Jackie Zeigler, spouse of state auditor, will run for Board of Education

Jackie and Jim Zeigler

Longtime educator and wife to a state cabinet member Jackie Zeigler will run for the Alabama Board of Education.

Zeigler spent her 37-year career in the Mobile County School District, the last 14 as principal of Mary B. Austin Elementary. She says she will run on a “back-to-basics” platform that de-emphasizes the mandatory testing popular in recent years in the GOP-led state Legislature, to instead focus on individual needs of students.

“We need less paperwork, less busy work, and more classroom instruction,” said Zeigler, who is married to state auditor Jim Zeigler, a colorful and opinionated voice in Montgomery.

Zeigler touted her credentials and experience n an announcement declaring her candidacy for the District 1 board seat, which spans Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Butler, Crenshaw, and Covington counties.

Saying she has “more experience working with schools than all other candidates combined,” Zeigler said she would seek guidance from a set of axioms which “includes a lot of Cs: Christian, Constitutional, Conservative, Church worker, Common sensical.”

Zeigler, a Republican, faces Matthew Brown, Adam Bourne and Carl Myrick.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote when they face off during the March 1 so-called “SEC primary,” the two top finishers will face off in an April 12 runoff.

Zeigler’s educational background includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from the University of South Alabama. Before taking over the top job at Mary B. Austin, Zeigler was assistant principal of O’Rourke Elementary in west Mobile and an administrator at Maryvale Elementary and Dauphin Island’s “Little Red School House.”