Marisa Ziegler is a mother of 10 year old twins, a public school teacher for the past 16 years, and the first openly-LGBTQ+ board director on the Parkland School Board.
In 2006, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Education with Reading Specialist Certification from Kutztown University in 2011.
In 2019, she was elected to serve on the Parkland School District Board of Directors. During her time on the board, she has served as chairperson on the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Committee and is the current chairperson of the Personnel and Finance Committee. Marisa is also one of six Parkland board directors on the LCTI Joint Operating Committee, where she serves as chairperson for the Policy Committee. In addition to that, she is also the board representative for the Community Advisory Council. In December of 2022, she was elected by her board colleagues to be the Vice President of the Parkland School Board.
This past November, she was a delegate at the PSBA Delegate Assembly where she was able to consider and vote on proposals and recommendations from the PSBA Platform Committee and adopt a legislative platform for the upcoming year. This legislative platform included priorities such as: the mental health and safety of students, comprehensive charter school reform, and the need for significant and appropriate school funding.
1. Why are you running for school board?
It’s a way to give back to my community and a way to give back to the field of education. As a public school teacher and parent, school board always seemed like a natural fit for me. I’m running for re-election now, because I love doing this work with my colleagues and our district administration. I always admire groups who work together to accomplish good for the community even if they don’t always agree on everything. I feel like that’s what I’ve seen in Parkland over the past four years that I’ve been on the board and I want to continue that work.
2. What are the most important issues facing your district?
The most important issue in Parkland right now is planning for the future – focusing on growth, enrollment, and our facilities. We have amazing teachers, schools, and administrators; and because of that, so many people want to move into our district. The challenge then is how to address that increased enrollment so that our facilities can handle the growth. We are currently doing a feasibility study to help us find the most efficient way to plan for this growth while also being fiscally-responsible.
3. What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
I have been a public school teacher for 17 years. I have a deep understanding of public education, curriculum and standards, and the challenges teachers face on a daily basis. I am also a parent of twins who attend school in Parkland School District. I believe that being a parent, teacher, and involved community member provides me with a unique perspective and skill set.
Over the past four years, I have been the chair of the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Committee and the Personnel and Finance Committee. I have also been on the LCTI Joint Operating Committee, where I am the chair of the Policy Committee. These committee positions have given me an inside look at a variety of aspects of the inner workings of the district.
4. Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
Yes, I was elected to the Parkland School Board in 2019. I am politically active in local politics and vote in every election.
5. What is the most important role of the school board in your opinion?
The most important role of a school board director is to pass a fiscally-responsible budget that provides our students with the resources and opportunities to help them succeed in the future and reach their full potential.