A local couple is bucking the trend when it comes to Oklahoma’s teacher shortage.
While the state is losing many teachers to other states for better pay, two teachers left home to come to Oklahoma for jobs.
The married couple sought out John Rex Charter Elementary School in downtown Oklahoma City because it was a better opportunity than back home in Indiana.
Kindergarten teacher Wes Dicken and his wife, Caylie, who teaches third grade, moved 12 hours away to Oklahoma, a state where teachers are leaving.
“It is a difficult time in education and that's one of the reasons that we came, because it was a good opportunity,” Caylie Dicken said.
The Dickens came from a small Indiana town where all their family lives.
“A little bit homesick, but we feel like this where we are supposed to be right now,” Caylie Dicken said.
They were looking for better teaching opportunities and more competitive pay.
“As a teacher, I've got to find what's best for me and my kids,” Wes Dicken told News 9, referring to his two daughters.
Their home state of Indiana is also going through the same education crisis as Oklahoma.
“I know Oklahoma is going through a bit of a teacher shortage now and Indiana is going through the same thing,” Wes Dicken said.
While searching for new jobs, they said the heard about John Rex through social media.
The charter school is in its second year.
“We found a place here at John Rex that fits our style and lets us do what we want to do as teachers,” Wes Dicken explained.
The starting pay at John Rex Charter Elementary is $40,000, which is about 20 percent higher than the state average.
Teaching at the same school was an added bonus, so the Dickens packed up and relocated.
“There's a lot of shuffling going on and people trying to get better opportunities and you really can't blame them and I think we are all just hoping that the situation in education swings back the other way and improves,” Caylie Dicken said.
Of the 22 teachers at John Rex Charter Elementary, six are out-of-state hires.