Dr. Chad E. Gestson was named Superintendent in February 2016 by the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board. At the time of his appointment, he was serving as the district's interim superintendent since August 2015. Prior to being named interim, Gestson served as the Director of School Leadership. In that role, Gestson supervised and supported principals as well as developed future principals and assistant principals through an Aspiring Leaders program that he developed in 2014. He had previously spent five years as the principal of Camelback High School, where he established the first Montessori high school in Arizona, a comprehensive Advisory system, a Virtual Academy, and an engineering program.
Gestson served the Isaac School District for five years as an administrator before joining Phoenix Union in 2009, first as an elementary school assistant principal, and later as a middle school principal. A product of Teach For America, he began his teaching career in the Roosevelt School District in 2001. Prior to his public education career, Gestson was a commercial construction superintendent in Seattle, WA.
He 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 by the Arizona Association of School Administrators. Gestson is also proficient in Spanish.
Gestson, the 2013 PUHSD District Administrator of the Year, was a 2013-2014 Rodel Exemplary Principal, one of only seven in the state that year and the first ever high school principal in Maricopa County. In that role, he mentored aspiring leaders, particularly those who aspire to lead schools of low-income students. In 2011, Gestson won the Lead and Inspire Award, Urban High School Division, presented by ASU’s Office of Education Partnerships. He also won the award as a middle school principal at Carl T. Smith Middle School in 2008.
Gestson serves on numerous local boards and councils, including Expect More Arizona, ABEC (Arizona Business and Education Coalition), and Support My Club. He is the Co-Chair of Thriving Together, a collective impact organization in partnership with the United Way, Helios Foundation, and other educational and business partners. He also serves as the president of his church’s board of directors. He and his wife, Megan, currently a principal 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 11 and 8, respectively, and reside in Phoenix.