Payne
Rocky Mountain Preparatory School, Manager of Recruitment

Lela grew up in Jackson, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After graduation, Lela served as an AmeriCorps member with both City Year and Public Allies in Miami, FL.  During her time in AmeriCorps and experiencing the many injustices in America’s classrooms firsthand, she became deeply committed to the pursuit of educational equity for all. Upon completing her two years of service, Lela combined her love for the outdoors and teaching by becoming an outdoor education instructor.  She would go on to spend the next seven years teaching high adventure programming and science-based curriculum in California, Colorado, and Vermont. After zig-zagging across the U.S., an opportunity brought her back to Denver to stay. In her current role, she manages and oversees teacher recruitment for Rocky Mountain Prep, a network of public charter elementary schools located throughout the Denver Metro area.

Lela has a desire to connect individuals with one another insisting that if we take the time to learn about one another, we will be reminded of what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from. In her free time, Lela enjoys hiking, traveling, witty banter, good food, good people and catching a great film.