Marylotti Copeland was nominated by a member of her community, Charles Testino.
Ms. Copeland has a proven ability to educate children, and has shown a great ability to be a leader. She works in a small rural K-12 school district consisting of two schools, elementary through middle school. For high school, the students go to another district.
Her nominator, Charles Testino has worked in the Palominas School District since 1984. He has known Ms. Copeland since she was a first year teacher in the district. She has enhanced her education by getting her administration certification. Once that was achieved, she was appointed to a principalship at Coronado Elementary School and worked as that school's principal for many years. Several years ago, she was appointed to be the superintendent for the school district, which came with many challenges.
Being a small rural district, Palominas relies heavily on government funding and student enrollment. Over the last three years, the district has had a decreasing enrollment and very little government funding, which has forced the closure of one of the three schools in the district last year. Although this was difficult to accept, Ms. Copeland worked steadily to solve the problem and was able to maintain her teaching staff by combining all of her teachers into the other two schools.
She moved the small district office into the school that had closed down, which is now housing all of the administration. She was also able to utilize this school by creating a community clothing and food bank inside. The district never had a pre-school facility until Ms. Copeland created one. She was able to set up a pre-school for the district, which will now be able to better prepare kids for elementary school. Ms. Copeland is currently raising money to build a pre-school playground for these children as well. She loves working in the education field, and always puts her community first. Ms. Copeland has the respect of all who work in her district!