TUSD Whistleblowers expose HT Sanchez and “his perpetual lies”

To: The Tucson Community- 15th Open Letter
From:  Whistleblowers- Comprised of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, and Parents
Subject: HT Sanchez- Hardly the Truth Sanchez

Consummate Liar- Hardly the Truth (HT) Sanchez

Sometimes there is value in rewording statements we have made previously, as it sets things in a certain framework.

As principals, administrators, teachers, parents and community members, the more that we have seen HT Sanchez in action, the more we realize that he is Hardly about the Truth. “Hardly the Truth Sanchez” or HT, as we refer to him through the remainder of this 15th letter, has demonstrated his perpetual LIES, omission of the facts, twisting of information and other forms of deceit for two long painful years and three months. All of his deceptions have been to serve himself and not the students of TUSD. Lies are his way of life. His perception of the facts is steeped in whatever will serve him and the truth does not serve him so he turns to one lie after another.

HT began his career in TUSD with lies and has never stopped. For starters, he lied to the Board and community about his qualifications. And none of us will ever forget his procurement gift to his friend Cathy Mincberg for almost $100,000 to consult on the strategic plan. He had provided early and preferential information to her on his desire to award her the contract. She also was listed as a reference in his bid for TUSD superintendent. She was awarded the contract. Isn’t it cozy how things fell together in the dark of the night? But once the facts were made public by the media, HT tried his best to walk away from the issue with one cover-up lie after another.

HT has become even more arrogant in his lies and increasingly treacherous in his treatment of TUSD staff since his contract was extended and his salary was ballooned to the highest in Arizona and one of the highest in all of the country. The Board majority has created and unleashed a megalomaniac-monster as their Superintendent.

Everyone knows that HT has run many administrators out of the District over the last two years and three months. To take their place he has hired many young, inexperienced site administrators or even administrators who have not done very well in their former position as principals in other districts. NOT too smart.  His leadership team is the joke of TUSD and of the community; none are leaders and none are role models. They go through the motions of their work out of their quid pro qua arrangement with HT in having been promoted and highly compensated to deliver blind loyalty to him while they incompetently perform their meaningless work.

Not one of HT’s initiatives has resulted in ANY meaningful outcomes for students. The first program that he promoted was the early learning childhood centers. The centers are NOT part of Arizona K-12 public school system requirements and go beyond what public school systems are delegated to do under state law. They have detracted attention, time, and resources from what should be the focus within TUSD which is TUSD K-12 public school matters.

The day care centers are losing money which is not what HT had projected, which was either a lie or incompetence. The day care centers (and they are nothing more than day care centers) have LOST money beyond what has been reported and their turn-over rate of day care workers is an indication of what they are- just day care centers that pay its day care workers low wages and which have a high turn-over rate. He and his coin counters have not accounted for TUSD advertisement and TUSD staff time (Ana Gallegos, HR, payroll, etc.) as TUSD costs associated with the day care centers, so the financial loss is much greater than what has been reported. In other words TUSD funding/staffing is being utilized for the day care centers (to subsidize for the loss), which we believe violates state requirements for public school systems. Chalk this one up to a failure, all based on LIES. HT touts the centers as “early childhood learning” facilities which is false advertisement and another LIE! No one holds HT accountable.

HT’s self-serving-self-written strategic plan along with his self-evaluation do not count in the realm of outcomes- we are talking about real viable outcomes, such as increase in enrollment and improved achievement or just for the hell of it, implementing a desegregation court order. HT and his Board majority have stayed away from these important areas.

HT’s Intentional Malnourishment of the Magnet Schools and USP is Blowing Up in His Face While He Hails Magnet Principals and Political Operatives to Corruptly Rescue Him!  It will NOT work.

(Several of us work within the magnet schools which are listed below and know from our front-line positions what has happened. Parents from these schools are also part of this writing.)

