Zachary Parker is a third-generation educator and former award-winning 7th-grade math teacher. Zachary now serves as the Ward 5 member and President of the State Board of Education.
Since being sworn in on January 2, 2019, Zachary has focused on informing sound policy — from the DC School Report Card to culturally responsive education standards — that ensures all students have an opportunity to excel regardless of zip code. Zachary authored the State Board's Equity Framework, which is meant to center equity in all the State Board's work, and championed expanded support for students with disabilities and full funding for the Birth to Three for All DC Act of 2018.
Zachary has also worked to make sure DC's most vulnerable students have the educational resources to excel. In 2019, Zachary launched the Ward 5 Education Equity Committee, a community-led organization for Ward 5 educators, parents, and neighbors to advocate for local educational matters. To address the impact of COVID-19, Zachary partnered with the Ward 5 Education Equity Committee in 2020 to raise over $12,000 to provide 300+ students with school supplies and critical virtual learning materials (i.e., Wi-Fi hotspots and headphones).
Zachary's advocacy has contributed to funding for McKinley Technology High School's Biotechnology Department, transportation for youth experiencing homelessness in Ward 5, and increased school budgets. Zachary's advocacy has also contributed to the renovation and much-needed upgrades to Ward 5 schools, including Langley Elementary School and Spingarn High School. Zachary's latest endeavor is working with his predecessor and businessman, Mark Jones, and Ward 5 leaders to stand up the Ward 5 Education Collaborative (Ward 5 Ed Collab) to support area schools financially. The Ward 5 Ed Collab is a non-profit entity that will raise and disburse funds to supplement Ward 5 school budgets.
When not fighting for educational equity in Washington, D.C., Zachary serves as a proud board member of Love to Langa, US-based non-profit supporting programs to provide hope and educational opportunities for the children of Langa, South Africa. Currently, Love to Langa is working to build a Montessori school for the children of South Africa. Zachary believes the push for quality education is truly a global endeavor.
Zachary received a BS in Speech and Language Pathology (Communication Sciences and Disorders) from Northwestern University and a MA in Education Policy and Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.