TUSD superintendent resigns
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - TUSD's superintendent made a big announcement Wednesday: It's time for someone else to take over.
The superintendent--Doctor John Pedicone--is stepping down.
He says no one forced him to quit-- it's just time for someone else to take over the job. He'll stay on until June 30th.
Doctor Pedicone wanted district workers to hear the news from him first but when news of the resignation leaked out, he called the news conference.
Board members say they were not pushing him out. He simply thought it was the right time to go.
Pedicone says he always planned to stay two or three years, address a lot of the district's problems, then let the board pick a leader for the long term.
KGUN reporter Craig Smith said to him: "It's hard to argue that that job is not a hot seat. What would have to change for the superintendent to end up staying more than two or three years at a time.?"
Doctor Pedicone said one thing that would help, is an end to a culture that he thinks enjoys watching the district struggle.
He says, "We've got to do the work and do it right and I think you've found over the past couple of years we've really tried to do that. But when that happens we need to celebrate those accomplishments, so that's number one, we stop making it that it's really kind of cool to watch TUSD fail."
Cam Juarez is one of the new board members. He says even if Pedicone says a new board should be able to pick a new superintendent, he wasn't pushing for Pedicone to step aside.
"It wasn't something I was intending to do when I ran for this office and I certainly was looking for some continuity but I was cognizant that the superintendent had committed to two and a half years to five years."
The news took parents by surprise at Roskruge K through 8 school.
Ricardo Gomez is the PTA president there.
Craig Smith asked him: "If you were doing the hiring, what qualities would you look for in a replacement?"
Ricardo Gomez: I think cultural diversity is a huge factor in whoever is running the district. They have to be sensitive to community needs as well as how well we're developing as a community."
We found some parents who do not think highly of Doctor Pedicone, some of that relates to the fight over Mexican American Studies. When the program came under attack by the state Pedicone felt to avoid millions of dollars in penalties, the district did need to give into the state's demands and dismantle the program.