Priscilla Zarate served as Executive Director at the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) for two years, where she serviced over 150,000 English Language Learners in 1,800 schools throughout the NYC five boroughs. As the Executive Director, Ms. Zárate led citywide initiatives including the creation, development, deployment, implementation, and monitoring of supports, resources, and services for English Language Learners /Multilingual Learners (ELLs/MLLs) across districts, field support offices, and schools. She implemented and expanded high quality Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), English as a New Language (ENL), and Dual Language (DL) programs. Ms. Zarate built the capacity of superintendents, principals, assistant principals, teachers and Field Support Centers in the areas of literacy, mathematics, foundational skills, STEM, World Languages, TBE and DL programs. She worked closely with the New York City Chancellor and Deputy Chancellor to create policies that ensure equity, excellence and accessible support and resources for the academic success of ELLs/MLLs.
Prior to her appointment to NYCDOE, Ms. Zárate worked for eight years as an Assistant Coordinator for the Bilingual and ENL programs at the Brentwood School District, and eight years at the Christa McAuliffe School in Jackson Heights, Queens where she served in a similar position.
Ms. Zarate currently serves as Suffolk County Community College Board of Trustee and Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board Chairwoman for the Suffolk County Government Office of Minority Affairs. Since 2013, she has been a committee member of the Town of Babylon’s Department of Human Services Hispanic Heritage Committee, for which she coordinates children’s programs and activities.
In 2013, she was recognized by the Town of Babylon and Supervisor Rich Schaffer as a “Hispanic Leader Serving and Guiding Our Nation with Pride and Honor.” That same year, State Senator Phil Boyle honored her at the Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony as a Hispanic Leader in the Brentwood community.
Most recently, Ms. Zarate was elected as New York State Association of Bilingual Education (NYSABE) Delegate for Region1- Long Island, one of the largest organizations in New York State supporting and advocating for ELLs/MLLs.
Priscilla Zarate has presented at many NYC and NYS conferences on the planning and implementation of bilingual programs including, but not limited to the NABE (National Association of Bilingual Education), NYSABE (New York State Association of Bilingual Education), CABE (California Association of Bilingual Education), QTEL (Quality Teaching for English Language Learners), Adelphi University’s Forum on Teaching English Language Learners, and NYC Department of Education’s Dual Language Symposiums and Panels.