TUSD Identifies Superintendent Search Finalists

Those who have tracked the success of students at “A+” Rose Elementary over the years will be pleased to find Stephen Trejo’s name among the four finalists for the top spot at Tucson Unified School District. Trejo is joined by TUSD interim superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, Dr. Donna Hargens, and Maria Marin.

Hargens was recently forced out of the Jackson County school district in Kentucky. [View resume here]

Trejo left TUSD in 2016 and went to work for the charter chain, American Leadership Academy. [View resume here]

Marin has served as Administrative Experience Director of Elementary and preK-8 Schools for TUSD. [View resume here.]

Trujillo has struggled in his role as the District’s interim superintendent. Trujillo has hadto deal with a split and hostile Board, and a leadership team cobbled together by former Superintendent H.T. Sanchez. [View resume here.]

Each candidate will appear at an individual forum to answer questions. The community will also have an opportunity to offer feedback. For those who cannot attend, each of the forums will be streamed live at www.tusd1.org, and feedback can be sent via email to search consultant Dr. Nic Clement at clementn53@gmail.com.

Here is the schedule for the forums:

  • Finalist: Stephen Trejo
    Forum: Monday, August 14, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Catalina High School Auditorium
  • Finalist: Maria Marin
    Forum: Tuesday, August 15, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Catalina High School Auditorium
  • Finalist: Dr. Gabriel Trujillo
    Forum: Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Catalina High School Auditorium
  • Finalist: Dr. Donna Hargens
    Forum: Thursday, August 17, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sahuaro High School Auditorium

NOTE: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday forums will be held at Catalina High School. Thursday’s forum will be held at Sahuaro High School due to a prior scheduled event at Catalina.


  1. Trujillo has a proven track record. His accomplishments at Phoenix Union are impressive. Read his resume. The resumes of all the four candidates are posted on the TUSD website.

    Trujillo is the best of the four. If he’s not good enough, the Board needs to keep him for this year and restart the search in the Spring when far more candidates will be available.

  2. Trujillo accomplished very little while at phoenix union. He actually was hired post unitary status. Thus no experience moving even a small district out of deseg. If you look at the letter grades even under the old AIMs model. Academically kids test scores didn’t improve and actually declined while principal. He has moved around from job to job with no time proven record of success in any given position. He may be a nice guy to talk to. But TUSD needs someone with a proven track record. Clearly he is not the right choice for the second largest district in Arizona. His biggest professional accomplishment has been résumé building.

  3. It’s interesting to read the resumes of all three viable candidates. I assume the former superintendent from Kentucky will be out of the running.

    Trujillo’s resume was very good. He has specific accomplishments in several areas where TUSD is in trouble. That gives me hope. The district he came from is another high poverty district with similar problems that he was able to address. The other two candidates’ resumes weren’t as impressive. Either Trujillo’s a better candidate, or they aren’t good at writing resumes.

  4. Sounds as if hiring Trujillo is about the only viable option. Anybody brave enough to enter that swamp after H.T. Puff n’ Stuff made it more murky and who demands that principals have not met up to professional expectations has got some admirable crust! Perhaps Mr. Trujillo is “a keeper” since by now he has a pretty good idea of what needs immediate improvement.

  5. Sanchez came with major caveats from his former TX district also; they were ignored and TUSD children reaped the result. Keep looking, or close the district down. It’s probably a hopeless case.

  6. There are two from the slithering Sanchez-snake inhabited green slime era; they are Marie Marine and Stephen Trejo. She did little to support principals when she was promoted to a position that was meant to do just that. Trejo ran a school. Than is all he did. He was hailed by TUSD bureaucrats for running it well and raising achievement. Sure, this is an exception to TUSD’s culture but it is not an accomplishment that is outside of what SHOULD have been expected. That is what he was supposed to do but it was seen as extraordinary. Trujillo has told principals that they have not met up to professional expectations and he has rattled several cages since he took over his post. He is not from Tucson or the camp of Grijalva-ites. He is neither part of the Stegeman scheme-tank. The Kentucky person, Hagens, should be screened out NOW to avoid further embarrassment. She was probable screened in by Stegeman to make Trejo look stronger. He is just that deviant.

  7. Your gut reaction has to be that
    they’ve picked three from the swamp,
    plus one from another swamp.

    That said, it may not be a true
    representation of ALL the candidates.

    From those that know; I’d like to hear
    about any of the candidates that aren’t
    in fact muddied by the swamp- recognizing
    that even a cesspool like T.U.S.D. may contain
    a gem- even if not probable.

  8. Kentucky Department of Education announced it was launching a full-blown management audit of JCPS, which could end with the state taking over the district.

    Gee, she should fit right in here. And she is one of the 4 finalists? What qualifications did the others have I wonder. Why is she even in the mix? Who does she know? Isn’t that the way the crony system works in this town?

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