Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Glezman Buttigieg, is a teacher with a master’s degree in education.
He was previously teaching humanities and drama to junior high students at Montessori Academy Edison Lakes, which is located a few miles east of South Bend, Indiana.
Glezman, 30, resigned from this position in January 2019 in order to support his husband on the campaign trail. But Glezman couldn’t stay away from the theater. He works part-time at the South Bend Civic Theatre.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Chasten Glezman Buttigieg Is the Director of Curriculum at the South Bend Civic Theater
Pete Buttigieg listed on his financial disclosure report to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics that his husband resigned from Montessori Academy on January 5, 2019. The report did not list Glezman Buttigieg’s previous salary at the school. The report included that Glezman earned an hourly fee working part-time at the South Bend Civic Theater. You can see Buttigieg’s financial disclosure form here.
The South Bend Civic Theater first launched in the 1950s by two Notre Dame graduates who believed that the area would benefit from having a thriving community theater program, according to the organization’s website. The group announced on January 9, 2019, that Glezman Buttigieg had been hired as the Director of Curriculum.
According to the news release, his job includes “developing a portfolio of educational programming, creating lesson plans, training Civic teaching artists, and writing educational grants.”
2. Chasten Glezman Began His Professional Career as a Teaching Artist at a Children’s Theater Program in Wisconsin
Chasten Glezman Buttigieg began sharing his love of theater with students after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a degree in theater education. He went to work for First Stage, a children’s theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
Glezman Buttigieg was brought on as a Teaching Artist. According to the organization’s website, participants “learn curriculum design, classroom management, tactics for student engagement, obtain knowledge of current educational trends and contribute in a collaborative working environment.” Teaching Artists receive housing and a $150 stipend for the length of the program.
The job did not include insurance or benefits. To obtain health insurance, Glezman Buttigieg also worked 20 to 30 hours per week at Starbucks during this time. Pete Buttigieg explained in his memoir that Chasten had been accustomed to working various jobs since his high school days. For more on this part of Chasten’s background and the few months he spent living out of his car after coming out as gay, click here.
3. Chasten Glezman Has Experience Performing Improv & His Comedy is On Display on Social Media
Pete Buttigieg has readily admitted that in their marriage, Chasten is more of an extrovert. As a child, he enjoyed acting out skits in the basement of his parents’ home. and drama was his favorite activity as a high school student. Glezman Buttigieg has also performed as an improv comedian. (Unfortunately, it does not appear that any of those performances made it onto YouTube).
Glezman Buttigieg allows his comedic personality to come through on social media. In December of 2017, he posted the above meme of Andy Samberg rapping about the importance of using Purell. Glezman wrote, “Today’s lesson: Mr. Glezman doesn’t want your illness before Christmas break. #oneweektogo #washyourhands”
Pete Buttigieg is not immune to being the target of a joke. In April, writer and producer Louis Virtel tweeted that “Pete Buttigieg seems like the guy who opens a board game, reads the entire instruction booklet from front to back, and then calmly re-explains the rules 30 times to everyone drunkenly playing along.” Glezman Buttigieg kept the joke going, replying, “This is so, so *deep sigh* accurate.”
4. Chasten Glezman Buttigieg Has Publicly Praised His Former High School Drama Teacher For Providing Him a ‘Safe Space’ as a Teenager
Chasten Glezman Buttigieg came out as a gay man after graduating from high school. He has explained that those early years were challenging for him and that the drama department provided an outlet for him.
In an interview with Now This in April, Glezman Buttigieg credited his former teacher, Mrs. Bach, for inspiring him to become a teacher. He explained, “There seemed to be something really special about Mrs. Bach. Kids like myself growing up, I think in high school, saw something in her. They knew her auditorium and her classroom was a safe space. I wanted to be the teacher in the room that made kids feel like their dreams mattered. And I really wanted to be the person to just help them see that there is a place for them in this world.”
Glezman Buttigieg also evoked Mrs. Bach during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Houston in early April. He said she served as a crucial support system as he struggled with his identity. “Many of us know the loneliness that comes with coming out. Even today, years later, it can be a painful, isolating experience and you can only hope to meet someone who understands you, who tells you that you matter and that you belong. Mrs. Bach, my high school drama teacher, did that for me. She knew I needed a place to feel safe. She let me hide in the auditorium on tougher days. She’s the reason I’m a teacher, why I studied theater education and why I advocate for the arts today.” You can watch the full speech here.
5. Chasten Glezman Buttigieg Says Teaching is ‘Magical’ Because He Loves Inspiring Students to ‘Believe in Themselves’
Pete and Chasten Buttigieg sat down with John Dickerson for CBS Sunday Morning back in April for their first television interview together. When asked why he went into teaching, Chasten explained, “There’s just something magical about working with kids and getting them to believe in themselves. I had some really great teachers who really inspired me to be my true self.”
The interview was briefly interrupted when one of their two dogs, Buddy, hopped onto the couch and demanded attention.
Glezman Buttigieg may not be in the classroom full-time these days, but teachers and their daily challenges are never far from his mind. Most Tuesdays, he tweets something geared toward education and invites his nearly 400,000 followers to share opinions.