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2022 ISTA Statewide Officer Candidate Statements

At the 2022 ISTA Representative Assembly (RA), an election will be held for the positions of ISTA president and ISTA vice president. The following candidates submitted their nomination form according to election requirements.

Ask your local president for information on how to attend the ISTA RA as a delegate or visit

Candidates for President

Keith Gambill

Just eight months into my term, our world changed dramatically. In the midst of this chaos, members adjusted and adapted to ensure the care of all of our students. Zoom meetings, graduation parades, masks, air hugs all became a part of our world. Likewise, ISTA made the changes needed to provide for our members and continue our great work.

It’s been rough. Our cumulative loss of loved ones, time, sleep and energy is unmeasurable. Through it all, our will and desire to persevere has sustained us. We have continued to lobby, rally, march and advocate for public education. We have made great strides under unimaginable circumstances, and we have much to celebrate.

It is my belief in public education and the great work of the Association that drives my work as ISTA President. For more than 30 years, I have sought to be the best teacher for my students inside the classroom and the best advocate for them outside the classroom. I have faith that collectively we can make a brighter future. As your president, I pledge to work in solidarity to advance public education in Indiana and I thank you for your support.

Candidates for Vice President 

Jennifer Smith-Margraf

Leadership matters. From the rally at the State House to the relentless advocacy that resulted in the largest ever investment in public education in the state of Indiana, we have proven that we not only have the ability to change the narrative, but also the reality on the ground for our members on the issues that will determine the course of public education for years to come.

Challenges still lie ahead of us. We know that to recruit and retain educators we need to continue to see funding increases, restore the ability to bargain working conditions, and create an environment where educators of all races and ethnicities are seen, heard, and respected. Yet, each of these challenges presents us with profound opportunities to significantly improve working conditions for teachers and therefore learning conditions for students.

We stand ready to meet the challenges we know we face and the challenges yet to be revealed. Leadership matters. For that reason, I ask for your vote for re-election as ISTA Vice-President.

Ben Yoder

My name is Ben Yoder; I am the Director of Orchestras at Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate & Junior High School and I’ve been an educator in Indiana’s public schools for 15 years. In addition to my teaching role, I take an active leadership role with my local association and ISTA. I’ve served as Association Representative, Vice President of Community Engagement and Organizing, and currently, as Executive Vice President. I also serve on the ISTA Board of Directors representing District 12, and was elected to a second term of service in 2020.

I am running for ISTA Vice President because I know how important an inclusive, supportive, and strong public education system is, and I know that all of our Hoosier educators and learners deserve nothing less. Unfortunately, the current reality is that public education in Indiana is in trouble with divisive legislation, inequitable funding, and misinformation campaigns. I commit to unifying ALL stakeholders around our common goals, growing and strengthening our membership, and amplifying the voices of those that are often quieted or unheard. I ask for your support in this election, and I look forward to working collaboratively to protect the future of Indiana’s Public Schools. Our time is now!

The candidate statements were prepared by the candidates for the offices of president and vice president. Each statement has been printed in its entirety, unabridged, as it was received, but limited to 200 words or fewer. ISTA Rules Governing Elections, (III. A., 2., b. and c.) prohibit the use of Association staff and equipment on behalf of any candidate for Association office.