Magda Labonté has always wanted to work with students. After receiving her B.A. from Wesleyan University, she began her career as an Associate Teacher at the Brearley School located in New York City. Although she loved working with high-achieving students, she felt her calling was to serve children with disabilities.
Magda decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Drama Therapy at NYU, in order to serve students on a therapeutic basis. As part of her program, she interned as a drama therapist at St. Vincent’s Hospital in-patient child and adolescent psychiatric unit and at New York Presbyterian/Cornell Hospital, Westchester Division’s in-patient child psychiatric unit. During her time as an intern, she learned of New York City’s District 75 program and decided to become a NYC Teaching Fellow. As a fellow, she taught students classified with severe emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, and speech and language impairments, all the while working to complete her second master’s degree, this time a Master of Science and Teaching.
Working as a teacher, Magda saw up close how important access to due process was for many of her students. Magda was inspired to become a lawyer and enrolled at St. John’s University and transitioned to working in self-contained classes in a community school. Upon graduation, she briefly worked as an administrator at a special education charter school. Then, in 2014, she joined the NYC Department of Education’s Impartial Hearing Representation Office and began litigating cases on behalf of the NYC Department of Education.
While working on a case opposing our firm, Magda’s litigation skills were noticed by Regina Skyer. When the case concluded, Regina asked her to join our team.
Magda joined Skyer Law in 2016. Her varied background gives her the ability to evaluate legal issues from many sides, making her a uniquely valuable asset. Magda’s practice runs the gamut, but she takes on many of the cases involving pendency for Turning Five students, CPSE clients, and cases where we are working to obtain deferrals for approved non-public schools.
Magda currently serves on the Board of Trustees of her son’s independent school in Oyster Bay, Long Island. She and her son enjoy hiking, bird-watching and spending hours at various beaches together.