Student Support Team

Deb Croft




Debra Croft is a University of Northern Iowa graduate, and holds a Master of Education in Collaborative Learning and Teaching for K-12 Educators from Graceland University. She has been teaching for 38 years, primarily as an interventionist. Her passions are family, educating children and exercise!

Sara Herrin

Special Education


Hope Jones

Special Education Associate


Dana L. Allen

Dean of Students & Special Education



I learned about the Downtown School when I was a high school student at Colfax-Mingo. Since then it was my dream to become a “Downtown School” teacher.  When I first heard about this school, I thought it was a dream and in the years I have been teaching here, I can’t imagine teaching in a better place.

My history with the Downtown School goes back to 2006, when I was fortunate enough to be chosen to do my pre-teaching at the Downtown School.  I then received my undergrad from Simpson College in 2008 with my degree in Elementary Education, Liberal Arts, and a minor in Psychology. I received concentrations in reading and special education.

Since being hired with the Downtown School, in 2008, my journey here has gone in various directions.  I have worked with the 7/8 team, the 9/10 team and I currently work as our K-5 special education teacher.  I am also part of our build leadership team and our building technology specialist.

In addition to all of my professional roles at the Downtown School and with DMPS, I am a UNI Panther. I completed my masters in administration the summer of 2018 with University of Northern Iowa as a part of their Urban Education Principalship Network. My new learning has been a gift in preparing me for future roles in our district.

I am grateful for my professional career with Des Moines Public Schools and the Downtown School. It continues to be a dream!  I truly can't imagine a better place to be!

My Mission: Support a school culture that focuses on cultivating the skills needed for every child to fulfill their future dreams.


Please visit my links below to see the other district work I am involved in.

Trailblazer Page

Demonstration Teacher


Or feel free to browse through my journey with UNI.

Leadership Portfolio

Technology Philosophy