CRESTVIEW — The Hub City ranks ninth in the United States' 10 best midsized cities to be a teacher, according to a new consumer data list.
ValuePenguin’s researchers selected three criteria for formulating their ranking — “metrics that all teachers care about: median salary, cost of living and location quotient,” the New York-based research firm's website states — but local teachers have their own reasons for liking Crestview’s schools.
“I love that Crestview has only one high school,” Crestview High drama teacher Annette Gebhardt said. “I like that all the kids grow up to be Bulldogs. Before I even started teaching at the high school, it was something I loved about Crestview.”
“One of the biggest reasons I came here to teach was the small town with quality schools and a quality school district,” Antioch Elementary School third-grade teacher Laura Pink said.
“Okaloosa schools rank highly in education at both the state and district level, and often in the U.S.,” Pink said, adding that she also appreciates the salary and benefits that accompany her job. “This was the perfect place for me to come and teach with many highly talented educators.”
Gephardt said she also appreciates the community support for school activities, such as athletics and performing arts. “When there are ball games, I see signs that support the Bulldogs,” she said. “I feel that in the theatre program. I don’t think you could ask for any better support than in Crestview.”
ValuePenguin placed Crestview (with just more than 23,000 residents) in its “mid-sized cities” category for towns with 100,000 to 500,000 residents, rather than “small cities” category of communities under 100,000 residents.
Although up against cities including top-three-ranking Salinas, California; Charleston, South Carolina; and Fayetteville, North Carolina, Crestview still ranked 14th nationwide.
Crestview, earning an overall score of 103, is the only Florida community to reach the top 30. It outranked other top-30 communities including Augusta, Georgia (107); Los Angeles (118); New York (118); San Francisco (124) and Bridgeport, Connecticut (143).
3 KEY FACTORS
ValuePenguin, a New York-based research firm, considered these factors for its "Best Cities for Teachers" list
1. Median salary. “Income is likely the most important factor people consider when starting their career or relocating elsewhere,” the firm's website states.
Crestview’s median salary: $60,830 (240 teaching jobs)
Top: Salinas, California: $78,590 (2,700 jobs)
Lowest: Bridgeport, Connecticut: $65,710 (810 jobs)
2. Affordability. “The cost of living is a measure of how far earnings can be stretched," the site states. "Cities with lower cost of living index numbers ranked higher in our study.”
Crestview’s ranking: 101 (100 is benchmark)
Top: Salinas: 120
Lowest: Bridgeport: 143
3. Location. “Location quotient measures the concentration of teachers in an area as a percentage of all occupations, and then compares that to the national average," the site states. "We interpret a higher location quotient to mean a relatively higher demand for a teacher’s services.”
Crestview’s quotient: 1.56
Top: Salinas: 8.48
Top: Salinas: 8
Lowest: Bridgeport: 143
See the full report here: www.valuepenguin.com/2015/07/best-cities-teachers