Often, when someone is asked to describe the best aspect of Gilmour, they cite the sense of community. This special feeling of support and belonging has certainly been at the center of Steve Teisl’s ’00 experience, which dates back to his earliest years.
The Teisl family history has been linked with Gilmour Academy since John Gale, Steve’s grandfather, was hired as the first lay teacher in 1950. Gale held several roles over the course of his more than 40 years of service to Gilmour, ranging from chair of the English department to Head of the Upper School. Mr. Gale had an immense impact in the classroom, at athletic events and in extracurricular activities. He even lived on campus and raised his many kids in North Hall (where the Classroom Building now stands).
Steve’s mother, Rosemarie, was one of John’s children who grew up on Gilmour’s campus. She ended up meeting the legendary Tiho Teisl when he was hired at Gilmour in the early 70s. Rosemarie and Tiho married and started a family and even lived in the Fine Arts Building at one point. Like Gale, Tiho became an enormous part of Gilmour’s culture for well over 40 years as a Spanish teacher, coach, camp director, leader of the Honduras trips and Dean of Students.
It goes without saying that the Gilmour blue and gray runs in Steve’s blood, as he has had more than 10 family members graduate from Gilmour.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in communications from Lake Forest College and a master’s degree in school counseling from Capella University, Steve accepted a long-term counseling sub position at Gilmour’s Lower School, which confirmed for him his desire to follow in his family members’ footsteps, serving in a role at Gilmour. At the conclusion of his assignment, there were no counseling positions open on campus, but he was offered a new role as an Associate Dean of Student Life and Leadership. After three years in that position, Steve took on his current role, serving as the school counselor for the Lower School.
“I can’t tell you how many questions I have for my Dad and Grandpa. I wish they were both around so I could ask them. Every single day, I
wish they were around for me to bounce things off of.” John Gale passed away in 2013 and Tiho Teisl passed away in 2017.
“One of my favorite parts about being a school counselor is the ability to focus my efforts each day to ensure that students are able to receive the support they need to succeed in and out of the classroom, and strive for success in all facets of life.”
Steve also heads up the Lower School’s student recognition program - Lancer Lottery. “I take pride in instilling an excitement and confidence for our students to live the Gilmour mission and continue to grow our culture in a positive direction each and every day. The motivation to be the best they can be has reached the students in a positive way and provides them with the tools and support to overcome those challenging moments. That makes it all worthwhile.”
“I may never come close to impacting Gilmour in the ways that my grandfather and father were able to, but I know that I am appreciative of everything I learned from them. And for however long I am fortunate enough to be at Gilmour, I couldn’t think of two better legacies to strive for.”
Emily, Michael ’95, James ’93, Nick, Tiho, Sophia, Steve ’00 and Elina Teisl at Tiho's induction into GA's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015