Mark A. Ziegler-Thayer is a master's student studying education policy at the University of Pennsylvania. In May 2020, they graduated from Penn as a Dean's Scholar with a master's degree in urban elementary education. While undertaking their undergraduate and postgraduate studies, Ziegler-Thayer taught kindergarten students in Camden and Philadelphia. They are currently conducting nationwide research regarding K-12 leaders' handling of and responses to COVID-19. Ziegler-Thayer holds an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2019, they graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology and a Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Concentration from Rowan University's College of Science and Mathematics and Honors College, respectively.