HT is such a narcissist that he actually believes that he is smarter than everyone around him. He believes that he has manipulated our peers based on his so-called genius ability to manipulate people. We are referring to: Steve Gabaldon (Safford Principal), Jennifer Ambrosia (Bonillas Principal), Frank Armenta (Cholla Principal), Julio Moreno (Ochoa Principal), Robin Dunbar (Utterback Principal) and Auggie Romero (Pueblo Principal, although we wonder- since he is mostly absent from the school- busy consulting and politicking on everything except the welfare of Pueblo).  And we do admit- HT is one maniacal manipulative monster but it is not his IQ (which could not possibly be as high as he implies) that had them all roll over- it is his intimidation, as has been illustrated time and time again. Regardless, shame on them each for their pathetic performance in supporting the lies and corruption of HT. Of course, they should support their schools- but not based on directives which are based on lies.

On Friday September 4th he met with the above manipulated principals and told them that he had met with the Special Master who had informed him that he would be recommending that about half a dozen magnet schools lose their magnet standing and that they would be stripped of their desegregation funding. One principal said that it would devastate her/his school- totally annihilate it. HT lied to the principals because the Special Master never conveyed that the schools would be “stripped” of their desegregation funding (a lie).

HT informed the principals listed above that he and the Board majority were looking for each of them to show total support for their schools and the District and instructed them on what they were to do and say- in detail, beginning with that they were to go before the Board (on September 8th) and attest to the desperate need for desegregation dollars at their schools and state that they have been fully supported by him and the administration. Other instructions that they received from HT during the following days included the following. All are based on lies:

  • They were to rally their staffs and parents and explain that is the Special Master and the Mendoza Plaintiffs- who are responsible for the situation of each of their schools potentially losing their magnet standing- all due to the USP and the mandate to integrate magnet schools.
  • They were to immediately plan for meetings- first with their staffs and then with their parents- which HT and his staff would attend to rally them in protest of the Special Master and Plaintiffs (Mendoza).
  • They were to use the form letters (written by HT) to have parents sign and send to the court and the Plaintiffs. (He excluded the Department of Justice from the list and said that the last thing he needed to do was to piss them off.)
  • Ochoa was to work with the political operatives from Casa Maria (Brian Flagg and Cesar Aguirre) to win over the politicos in South Tucson and to initiate petitions for parents to sign. (HT would contact his pals Flagg and Aguirre to get things moving.) The petition and other documents state that the Special Master had stated that the schools would be “stripped” of their desegregation funding. Again, a lie.

Of course, the Special Master NEVER said that the schools would be stripped of desegregation funding and documents which we have obtained show exactly what he did say. HT basically instructed the principals to ignore the truth and to “work up” their school communities (based on misinformation). Unconscionable!

Scare tactics are being used to manipulate school staff members and parents through the use of grossly WRONG information and the Board majority stand by in total support.

It is HT’s arrogance that actually ends up exposing his stupidity. Each of the referenced principals actually stood before HT and the Board and told them how supported each of them have been by the administration. Nothing but bold lies. As one single example of how the schools have NOT been supported we use Utterback as one of the best illustrations. It had 14 vacancies last year and 18 new teachers this year. The Utterback Principal has been forced to have other staff cover teacher-less classes as substitutes, which means that they are neglecting their own work to cover classrooms. Yet, she and the above-named principals stood before the Board and said that they have been supported by HT and his leadership team- an obvious lie.

The Three Sonorans, the Arizona Daily Independent and the Tucson Weekly have written about the current magnet situation, which is telling in itself. Tucson now has liberal and conservative coverage of TUSD saying exactly the same thing- attempting to expose the corruption. TW played it safe in not voicing an opinion but, nonetheless exposed some critical facts, especially quoting some of Cesar Aguirre’s own racism and ignorance about desegregation. The Arizona Daily Star, also kept the public informed on the issue without editorializing on it.

 Just as we were completing this letter, we learned through the media that an agreement between the Mendoza Plaintiffs and TUSD has been filed with the court.

The Star article includes the following statements: “In Friday’s filing, the district acknowledged that Ochoa and Bonillas elementary, Safford K-8, Utterback Middle School and Cholla High School did not meet all of their goals to become more racially integrated.”

“But TUSD pointed to factors “beyond the control” of the schools, including 19 vacant teaching positions as of Oct. 6, all of which it pledged will be filled by Nov. 1, and the fact that the leadership at the campuses is relatively new, having no more than two years on site except at Cholla.”

“Desegregation plaintiffs criticized TUSD for imposing its own cuts to magnet programs in three revisions of the desegregation budget. The district counter-argued that the total amount allotted to magnet programming had increased over the last year.”

“To gain support from the plaintiffs, however, TUSD agreed to restore the highest amount identified over the three budget revisions.”

For Bonillas, that means an additional $19,000; Ochoa will receive $53,000 more; and Cholla’s allocation will increase by $8,000. There is no for change for Safford or Utterback. Other magnet schools that lost funding over the course of the budget process will also have it restored.”

The agreement will provide immediate financial support to magnet schools that were decreased in funding during their magnet school planning process. The Three Sonorans post included the following statement from the Mendoza Representative. “TUSD asserts that the deficiencies within the magnet schools have been beyond its control.  While I take great exception to this type of hollow excuse since, as one example, it was within TUSD’s control NOT to cut funding at several of the magnet schools and to proactively support integration as a foundational legal and conceptual requirement under the desegregation court order/USP. Nonetheless, it is in the best interest of students to quickly move into a stipulation that will afford TUSD with full opportunity to show that it will fully support the magnet schools, inclusive of their integration, rather than continue to litigate about the District’s failures at this time.”


(Article continued below)

A desegregation update from the Mendoza Plaintiffs’ Representative that was posted on Three Sonorans indicated that the Mendoza Plaintiffs had pushed for this and that it was in the works about three weeks ago.

We are glad that the District has agreed to the actions it must take as outlined in the agreement and that their progress will be closely monitored. It is really too bad that HT has to be FORCED to do what is right. The entire Mendoza group has been under attack by Sanchez and those who have listened to him have also gone on the attack. The Special Master has also been under attack.

Sanchez has been a real bully at the magnet meetings in saying stupid and demeaning things about the Special Master and Mendoza Plaintiffs and their Representative, as well as their legal counsel. He has encouraged and prompted parents to ask to replace the Plaintiffs and their Representative. He cannot manipulate the people who are now in place so he wants parents who are already eating lies out of the palm of his hand to take over. HT even thinks he can manipulate the court. He is truly an ego maniac.

Just to tell you how far this Superintendent and Board majority will go, we found it unbelievable that the Board meeting that was scheduled at Duffy on October 27, 2015 was rescheduled for October 6, 2015  at 1010 East 10th. An actual vote was taken by the Board on September 29th to accomplish this.  The meeting was changed to accommodate Ochoa’s/Casa Maria’s efforts to bus parents to 1010 to speak during call to the audience- something that was not disclosed during the September 29th vote to change the meeting. And so indeed, Brian Flagg and Cesar Aguirre did have several individuals, including students speak during call to the audience, while they cheered and clapped. But when others spoke who tried pointing out what a charade was taking place, they were loudly heckled. The Board President- Adelita Grijalva allowed the heckling. She also cut Mark Stegeman off every time he attempted to speak. Democracy is absent within TUSD.

We wonder how long this type of orchestrated corruption will be allowed. It is astonishing that HT has left a trail of misconduct in spear-heading a campaign against the Special Master, the Mendoza group and the USP- all based on lies. All done without consequences.

HT’s MO: Induce fear and punish! Who Will Be Left Standing?

HT’s effort to clean the administrator slate was, in part, if not totally, motivated by his wanting to seal the “1010 leaks” and to stop our letters. He wanted to build a regime of soldiers who would march to his beat and his beat only. Maybe his fantasy is to have all administrators marching in unison while saluting him much like the soldiers do in North Korea as they salute their Dictator, Kim Yo-jong.  Not so fast, many of us are independent thinkers and we stand against the tyranny that HT is all about.

