The Tucson Unified School District Governing Board has approved a $210,000 annual contract for incoming superintendent H.T. Sanchez. The Board has give Dr. Sanchez until 5 p.m. Saturday to accept the agreement.
Sanchez’s compensation package is similar to that offered Elizabeth Fagen, who held the position before John Pedicone.
Although Pedicone had little experience in the top spot at one of Tucson’s smallest districts before coming to TUSD, his political connections drew top dollar in negotiations. In August 2012, a District official confirmed that Pedicone’s total compensation package of $409,000 was the highest in the State of Arizona. His total potential compensation with a performance bonus was $431,000.
According to Board member Mark Stegeman, Pedicone’s contract included $305,400 of guaranteed cash compensation annually, while Dr. Sanchez’s contract has $235,000 guaranteed in the first two years and $352,500 guaranteed in the third year.
Pedicone also received 50% more paid leave; nine weeks versus six for Dr. Sanchez. Pedicone received a higher maximum performance bonus and was also allowed to earn consulting income while on paid leave.
Sanchez will have 6 weeks paid vacation, and unlike Pedicone, Sanchez will not be allowed to collect consulting income while on paid leave.
On average, the guaranteed annual compensation for Pedicone was over $31,000 higher than for Dr. Sanchez.
The Governing Board also voted 4 -1 last night to pay Pedicone $1000 a day to stay on as a consultant, if Sanchez requests his services. They voted 5-0 to pay $500 a day to deputy superintendent Maria Menconi. Menconi has been instrumental in running interference for the District with the Arizona Department of Education and the public in the District’s ongoing Mexican American/Multicultural curriculum saga.
Governing Board member Michael Hicks said he was pleased with the Board’s selection. However he said, “I continue to struggle with not only the rate of pay that superintendents command, but all the extras that they require.”
Heliodoro (H.T.) Sanchez, has served as the interim superintendent of Ector County Independent School District.
Sanchez has worked in public education for 15 years and has been an elementary, middle, and high school principal. He has also served as a district level Bilingual/ESL Services Director and Instructional Support Services Executive Director at Tyler ISD and as Accountability and Special Populations Assistant Superintendent for ECISD.
Over 60 applicants sought the head position at TUSD, including the District’s director of Multicultural Student Services; Auggie Romero.