Students, educators, families, and members of the community,

I am here today, humbled and honored to accept the position of interim Executive Director. This opportunity to serve as the educational leader of our esteemed school is a tremendous privilege, and I am deeply grateful for the trust you have placed in me.  

First and foremost, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Lotus School for Excellence Board for their faith in my abilities and for entrusting me with this vital role. I am committed to tirelessly working to fulfill our vision of academic excellence and ensuring that our schools are the pillars of learning, growth, and inclusivity.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the exceptional administrators, teachers, and staff who have been the backbone of our school. Your unwavering dedication, passion, and expertise has transformed countless lives. We have built a solid foundation for our students’ success. Together, we will continue to foster a culture of collaboration, professional growth, and innovation that will empower our educators to inspire and challenge our students to reach their full potential.

I must acknowledge the incredible students who are at the heart of our educational community. Students are what motivate us every day to strive for excellence. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities you need to thrive in an ever-changing global level. You are the reason we are here, and your aspirations and achievements will continue to be our guiding light.

Our schools are not isolated entities but vibrant hubs within our community. I am deeply grateful to our parents, families, and community members for their unwavering support, collaboration, and commitment to our students’ success. Education is a shared responsibility, and I look forward to forging even stronger partnerships with each one of you to create an environment where our children can flourish and become responsible, compassionate citizens of the world.

As Executive Director, my primary goal is to ensure equitable access to an exceptional education for all students, regardless of their background, abilities, or circumstances. We will work tirelessly to identify and address disparities, promote diversity and inclusion, and create a safe, nurturing, and learning environment for every child. By fostering an atmosphere of respect, empathy, and understanding, we will empower our students to embrace their unique identities and prepare them to be global citizens who appreciate and celebrate diversity. We will be culturally responsive and diverse in our approach.

Education is not just about imparting knowledge; it is about nurturing the whole child. It is about instilling a love of learning, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and resilience. It is about preparing our students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Together, we will harness the power of technology, embrace innovative teaching methodologies, and cultivate a lifelong love of learning among our students.

In closing, I want to reiterate my gratitude for the trust you have placed in me. This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I am committed to collaboratively working with each one of you to ensure that Lotus continues to thrive, to inspire greatness, and to provide our students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to shape a successful future.

Thank you once again for this incredible honor. Let us embark on this journey together, united in our shared commitment to educational excellence.

Thank you and God bless you all.

My Philosophy for Education

Education is an experience of knowledge and a journey of understanding. It is the educator’s responsibility to provide the environment, foundation, and opportunity for each student to be the best version of themselves.  Education is not cookie cutter strategies and compliance. It is an intentional path with strategic planning. The focus should be on the REAL work; ensuring that all students get the opportunity to have the future they envision and deserve.

We must teach the whole child, not just the intellect. Educators are tasked with making the most of every teachable moment. It should be our mission to tend to the mind, body, and spirit of every child that crosses our path. This is our charge as instructional leaders and what makes us accountable. It is imperative that we teach and provide experiences for every child that orients them to academic and social success. Students must be able to discover and draw their own conclusions to prepare them for a global society. Education should be viewed and implemented from different lenses. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a major part of reinforcing how different we are and how we seek understanding. My philosophy for DEI and education is BE BOLD. BE TRUE. BE YOU! Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the bridge to resilience and endurance. We are the safety net that situates our students to jump over hurdles and reach the finish line. 

As a life-long learner with an open mind, I believe you are not too young or old to learn something new. The most important thing to help certify that ALL students CAN and WILL learn, is to figure out how they learn. Educators must determine why students need information and identify their gaps so we can fill them. I believe we enter to learn and leave to serve; and by serve, I mean teach and lead.


Dr. Katrina Hardin

Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Lotus School for Excellence

Greetings Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff,

My name is Kelly Renee (Banks) Hamm, and I am thrilled to serve as the HR Director for Lotus School for Excellence. I am dedicated to ensuring that our school attracts, and retains the best talent. In my career as a Human Resources professional, I have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in all aspects of HR Management. I have witnessed the special challenges and opportunities that arise in the K-12 public charter school environment. I am constantly working towards reinforcing HR strategies to meet the specific needs of the faculty, administrators and support staff.

As the Human Resources Director, my role includes the full spectrum of HR functions including payroll, compensation, benefits administration, recruitment, employee onboarding, policy development, and employee relations. It is my goal to implement recruitment strategies that attract highly qualified educators who possess a passion for student growth and success, and who are equally skilled in their craft.

