TUSD school board at odds after Superintendent's resignation, mo - Tucson News Now

TUSD school board at odds after Superintendent's resignation, more administrators leaving

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

We're learning more people are quitting as Tucson's largest school district searches for a new superintendent.

For now, Dr. Karen Kopec is the acting superintendent. She had been deputy superintendent to H.T. Sanchez who resigned earlier this week under pressure.

It appears Sanchez's departure has made the divisions on the TUSD governing board even deeper.

Board President Michael Hicks said Karen Kopec was surprised by his announcement at the Tuesday, Feb. 28, board meeting that she was going to be the acting superintendent.

Hicks said he apologized to Kopec, and told her that he didn't realize Superintendent Sanchez's resignation would be immediate on Tuesday. Hicks said Kopec came to Tucson to work with Sanchez.

Hicks spoke with Kopec on Wednesday, March 1, and said she was willing to be acting superintendent but only for a very short while until an interim superintendent can be chosen.
 
A TUSD spokesperson said Kopec has told the district she will be leaving when her contract expires in June.

The TUSD board is very divided over the change in the superintendent's office.

Hicks is hoping for a quick process.

"It's my goal to have an interim in relatively soon. I've asked that the board members provide names of individuals that they would like to see as interim. So, hopefully, we can have an interim by next Tuesday," Hicks said.

One governing board member who backed former superintendent Sanchez, Adelita Grijalva, contended the search for an interim superintendent already is not a transparent process.

Grijalva said she got a message late Thursday morning, from Hicks asking board members for names and email addresses of possible candidates.

"I don't know how this board is going to vet any potential candidates, interview, talk to any of them by Tuesday. I mean, if I'm just looking at a list of names, am I just supposed to know who these people are? So to me, what that screams to is that there is already an interim in mind and this process is not transparent and there's no way that it could be," Grijalva said. 

Thursday afternoon we learned two more Sanchez-era hires are leaving.

One is TUSD Chief Financial Officer Karla Soto who has decided to retire. The other is Chief of Human Resources Anna Maiden who has resigned effective June 30.

A district spokesperson said Maiden said she's leaving because Sanchez is no longer superintendent.

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