TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County School Superintendent Dustin Williams announced the appointment of Bruce Burke to the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Mark Stegeman. Stegeman resigned in October and his position will be up for re-election in November 2020 for a four-year term.
— Pima County School Superintendent's Office (@PimaSchoolSup) November 1, 2019
Burke served on the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Governing Board from 2003-2010. His only solid ally on the Board at that time of his departure was Adelita Grijalva. Burke, reportedly at the behest of Grijalva, had alienated other Board members by filing public records requests for their emails.
After having alienated both the public and fellow Board members, Burke chose not to run for re-election.
Later, upon the death of Board member Judy Burns in 2011, Burke sought an appointment to the Board to replace her. Despite support from the Grijalva family, strong public opposition prevented his appointment by then-Superintendent Linda Arzoumanian.
Williams claimed in a press release that his office had engaged in “an extensive review process.” Yet, long-time education advocate Betts Putnam Hidalgo, who sought the spot, wrote on Facebook on Friday, “Thanks to all who sent messages of support, I knew it was a long shot, but I thought I would at least get an interview. No such thing, though.” Luckily for TUSD kids, Hidalgo concluded, “As a parent, as a taxpayer, and as an involved citizen in our schools, I expect to be back during Call to the Audience when important issues are up in front of the board.”
Williams claimed Burke was “the candidate who most closely aligns with the TUSD Governing Board adopted mission, vision, and values.”
In light of the fact that Burke would not be the likely choice of Stegeman supporters, he probably won’t bring their vision and values to the Board.
— Pima County School Superintendent's Office (@PimaSchoolSup) October 17, 2019