Mary Beth Payne


Mary Beth’s goal is to introduce and invite members, staff, and guests...everyone try the sport of climbing, and meet the community of climbers at the CAC clubs. Mary Beth guarantees your life will be enriched by stepping just a bit outside your normal exercise class routine.

Mary Beth started as a guest at EAC, participating in the three-week Adult Beginner Climbing class. Her attendance in this class was a New Year's Resolution to work less, and try a sport that had always caught her attention. One year later, after near-daily climbing, she was offered a spot on the climbing staff. She worked the Kids 1, Kids 2, and Youth League classes, taught the Adult Beginner Class, and worked the Tuesday Introductory/Supervised Shift for 5 years. In August of 2017, as the department underwent changes in management, Mary Beth was asked to be the Climbing Coordinator at EAC. During her 17-month tenure in this role, she started and ran the Obstacle Climbing Club, she hosted the extremely popular Pop-Up Friday Family Climb, and she expanded the Youth Climbing program, which included opening a girls-only Youth League class, which remains a thriving class to this day. Most recently, Mary Beth was one of the Advanced Team climbing coaches during the 2018-2019 climbing season. When she's not working for climbing, she works on her climbing, with regular fall and spring trips to the Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky, and yearly trips to Exit 38 in Washington State. In her non-climbing time, Mary Beth is a completing her 18th year as a sixth grade teacher with Chicago Public Schools.

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