I hold a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and possess multiple certificates in HR practices and employment law. I am a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and I regularly attend Human Resource training to stay abreast of industry best practices.

As the HR Director at Lotus School for Excellence, I am dedicated along with our administrative team to cultivate a workplace that values Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and empowers our staff to make a profound impact on our students’ lives. I am eager and excited about continuing to help achieve success in the school environment and helping to develop the future of education.

I look forward to working together with our dedicated team of professionals at Lotus School for Excellence to ensure that we continue to provide the best educational experience possible for our wonderful students.

Kelly Hamm, MBA
HR Director

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Welcome to Lotus School for Excellence!

Lotus Middle and High School Students and Parents,

I would like to first thank you for your commitment and entrusting Lotus staff to educate your child. It is with great honor and pleasure that I have the opportunity to serve as the Lotus School for Excellence Middle and High School Principal. I bring a wealth of secondary leadership knowledge, passion, expertise, and vision to Lotus.

I am a Texas native and first-generation college graduate. I received my Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration in Summer of 2023 from Concordia University of Texas (Dissertation: An International Study of K12 Education Systems and Reform in the United Arab Emirates). I received my Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Administration in Spring of 2013. I received my Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Prairie View A&M University. I began my educational career as a middle school teacher and athletic coach. I have served in various capacities of leadership including High School Assistant Principal (Texas), International Head of School (Abu Dhabi, UAE), High School Associate Principal (Texas), and Human Resources Supervisor (Texas).

Throughout my educational journey, I have conducted scholarly qualitative educational research and presented professional trainings in the areas of: Multicultural Education, Building Relational Capacity with Diverse Learners, Effective Classroom Management, Closing the Academic Achievement Gap International Best Practices to Increase Student Achievement, and Cultural Awareness Based Instruction. I have been granted the opportunity to present at international educational conferences and professional developments. Most recently I was invited to Baylor University as a lecture guest speaker in the School of Social Work Master of Science graduate program.

My educational philosophy includes: My purpose as an educator is to strive to equip, empower, and impact the lives of students and teachers through transformative leadership style and educational opportunities.

Throughout the 2023-24 academic year students and parents will have the opportunity to develop partnerships with Lotus Middle and High School staff. I look forward to providing various opportunities to parents and students to be a part of the Lotus Secondary School experience.

My vision for the 2023-24 academic year is to provide an inclusive, equitable, and excellent learning environment for all Lotus Middle and High School students. The daily goal is to ensure that Lotus students have high student expectations, accountability, academic success, and a life-long future success. As we move forward to ensure that all students are prepared for the 21st century post-secondary education we encourage family partnerships, student voice, and community outreach in order to enhance the overall experience of every Lotus Middle and High School student.

Finally, I am ecstatic for the opportunity to serve as the 2023-24 Secondary Principal and look forward to leading the Lotus Middle and High School students and staff towards continued success!

Dr. Monique L. Jones, Ed.D.

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I introduce myself as your Secondary Assistant Principal. I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to be part of this wonderful community. This will be my 14th year as an educator. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, I was a classroom teacher, reading interventionist and an instructional coach within DPS. This last year, I served as an Assistant Principal of Instruction at Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside. During my tenure as a teacher, I was able to teach second language learners in their native language. As a reading interventionist, I had the opportunity to work with students from 19 different countries. Even though my background was in criminal justice, I quickly fell in love with teaching when I was given the opportunity to teach ESL to adults. As an educator, I strive to create an inclusive, safe, motivational learning environment in which all students have equal access to learning regardless of their background and needs. The biggest joy for me is seeing my students grow academically, emotionally and socially.

I was born and raised in El Paso, TX. I am a first generation Mexican-American and college graduate. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at El Paso. After moving to Colorado, I obtained my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver and recently, my Principal Licensure from the University of Denver.

I am blessed to have two sons and a husband who have supported me in all my professional endeavors. As a parent, I have learned to greatly appreciate the partnership between school and family in order to maximize every child’s potential. The aspirations I have for my sons are the same aspirations I have for my students. I want them to excel and become productive human beings with bountiful opportunities to accomplish their dreams. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and my doodles. I enjoy traveling and experiencing new places and cultures.

I look forward to personally getting to know and work with this amazing community!

