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Deborah A. Downing, MS

Board Member

Deborah A. Downing, MS

Deborah A. Downing-Ogbolu is an educator that believes in making a difference.


Ms. Downing- Ogbolu is a retired special education teacher. For over 32 years, she lent her talent to the NYC Department of Education. As a master educator with a passion for special education and serving those with developmental disabilities, Deborah approaches everything she teaches—with a profound passion. Students find her knowledge and spirit infectious; she turns her classroom into a place where imagination, critical inquiry, and laughter thrive.


Deborah is a seasoned special education educator that is known to bring out the best in students who are mentally, physically, socially, and/or emotionally delayed. Deborah understands that the needs of developmentally disabled students cannot be met within the traditional classroom environment and has a sensitivity to the extensive range of stressors placed upon this population due to the increase awareness for the need of community inclusion.


She is currently an independent contractor for the State of New York and provides in-home support to autistic children. She focuses on their cognitive, communication and social-emotional skills. She is skilled at adapting the content, teaching methodology, and delivery instruction to meet the appropriate needs of each child.


The strides she has made have been acknowledged through her numerous awards and growing responsibilities at the schools in which she taught. Ms. Downing has held a number of professional positions throughout her career. During her years as an educator, she worked as a crisis intervention teacher, an inclusion teacher, a school-based coach, and a parent coordinator.


Deborah is also a passionate civic leader, who helps to foster innovation and lasting organizational change, with organization such as the Metropolitan Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc., where she has served as a Teen Advisor and Co-Chair of their very successful Annual Gala, and a member of the Rainbow Yacht Club. She has also volunteered on campaigns for both judicial and political candidates.


Ms. Downing holds a Master of Science, Special Education from the City College of New York and a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology at Lesley College in Cambridge, MA. Deborah also holds a New York State Permanent Certification in Special Education.