Kristi Keast of Mt. Vernon officially announced today she will run for the Iowa House in the new District 95, which includes part of Buchanan County and most of Linn County except Cedar Rapids and Marion.

“As an educator, I’ve spent my life encouraging each student to reach their full potential and teaching them to be life-long learners. In today’s rapidly changing world, life-long learning is the most important skill we can give our children to help them land a good job and set them up for a life of success,” said Keast.

Keast is a music teacher at Washington Elementary School in Mt. Vernon and has been in the classroom for 26 years, serving in both public and parochial schools. She graduated from Westmar College in Le Mars and earned her Masters in music education from the University of Iowa. She achieved National Board certification in 2005 and has helped train candidates working to earn their own certification.

“I’ll listen to the people of my district, put politics aside, and work together to find compromise and put Iowans back to work,” added Keast. “I’m passionate about the future of Iowa and excited to meet the people of District 95 to hear their ideas about our future.”

Keast grew up in Southwest Iowa active in 4-H and then served as a leader and project leader when her own kids were in Linn County 4-H. Her family still farms the same land, including her grandfather’s land. She is an active member of the Mt. Vernon Education Association and has served as President of the East Central Uniserv Unit helping support local educators.

Keast is an active member of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, serving as a church musician, singing in two groups, instrumentalist , and directing the bells and youth choir. She also participates in the Mt. Vernon Community Band and has worked in community theatre. Keast is a member of the Entre Nous book club and the PEO.

Keast and her husband, Craig, now deceased, have three grown children and three grandchildren.