Some of US are the young inexperienced administrators who he hired. We were thrown into our assignments without direction or support. He walks right up to us at meetings and believes that because “he” hired us, our loyalty as administrators belongs to him- that we have been bought. He flirts with some of us who are female and plays the “brother” game with the males, especially those of us who are Mexicanos. ¡Que tonto!

HT has been brazen enough to approach some of us and slam the “Whistleblowers-” saying that they make everything up and that they have done nothing but harm the District’s image. Imagine the scenario, if you can- at times it is almost impossible to remain straight-faced. All we have done isexpose the truth. What continues to hurt the District are the lies, the deception and HT’s refusal to change course. It is the Board majority’s choice to be totally complacent and ignore all that we have reported. It is HT’s way or no-way and his uncontained mismanagement has driven many out and will continue to drive people out. His leadership team has decreased in number and competency, which is frightening for TUSD’s future. 

Any harm that has come to the District through the revelation of facts falls at HT’s feet. It is pathetic on his part to believe that his despicable behavior could possibly be condoned by anyone simply because he is the Superintendent. (Many tolerate it because they fear for their jobs but they do not condone it.) When the first trail of our letters made their way to his eyes, several administrators informed him that they were not part of the “letter writers.” And at the time, this was true. But as time has exposed HT’s corrupt conduct, many of the “newbies” made our way to this group and we are stronger for it.

Many of us have been asked to do highly unethical things by HT. Some of us have found clever ways not to follow HT’s directives, while others of us have played along as if his directives were part of the Ten Commandments and we simply disobeyed his unethical requests. On the other hand- some administrators have succumbed under pressure and have followed HT’s commands to carry through on his dirty deeds. One of these administrators was formerly in our group and has left to remain in a corrupt corner that has become their personal torture. We have no qualms in broadcasting our zero-tolerance in this situation.

It is clear that if HT’s orders are not followed, he will set out to punish- in one way or the other. He will isolate the administrator. He will insult the administrator in front of her/his peers; he will make sure that communication channels from and to the administrator are eliminated; he will apply such pressure that the individual has no choice but to leave OR he will have one of his sell-out 1010 thugs (Ana Gallegos, Abel Morado, Adrian Vega, Richard Foster, etc.) inform the administrator that they are to pack up and leave immediately.  HT is cruel and he has many ways of humiliating administrators. Many feel vulnerable- starting a career or planning to retire within a few years. They work in fear and they walk the tight-rope between honor and corruption. (There is little honor left.) Many have left to alleviate the fear and/or to prevent from being tainted by HT’s corruption.

No administrator in his/her right mind would ever think of speaking to a member of the Board majority about any of the insanity that HT is spreading within our District. Each of the blind-loyalists would report what was said to HT and that would be the end of the administrator a-la-Sanchez style.

At the end of last school year a principal was told that s/he would no longer be needed; to pack up all belongs and to be out of their building by a specified date. The same thing happened to a principal mid-year, the prior year. No specific reason was provided except the nebulous, “you have not delivered as expected.” However, no one is told what is expected. We are given orders in snip-its and the orders have little to do with educating children. Another principal was harassed so badly by Adrian Vague-ah that they decided to leave the District rather than to report the hostile work environment to state and federal authorities. There was no appreciation shown to the principals who had dedicated their professions to TUSD.  Earlier this year a central administrator was told to pack up their things and that they would no longer be part of the organization. Another central administrator has been stripped of all relative duties and totally frozen out of their job. Communication channels to and from the administrator are blocked within TUSD. Although, still on payroll, there is nothing that this individual is able to do except keep “busy.”  No formal evaluation of this individual has taken place. The administrator refused to go along with HT’s  insurmountable lies and is suffering the consequences. The stories go on and on. The Board majority condones the abuse of power and cruelty through their inaction.  Nothing about what is taking place can be labeled as a stable environment or providing a sense of stability which is what the Board majority, and especially Adelita Grijalva have said is behind their motivation to keep Sanchez. Keeping one person locked in while he is destroying an institution and perpetually causing upheaval is a foolish way to try to sell that there is any stability.

