Sanchez is on board as TUSD head

He is planning to report to work at 7 a.m. Monday
2013-06-30T00:00:00Z Sanchez is on board as TUSD headJamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Tucson's largest school district has a new superintendent.

H.T. Sanchez signed a contract Saturday to head up Tucson Unified School District.

He said he'll report to work at 7 a.m. Monday.

"I'm excited to formally visit with people," Sanchez said from Texas Saturday. He wants to ask employees, city officials, business leaders and parents three questions about the district:

What do you love? What do you hate? What can we do better?

"I'm enthused about being able to go and listen, learn and get a complete picture," he said.

He also wants to get to know the TUSD leadership team and learn about their aspirations, he said.

"The groundwork part is sitting down, talking with the board and learning the distance that's been traveled," he said.

Only after doing all that will he know where he - and the district - are headed, he said.

The board had approved a three-year contract for the 38-year-old Texas educator on Friday evening, and gave him until 5 p.m. Saturday to sign it.

His new contact gives Sanchez a base salary of $210,000 per year. Vehicle, relocation and other expense allowances push his total annual compensation to $247,000.

Sanchez, who has changed jobs frequently, will be eligible for a bonus - but not until his third year on the job. At that time he can get half of his base salary, part of which will go into a retirement account.

Sanchez comes to TUSD after three months as interim superintendent of the Ector County Independent School District, in Odessa, Texas. He had been the district's chief of staff for two years.

During contract negotiations last week, Sanchez spent time getting to know Tucson and its residents.

He said he met with community leaders, but he also parked himself at local Starbucks stores and asked people what they thought of TUSD.

"I didn't get anyone who said TUSD did a terrible job," he said.

When he encountered TUSD parents, he asked what they thought of their children's schools and asked if they would change schools if given the opportunity. He said he was glad to hear people say they'd keep their kids just where they were.

"Apparently," he said, "there are good things going on."

"The groundwork part is sitting down, talking with the board and learning the distance that's been traveled. I look forward to understanding everyone from where their perspective is."

H.T. Sanchez, new superintendent

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at jyounger@azstarnet.com or 573-4242. On Twitter: @JamarYounger

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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