Marla Echols is a multi-subject third-grade educator, at Rota Elementary School, in the Europe South District. She believes students thrive when their education goes beyond academics and is enveloped in social-emotional wellness alongside home, school, and community partnerships. Echols strives to create equitable learning spaces where all children are welcomed, respected, and empowered. She incites learners to take risks, learn from mistakes, and share knowledge. This happens all while meeting individuals where they are and supporting them to achieve their potential.

Education has always been at the forefront for Echols. She obtained a Bachelor in Elementary Education with an emphasis in remedial reading (K-12) from Tougaloo College, Mississippi. She later earned a Master of Education in Elementary Education. As a lifelong learner, Echols continues to stay current on educational trends and practices. Globally, she engages with the Collaborative for Academic Social-Emotional Learning (CASEL) and their international Community of Practice. She is currently pursuing a Social Emotional Learning Specialist certification for school-wide implementation.

As a teacher leader and facilitator of learning, Echols has led local, district, and regional professional learning activities, served as Continuous School Improvement leadership chairs, facilitated Europe's regional summer reading program, and co-taught lessons with Instructional Support Specialists.

Echols leverages the expertise of others through collaboration by spearheading complex-wide initiatives, partnering with the community to organize family events, serving on feedback panels, including School Advisory and Multi-Tiered System of Support committees, and as a moderator for DoDEA's Teacher Leader Café.

Echols' motto is "Working Together Works!"

2024 District Teacher of the Year Recipient
Marla L. Echols 3rd Grade Teacher
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