• 84°

Local educator wins state award

Winners included (front, left to right) Dorann Tanner, Alabaster City Schools; Donna L. Revel, Escambia County Schools; Pamela Anderson, Madison City Schools and Thomas Sheffield, President of AAPASS, who are pictured with Rhonda’s family – sister, Debi Pugh; daughter Meghan Cotten; mother, Jean Messer and sister Linda Williamson. Not pictured is her daughter, Caitlin Samson.

Winners included (front, left to right) Dorann Tanner, Alabaster City Schools; Donna L. Revel, Escambia County Schools; Pamela Anderson, Madison City Schools and Thomas Sheffield, President of AAPASS, who are pictured with Rhonda’s family – sister, Debi Pugh; daughter Meghan Cotten; mother, Jean Messer and sister Linda Williamson. Not pictured is her daughter, Caitlin Samson.

Donna L. Revel, Escambia County Board of Education’s Attendance Office and At-Risk and Community Education Coordinator, was honored as a recipient of the Rhonda L. Cotten “Be The Change” award in Mobile on March 4.

The award was created in memory of Rhonda L. Cotten, a Brewton native, who was an outstanding educator who died last year following a battle with breast cancer.

Cotten, in collaboration with the Baldwin County School system and the Alabama State Department of Education designed, developed and provided professional development for the first early warning system in the nation to identify students at risk in areas of attendance, behavior and course or credit attainment from pre-k to grade 12. Cotten was an outstanding educator with many accomplishments.

Revel was chosen from 16 nominees from across the state for the award. She was one of three recipients who were the first to receive the award.

“Donna is passionate about her work with children in Escambia County and across the state. Her infectious smile and enthusiasm remind me much of my dear friend Rhonda Cotten,” said Wynell Bell, who nominated Revel for the award.

“Much like Rhonda, Donna will work until she finds an answer,” Bell said. “She steps outside the realm of her everyday duties to get involved in her community and state.

“She simply has a heart for children and families in need in whatever capacity she sees that need whether it is in education or simply stocking their kitchen shelves with necessities. Her scope of educator is not limited to the job description on her contract,” said Bell.

Revel has served more than 25 years in public education in Escambia County.

She has been instrumental in bringing in millions of dollars in grant funding for after-school programs, arts programs, music programs, recreational programs and many more that impact the youth at-risk in Escambia County and the state.

Revel lives in Brewton with her husband Kenny of 36 years. They have three adopted children.