Dr. Chad Gestson
Director of School Leadership
Dr. Chad E. Gestson has served as Superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District since the fall of 2015. Under his leadership, PXU has become one of our nation's most recognized portfolio districts. The District has recently launched several new schools, including a Gifted and Talented Academy, a Digital Academy, and the Phoenix Coding Academy. Later this year, Phoenix Union will launch a new school concept never before seen in America - PXU City, a school that uses the city, not a campus, as the classroom. Phoenix Union has seen tremendous increases in graduation rates, scholarship totals, and college matriculation since 2015.
Gestson is an alum of The Broad Academy at Yale's School of Management. He is also a member of Chiefs for Change. In 2019, he published his first book, BEFORE Teaching and Leaming, a turnaround guide for school leaders.
Prior to being named Superintendent, Gestson was the district's Director of Leadership. In that role, he supervised principals as well as developed future principals and assistant principals through an Aspiring Leaders program that he developed. He had previously spent five years as the principal of Camelback High School, where he launched coding and engineering programs and the first and only Montessori high school in Arizona.
Before joining Phoenix Union in 2009, Gestson served as an elementary school assistant principal and as a middle school principal. A product of Teach For America, he began his teaching career in 2001. Prior to his public education career, Gestson was a commercial construction superintendent in Seattle, WA.
Gestson holds a B.A. in English from the University of Washington, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from ASU, and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from NAU. In 2009, he completed his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from NAU where he was named the Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year.
Gestson was a 2014 Rodel Exemplary Principal, one of only seven in the state that year and the first ever high school principal in Maricopa County. In 2011, Gestson won Arizona State University's Lead and Inspire Award for his efforts in turning around Camel back High School. He also won the same award as a middle school principal at Carl T. Smith Middle School in 2008.
Gestson serves on numerous local boards and councils, including the United Way, ABEC (Arizona Business and Education Coalition), and the George Washington Carver Museum. He is the CoChair of Thriving Together, a collective impact organization in partnership with United Way, Helios Foundation, and other educational and business partners. He has served as the president of his church's board of directors. He and his wife, Megan, currently an executive director in the Roosevelt School District, founded and run Sponsors For Scholars (@SFStoCollege), a non-profit organization that supports under-resourced and under-represented high school and college students. They have two children, Olivia and Andrew, ages 15 and 12, respectively, and reside in Phoenix.