Candidates for KMEA President-Elect

Candidates for KMEA President-Elect

Every two years at the ISW of odd-number years KMEA elects a new President-Elect.That person then serves for two years as President-Elect, two years as President, and finally two years as Vice President, for a total rotation of six years on the KMEA Executive Council.

KMEA is pleased to introduce your 2019 candidates for President-Elect, to be voted on by the membership leading up to the 2019 In-Service Workshop.

Voting takes place in the KMEA Members site for current NAfME-KMEA members. Balloting will close on Feb. 23, 2019 at 9:00 AM, with the result to be announced at the closing general session of the ISW.

Click on the photos below to read the bio and philosophy statement of each candidate.

2019 Candidates for President-Elect

Mark Gard

Vesta Jo Still

Candidate Bio

Mark Gard is the choral music teacher at Field Kindley High School and Roosevelt Middle School in Coffeyville, Kansas. He is in his thirty-third year of teaching, the past twenty-seven years being in Coffeyville where he has taught various levels of choral music (9th-12th grade, 7th-8th grade, 6th grade) and K-5 general music. He has been director of the Coffeyville Community Children’s Choir since its inception in January 1997. Prior to Coffeyville, he taught secondary choral and instrumental music for five years at Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria, West Africa.Originally from Newton, KS, Mark received his Masters in Music Education – Choral Music from Wichita State University in July 2000, and his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from McPherson College in May 1984. He holds professional membership in National Association for Music Education (NAfME), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the National Education Association (NEA). Leadership opportunities have included: SEKMEA President, SEKMEA Choral Chair, and KCDA Southeast Area Representative. Mark was awarded the SE District Outstanding Middle Level Educator in 2010, and in 1998 he was recognized as Coffeyville’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.

KMEA Offices Held

SEKMEA District President
SEKMEA HS Choir Chair

Philosophy Statement

Music must be an integral and fundamental part of our students’ education in this constantly changing world in which we are living. Music can give our students stability, structure, and discipline, but also help them to find their place and their voice. While we spend a tremendous part of our time teaching the hows of music, we also convey to our students by our words and actions the whys. We give our students the framework for music but, at the same time, give them a safe place to develop their skills. While we concentrate on teaching the basics, we also provide a place that fosters creativity, experimenting, exploring, and experiencing. In a time where some of our students may feel isolated, we provide a place of belonging that encourages interaction and teamwork. As a music educator, I often consider a key part of a larger quote by Kurt Vonnegut: “The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable.” Involvement with KMEA and colleagues has been invaluable through the years has helped shape my knowledge and perspective on music education and how I interact and relate with students in the classroom and will continue to do so in the future.