For Tucson Unified School District followers, the “Whistle Blowers'” letters have become a staple. From administrative intrigue to juicy bits of gossip, the letters are full of interesting information and insight.
On Sunday, the “Whistle Blowers” out did themselves by venturing into the mind of Board member Adelita Grijalva. Normally we quote from the letters, but the latest missive is a must read in its entirety:
67th Open Letter
From: TUSD Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Retired Administrators and Parents, Grandparents
Subject: In Adelita Grijalva’s Head
Most of you know that I had announced that I would NOT run for another term on the TUSD Governing Board. After 14 years I had decided that it was time to spend more time with my children and husband. I have served on the Board through each of my pregnancies and have basically raised my three children while a Board member, which says a lot since my oldest child is entering middle school next school year. To say that I have missed quality time with my children and husband is an understatement and I owe a great debt to my mom for taking over my duties as mother for my children. I also owe a great debt to Pima County and Chuck Huckelberry for allowing me to leave work any time I want in order to do TUSD work (most of it is politicking). My County job is really like having a half-time job while getting paid full time. Lucky me!
The first time I ran for the TUSD Governing Board I ran for one single reason: To oust Rosalie Lopez, who had been on the attack against my Dad, Raul Grijalva, for years. It was time to retaliate; wipe her off the earth; and I was the weapon. With my Dad’s scheming and monumental help, I was successful in robbing Rosalie of her seat which was great pay-back! Sure, my motivation was 100% political. Blame my DNA. What mattered is that I won and here I am 14 years later, totally addicted to the power of the politics.
By now, you’ve probably heard that I changed my mind about not running for the Governing Board. I changed my mind totally based on Auggie Romero not having his contract renewed as Principal at Pueblo High School. Sure, my motivation is once again 100% political and all about one single adult but, as I said, it is in my DNA and I make no apologies. Oh sure, Auggie did change the grades and I wish he hadn’t but he did and I have to support him; no matter what. Through the years he has helped me a lot! If you read my last guest opinion in the Arizona Daily Star, I will let you in on a little secret: Auggie wrote it; I didn’t. I have supported him through all of his horrible public outbursts and mistakes. He did change the grades. Everyone knows it. He shouldn’t have changed the grades but, all I have to do is continue to blame the teacher whose grades he changed. (Hey, there always has to be a “fall-guy!” and I don’t care about who it has to be from one time to another. It is all politics.)
I am a little worried about running this time but I know that I can count on my Dad to once again carry me to a “win.” He cannot allow the Grijalva name to be disgraced politically. Of course, you all know personal disgrace means nothing in our family.
I am very worried that while I have been on the Board almost 20 schools have been closed. The school closure process was horrible and after the schools were closed it was really clear that some of the school closures were big mistakes. This will not look good on my campaign literature. Oh, and I also worry that during my 14 years as a Board Member, TUSD has lost over 12,000 students. Another worry is that I was Board President when the hiring of HT Sanchez took place and I was the one on the Board who pushed and voted to pay him the highest salary in the history TUSD (maybe even the history of the state). I also did everything I could possibly do to rescue him from being held accountable by the three Board members who pushed him out. In some ways it was best for him to resign because based on what they had on him, he could have been convicted of several crimes. I am ashamed that while I have sat on the Board, Mexican American Studies was ripped from the District… but I can continue to say I voted against banning MAS. I guess I really should have done more. John Pedicone did a horrible job on this too. He blew the school closures, for sure, but the way he managed MAS was terrible. John was like a country boy trying to run an urban school district and he failed. Still, for political reasons I will continue to be nice-nice to him. I have to be fake so much of the time. I amaze myself!
I suppose that another problem I have is that I believed everything that HT told me and some of his lies about what he was doing to support magnet schools wound up losing 6 of our magnet schools while I was Board President. And, yeah, we should have complied with the USP but, again, I believed HT. I can hardly believe myself because I have turned into such an anti-desegregation Board member…and it was mainly to support HT. All I have to do is blame the plaintiffs and court. That’ll work. At least, it has so far.
And, I almost forgot, during my time on the Board TUSD changed from having substitute teachers working directly for the District to outsourcing their employment through a subcontracting corporation. It has become a bloody mess! I have not argued to go back to the system that worked instead of remaining under one that has taken all employment rights and benefits away from the substitutes who staff so many of our classrooms every day during the school year. I guess I should have done more and I guess I could still deal with this but it just seems too complicated.
