SUSD superintendent says he does not want buy-out - Tucson News Now

SUSD superintendent says he does not want buy-out

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

After meeting behind closed doors for almost three hours, the Sunnyside school board has voted to give school Superintend ant Dr. Manuel Isquierdo a partial performance pay increase.

Isquierdo got a performance rating of 83% in that meeting, which means he will get 83% of the $7,500 performance pay raise written into his contract.

Board members Buck Crouch and Daniel Hernandez voted against the performance pay raise.

Emotions were animated at the first Sunnyside school board meeting since the re-call election, the last meeting for ousted board members Louie Gonzales and Bobby Garcia.

Both lost their seats to Ken Giffin and Rebecca "Beki" Quintero.

Tuesday night's meeting was the last meeting for the current board.

The two board members who lost their seats were strong supporters of Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Manuel Isquierdo.  They were two of three board members who voted to extend Isquierdo's contract.

During public comment animated speakers addressed the board and celebrated their election victory.

"The voters have spoken, not just a select few.  Those numbers don't lie," said Olivia Herrera, a supporter of the newly elected board members.

The crowd cheered as those against Isquierdo and the ousted board members spoke. They booed when those who supported the superintendent came up to the podium.

Board member Eva Dong asked the crowd to show respect to those speaking at the podium.

During the meeting, Isquierdo asked board member Buck Crouch to apologize for accusing Isquierdo for "lying" about graduation rates.

Two weeks ago Crouch questioned the graduation rates presented by the district, and said they did not match the state website.  Isquierdo had state Department of Education staff verify his numbers, and he said Crouch had offended those who were graduating, as well as teachers in the district.

Crouch did issue an apology to students and teachers he said were offended by his remarks, but he did not apologize for questioning the numbers.

Before the board went into executive session, Dr. Isquierdo addressed the board and said he wanted the district to move forward.  Two weeks ago Isquierdo had broken down during a board meeting, and said if his supporters lost the election, he did not want to work here.  He pleaded with the board to buy out his contract.  Tonight, he said he changed his mind.

"I don't want a buy out. I don't.  I want our district to continue moving forward and to treat people respectfully, if they don't feel we are then let's talk about it.  More importantly, if you don't want me here as your superintendent you're entitled to say that.  That's fair.  You can then decide if you want to buy me out or not, there's a legal process that has to be followed," said Isquierdo.


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