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ASSOCIATION BEGINNINGS

As late as 1850, Indiana did not have a state-supported school system. Access to education was inadequate with the few locally supported schools charging tuitions or subscriptions to attend or limiting attendance to only white students. A group of forward-thinking educators and education supporters identified the need for an educated citizenry for the future health and stability of the state. 

These public education supporters began advocating for a statewide public school system. The 1850 – 1851 constitutional convention directed the General Assembly, “to provide by law for a general and uniform system of common schools wherein tuition shall be without charge and equally open to all.” Under this direction, the legislature passed a statute levying state and local taxes to build and equip schools. However, the Indiana Supreme Court found the taxation of townships for the purpose of education to be unconstitutional. This detrimental ruling spurred public education supporters to action.

In December 1854, 175 public education supporters met in Indianapolis to form the Indiana State Teachers Association. Since its formation, ISTA has addressed issues such as the credentialing, institutionalizing, and professional development of educators, salary and benefits of educators, extending and standardizing the school year, ensuring access for all students, and of course, advocating for a robust allocation of state and local funding for the betterment of public education. 

The lasting legacy of the Indiana State Teachers Association is a free public education system, open to every student in all communities across the state.

Our Timeline

December 25, 1854

ISTA is founded at Old College Hall, corner of Washington and Pennsylvania Streets, Indianapolis.

Spring 1872

ISTA succeeds in passing the first law providing for grading and consolidation of rural schools. By 1878, grading was almost statewide.

March 1877

The first law is passed permitting African American students to attend white schools in cases where no separate schools were provided.

1889

The first female president of ISTA, Emma Mont, insists that there be a uniform school term in Indiana and proposes the first uniform textbook law, which passes in 1889.

1911

Indiana leads the nation in consolidation.

1943 + 1945

Improved textbook laws are passed in 1943, and the multiple textbook laws are passed in 1945.

1951

ISTA moves to a delegate representative assembly.

1958

ISTA building is dedicated.

1967

ISTA opens regional offices.

1968

First master contract is bargained in Highland.

1972

The UniServ Program is started in Indiana. Indiana is unified with the National Education Association.

1973

With the powerful influence of ISTA, Public Law 217 was passed, making 1973 a crucial year in which education was politicized and teachers became organized and actively bargained.

1981

School funding increases by 11.5 percent.

1986

Equalization Factors are added to the School Formula.

ISTA becomes the first affiliate of the NEA to establish a separate not-for-profit corporation devoted to professional development concerns – the Indiana Fund for the Improvement of Education (IFIE), now the ISTA Foundation for the Improvement of Education.

Timeline 1988 Esp

1988

The ISTA division for Education Support Professionals is created.

1990

$200 million is appropriated for schools—the largest dollar increase ever.

ISTA becomes the first professional organization in the state to issue Certification Renewal Units (CRU) for its programs presented in cooperation with Performance Learning Systems at the Conference on Instruction.

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1992

ISTA-Retired is created.

1994

There is a full repeal of contracting out legislation for school transportation services.

2004

ISTA celebrates 150th anniversary.

ISEA launches Outreach to Teach. 

2007

Full funding of textbook costs for students eligible for free/reduced lunch is achieved.

Virtual charter schools are defeated.

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2012

Glenda Ritz is elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

2013

Rise Above the Mark, a documentary filmed and produced in Indiana, highlighted the impact of charter schools and vouchers on public education.

2014

A plan to privatize INPRS, preventing the loss of thousands in retirement savings for public employees, is defeated.

Outreach to Teach celebrates its 10th anniversary. 

A lawsuit victory ensures associations can bargain with school corporations for hours worked outside of a regular teacher’s contract.

2015

ISTA lobbied on behalf of our members to secure a 2.3 percent spending increase for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and 13th checks to be sent to PERF and TRF retirees. 

IDOE study finds Indiana’s school voucher program doubled in cost for the second year in a row, costing the state $116 million in 2014.

Eric Hylton, ISTA legal counsel, named Best Lawyer in Indiana for education. 

ISTA welcomes new Executive Director Dan Holub. 

