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Deborah E. Zacarian

Zacarian, Debbie

Dr. Debbie Zacarian, founder of Zacarian and Associates, provides professional development, strategic planning, and technical assistance for K-16 educators of culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Focusing in strengths-based leadership, instructional practices, and

school-family-community partnerships, she has served as an expert consultant for school districts, universities, and organizations including the Massachusetts Parent Information Resource Center, Federation for Children with Special Needs, and Colorín Colorado, a premier national website serving educators and families of English learners.

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 English Learners and designed and taught courses on culturally responsive practices and multilingual education.  She served as a program director at the Collaborative for Educational Services where she provided professional development for thousands of educators, partnered with Fitchburg State University in co-writing a National Professional Development grant initiative that supported STEM education of multilingual learners, and wrote the English learner policies for numerous rural, suburban and urban districts.  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: Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students; Teaching to Empower: taking action to foster student agency, self-confidence and collaboration; Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress.