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Mar 21, 2013 7:01 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Search begins for TUSD leader

TUCSON - The national search is on to find the next person who will lead the Tucson Unified School District. Dr. John Pedicone announced his resignation Wednesday.

Five different superintendents have led the district in the last 14 years.

Roger Pfeuffer was the TUSD superintendent from 2004 to 2008. He said he agrees with Pedicone that the school board needs to have the person they want to lead the district, "the real challenge is when boards decide to go in a completely different direction and abandon the successes of the past to try new ventures. And that takes a lot of steam out of the staff and takes a lot of steam out of the organization."

Pfueffer described said leading the district is tough work, he listed some of the challenges, "the differing policies from the national which translate in to the state. The state financial and sometimes micro-managing and then you got to look at the board and the ability to remain consistent to operate as a board rather than pseudo administrators and to support the superintendent that they choose."

Dr. Cathy Mincberg is a nationally known expert in education reform. In Tucson on Thursday she said the board and community must select someone they can work with in establishing a clear path of action, "that creates a direction that is clear for the staff. The chance that the teachers can now go do their work knowing exactly what it's going to be like next year and what the expectation is."

Mincberg, who is president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reform of School Systems, said Tucson must forget the district's history and look forward to a long-term partnership with whoever the next leader is, "the complete change, the upward mobility. The opportunity to do great things can start right now."

Pedicone said he will leave his position June 30.

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