In January 2019, Mirza Sánchez-Medina was appointed by Chancellor Richard Carranza to lead the Division of Multilingual Learners (DML) at the New York City Department of Education. In this capacity, Mirza led the development and implementation of a strategic plan to address the needs of over 150,000 culturally and linguistically diverse Multilingual Learners/English Language Learners (MLL/ELL). DML's strategic plan is centered on the Instructional Leadership Framework's systems strategy to ensure high expectations, rigorous instruction, and a supportive environment for multilingual learners. The division aims to achieve its mission through collaborative partnerships, resource development, capacity building, program monitoring, and support. The vision is to ensure that MLL/ELLs graduate prepared for college, career, and life.
In 2003, Mirza founded Manhattan Bridges High School (MBHS), a school designed to address ELLs' linguistic and cultural needs. She assembled a team of colleagues, partners, and parents to establish a high school that focused on providing native Spanish speaking students learning opportunities to build a bridge to their future. From the inception, there was an emphasis on college and career readiness, reading and writing across the curriculum, and meaningful professional development opportunities for educators. MBHS has risen to the forefront of the best progressive high schools, with a 95% graduation average rate.
Mirza was appointed, in 1998, as the Assistant Principal Administration and Organization at Martin Luther King High School, a large comprehensive school of over 3000 students. In this capacity, she managed all operations and budgets for the school. In 2000 she was nominated as Assistant Principal of the Year.
Mirza taught science and mathematics in Puerto Rico before the New York City Board of
Education recruited her in 1988, to be a bilingual chemistry teacher at MLK. Throughout her MLK teaching career, she taught chemistry, biology, physics, physical science, and health to newly-arrived students. In addition to her teaching role, she mentored new teachers, served as a staff developer, and co-authored a chemistry book in Spanish for ELL students. As a teacher-leader, Mirza coordinated an in-house institute of over 600 ELL students.She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), with a degree in Chemistry and Education. Mirza earned graduate degrees in science and Administration in Supervision from the City University of New York. She earned a Master of Divinity from the New York Theological Seminary. Currently, Mirza is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy at Fordham University.