Meteorologist Ginger Z

Sky’s the limit for Rockford grad

April 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Ginger Zuidgeest graduated from Rockford High School (RHS) in 1999, she stated in her high school yearbook she wanted to make it on NBC’s “Today” show by age 30. On Saturday, Feb. 27 of this year that dream came true for meteorologist Ginger Zee (as she is now known). when she filled in for regular meteorologist Bill Carins during the 7:00–9:00 a.m. “Today” show. Currently, Ginger is the weekend meteorologist/on-air weather forecaster for NBC affiliate WMAQ 5’s Chicago weather team, serving one of the largest TV markets in the country. She also serves as that station’s environmental “Going Green” sustainability and conservation reporter. Earlier this year, Ginger also appeared weekdays on NBC’s “Early Today” and MSNBC’s “First Look, Way Too Early” and “Morning Joe.” All of the success of this talented young woman comes as no surprise to the also multi-talented, teacher Colleen Pierson. Pierson, with a strong background with WOOD TV as a manager of marketing services and an education reporter, now teaches broadcast communications/TV Studio 1, 2 and 3 at RHS. “When Ginger, a sophomore at RHS, was a student in my classroom 13 years ago, I soon realized that she was one special young woman,” said Pierson. “Ginger was so good in math and science, intelligent, talented, not to mention beautiful, that I told her she should go into meteorology. She deserves all of her success, because she is one of the hardest workers you will ever come across. Ginger always credits a strong core of teachers here at RHS for our guidance and leadership, but I think it is Ginger who has taught us. She showed us by example the value of hard work.” It appears as though Ginger diligently worked toward her goal, and as if scripted and right on cue, she found herself in New York City in NBC network’s Studio 1A. “You know when you wake up and it feels like you are still dreaming—that is what it was like being on the ‘Today’ show. I knew it was real, but it felt so surreal,” Ginger said. “It was a crazy morning with the earthquake and an epic snowstorm in the northeast. Even so, I managed to remain calm and it was […]