June 17, 2019

The State's Largest Teachers Union Is Getting A New President This Summer

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
ISTA President-Elect Keith Gambill speaks at a public education rally in 2018. - Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

ISTA President-Elect Keith Gambill speaks at a public education rally in 2018.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Leadership at the state’s largest teachers union is changing this summer, and the incoming president says he plans to focus more on local schools’ needs.

Keith Gambill has been the Indiana State Teachers Association vice president for six years, and later this summer he’ll become president after members elected him to the position this spring.

Gambill says changes made to the organization under outgoing president Teresa Meredith – who has reached her two-term limit – will make it possible for him to focus more on local needs, especially as the union crafts and executes its strategic plan. He says he plans to prioritize time in education communities around the state to keep the union aligned with what’s really happening in public schools.

“And any modifications that may need to be made from that is done in response to the needs of our members,” he says.

ISTA has pressed lawmakers for more public school funding and increases to teacher pay across Indiana, especially during this year’s legislative session. Gambill says the nationwide movement to support public education, also known as “Red For Ed,” has spurred educators into action more than any time he can remember.

And as president he plans to keep up that momentum and spend more time talking about better pay – but not just for teachers.

“We have to look also at the income of bus drivers, food service, custodial – all of those additional positions as well,” he says. “We have to ensure that we have the absolute best folks that are working with our students.”

Gambill says he wants to highlight the need for improving the state’s school funding formula and make further progress on the professionalism of teachers in Indiana.

Gambill takes office Aug. 1.

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