Meet Bridget Ziegler

Chairwoman of the Sarasota County School Board
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Bridget Ziegler, Chairman of the Sarasota County School Board, is currently seeking re-election to continue serving the best interest of all stakeholders, including students, parents, families, teachers and all taxpayers.

Bridget was first elected to the Sarasota County School Board in 2014, after being appointed by Governor Rick Scott to fill a vacancy. During her four years on the board, she has been a successful champion for hard fiscal responsibility, transparency, and #StudentFirst policies.

Passion For Serving:

Bridget was always active in her community, predominantly focused with local nonprofits. But as with any parent, once she had a child, her priorities and reason for living changed dramatically. With the birth of her daughter, Reagan, Bridge had a newfound sense of meaning: ensuring all families had access to high-quality education options.

The combination of her business acumen and passion for children is what has allowed her to be effective in serving her community, with a focus on what matters – the STUDENTS.

Throughout the four years of her service, she has been a voice for parents on the School Board, and has assisted countless families navigating the various roadblocks and bureaucracy to ensure their problems are addressed promptly and in the best interest of the children.

Statewide Leader In Education:

Bridget quickly recognized that there were fractured relationships between local school boards and the state Legislature. This fracture was an impediment to creating effective policies. Title IV of Florida’s State Constitutions states that Education Policies shall be created in partnership between local school boards and the state Legislature.

This was one of the key reasons Bridget and a handful of like-minded school board members across the state created a new statewide association for individual school board members – the Florida Coalition of School Board Members. The heart of the mission and vision of the FCSBM is to create solution-oriented partnerships with state and local leaders, to ensure student-first policies and legislation could be adopted and move our students forward.

Since the creation of the FCSBM in early 2015, there has been tremendous success building relationships and passing significant legislation, tailored to expanding school choice options, fiscal accountability, religious liberties, and transparent textbook adoption and the ability to challenge materials, to name a few.

Private Sector:

In addition to serving on the Sarasota County School Board, Bridget maintains her private sector job as a Vice President at Marsh US, a Marsh & Mclennan Company, where she advises large private and publicly traded companies on the design of tailored risk management strategies, including alternative risk financing, loss portfolio transfers, finite risk programs and integrated risk programs.

Other Areas:

Bridget was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Ill., and is the youngest of three siblings. Her parents, Kevin and Eileen McGrath, instilled a foundation of valuing the importance of family and a strong work ethic at a very early age, which is has been instrumental throughout her life, and represent the values she passes on to her own two children.

In addition, the love for cultural arts were at the heart of her upbringing. Bridget began playing piano at age 2, and was classically trained through her high school years, in addition to performing a number of vocal and theatrical performances. Her first major role was when she was 8, playing the lead role as Annie in the play Annie, with a local theater group, and over a dozen more to follow. Because of this, Bridget has seen, first hand, how impactful cultural arts can be to building confidence and expanding creativity on a young developing mind.

Her parents relocated to Sarasota in 2000 after she graduated from high school, eventually leading to Bridget’s relocation to Sarasota in 2010, after attending Florida International University and working in Miami.

Husband & Family

Bridget met her husband, Christian Ziegler, in Sarasota after being introduced by a close friend in 2011… and as they say, the rest was history! They now have two daughters, Reagan (4) and Sloane (2), who fuel their passion for ensuring Sarasota is the best place to work, live, and receive a world-class education.

Organization Involvement:

  • Republican Party of Sarasota County, Precinct Committeewoman
  • East County Republican Club, Member
  • Nokomis, Osprey, Venice Area (NOVA) Republican Club, Member
  • North Port Area Republican Club, Member
  • Republican Club of Longboat Key, Member
  • Republican Club of South Sarasota County, Member
  • Republican Women’s Club of Sarasota, Member
  • Sarasota Republican Club, Member
  • Children First
  • Asolo Repertory
  • Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
  • Gulf Coast Builders Exchange
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Florida Coalition of School Board Members, Founding Member & Current President 2017-2018

Community Engagement:

  • Leadership Sarasota Executive Board 2014-2016
  • Leadership Sarasota, Youth Leadership Chair 2015
  • Leadership Sarasota, Youth Leadership Vice-Chair 2014
  • Leadership Sarasota – Class of 2013

Awards & Mentions:

  • Observer’s 2018: People to Watch (read)
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal: Women in Business Nominee 2018
  • Sarasota Magazine: Best of Award: Best Public Official – Honorable Mention 2017
  • SRQ Magazine Women in Business Nominee, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Sarasota Magazine: Best Of Award: Greatest Community Accomplishment – 2015: Election of Bridget Ziegler
  • Business Observer’s 30 under 30 award – 2011
  • SRQ Magazine: Millenial 6