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Teachers across Las Vegas Valley turning to second jobs to supplement paychecks

After teaching special education students at Legacy High School on Thursdays, Chad Bandiera stayed to coach football or track, depending on the season.

He drove to his Paradise home and maybe had time for a nap before putting on a black suit and going to work.

Bandiera is a bouncer at Tao Nightclub at T he Venetian from Thursday through Saturday.

When his shift ended at about 5 a.m. Fridays, he drove home, took a shower, changed into casual clothes and headed back to Legacy, 150 W. Deer Springs Way in North Las Vegas, to teach another day.

It didn’t get any easier for him because Fridays usually brought with them football games or track meets, and then it was back to work checking IDs and ousting unruly customers at Tao.

“I would literally run off the field on Friday nights,” Bandiera said.

Students know about his “cool” job, but he doesn’t play along as a sort of school wide running joke.

“It was my idea for no one to ever know, so I never acknowledge it, and I’ll continue to deny it,” he said.

He enjoys both jobs but looks forward to a day when he can just be a teacher.

“It, by far, affects me ridiculously,” he said. “I literally get depressed on Thursday afternoons knowing what I’ll have to do.

“It doesn’t affect me once I start teaching,” he said. “I’m not on my desk falling asleep.”

It is common for teachers in the Clark County School District to work multiple jobs. Some of Bandiera’s colleagues are bartenders and cocktail servers.

Others at Legacy, such as U.S. history and driver education teacher Dwane Martinson, stick to what they know best.

Martinson teaches summer school at Silverado High School, 1650 Silver Hawk Ave., from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Coronado High School, 1001 Coronado Center Drive in Henderson, from 4 to
8:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There is a lot of competition for summer school teaching positions, he said.

In his spare time, when he’s not coaching boys’ basketball and volleyball during the school year, Martinson is a special events usher at the Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium and a driver for an airport shuttle service a few nights a week.

“I think the mentality of most people,” said Martinson, “is that teachers work 7 to 3, have summers off, spring break off, Christmas off. Probably a third of teachers I know work at least two jobs to make ends meet .”

Alisa Nakano, a Summerlin resident and a teacher for hearing-impaired students at Legacy, is teaching American Sign Language classes at the College of Southern Nevada this summer.

Their reasons for working these extra jobs is the same.

“It’s totally money,” Bandiera said. “Teaching just doesn’t pay enough to cover my bills.”

With a likely reduction in pay and benefits that could equate to thousands of dollars, coupled with increasing class sizes that may force hundreds of teachers out of a job in the next few years if the trend continues, more teachers will be searching for alternative means.

Martinson, a s outhwest Las Vegas resident, is struggling to keep what he has.

“I had to file bankruptcy on my home just to be able to keep it,” he said. “I hope to hang on to it even though I’m backward and upside down.”

He also owes more than $60,000 in student loans.

“Gosh, I’m happy (at Legacy),” Martinson said. “But I don’t make the money.”

Nakano worries that the stress of working so many jobs could end up hurting students.

“I have seen some teachers who are too tired to do their teaching job adequately,” she said in an email, “and that concerns me. I think the state and the school district need to re-evaluate their priorities.

“Yes, many teachers are motivated and work hard. However, a human being can only take so much.”

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at jmosier@viewnews.com or 224-5524.

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