Sunnyside Schools superintendent deals with opposition - Tucson News Now

Sunnyside Schools superintendent deals with opposition

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It is not smooth sailing after all for Sunnyside Unified School Superintendent Dr. Manuel Isquierdo as he has withdrawn his name as a finalist to become the next leader in the San Antonio Independent School District.

San Antonio news media reported that Isquierdo is running into opposition amid questions about his character.

In San Antonio this week, Isquierdo defended past behavior, saying, "I've learned from my mistakes."

At a news conference, Isquierdo repeated his desire to work in the Texas city and to turn the district around.

"I want to be superintendent of the year. I want our district to be superintendent of the year. You know what? We can do it," Isquierdo said.

Monday, the district's trustees voted unanimously to make him the only finalist for the superintendent's job.

The district is now in the 21-day comment period before it can offer Isquierdo a contract.

However, according to KENS, four of the seven members questioned Isquierdo's background.

They are issues that were brought up in Tucson, but that the Sunnyside School District that Isquierdo now heads, said had been dealt with.

They include the $12,000 in credit card charges Isquierdo had to pay back to Sunnyside, and a state investigation into allegations the district had violated election laws in 2011 when voters passed an $88 million bond package.

Reportedly, Isquierdo also owes federal back taxes, and there was the issue of a suspended drivers license.

Manuel Isquierdo announced his name withdrawal as a finalist for the San Antonio school district superintendent posisiont. SAISD Board President Ed Garza sent a letter confirming Isquierdo's resignation to SAISD employees. You can find the letter attached to this story.

Some San Antonio school board members seem to be publicly cooling to Isquierdo.

"We have not hired this man. We do have to look as a community for what we want, and that's the best possibilities," says SAISD Trustee Patti Radle.

Radle seems open to spending more money and time in the search for a new superintendent.

It's a search that has cost the SAISD more than $23,000 over nine months.

"We are not going to say we're tired of this, let's get it over with. I mean we are still dedicated to finding the best person to lead this district to become a national model," Radle says.

The SAISD Board of Trustees' final vote is set for April 29.

Isquierdo's Sunnyside contract runs through June of 2014.

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