Kind Regards,

Adriana Felix
Middle School Assistant Principal

I am honored to be entering my fourth year at Aurora’s premier charter school, Lotus School for Excellence. My role will have shifted from the Secondary Dean of Student Culture, to Secondary Assistant Principal in the 2023-2024 school year. I will receive my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University in August of 2023 and have been serving as a school administrator since 2010. Prior to my work at Grand Canyon University, I completed my undergraduate degree in Leadership and Management from Colorado Christian University.

In addition to my efforts in the school building, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife, who is a gifted therapist, and my two sons who currently attend Horizon High School in the Adams 12 School District.  I am a servant leader who is passionate about ensuring the self-efficacy of all school stakeholders.  

I am a servant leader which means I am wholeheartedly committed to serving others and have been since day one. My intention for getting into educational leadership was to help others to realize their God-given potential. When I say others, I am speaking to both staff and students. 

While my values as a school leader are many, I would say the three that drive my work are courage, service, and wholeheartedness. From the moment I first stepped into a school building, I brought courage to the table. Not the kind of courage that stems from having everything figured out, but the kind that says I am willing to try my best to learn everything I need to know. Not to be average, but to be the absolute best I can be. 

Closely behind courage in my value system is service. I am driven with a heart and passion to serve others. This manifests itself in being willing to step in and help anyone I encounter with a problem he/she may have. It is also found in my ability to not judge someone now for struggling with a situation, but to immediately begin to mobilize resources to aid. In addition to completing assigned tasks, I am also proactively looking for ways that I can expand my service to my building principal to lighten her load. 

Finally, I would say that wholeheartedness is a core value worth mentioning. While thinking things through is especially important, it is not as important as trusting intuition and instinct. I want my heart to be engaged in this important work as well, my whole heart. My value in wholeheartedness shapes what makes it into the school calendar and what does not. It drives hiring and discipline decisions. It is the foundation for parent interactions as I must check myself and ensure that I am present with the parent. Not present as being physically present but present as in truly being in the room with my whole heart. I want to continue to develop this important value by committing to always being a wholehearted leader. 

Thank you for taking a moment to learn a little more about me as a school leader. I continue to be humbled to be a part of such a talented team of leaders at Lotus.  I am also humbled by the terrific community of Lotus!  The trust that has been placed in us as leaders by our parents/guardians and broader community is something we do not take lightly.  Again, thank you! If I can do anything to support your inquiry into Lotus, or to serve you directly do not hesitate to email me at


I am excited to join the Lotus community as the elementary principal. I have 16 years of experience in education; 10 years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher and 6 years between elementary and middle school administration.

I am from Austin, Texas and thrilled to be part of the growing community in Aurora. It has been a pleasure working with children in the primary and intermediate grade levels; watching them grow into young adults and building friendships.

My leadership thrives from building the confidence in students through social-emotional learning. I believe educators should create strong, impactful, and enriching relationships with students to teach them the academics of learning. The foundation of learning comes from the trust built between the student and teacher.

You will see me building relationships with all stakeholders – teachers, parents, students, and community members while leading the elementary division of Lotus School for Excellence with Mr. Huerta.

Feel free to reach out to me at anytime to discuss how we can make the best educational experience for your children.


Masters of Education, Concordia University

Bachelor of Science in Advertising, University of Texas at Austin


(303) 360-0052

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community.” – César Chávez

Welcome to the LSE Community,

It is with great enthusiasm and excitement to continue to serve the LSE community as the Elementary Assistant Principal.  I am truly honored beyond words to know that I have the support of all stakeholders.  I will continue the work of advocating for and providing all students and families with an educational experience, where values and diversity are celebrated.  I am committed to working with the rest of the administration team as we continue to provide leadership and build a structure of collaborative relationships in the school and community so that all students have a variety of opportunities to succeed.

My decision to become an educational leader came from my desire to make a positive impact on an entire school community.  I will work diligently with our staff, and community to carry out the vision and mission of LSE.  This role provides me the chance to work collaboratively with teachers daily, while also remaining connected to our students’ growth and learning that takes place in the classroom.  Diversity and inclusion are pillars of my educational mantra.  I am committed to continuous professional growth and ensuring educational equity and access for all of our students.

Without education, people have no chance to impact the lives of others in their community. I want to give the children I teach a chance to give back to their community and society. It seems as though my entire working life has been devoted to children and their well-being. Hearing the laughter of a child, or just the smile brought to a little one’s face has made my decision in becoming a member of the educational society an easy one.

I am forever grateful to be part of the LSE community and excited for the future.

Thanks for all you do,

Elias M. Huerta, M.A., M.Ed.