Professionalism at 1010 East 10th is a thing of the Past; there is No Compassion; and there is No Dignity.

Even HT’s second in command- Adrian Vega- has found himself on the bad side of his Texan buddy. HT degrades him; scolds him; pokes fun at him and otherwise has let everyone know that Adrian’s work is worthless- in front of principals and his 1010 leadership team. Even though we all believe that Adrian’s talents have been limited to his Texan-drawl-hoopla-cheerleading activities during meetings, we all believe that HT’s behavior is despicable. Vague-ah has stuck as the nickname we tagged him with for a good reason. His skill level as deputy superintendent is vague, the work that he has produced is vague (Really, what the hell has he done?), his level of authority is vague. In total- Vague-ah is one vague dude!

We expect that Adrian Vega will soon be history. Who in their right mind would tolerate being humiliated on an ongoing basis? (However, if you are reading this Adrian, there is some amount of “payback” in all of this. Remember Pistor? How about the sexual harassment complaints against you that were swept under the HT rug? A slap on the wrist was much too light! Your treatment of TUSD administrators (and others) has not been respectful or professional. Your magical jump from a high school principal of a high school that had an enrollment of between 60-80 students at the time you served as principal in Odessa (it now has 287 students) to deputy superintendent over the largest school district in the region was based on cronyism- nothing more! And you have no good references from your former district- except from HT. All people can say about you is that that you were HT’s friend. Who would have thought that instead of being one of HT’s “go to” leaders you would become one of HT’s “stomp-ons.” Of course, you will tolerate it until you are able to get a job using him and his three Board flunkies as your references.)

The Odessa American Newspaper stated, “Vega followed Sanchez to Ector County, and will now be one of Sanchez’s lead go-to’s within the administration level at TUSD.”

A very short list of those who have been stomped upon but remain within the system; those who have been pushed out; and those who have fled as fast as their feet could carry them to escape the oppression of and affiliation with HT follows. Some were stomped but have “paid their dues” and are now snuggled up to HT by meeting all of his demands (see names with strike-out lines). Another name for these folks would be “sell-outs.” Teri Melendez, Elizabeth Redondo, Jim Fish, Cara Rene, Lydia Gonzales, Augustine Romero, Yousef Awwad, Ana Gallegos, Jose Figueroa, Jeffrey St. Claire, Maggie Shafer, Candy Egbert, David Scott, Kathyrn Manley-Crocket, Rex Scott, Sam Brown, Brenda Hanna, Steve Holmes, Scott Hagema, Shannon Roberts, Larry Haynes, Ignacio Ruiz, Daman Jackson, and many more! Who will be left standing? We predict it will be only those who have given into the HT Sanchez corruption which is spreading through our District very quickly. Once he is gone- they will follow either by choice or by force.

The Profound Hypocrisy of HT Sanchez and HIS TEA President, Jason Freed

The TUSD teachers’ union- TEA- is defunct. Its membership enrollment is at an all-time low. So low, in fact, that the union could easily be decertified. Instead of working on increasing membership through ways that count for teachers, Jason Freed, and former TEA president, Frances Banales, have chosen to take the path of least resistance which is to crawl into bed with the administration. The union recently told one of its members who sought support in filing a grievance, “HT does not like it when employees file grievances.” This statement really says it all. TEA cow-tows to HT and the Board majority. They have no strength and no integrity. They are put in the HT limelight and both HT and TEA take turns giving each other unearned accolades. Krystal Foster and Cam Juarez (up for re-election and desperately wanting the TEA endorsement constantly add to saccharin compliments.) Adelita chimes in but not as loudly as when she was running to regain her seat.

