Sunnyside School District faces superintendent criticisms - Tucson News Now

Sunnyside School District faces superintendent criticisms

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A discussion took place Monday night to extend the contract of Tucson's second largest school district.

Dr. Manuel Isquierdo, the leader of the Sunnyside School District has faced a lot of criticism as he fights to extend his contract.

The board was behind closed doors in the executive session for about four hours. The focus of their meeting was the superintendent's job performance and a close look at his contract.

Isquierdo is fighting for a contract extension since he withdrew his name from the top job in San Antonio in April.

This came after he was heavily criticized, and many of his personal and professional financial and legal problems came to light.

Many community members and teachers are asking for Isquierdo's resignation, saying he has not managed the district efficiently. They question his ability to lead the district.

Isquierdo is fighting back, citing a boost in graduation rates and technology as his biggest achievements.

Many critics were at the board meeting, continuing to push board members to vote no on extending Isquierdo's contract, while Dr. Isquierdo is speaking out about the challenges he's facing as he fights to hold on to his job.

"Ashamed of our board members, ashamed of those that will support him," concerned resident Yolanda Herrera said. "Especially based on the fact the community does not support Isquierdo's contract renewal."

"I'm not going ot minimize it," Isquierdo said. "It's been somewhat difficult, but at the end of the day I have a strong board, a lot of them believe in me. I have a strong leadership team and community."

Dr. Isquierdo has faced a lot of criticism from the community, teachers and some board members over financial problems he has been having in his personal life. There is also some claim he misused the district credit card and was pressuring teachers to boost graduation rates.

Dr. Isquierdo says he has worked very hard to boost those numbers and accomplished all the goals he set out to for this district.

Some board members had differing opinions on this discussion to extend the superintendent's contract.

"I've not seen anything," said Daniel Hernandez, one Sunnyside school board member. "I don't know if other board members have. I have never had a meeting with other board members about the contract. [I] don't know what it looks like. I have not spoken to legal. I'm concerned with this lack of transparency."

"Personally I'm looking forward to evaluating him on his personal performance on the job," Sunnyside School Board President Louie Gonzales said. "I don't want to get into his personal issues outside those parameters; they're private, should be private, [but] unfortunately they're not."

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