Lela credits Arizona’s kindergarten through university education system for making the difference in her ability to help others. As a young mother, Lela earned her bachelor’s from the University of Arizona, later receiving her master’s from ASU while teaching full-time in the Phoenix Union High School District. Lela was first elected to the Arizona Senate in 1976, serving on the Appropriations Committee for 18-years. After being encouraged by the community, Lela ran for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and, after serving 8-years in the House, was returned to the State Senate in 2018. Lela’s fierce advocacy has made her one of Arizona’s most respected voices for public education. She has been a member of the PUHSD Governing Board since 2008, serving as president in 2015 and 2016. Lela was also instrumental in the creation of ASU West and expanding career and technical education in public schools. Some of Lela’s favorite awards are being recognized as the 2015 O’Connor Institute Statesman of the Year, becoming an Honorary State Firefighter, receiving the Girl Scouts’ World of Children Award, and the naming of Lela Alston Elementary School. Lela is the mother of two, grandmother of six, and proud owner of a 1929 historic home and 1956 Thunderbird convertible. You can learn more about her at her website here.