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Karen Keys-Gamarra

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About Karen Keys-Gamarra: Karen is an experienced 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 from diverse backgrounds. As an attorney and as a school board member, Karen focuses on developing solutions for children and families.

School Board Committee/Leadership (Current): Karen is currently Chair of the Comprehensive Planning Development Committee. She is also a member of the Board Audit Committee and serves as a liaison to the Title I Parent Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission, and Educate Fairfax (formerly the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools).

Board Accomplishments and Priorities:

  • Advocating for equity and quality education issues, including current efforts to establish the John R. Lewis Academy for Public Service, Government and Human Rights at John Lewis High School;
  • Expanded the duties of the Auditor General to include a study and review of the FCPS special education programs.
  • Improving special education services and inclusion practices;
  • Addressing discipline disparities;
  • Spearheaded changes to the Child Abuse Reporting Policy 
  • Improving services to our military-connected students;
  • Championing programs and initiatives to support the mental health and emotional well-being of all students;
  • Increasing teacher pay; and
  • Expanding funding sources.

School Board Committee/Leadership (Previous): 

  • Board Audit Committee, Chair (2019-2021) 
  • Fairfax County Planning Commissioner (schools committee member) prior to joining the School Board. 
  • Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children 
  • Formerly an appointed member to the School Board Budget Task Force.

Education: Karen holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Washington University School of Law. 

Personal: Karen and her husband are the proud parents of three sons who attended FCPS through elementary, middle, and high school. 

Current Term Began: 9/2017

Current Term Expires: 12/202

Video - 2023 Back to School Message

About Regions Within Fairfax County Public Schools

In order to deliver educational excellence, Fairfax County Public Schools is divided into five regions. These regions are further divided into Pyramids.

About Fairfax County 

Fairfax County is divided into nine magisterial districts, which are used for conducting elections. Magisterial districts are unrelated to school boundaries. As one of three At-Large Members, Karen was elected to represent the entire county. 

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Citizen Advisory Committees 

The School Board appoints members to numerous citizen advisory committees to increase community input on specific issues. School Board members each appoint a citizen to represent their district. Advisory committees meet throughout the year and submit an annual report to the Board. Learn more about School Board committees, including citizen advisory committees


Karen Keys-Gamarra

Nelda Brown - School Board Staff Aide

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