For all the rhetoric about the wonder of teachers, HT was a classroom teacher for about 2 years as noted in the resume that was posted on the TUSD website when he was hired, which states, “English Teacher, Nimitz Junior High, Ector County ISD, Fall 1999 – Spring 2001 and Spring1998.” He then fled to the administrative ranks. His loyalty to public schools should be questioned by his comparatively long stint in working for a private Catholic schools. It was one of his longest stints anywhere in his historical professional career, according to his own resume: “Private School Principal, St. Mary’s Central Catholic School, Fall 2001 – Spring 2003” HT’s own life path does not walk his talk. HT does not have a career that demonstrates stability. He has jumped around from one job to another as an obvious career climber, holding most jobs for less than 2 years.

The majority of PROFESSIONAL teachers in TUSD do not support TEA’s weak, sniffling accomplishment of the pittance of a teacher’s raise that they were thrown under the leadership of Frances Banales and Jason Freed. Compare the few hundred dollars teachers have been given (which are spent on classroom supplies) to the bonuses that have been freely given out to HT and his team or the ridiculous raise that HT was given. The raise was not accepted with open arms- though it was reluctantly ratified through a membership vote- AFTER-THE-FACT. Freed can say that his actions did not impose a contract decision on his members, but they did. The facts are clear in the sequence of events, with ratification of the disgraceful raise just having taken place.

Freed and Sanchez co-authored a guest opinion which scolds the community (and the Star Newspaper) for its lack of support of teachers. They want more involvement from the community such as attending Board meetings or joining PTA/PTO, donating money to the schools, etc. Their suggestions are simplistic and very insulting. Attending Board meetings is of no value. They have become rehearsed and staged performances with the tail (HT) wagging the dog (Adelita, Krystal, and Cam) all chiming in on queue. The Board ignores public input unless they have had a hand in orchestrating the message. If HT does not like the speaker during call to the audience he either gets up and walks out of the meeting or he hangs his head down in total disrespect. PTAs/PTOS are “old school.” Site councils are manipulated by the administration. None of these avenues show support for teachers since they traditionally hear only what the administration has to offer (HT lies).

Once Again- Gratitude

Thanks to all who have helped us spread our letters: Three Sonorans, Arizona Daily Independent, Tucson Weekly. All of our letters may be found on Three Sonorans @:  http://threesonorans.com/tusd-whistleblower-archives/

Remember- the re-election is nearing. The so-called Democrats on the Board do not perform their due diligence; they do not inform themselves outside of what they are spoon fed by HT;  and they are not promoting policies or actions that best support students. They need to be replaced by progressives who are willing to be Board members instead of awe-struck by HT which is shown in their consistent concessions to everything the administration promotes. It is time to bump off the HT enchanted Krystal Foster who has totally stripped herself of any self-worth as she salivates over HT and bestows compliments to him for everything including breathing. Cam’s close association with HT hinders his objectivity and he is simply too stupid to see that he is being used.

4 comments on “TUSD Whistleblowers expose HT Sanchez and “his perpetual lies”
  1. HT’s intimidation goes even further. My Latino friend has been told by his immediate bully of a boss that it would be a good idea for him to take HT up on his invitation of joining him and his “buddies” (Usually friends of bullies are usually not truly friends. They are either scared to say no or want to be bullies themselves) at Platinum Fitness for the early morning workout. My friend joked (only half kidding) if he should let HT lift more and make sure to compliment him on how big his muscles are! If only we could laugh at this little man’s need to be surrounded by sycophants. The three principals I know can’t wait to retire. The feel intimidated and as if they have no idea who to trust. It goes to show how he has the need to have complete control of his minions, even into their personal lives. If you doubt what I say, just go by Platinum Fitness on Speedway early in the morning and see this site! Out of shape assistant superintendents, directors and women need not show up.

  2. Not only are young, ineffective administrators being placed in TUSD schools, the district is losing what would have been talented administrators to other districts that HT and his group refuses/refused to even interview for open positions within his own district. There are at least five former TUSD employees who were searching for admin positions who took jobs in other districts. They are now successful directors, assistant principals, and principals, but TUSD didn’t want them. Instead TUSD wanted inexperienced administrators with no talent to run their schools. How lucky of those districts to have gotten TUSD’s unappreciated, talented people. How sad for tusd.

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