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Jun 19, 2013 8:58 PM by Sean Mooney

New TUSD Superintendent talks about the challenges ahead

TUCSON - A new superintendent is coming to town to take over the Tucson Unified School District.

H.T. Sanchez was selected as the new TUSD Superintendent at a special meeting with the district's Governing Board.

He will replace outgoing Superintendent John Pedicone.

Sanchez served as interim superintendent for a district in Odessa, Texas.

He started his career in 1998 as a middle school teacher and worked his way up to administrator. Along the way he earned a doctorate, in educational leadership.

Sanchez's Tucson employment contract has not yet been finalized and will come before the board later for approval.

H.T. Sanchez says he accepted the offer knowing he is taking over a struggling district but is determined to change it.

"It is an amazing opportunity to be the superintendent of Tucson," he says. "You can take a look at issues as a negative or you could take a look at issues as an opportunity and throughout my career the campuses I took were ones that other people that said the campuses had issues and I thought they had opportunities."

During the interview process concerns of Sanchez' frequent job changes were raised. During his 15 year career Sanchez never stayed a one position for longer than two years. TUSD's new superintendent says this time he plans to stick around.

"My daughter begins first grade next year. I would love for my daughter to go to an elementary school, middle school and high school within the same community as I did. And if the community continues to demand the type of excellence and I am the person who is able to deliver it I want to stay here. I'd love to stay there for my children and I'd love to stay there for the other people's children that I would be charged with serving," he said.

H.T. Sanchez is a bi-lingual Latino but believes his job is to represent everyone in the district.

"I am the superintendent for all our students in Tucson Unified (School District) and for all our educators in Tucson Unified (school) District for all our community members. That's my job and that's my role. I will advocate for each individual child as if they were my children."

The annual salary that was offered with the position is between $190,000 and $215,000. Dr. Sanchez says if all goes well with the negotiation of his contract he expects to arrive in Tucson with his family, ready to go to work, early in July.

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