Photo of Andrea Zayas

Andrea Zayas

Part-Time Instructor

A nationally recognized leader in education policy and practice, Andrea Zayas envisions self-determined communities of color teeming with thinkers, doers, and makers who are inspired and prepared from youth to use their gifts in service to collective wellness. Across her career, she has leveraged her experience as a public school teacher and mother to build bridges between families, educators, administrators, and policymakers by developing and implementing research-backed strategies that have been adopted around the country to maximize positive outcomes for Black and Brown youth.

She joined the BU Wheelock faculty part-time to teach Child Policy: Creating a Society Where Children, Youth, and Families Thrive in the Fall of 2023. She is excited to teach Family & Community Engagement during the spring 2024 semester.

Ms. Zayas leads Journey into Education and Teaching, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit aimed at solving critical teacher pipeline challenges by supporting paraprofessionals of color to become licensed educators. She also currently serves on the Biden/Harris Administration’s Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics.

In 2008 and 2018, respectively, Ms. Zayas founded La Cima Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, New York and the New Orleans Youth Alliance, both award-winning institutions that center youth leadership as an integral tool in community sustainability.

Ms. Zayas has also served as regional state turnaround superintendent in Camden, New Jersey, director for Charter School Accountability for the New York City Department of Education, and Chief Academic Office at Boston Public Schools. Most recently, she developed and executed education grantmaking, policy, and systems change work as the national director of K-12 Education at the Ballmer Group.

Ms. Zayas is the founder of Upstream Education Consulting, a boutique firm of field leaders who support systems and organizational leaders through thought partnership, coaching, and facilitation.

Ms. Zayas is a first-generation high school and college graduate and proud daughter of the African diaspora with indigenous Colombian and Afro-Boricua roots.

Candidate, EdD, Urban Education Leadership, Xavier University of Louisiana

EdM, Arts in Education/APSP, Harvard Graduate School of Education 

BA, Visual Arts, Rutgers University—Douglass College 

1ED 431 - Child Policy: Creating a Society Where Children, Youth & Families Thrive

ED 206 - Family & Community Engagement