Dr. Debbie Zacarian, founder of Zacarian & Associates, provides professional development, strategic planning, and technical assistance for K-16 educators of culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She has served as an expert consultant for school districts, universities, associations, and organizations including the Massachusetts Parent Information Resource Center and Federation for Children with Special Needs.
Debbie has worked with numerous state and local education agencies and written the language assistance programming policies for many rural, suburban, and urban districts. Debbie served on the faculty of University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she co-wrote and was the co-principal investigator of a National Professional Development grant initiative supporting the professional preparation of educators of multilingual learners. Debbie also designed and taught courses for pre- and in-service administrators and teachers on culturally responsive teaching and supervision practices, multilingual development, and ethnographic research. In addition, she served as a program director at the Collaborative for Educational Services where she provided professional development for thousands of educators of multilingual students and partnered with Fitchburg State University in co-writing and enacting a National Professional Development initiative that supported STEM education. Debbie also directed the Amherst Public Schools bilingual and English learner programming where she and the district received state and national honors.
The author of more than 100 publications, her most recent professional books include: Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities in Communities. Schools and Classrooms; Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students; Teaching to Empower: taking action to foster student agency, self-confidence, and collaboration; and Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress.
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