Education specialist Revelly A. Paul ’86 M.Ed., who for years had brought Lehigh professors and university students together for thematic summer experiences for gifted middle school children, died May 28, 2022.
Paul served as director of Lehigh’s Summer Gifted Program, which challenged creative and inventive students from throughout the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) and elsewhere. Under her leadership from 1996 to 2005, gifted students considered the challenges of planetary exploration on a “Mission to Mars,” dug to find clues to solve an archeological mystery and cleaned up a simulated acid spill in Monocacy Creek.
Friends and family describe Paul as quirky, fun and intellectually curious. “To be sure, my mother did some extraordinary things,” said her daughter, Jessica Paul. “My mother dyed the Monocacy Creek green. It was for some educational purpose to teach kids about underground caves, but really, it was just for fun. And all in a day’s work for her.”
Paul mentored parents, was instrumental in bringing advanced-placement classes to the Bethlehem Area (Pa.) School District and served as president of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, winning the Neuber-Pregler Award in 1998. She was a reference librarian at Linderman Library.
David Snyder, adjunct professor in Lehigh’s College of Education, said he always found Paul to be “innovative, energetic and assiduous.”
Snyder said, “Her wit and creative intelligence will be missed. Revelly was a tireless and powerful advocate of gifted education.”
Robert Kachmar, a middle school science teacher in the Saucon Valley (Pa.) School District, has fond memories of working with Paul at the gifted camps.
When he was just starting out in his teaching career, he said, “I was fairly stiff in my teaching, and she pushed me into an uncomfortable zone that showed me how to set up experiential learning. She believed in me. She was truly a mentor that I recognize now how much it impacted my teaching style and the experiences I went on to set up for my students. … I became a better teacher because of her influence.”
Paul is survived by her husband, Jack Paul, professor emeritus of accounting at Lehigh; son Jeffrey Fynn-Paul ’94 and his wife Jennifer Fynn; daughter Jessica Paul ’97, an adjunct professor of architecture at Lehigh in 2002 and 2008, her husband, Kevin Chu, and their four children; and brother Michael Finn.