I hope that after a few years everyone has forgotten that I pulled strings to have my husbands mother, Olga Gomez, hired as a principal. HT and I thought we that we had secretly pulled it off until someone leaked that she is my mother-in-law. This is another ding against my track record. OMG, now that I have thought through all of my dings, I think I may be in real trouble. What if all this stuff is all outlined in one place and people get ahold of it?
And, yeah, I am the one that pushed HT to appoint Auggie as Pueblo’s Principal. He had no experience as a principal but that did not matter to HT or me. This makes me miss HT and how easy it was to get him to do anything I wanted.
It is no secret that I hate Mark Stegeman and while I have been on the Board the conflict and division on the Board has impacted almost everything that the Board does. I tolerate Mike Hicks and try to cut deals with him and then I just do not keep my end of the deal. (Ha ha!)
Rachael Sedgwick took Cam Juarez’ seat and took our Board majority away. For this alone, I cannot stand her! I dislike her so much that I refuse to sit next to her on the dais. Cam would do anything I asked him to do without question. I miss his type of blind loyalty. Kristel Foster, of course, is a close second to his blind loyalty but I get sick of her constantly trying to out-do me by writing one resolution after another; her talking incessantly about her support of teachers; and her long list of the wonders she has accomplished. Just like me; she hasn’t. I get tired of her trying to out-Mexican me. Come on, doesn’t she honestly realize it looks as ridiculous as it is. And, her endless, pull-out the tears and cry at-the-drop of dime routine has gotten so tiresome! I know that without the political support she has gotten from my Dad and his connections she would not be as “loyal” as she is to me (or him), so I put up with her. She owes me and my Dad everything! (And we collect! Time and time again.)
It is too late to change my MO (and I couldn’t even if I tried!) I will just continue to convince people that I know I am right and this is all that counts. I will just continue to blame Stegeman (or Hicks, or Sedgewick) for all the problems. I will even blame Trujillo, if I have to. (He has been way to loyal to Stegeman, as far as I am concerned!)
It is important that I get re-elected and change the power structure on the Board so that I am in the majority again. It is just that my record does not look too good and when I stop to think about it (not too often) I realize that the good things that the District has accomplished are almost all due to the desegregation court order, which I have worked hard to get rid of as soon as possible. Will people see that I am talking out of both sides of my mouth? All I know is that I have to get re-elected! Once this happens I can make sure that Auggie Romero gets hired back into the District. And, if I am in the majority in the near future he can be appointed Superintendent. Then I could really coast!
I know that Leila Counts has been pulled into the School Board election by Kristel Foster and I was supportive of this until I changed my mind about running for the Board. Now, she will be a thorn on my side and actually drain a lot of my support base and funding. Leila Counts is the new Jenifer Darland, who no one remembers now. Still, I have to cozy up to Leila because she may just win. My intention will be to oust Hicks and get two of us in who will change the Board majority. Beating Hicks will not be easy and I will have to hold on to my seat no matter what it takes! I just hope others do not jump into the race who will continue to take support and votes away from me and I sure hope that all of things I am worried about (school closures, horrible decline in enrollment, loss of magnet schools, fighting desegregation, getting my friends promoted or hired into administrative positions, such as Auggie Romero, Shawna Rodriquez, and Olga Gomez, my hate of some of my peers, etc..
Now that I have put all of this in writing, I am actually very worried and pretty frantic. None of this stuff is going to work to get me elected. Guess I will have to lie, lie, lie! Oh, well! Wow! If you put all of these pieces together you understand why things in the District are so bad? Oh, well! I am running anyway!
I guess you think I really did not mean that I wanted to or needed to spend more time with my children and husband. Oh, well!
Adelita Grijalva- Spoof
(Although this is a parody, it is based on Adelita Grijava’s 14 Year FACTUAL Track Record)
The TUSD Whistleblowers are not associated with any blog or publication. We are an independent group and our letters are written ONLY by our members. As long as the TUSD Whistleblowers have been in existence, our letters have been sent to various local media and blogs. We appreciate our letters being published by Three Sonorans and sometimes printed and/or referenced by the Arizona Daily Independent. Everyone is free to post our letters on social media.