Challenger School Reviews

Updated July 31, 2014
Updated July 31, 2014
19 Reviews

3.3
19 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Hugh Gourgeon
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Proof positive that higher expectations breed higher performance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Challenger School full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Where else can you work for such a noble mission? Challenger employees are among some of the most intelligent individuals I've ever met. Every teacher seems to deeply care about their classroom and each student's success. In addition to other benefits, I'm able to send my own child to Challenger at a significant discount. I've been personally astounded by Challenger's product as I've seen my own son's progress in the preschool and elementary program.

    Cons

    I've found transparency to be lacking on some levels. However, being an optimist at heart, any slight failing of Challenger pales in comparison to the year-in and year-out accomplishment of its mission in leading its students to find joy and self-worth through embracing challenge and its consequential achievement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to essentialize Challenger's mission, values, and methodology, aligning operational priorities accordingly. Continue to maintain high expectations in the recruitment process of employees and students in order to ensure long-term success for Challenger.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Worst place to work if you are honest. Best place to climb ladder if you can deceive and disillusion parents and staff.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at Challenger School

    Pros

    Send only if you want your child to memorize lessons, and have no practical application of it and lets not forget for the desi community.

    Cons

    Company values have degraded after Barbara Baker's death. Top management wants to fill their buckets with money. Power hungry directors are biased and racist. They do not take requests of teachers into consideration. Hitler rule adopted by some headmasters.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice: keep up your dirty work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disgruntled Employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV

    I have been working at Challenger School full-time

    Pros

    I took a job teaching at Challenger for two reasons: (A) Barbara Baker's vision, and (B) the tuition discount for teachers.

    Cons

    Now that Barbara Baker is deceased, the company is going DOWNHILL FAST. Barbara Baker had a true vision as an educator, but the jerks now in charge ONLY care about how much MONEY they can make! This explains why Challenger now plans to ELIMINATE our teacher's discount. I urge ALL teachers to go forward with the planned "teacher's strike" to protest Challenger's greedy corporatized ways!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to management? That's a joke! Management does NOT even have an employee suggestion box! They don't give a hoot about advice from others. Management fails to understand that Barbara Baker's vision has lasted 50+ years! And while the short-sighted, cheapskate policies of Mr. Gourgeon may save a few pennies on the quarterly reports, his current slash 'n burn policies will put Challenger out of business in 18 months... Oh, and did I mention that management are a bunch of bigots and racists?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Students and General Curriculum, Management and Adherence to Explicit Values...not so much

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Middle School Science/Math Teacher
    Former Employee - Middle School Science/Math Teacher

    I worked at Challenger School full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The curriculum is dynamic and exciting, and the students generally very bright and willing to work. Loved exploring science in particular with them. Coworkers are supportive and willing to help "the new guy" to learn the ropes. Probably some of the best co-workers I've had...ever! Pay is determined based on results/perceived potential, which can be either good or bad depending on management (see below).

    Cons

    Management unwilling to provide additional training, taking the attitude "we'll tell you about it and show you some videos and that should do it." Also unwilling to work with employees suffering from emotional trauma. I was fired 3 days before the end of the school year...probably so they didn't have to pay my benefits, which included therapy, over the summer. The values the company espouses are great, such as independent exploration and learning, accountability, etc., but their application of said values to management actions and curriculum are less than satisfactory. Surveys given in the classroom to assess progress of student "democratic ideals" are biased toward libertarian views even as they claim to be "unbiased." Frequently refer to teachers as "cream of the crop" but don't treat them that way. Sometimes "encourage" "problem" teachers to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your teachers! They are your bread and butter, and have legitimate ideas! Even if you don't personally see things their way, at least give them a chance. If a teacher has to teach to the provided corporate test for students to pass, but do fine on tests in the book, the corporate test is probably TOO HARD. I understand wanting the students to progress, but many times the tests are so completely outside their range of experience that it takes MONTHS for them to acclimate to them, not to mention hours of teacher preparation to prepare practice problems that test the same concepts. Also, allow outgoing teachers to pass on materials to those coming in. Makes the transition much easier and takes the pressure off while they are figuring out the ropes. Reassess management application of Challenger Values, especially in treatment of teachers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Headmaster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Headmaster
    Current Employee - Headmaster

    I have been working at Challenger School full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Working with a team who cares about educating children to the highest standard, and preparing children for life.

    Cons

    Finding genuine, reliable, intelligent people to carry out the mission.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to maintain the integrity of Challenger's superior product!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work at this time.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Kindergarten Teacher
    Current Employee - Kindergarten Teacher

    I have been working at Challenger School part-time

    Pros

    Really helping kids every day.

    Cons

    None at this time today.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep hiring great people

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    I love working here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Preschool Teacher  in  Sandy, UT
    Current Employee - Preschool Teacher in Sandy, UT

    I have been working at Challenger School full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Coming from the parent's perspective of Challenger School to the employee side, I was very pleased to find that the company is everything it claims to be and more. The children are learning so much more than what we see them come home with on their worksheets, and the management (at least at the Sandy campus) is very understanding and respectful of its employees.

    Cons

    I can't think of anything significant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are doing a great job at Sandy. If I could change one thing, I would provide a certain week in the Fall or Spring that parents could volunteer and see what really happens throughout the day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was a great experience, but the headmistress was not the best person to work for,.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - After School Spanish Instructor  in  Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - After School Spanish Instructor in Salt Lake City, UT

    I worked at Challenger School

    Pros

    My co-workers were great, the children are smart and they behaved very well. And the hourly wage was very good.

    Cons

    No benefits. They are very strict in attendance, so asking for too many days off is a no no.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To communicate more with employees. If there is a problem they must talk about it and find ways to to resolve the issue rather than resorting to a surprise termination.

  10.  

    Problems at Challenger

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lunch Worker  in  Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Lunch Worker in Salt Lake City, UT

    I worked at Challenger School

    Pros

    Kids at Challenger do score well on tests, They are generally ahead of their public school peers and are well behaved.

    Cons

    Challenger does not accept feedback fro parents or staff. It is their way or the highway. There is a large turnover of staff. Teachers are not required to be certified and many are there for tuition breaks for their kids. Curriculum is set in stone and leaves little room for creativity.There are no extra programs such as band, sports, foreign language etc. Also Challenger;s founder is very right wing. She supports the Tea Party and the John Birch Society. During the last election the campuses were plastered with campaign adds for her candidates and teachers are required to write an essay on their views on America as part of the hiring process. What you say impacts the decision on whether you will be hired.. The political views trickle down to the classroom.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow more flexibiillty, expand curriculum, require certification, listen to parents and teachers and get politics out of the school. Teach kids to think, not what to think.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's a very fun place to work, especially if you love kids.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Extended Teacher  in  Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Extended Teacher in Las Vegas, NV

    I have been working at Challenger School

    Pros

    The compensation is great, the benefits are irreplaceable, the management is very respectful and careful when speaking with me. I feel like I am a cherished employee; all they expect is honest, hard workers and the management will be very nice.

    Cons

    It's hard to think of some, but the con is that they have a book on behavior management and craft projects and they want you to do everything from the book...so sometimes when i want to just be creative with a craft its not possible because they want it from their book. Also if you read stories from home, they don't like that. Everything has to be the 'challenger way' which seems kind of rigid at times, but its not too bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none, they are great

    Recommends

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