Karen Keys-Gamarra was sworn into office as an At-Large School Board Member on September 14, 2017, following a special election to fill a vacancy. Her term expires in 2019.
Keys-Gamarra is one of three at-large members on the Fairfax County School Board. She serves on the Audit Committee, Governance Committee and serves as the School Board liaison to the Title I Parent Advisory Committee and the Community Criminal Justice Board.
In addition to increasing teacher pay and expanding funding sources, Keys-Gamarra will focus on equity and quality education issues. She will use her extensive child advocacy experience to implement OneFairfax and prioritize special education, military dependent student needs, and the mental health and emotional well-being of all students. Keys-Gamarra will also work to improve Board procedures and increase transparency.
A graduate of Tulane University and Washington University School of Law, Keys-Gamarra is an attorney who currently handles family law matters and works as a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem in Northern Virginia representing the best interests of children. Keys-Gamarra has extensive experience with school discipline and special education issues. Karen is a child advocate who often collaborates with various state and local agencies to improve the lives of children and families.
Keys-Gamarra brings a diverse background of professional experience and community involvement to the school board. She has worked at a state agency, non-profit organizations, and in private practice. As an attorney, she has handled bankruptcy, consumer concerns, family law, employment discrimination, union disputes, and regulatory matters. She has been a Court- Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) for children and has assisted in training new CASA volunteers. Keys-Gamarra has served as an advisory board member for a domestic violence non-profit organization and as an appointed member of the School Board Budget Task Force. She was a Fairfax County Planning Commissioner (schools committee member) prior to joining the School Board.
Ms. Keys-Gamarra and her husband are the proud parents of three sons who attended FCPS through elementary, middle, and high school. The Keys-Gamarra family has been active members of their local church for over 13 years.