[UPDATED] TUSD Board Could Name Trujillo As Interim Superintendent Tonight

In 2016, new TUSD administrators, including Dr. Trujillo, pass through the “Tunnel of Love”

[UPDATE] The Governing Board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Gabriel Trujillo as interim superintendent.

On Tuesday, the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board will consider hiring an interim superintendent to fill the vacancy left by the forced resignation of H.T. Sanchez. The top contender is the District’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo.

Dr. Trujillo came to the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) in August 2016 to replace Steve Holmes. Holmes left TUSD to lead the Sunnyside Unified School District. This vital District position, one which deals with what and how instruction is delivered to the students of TUSD, was not filled permanently for over fifteen months. It was filled on an interim basis by someone lacking expertise in curriculum and instruction, which reflects the level of importance that the position was given by the former superintendent.

Prior to coming to TUSD, Trujillo was the Talent Director at the Phoenix Union High School District. In 2014, as principal at Trevor Browne High School, Trujillo was a Rodel Exemplary Principal Finalist.

Both Phoenix Union and TUSD asked the courts to grant unitary status in 2004. “In 2005, a judge lifted the court order against the Phoenix Union High School District after the district improved dropout rates, increased attendance and developed magnet programs,” according to the Arizona Senate record.

Trujillo’s experience at a district that had once been under court supervision for the purposes of desegregation, and his experience recruiting teachers to an urban district, are likely factors in the Governing Board’s vote. Trujillo, although seemingly respectful of TUSD’s chain of command, is said not to have attempted to become involved in the cliquish environment that had been created and reinforced by the former superintendent. This is yet another factor that played part in the decision.


  1. I cannot get into specifics (politics/wanting to keep my job), but Dr. Trujillo has shown he has a backbone and is able to reverse decisions that already had the Sanchez seal of approval. What I read in his behavior is the savvy to know when to speak up and where to tread lightly. He has no problem meeting and speaking to us cretins unlike his predecessor (who has stated in the past, “I already know who I need to know.”), and making us feel heard. I have never felt more secure in my position than I do now. I think Ms. Grijalva and others will be surprised to find out that he’s not going to bow down to the Board on everything, nor is he going to use the meetings as a bully pulpit. His record at Trevor Browne in Phoenix speaks volumes.

  2. Dr. Trujillo was hired by Sanchez and his Grijalvistas. Nobody got hired or advanced without being of the Sanchez ilk and beholding to him and his willing conspirators in some way. How can the TUSD Board believe that he’s an improvement over Sanchez? I’d appreciate hearing their explanation. A Talent Director over another possibly interim superintendent who has a Masters in Curriculum? Really, that’s the best the Board could do?

  3. In my opinion, anyone is better than HT to lead the district. I welcome Dr. Trujillo with open arms. Now he should begin to clean out those loyal to HT beginning with Abe Morado, Matt Munger, Mary Alice Wallace, Sam Brown, Jason Freed and Frances Banuelas.

  4. Why Can’t TUSD find a director that is serious about the Districts problems first? The kids should be the first concern, not the salary. These kids are our future leaders and I question whether or not they will have the “right stuff” upon graduation to function is society! Look at the photo of the Board playing a “feel good” exercise – really!

  5. Change at tusd should be welcomed in the best interest of public education.

    With the extremely poor job former Superintendent was doing anything is a positive step. I will welcome Dr. Trujillo and ask him to move with God’s speed.

    I encourage him to terminate all HT & Adelita Grijalva appointment who go there Administrative positions for kissing there six.

    Any changes especially in personal should have one focus, how does this person HELP our students at TUSD. No more cronies , political appointees, special interest staffers.

  6. I am cautiously optimistic. Changes already seen–the man mostly speaks clearly, does not willfully obfuscate nor repeat himself in an attempt to throw out smoke and mirrors (this is based on only one meeting though). In addition, in response to obvious board concerns about the $200,000. price tag placed on getting a survey done (which was then immediately dropped to $70,000 supposedly without any loss of quality!) that involved a lot of unspecified or unintelligible expenses he actually suggested complete transparency on all of those points! So lets see if he actually comes through with that, but so far so good. Talent director though? What the ?? is that?

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