In 2016, as I was preparing to become the Chief Reader for the AP Human Geography course, I felt overwhelmed, flattered, and completely over my skis. Don Zeigler was the “outgoing Chief Reader” and I couldn’t have asked for a more excellent mentor. He took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of a new job. Don exuded positivity, kindness, and professionalism in a way that gave me confidence that I could do well if I try to follow in his footsteps. I did try to make the readings infused with some of my own personality and interests, but I could always rely on his excellent example to guide me.
Don’s curiosity about the world was insatiable and infused with a childlike wonder that academia can beat out of a scholar, but not Don. He delighted in making new connections, traveling the world, and sharing his insights. Officials from the College Board, ETS, and the AP Human Geography community collaborated to write a letter to express their profound sadness on hearing of his passing this week. He will be missed, but collectively we are all better for having known him. May we all look to a more excellent future.
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