Lela Bell Wesley
Director of Professional Learning
Lela has been a valued member of the Big Thought community for many years serving in many roles including Teaching Artist, Instructional Partner and and Professional Development Manager, among others. Through her prior roles, Lela has worked within Creative Solutions, helped build Fine Arts curriculum for Thriving Minds Summer Camp, and observed and offered customized couching for countless Big Thought after-school and summer programs and classrooms using our Six Dimensions of Quality Teaching & Learning rubric.
Lela’s professional experience spans the spectrum, both in-school and out-of-school, including Montessori schools, traditional public education and higher education. Lela has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Science in Counseling, her Teaching Certificate (EC-12 Physical Education, 6-12 Dance), and her Principal Certification.
In the professional dance community, Lela has worked as a professional dancer and choreographer. In addition to being with Beckles Dancing Company for over twenty years with hundreds of performances, Lela has also appeared in operas, film, and commercials.
As Director of Professional Learning, Lela will be responsible for leading the strategy and implementation of all components of Big Thought’s adult training and coaching for staff in Big Thought Direct-to-Youth Programs, for partner agencies in Big Thought Learning Systems, and for clients of Big Thought Institute. This position ensures that there is high-quality professional learning infrastructure and content to properly support the continual growth of adults who are working to fulfill this vision, in both in-person training and in distance learning.