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Coyla Dowdell, MEd

Director of Special Education & Principal

Coyla graduated from McNeese State University (1975) in Lake Charles, Louisiana with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education.  She then earned her Master’s Degree in Education in Special Education from the University of New Orleans (1978) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Coyla began her career in 1975 as a special education teacher in the Orleans Parish School System. During her tenure in New Orleans, she taught a variety of special education classes. Coyla moved to Houston where she worked in a psychiatric facility for 4 years.  She was instrumental in creating a Children’s Unit School at the facility.  In 1991, Coyla moved to Colorado and has been working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges. In 2000, Coyla developed a Children’s NEED Program with the Pikes Peaks BOCES.  She hired and trained the staff to work with students aged K through Grade 6.  Eventually, Coyla became the Director of Special Education of Widefield School District #3.  Her responsibilities included the education of all students who have disabilities, supervised special education service providers and managed a $6,000,000 budget.

Coyla began working at the Griffith Centers for Children as a Director of Special Education/Principal in 2013.  Most of her experience has been with students who have emotional and behavioral challenges in school.  She loves her work at the Griffith Center School.