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DECATUR, Ala. – Decatur City Schools teacher Mary Ann Hotaling has been crowned Ms. Veteran America 2020.

Hotaling was one of 25 finalists in the competition.

Before working as an ESL Collaborative Specialist, Hotaling was an Army captain in 2002 and served in Bosnia as an ambulance platoon leader. 

Judging criteria included an interview, knowledge of military history, and advocacy for homeless female veterans. According to a statement from Decatur City Schools Superintendent Michael Douglas, Hotaling raised over $27,000 for Final Salute, an organization focused on providing housing for homeless women veterans in the United States.

She was named Ms. Veteran America during a virtual competition in October. Douglas said he’s proud to have Hotaling represent the school system.