Marybelle Ferreira

Gray Fellow 2023 to 2024


Loving education, teaching, learning, exploring, discovering, and mining the minds of our young people, led Dr. Marybelle Ferreira De Oleo to join one of the institutions she thought would allow her to make her dreams a reality and for 25 years and counting, she has done exactly what her heart and mind had always been passionate about – teach – learn – educate – advocate.

Her love and determination to payback to a country and an educational system that allowed her to dream and make many of those dreams a reality, propelled her to attend college, although at the time, it seemed almost impossible to do so for a “fresh off the boat” 16-year-old Dominicanita, who did not speak a word of this language that she now calls her second language and who didn’t have any role model to guide her through the maze that the educational system and higher education could be for new immigrants.

The educational system in NYC made it impossible for her to attend H.S. and over three decades later, specially when she hears the news about new immigrants, with a sour taste she reminisces about her difficult beginnings in NYC as a young girl who only wanted to attend school and was pushed out. So, it is ironic that, that same girl became a teacher who, still with añoranzas remembers her first day, back in 1997 when she first entered (first time ever) a New York City Public School classroom as an educator and the rest is history – she fell in love with her students and that love carried her through very challenging times and many more happy times.

Dr. Ferreira De Oleo has served in the New York City Public School system for 25 years, as a proud bilingual teacher, committed assistant principal, and devoted principal. Her devotion to her students went beyond just loving them because she knew, and still knows that a great education means liberation and she wants all kids to live an accomplished life and grow up in a world where they are valued, respected and free; therefore, as an administrator, she made sure that her school, students, staff, and community had everything they needed to succeed. She implemented durable and sustainable systems that involved all stakeholders ranging from parents, CBOs, CEC, government agencies and their respective representatives to ensure that resources were available to everyone. The systems and programs she implemented supported her in taking her school from a Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) designation to a designation of Good Standing.

Dr. Ferreira De Oleo earned a Doctor of Education, Leadership and Administration Degree from The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision; a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the City College of the City University of New York.