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Get to know Keith Gambill, ISTA president

The summer Advocate features a Q&A with Keith Gambill, ISTA president. Learn more about Keith and the other new officers in the Advocate.

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What are your goals as you begin this new role?

Empowering our locals. We must grow from the ground up and that begins with helping the local realize the power and influence they have and how to use these tools to advance our cause.

In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues for educators and public schools right now?

Salaries are first and foremost. Too many educators are seeing much, if not all, of their wage increases being eaten up by increased health care costs. Secondly, respect for our work and allowing us the professional courtesy to make the decisions that are in the best interest of our students.

In what ways would you recommend members get more involved in the Association?

Meet with their local leadership and get to know them and understand how the Association works inside and outside of their school district. Watch ISTA and NEA media for events that motivate them and attend. Members leave Association events energized and we want more to participate.

Where do you see the Red For Ed movement going?

Immediately, into the community. Summer vacation time is also festival and fair season this is the perfect time to work to engage the community. Gather together for a Red For Ed booth and march in your parades. We must keep the movement alive. 

Quick Facts

How long have you taught? And what have you taught?

Thirty-two years – middle school vocal music and drama. I’ve also been on the visual staff for many marching bands and winter guards. You’ll occasionally see me judging now.

Who was your favorite educator in school? Why?

Kathy Kissel Wallace, my high school music teacher. She saw my passion for music and made sure I would get the opportunity to live my dream. She is still teaching, and SHE IS A MEMBER!!!

What are your hobbies outside of school and ISTA?

Spending time with family, travel, attending live music and theater events and Christmas decorations!

What’s your favorite book?

In school it was Charlotte’s Web. Today, I love James Patterson’s Alex Cross series and books by John Grisham. His book, The Last Juror, had perhaps the most beautiful and heartbreaking endings of any book I’ve every read.