Tam Agosti-Gisler, Anchorage School Board Member

How did you come to be in Alaska?

My family arrived in 1959 when I was a toddler. I grew up in Anchorage.

How long have you lived in your community?

49 years

What is your career background and current job?

  • ASD Secondary educator, 22 years
  • School Business Partnership Director, 6 years
  • UAA MAT Adjunct professor, 3 years
  • Anchorage School Board, 6 years
  • Retired

Describe a teacher or school staff member who had an influence on you.

A French teacher and SS teacher in junior high – both strong, independent women who were my mentors. Those are the subjects that I taught in middle school! That SS teacher went on to serve as president of the School Board and in local government so I have followed in her footsteps!

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I am an avid traveler who’s been to over 72 countries and speak several languages.

Why did you run for the school board?

I wanted to help move the educational system in our district into the 21st century.

What special strengths do you bring to the board?

  • Strong communication skills, oral and written
  • Deep connections in the community
  • Innovative ideas

What goals do you hope to achieve during your term?

  • New school start times and calendar
  • Expansion of choice programs in district

How have you helped to improve education in your district?

  • Initiated and guide Board Leadership Academy
  • Destination 2020 goals, especially in literacy efforts
  • Communication enhancements

What’s the hardest thing about being a board member?

  • Cutting our budget every year
  • Increasing demands on time
  • Receiving some disrespectful communication from public

What’s the best thing about being a board member?

  • Ability to make positive change in the district
  • Interaction with students
  • Assisting community in understanding challenges and opportunities in the ASD

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