Chandler schools having no problem attracting teachers

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Bobby Newcombe is a first-year teacher at Casteel High School in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Bobby Newcombe is a first-year teacher at Casteel High School in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Chandler Unified School District has become one of the most popular places to teach in the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Chandler Unified School District has become one of the most popular places to teach in the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Casteel High School principal Sandy Lundberg said they've created other ways to make teaching here more appealing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Casteel High School principal Sandy Lundberg said they've created other ways to make teaching here more appealing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Bobby Newcombe is a first-year teacher at Casteel High School in Queen Creek.

He could have taken a job someplace else but wanted to go to Casteel.

"There's definitely a different energy with the way the teachers interact with other teachers and also the students," said Newcombe, "but also, the structure of the district itself."

The Chandler Unified School District has become one of the most popular places to teach in the state.

While other districts are dealing with teacher shortages, Chandler is turning teachers away.

The district had 280 teacher openings heading into this school year and it's filled every one of them, thanks to more than 1,500 applications.

So what are they doing differently?  

Casteel High School principal Sandy Lundberg said that in today's budget crunch climate, they can't offer huge salaries or big bonuses, so they've created other ways to make teaching here more appealing.

"Every teacher, whether they are a veteran teacher or brand new gets a mentor buddy teacher to pair with to help them transition," said Lundberg. "It helps with all the things that are new to the district, new to the school."

Some of the other things that have made Chandler attractive to teachers include:

  • Good reputation in academics
  • Community and district support
  • Low teacher turnover 
  • Attractive teacher-student ratio at about 23-1
  • Family atmosphere that makes teachers feel wanted

"There's a history Chandler has, a reputation we have across the state, where people want to come to Chandler," said Lundberg.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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