Dr. Donna Ploessl, an associate professor of special education at the University of Montevallo, has been promoted to dean of the College of Education and Human Development. She has been serving as interim dean since June 2022.
“I am truly honored to accept the role of dean of the College of Education and Human Development,” said Ploessl. “In alignment with the college’s mission, I am committed to fostering a learning environment that values diversity, inclusion and excellence. I look forward to leading our dedicated faculty, staff and students in a collaborative supportive community that fosters the comprehensive development of individuals.”
Ploessl has been a faculty member at UM since 2017. During her time at UM, she has earned the 2022 Ernest Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award and the 2019 Jasper Harvey Award for Alabama’s Outstanding Teacher Educator from the Council for Exceptional Children.
“As interim dean, she led the college through program level accreditations, supported faculty development and fulfillment, expanded academic programs and nurtured partnerships with local educational agencies,” said Dr. Courtney Bentley, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
Ploessl’s research, which focuses on effective preparation of special and general education professionals, has been published in several journals. She also serves on the Alabama State Department of Education Higher Education Task Force on the Science of Reading and is an external reviewer for conference presentation proposals for The Council for Exceptional Children.
Prior to starting at UM, Ploessl spent 15 years at The Capital School in Tuscaloosa. She also has served as an assistant professor of special education at Stillman College.