Past Presidents

1854-1855 - William M. Daily
1856 - Charles Barnes
1857 - James G. May
1858 - Barnabas C. Hobbs
1859 - Caleb Mills
1860 - E. P. Cole
1861 - George A. Irvin
1862 - Cyrus Nutt
1863 - Allen R. Benton
1864 - Benjamin T. Hoyt
1865 - Ryland T. Brown
1866 - George Wash. Hoss
1867 - Joseph F. Tuttle
1868 - Abram C. Shortridge
1869 - Joseph Tingley
1870 - David Eckley Hunter
1871 - A.M. Gow
1872 - William A. Bell
1873 - James H. Smart
1874 - William A. Jones
1875 - George P. Brown
1876 - William H. Wiley
1877 - J.H. Martin
1878 - John Mcknight Bloss
1879 - J.T. Merrill
1880 - John Cooper
1881 - Hiram B. Jacobs
1882 - H.S. Tarbell
1883 - John S. Irwin
1884 - H.B. Hill
1885 - E.E. Smith
1886 - Cyrus W. Hodgin
1887 - Emma Mont. McRae
1888 - Lewis H. Jones
1889 - Jacob A. Zeller
1890 - William W. Parsons
1891 - Enoch A. Bryan
1892 - Justin N. Study
1893 - Lincoln O. Dale
1894 - Joseph Swain
1895 - Howard Sandison
1896 - James F. Scull
1897 - Robert A. Ogg
1898 - Francis M. Stalker
1899 - Will H. Glascock
1900 - Robert I. Hamilton
1901 - Henry B. Brown
1902 - Charles A. Prosser
1903 - Charles A. VanMatre
1904 - William Lowe Bryan
1905 - Edwin H. Hughes
1906 - Benjamin F. Moore
1907 - E.B. Bryan
1908 - George W. Benton
1909 - Robert J. Aley
1910 - Calvin N. Kendall
1911 - Samuel L. Scott
1912 - Charles A. Greathouse
1913 - A.O. Neal
1914 - Winthrop E. Stone
1915 - J.G. Collicott
1916 - Anna Wilson
1917 - George L. Roberts
1918 - No Session (Influenza)
1919 - Horace Ellis
1920 - Mrs. Clara L. Olcott
1921 - Donald DuShane
1922 - H.L. Smith
1923 - Elsa Huebner Olson
1924 - Benjamin Burris
1925 - William P. Dearing
1926 - Martha A. Whitacre
1927 - C.W. Boucher
1928 - C.E. Hinshaw
1929 - Ralph N. Tirey
1930 - Mattie B. Fry
1931 - Milo H. Stuart
1932 - Clara Rathfon
1933 - Robert B. Hougham
1934 - L.V. Phillips
1935 - Albert Free
1936 - Hilda Maehling
1937 - Wendell Wright
1938 - Rose E. Boggs
1939 - K.V. Ammerman
1940 - Margaret Sweeney
1941 - J. Fred Hull
1942 - Sara W. Ewing
1943 - H.B. Allman
1944 - Virginna Kinnaird
1945 - L.T. Buck
1946 - Anita Oldham
1947 - W.E. Wilson
1948 - Gertrude E. McComb
1949 - R.E. Hood
1950 - Thelma Ballard
1951 - H.E. Binford
1952 - Eleanor Bly
1953 - George Ostheimer
1954 - Mary Van Horn
1955 - Glade Rohrer
1956 - Rhoda Williams
1957 - O.M. Swihart
1958 - Audrey Shauer
1959 - Earl A. Johnson
1960 - Blanche Penrod
1961 - Henry L. McHargue
1962 - Sparkle Crowe
1963 - Glen Barkes
1964 - Helen Blackledge
1965 - C. Edgar Stahl
1966 - Nell Bethel
1967 - Charles L. Sharp
1968 - Thelma Spannbauer
1969 - Charles T. Reece
1970 - Louella T. Martin
1971 - Ernest W. Horn
1972-1973 - Johanna Hock
1974 - James Hirschinger
1975-1977 - Raymond A. Gran
1978-1983 - Cordell Affeldt
1983-1989 - Damon P. Moore
1989-1995 - Garrett L. Harbron
1995-2001 - J. David Young
2001-2007 - Judith A. Briganti
2007-2013 - Nathan Schnellenberger

Executive Directors

1924-1938 - Charles O. Williams
1938-1970 - Robert H. Wyatt
1970-1971 (Acting) - Arnold W. Spilly
November 1971 to December 1979 - Ronald G. Jensen
January 1980 to May 1981 - Dale E. Harris
May 1981 to June 1984 (Acting) - Dale E. Harris
June 1984 to February 1985 (Acting) - Vincent M. Kiernan
February 1985 to May 2009 - Warren L. Williams
June 2009 to January 2010 (Acting) - Ann Clarke
January 2010 to May 2016 - Brenda Pike, Ed. D.