Before coming to Rhode Island, Deborah served as the first State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia.
She began her career in education 25 years ago as an elementary-school teacher in Fort Worth and, later, in Tampa, where she conceived, designed, and initiated a literacy program serving families in 108 elementary schools in Hillsborough County.
Deborah holds a bachelor of science degree in early-childhood education from the University of Oklahoma, a master of arts in elementary education and curriculum from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2008, Deborah was a Broad Superintendents Academy Fellow. She serves on the executive committee of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and she is a founding member of Chiefs for Change.
In 2010, Deborah was one of the Time 100, “the people who most affect our world,” and one of The Atlantic Brave Thinkers, whom the magazine recognizes for “the year’s most intrepid and original thinking.
In 2012, she was a winner of a Brian Bennett Education Warrior Award from Democrats for Education Reform.
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