Debbie Zacarian, Ed.D. & Associates, LLC is a woman-owned consulting business specializing in policy and practice, strategic planning, evaluation, coaching, innovation, and professional development for educators and professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations (including students living with trauma, violence and chronic stress, multilingual learners, students living in poverty and students who do not yet possess the academic language skills needed to be successful in school). Our ‘credo’ is achievement through access, equity, and engagement and our mission is to provide expertise to school districts, state and federal education agencies, professional and research organizations, universities, and others seeking sustained solutions in strengthening achievement and outcomes.
Dr. Debbie Zacarian, founder of Zacarian & Associates, is known for her expertise in strengths-based leadership, instructional practices, evaluation, and partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse student and family populations. With over three decades of combined experience as a district administrator, university faculty member, and educational service agency leader, she has been providing professional development throughout the United States. She has written many books and more than 100 journal articles and district, and state policies focused on leadership and instructional practices with diverse learners- including English learners, academic language learners, and students living with adversity.
Her professional books include
- Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities in Communities, Schools, and Classrooms (co-written with Margarita Espino Calderón, and Margo Gottlieb)
- Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (co-written with Ivannia Soto)
- Teaching to Empower: Taking Action to Foster Student Agency, Self-Confidence, and Collaboration (co-written with Michael Silverstone)
- Teaching and Supporting Students Living with Adversity. Quick Reference Guide. (co-written with Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz)
- Breaking Down the Wall: Essential Shifts in for English Learners’ Success (co-written with Margarita Espino Calderón, Maria G. Dove, Diane Staehr Fenner, Margo Gottlieb, Andrea Honigsfeld, Tonya Ward Singer, Shawn Slakk, and Ivannia Soto)
- Teaching To Strengths: Supporting Students Living With Trauma, Violence & Chronic Stress (co-written with Lourdes-Alvarez-Ortiz and Judie Haynes)
- In It Together: How partnerships with students, families and communities advance engagement and achievement in diverse classrooms (co-written with Michael Silverstone)
- Mastering Academic Language: a framework for supporting student achievement
- The Essential Guide for Educating Beginning English Learners (co-written with Judie Haynes)
- Transforming Schools for English learners: a comprehensive framework for school leaders
- Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas (co-written with Judie Haynes)
An expert in policies and practices, Dr. Zacarian:
Was a consultant for the Massachusetts Parent Information Resource Center and Federation for Children with Special Needs
Wrote Serving English Learners: laws, policies and regulations, a user-friendly guide about US federal laws for Colorín Colorado
Wrote the Boston Public Schools’ policies for English learners as well as policies for many urban, suburban, and rural school districts
Served as a consultant with the Kindergarten Entry Assessment Advisory Committee of the Delaware Governor’s Office, Children’s Department, and Office of Education
For over a decade, Dr. Zacarian served on the faculty of University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She was also the founder and director of the Center for English Language Education and Advancing Student Achievement at the Collaborative for Educational Services and the founding director of Amherst Public Schools bilingual and English learner program where she and the district received many local, state and national honors for its work with English learners.