The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the Parkland School District.
Marisa Ziegler is running for school director in the Parkland School District, located in Lehigh County. She is a registered Democrat and a public school teacher.
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, the 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 that work together to accomplish good for the community, even if they don’t always agree on everything. That’s what I’ve seen in Parkland throughout the past four years I’ve been on the board, and I want to continue that work.”
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 to our district. The challenge then is how to address that increased enrollment so our facilities can handle the growth. We are currently doing a feasibility study to help find the most efficient way to plan for this growth while also being fiscally responsible.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
“I have been a public school teacher for seventeen 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 the Parkland School District. I believe being a parent, teacher, and involved community member provides me with a unique perspective and skill set.
“Over the past four years as a school director, I have been the chair of the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Committee and the Personnel and Finance Committee. I have also been on the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI) Joint Operating Committee, where I am the chair of the Policy Committee. These committee positions have given me an inside look into the inner workings of the district.”
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.”
Are you running with other candidates?
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.”
We contacted the Democratic and Republican committees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties and asked them to share the questions with their school director candidates. Broad + Liberty will post the responses throughout the summer to assist voters in learning about the candidates running in their district. The series is open to any school director on the ballot in November. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty