Whistleblowers: “Today is a Remarkably DISGRACEFUL Day for TUSD” as Utterback Parents cry out for help while HT Sanchez destroys Magnet Schools

To set the stage for today’s story, which includes the latest TUSD Whistleblowers article below, we first flash back to 2013 when HT Sanchez first took over TUSD. Utterback is an arts magnet school and thus had murals painted by students throughout the campus. However, when HT Sanchez first visited the school, he decided that what the students created had to go, and literally started whitewashing the school.

However, according to what our source told us, the letter sent out to parents on Friday is probably an approach to smooth out any potential protest from families and that what really occurred isn’t about the school needing a new coat of white paint, but that new TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez wasn’t too impressed with the artwork.

As a result, a crew came into the school last week and painted over some test areas on some of the smaller murals. When staff and students reacted negatively to the possible change, an online survey went out asking staff if they thought there was a mural worth saving or not. “The survey felt like a justification,” our source said.

Later in the week, during an assembly to explain to students what was going on, students reacted strongly—pounding their feet on the floor. Teachers, some of whom had talked to their students about what was going on, took heat for the failed and unruly assembly.

If the walls stay white for too long, several sources said to expect students to bring out the Sharpies.

The Arts magnet school had its trademark murals painted over. Utterback is also a performing arts magnet school, and the money it was promised to fix its stage, currently warped and being destroyed by a leaky roof, disappeared over the summer and no one knows where the money went. Multiple public information requests from multiple media sources still has yet to reveal an accounting of the magnet school monies at Utterback.

Utterback is also a dance magnet school and have zero dance teachers. This is all in violation of the Unitary Status Plan, aka the “Deseg Order,” that is mentioned in the video above, and also in the article below.

For a list of what TUSD was supposed to have done by November 1st, 2015, but has failed to do so, you can recall what the Federal Judge ordered here. Here is just a sample of federal court orders that HT Sanchez has ignored:

  1. The District shall proceed to fill all vacancies at each of the magnet schools (or programs) specifically referred to above by November 1, 2015;
  2. The District shall take steps to ensure that the schools or programs above remain fully staffed (as to certificated staff, administrators, and all teaching aids and other personnel identified in the Improvement Plan as contributing to the school’s effort to improve achievement and close the achievement gap between racial groups at the school) prior to the start of the 2016-17 school year;
  3. The District shall give its magnet schools and programs priority in the placing of teachers and certificated staff, such as during the spring hiring process. This priority shall include the opportunity for principals at these sites to have access to applicant lists at least 14 days prior to applicant information being made available to principals at non-magnet programs;

And with that, here is the latest Whistleblower letter which came out just in time for the video I created for you above. Despite what many may think, Three Sonorans is not part of the Whistleblower group, nor do we know any of its members (and we prefer it that way), however we know that they are always watching, and perhaps some change will come from having a watchdog group that is exposing the truth in TUSD.

Open 39th Letter- Today is a Remarkably DISGRACEFUL Day for TUSD- Utterback Parents Plea for Support While the Board Majority and HT Sanchez Continue to Destroy Magnet Schools

From: Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers (welcoming new teachers!), Retired Administrators and Teachers, Parents, Grandparents- Growing with Each and Every Letter

During the Board meeting of October 6th several parents from Utterback Magnet Middle School spoke during call to the audience with their children standing by their side. Parents grew emotional while describing the perpetual absence of teachers in their children’s classrooms due to long term vacancies; the deficiency of crossing guards; the prevalence of drugs on the campus; an open gate policy which allows students to leave the campus without permission during the school day; and a lack of management over student behavior which has created a dangerous environment for their children. Each parent demonstrated great stress to the point of tears. They asked why Utterback is being ignored and why some teaching positions have been left unfilled by a teacher for consecutive years with only substitutes in their place. One parent noted that the school also has facility problems such as the stage, which needs repair. As we listened to each of the parents our hearts broke.

David Morales also addressed the Board and reminded the Board of their obligations under the desegregation court order and stressed the obvious lack of compliance pertaining to magnet schools. Another speaker pointed out the escalation of vacant teacher positions under this administration and Board. She was admonished by Adelita Grijalva for stating, “you are a disgrace”. She merely spoke the truth. People who do disgraceful things are disgraceful. The Board majority and the Superintendent who lead them are DISGRACEFUL. It was wrong of Grijalva to attempt to once again gag a speaker for simply executing her right to speak the truth. Another speaker shared that Utterback was not the only magnet school suffering from lack of support in staffing its teaching positions and funding the school at the appropriate level. She mentioned Holladay Magnet School as another school on the south side that has been negatively impacted.

Utterback’s own Counselor spoke during call to the audience and shared that he had been called in by the administration and accused of organizing the parents to come forward and share their concerns. He stated that as the counselor he often has parents approach him with questions and he had made effort to find answers for the concerns that are surfaced. He went onto say that the situation at Utterback is very frustrating but that he believes that the problems can be resolved. He stated that he had spoken to HT Sanchez as well as to some Board members. He asked that Dr. Sanchez visit the school and really spent some time learning about what is going on. He voiced great concern for the students who are not being availed courses that are required to prepare them for high school and he too became emotional over the travesty that is occurring at Utterback. He was almost brought to tears. He noted that ‘this may be the last time’ he addresses the Board since he had already been called out by the administration and accused of “organizing” the parents, implying that he anticipates being terminated.

Board members then took the opportunity to address the comments that were made. Mark Stegeman said that he was very happy that the parents had come forward. Cam Juarez asked for an update of the situation from Sanchez, indicating that he is oblivious to the whole issue. Adelita assumed the same posture. Now, get ready for this: Kristel Foster said that she ‘has spoken with HT Sanchez’ and that they are jointly aware of the whole situation and that they know what is taking place (at Utterback). She said she knew what was happening at the school at least twice. Which of these is worse: Not having a clue about what is happening at a magnet middle school that the Board legally committed to staff and fully fund or actually knowing all about the situation and not doing a damn thing about it? We think both are DISGRACEFUL. We know that both “ignorance and ignoring” are hurting students at Utterback (and other magnet schools).

(Article continued below)

David Morales pointed out that during call to the audience HT Sanchez and Kristel Foster were absorbed in their laptops and said that it was very rude. Rude is one word. We say it is symptomatic of a much larger problem in TUSD and call it aloof.

It is a remarkably DISGRACEFUL day when Board members (Cam and Adelita) openly admit that they either know nothing about a school that is in crisis or that she (Kristel) knows all there is to know about what is taking place at Utterback, as shared with HT Sanchez during their conversations. We predict that HT Sanchez will provide a CYA report to the Board making one excuse after another for his failure to support Utterback. It will be yet one more DISGRACEFUL act upon the many he has already taken.

Remember, Robyn Dunbar, Utterback Principal, along with a handful of her magnet school principals stood before that Board last year and said that she was fully supported by Dr. Sanchez and his administration. Who do you think is telling the truth? The parents who spoke at the Board meeting or Dunbar? Utterback has not been supported. Look at its turn-over rate; look at the number of long-term substitutes and substitutes during the last three years; look at the number of new teacher who were hired last year and left at the end of the school year; take a hard look at its limited course offerings; take a look at how many courses have been folded from 3 to 1; look at the fine arts offerings- which have also been cut based on the District’s failure to hire teachers for the program.

Students such as the ones at Utterback are being cheated of an education. The school’s staff is demoralized and the parents are desperate for resolution NOW!

Meanwhile, where does HT and his team focus their attention. They put on well rehearsed magnet school updates for the Board but direct principals to present ONLY the positive. Omission is a form of lying. In TUSD lying by the HT Sanchez administration has become common practice.

HT Sanchez and his mind-control public relations side-kick, Steffanie Boe, are now mandating that their Pollyanna-propaganda videos be viewed during Wednesday-professional-development. The videos are high-tech CYA snippets produced in an effort to layer saccharin over a pile of manure. Do they not understand that most of us see and smell B(oe) and S(anchez) for what it is. The videos are a waste of our time, an insult to our intelligence, and more waste of tax payer money.

TUSD has never been in worse shape. We are in CRISIS!

  • Leadership is non-existent.
  • Morale is terrible’ at an all time low.
  • Fear of retaliation is rampant.
  • Teacher and administrative turn-over is over-the-top and highest it has ever been.
  • Recruitment and retention efforts are obvious failures.
  • TEA is in collusion with the current administration and has abandoned their mission.
  • Cronyism is thriving under the Sanchez regime; he hires and promotes based on personal alliances and not on competency.
  • Sexual misconduct is modeled from the top and has spread to many schools by site administrators. Because of this many employees have been and are subjected to a hostile work environment.
  • The budget and its various Sanchez/Soto processes have made it a total mystery.
  • Transparency is non-existent.
  • Nastiness and rudeness have become common practice at Board meetings by the Superintendent and the Board majority. This behavior is mirrored by many top administrators.
  • Safety at our schools has become more and more compromised due to the confusion and contradictions which have been created by Sanchez and his “team” pertaining to discipline.
  • Many schools are in crisis, while principals are ordered to stand up before the Board and put on a happy face.
  • The Board majority and the HT Sanchez regime have NO credibility.

We agree with the Utterback Counselor who spoke out. It is tremendously frustrating! We all feel the pain. However, we all believe that the situation is salvageable. But NOT with this Superintendent and NOT with this Board majority.

Please read the following column by Tim Steller which amply covers what else took place at the October 6th Board meeting. http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/political-notebook-tusd-board-battle-is-a-race-gone-wild/article_ec03087c-488f-5b59-8381-c9b02ba76537.html

The current Board majority bloc must be broken. Vote out Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez. Get involved in supporting the other candidates who are running. We have announced our endorsements but encourage you to do your own research and support three of the five remaining candidates who you believe genuinely have the best interest of our students at heart. Donate to the campaigns you choose; volunteer your time; and get out and vote! If you missed our endorsement:

Please consider donating to TUSD Kids First @ http://tusdkidsfirst.org/Donate.aspx
(Disclosure- our group has never interfaced with anyone from Tucson Kids First.)

The group put this statement out: “An Open Letter to the Teachers of TUSD:

“TUSD Kids First respectfully asks that you donate to help CHANGE THE BOARD. All individual donations of $25 or less (aggregated amount) are not required to be disclosed by donor and may well help improve your teaching environment. We ask that you consider the following:

  1. The District “Balanced its Books with Money Intended for Teachers” (reported by Tim Steller in the 9/30/2016 AZ Daily Star.)
    2. Compared to other large districts TUSD is overspending on administration costs by over $11M, money that belongs in your classrooms (numbers from the Fiscal Year 2015 AZ Auditor General).
    3. The District will pillory anyone to stay in power. As shown in TUSD’s 9/30/16 “Open Letter to the Community,” the District will openly discuss your personnel records.
    Donate your confidential $20 now! It is time to show your desire that TUSD put Teachers and Kids First by increasing classroom dollars and provide safe working conditions for you, our hard-working teachers.”

Kristel Foster has recently stated that Tucson Kids First has raised nearly $40,000 and criticized the group for this, saying that there must be something in it for them with the large amount of money they have raised. The money raised by TUSD Kids First is local, unlike the more than $40,000 that Adelita Grijalva raised when she ran to regain her seat. Her funding came from many of her dad’s Washington connections, inclusive of lobbyist money. If Kristel has a logical gene in that mean body of hers, we ask: What was in it for Adelita Grijalva, the person whose directives you follow at every turn along with those issued by HT Sanchez? Hum? Does Kristel Foster think that she can just throw out her mean-girl jabs without any accountability? It would genuinely benefit our community if Kristel were to lose her bid for re-election and head back home, north to Aurora, Colorado, where she can once again assimilate into her privileged white-female reality instead of constantly deluding herself into believing that she is a Mexicana. It is offensive to everyone but especially to Tucson Latinas. Perhaps some identity counseling would speed up the process.

A spouse of one of our members is on her late shift rotation at a local hospital and witnessed someone taking down Tucson Kids First signs in the middle of the night. She was not able to get a license number and could not catch up with the vehicle once the driver became aware that she was being followed. The vehicle driven by the sign-snatcher was a rust-colored SUV. At least 8 signs were lifted by the thief who threw the signs in her vehicle and then sped off to escape being caught. This is not fair play. It is just more of the standard TUSD bullying that is prevalent throughout our District.

Thanks to Three Sonorans for publishing every single one of our letters! We appreciate greatly that the Arizona Daily Independent publishes many of our letters and/or references them within their own posts, from time to time. Additionally, continue to acknowledge an organization that is also working very hard to expose the facts about TUSD: TUSDKidsFirst, which also has made reference to our letters, which we appreciate. Check the organization out at: http://tusdkidsfirst.org/

9 comments on “Whistleblowers: “Today is a Remarkably DISGRACEFUL Day for TUSD” as Utterback Parents cry out for help while HT Sanchez destroys Magnet Schools
  1. I would suggest the Utterback parents and other parents with similar problems, call the various elected Democrats who have held fund raisers and endorsed Foster. Her list of endorsers are on her website. Or just call every elected Democrat you know. They somehow have failed to get the word about what Is happening in TUSD. Our legislative representatives go up to Phoenix to fight for education and don’t understand what is happening here at home in Tucson.

    Parents and teachers could start with the mayor and work their way right through everyone else to ask for their help to fix TUSD. If the elected folks haven’t understood what is happening in TUSD, they need to be informed.

    Everybody else should step back and leave it to parents and TUSD employees. They’re the ones who can give the elected folks the straight scoop. Second or third hand information wouldn’t be helpful.

  2. Foster “TIED UP” her endorsement prior to most of the facts being exposed about her own ineptness in detecting a $5,000 check from a TUSD contractor to TUSD has awarded contracts; one for $21,000,000.. HIS name was on the check, so she either does not pay attention or took it willingly. The fact that she was caught and was forced to return the money should make little difference. It was corrupt. Either scenario shows her to be unqualified as a Governing Board member for the largest local school district. In addition, she campaigned for 1 2 3 funds to allocate to TUSD teachers, yet, she is supporting Sanchez in using it to balance the budget. She is a weak, self-serving, and newly discovered CORRUPT school board member. Get rid of her. The list below is the list on her web-site with my comments in parents. Call or email the organizations or individuals and tell them that their endorsement is grossly misplaced.

    Lillian Fox is wrong in expecting that parents take up the political fight that is needed to fix TUSD. It is important for parents to come forward as the Utterback parents did last Thursday but it is up to everyone who is involved. The Utterback parents more than did their share the other night. My financial contributions to organizations such as Planned Parenthood are now on the line and they will hear that from me on Monday. Foster is extremely far from a feminist, fighting for women’s rights. She has subjugated herself like a door mat to HT Sanchez in ways that show disrespect for herself and all women and young girls.

    Ousting Foster will contribute greatly in fixing the problems with TUSD, as will ousting Juarez.

    Tucson Education Association (in the pocket of TUSD Supt.)
    Pima Area Labor Federation (Foster lied to them)
    Planned Parenthood
    Arizona List
    Las Adelitas (mujer machine)
    Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (the MACHINE at work)
    Congressman Ron Barber and Nancy Barber
    Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (fooled by HT)
    State Rep. Dr. Randy Friese & Susan Friese
    State Sen. Steve Farley
    State Sen. David Bradley
    State Rep. Bruce Wheeler
    State Rep. Stefanie Mach
    State Rep. Matt Kopec
    State Sen. Andrea Dalessandro
    Former State Rep. Victoria Steele
    Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías & Emily Velde (machine gear)
    Pima County Supervisor Ramón Valadez (machine gear)
    City Councilman Steve Kozachik (convinced by Mayor)

    City Councilman Richard Fimbres (convinced by Mayor)

    City Councilwoman Regina Romero(convinced by Mayor)

    City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich(convinced by Mayor)

    City Councilman Paul Cunningham(convinced by Mayor)

    City Councilwoman Shirley Scott (convinced by Mayor)
    TUSD Governing Board Member Adelita Grijalva (Big surprise- and the MACHINE at work again!)
    Sunnyside School Board Member Daniel Hernandez (he has his own deceit to deal with, wouldn’t you say?)
    Oracle School Board Member Linda Lyon
    PCC Board Member Dr. Sylvia Lee
    PCC Board Member Mark Hanna
    PCC Board Member Demion Clinco
    PCC Board Member Martha Durkin (MAS Assassin)
    Former Candidate-AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction- Dr. David Garcia (FYI- he lost)
    Kristel is also supported by these Community Leaders:
    Luci Messing (TEA)
    Ann Eve-Pederson (Politcal Hack)
    Annette Everlove
    Raúl Aguirre Opportunist
    Dr. Ricardo & Kelley Castro
    Dr. Mary Carol Combs (Uneducated U of A Professor)
    Dr. Julia Lindberg
    Dr. Andrea Romero`another (uneducated Professor)
    Pamela Sutherland
    Diana Rhoades
    Courtney Frogge
    Pat Burns
    Pat Wiedhopf
    Jen Wong

    • You’re full of crap.

      IT’S THE PARENTS that need to be fighting this battle—not anyone else.

      What is more important in your life than your children?

      What you’re doing is no different than full-blown racism: you’re infantisizing the community. “They’re too busy to care about their children.” “They’ve done enough.” “It’s someone else’s responsibility.”

      No. No one is supposed to care about your children more than you. Don’t blame Stegeman. Don’t blame the Governing Board. Don’t blame HT Sanchez, especially when Sanchez is being supported a board majority elected by the community.

      Your attitude is what separates success people from those that aren’t. Successful people get things done. Others blame people for their shortcomings.

      • I’m pretty sure the parents are here fighting this battle.

        Now should schools have an open gate during the day that students can exit from? Should the school have a crossing guard? Should the school do nothing about drugs getting in, minimal to no monitors to protect your child from other children?

        You can be the best parent in the world, but when the kids are at school it is the school’s responsibility to keep them safe. Anyone can go up to them and beat them up, no matter if your the #1 Dad in the world.

        • Again, that failure at Utterback is a TUSD problem, much, much bigger than HT Sanchez and the Governing Board the community elected.

          The community elected Foster, Juarez and Grijalva who then support Sanchez’s abysmal record.

          But, where’s the outrage from the community? Did you know that on Facebook there were more comments on dirty bathrooms at Cholla HS than there were comments about the ESI pay for play scandal?

          What does that tell you about the community? (Hint: it’s not something good.)

  3. To the Whistleblowers and everyone else:

    It is imperative that you share information regarding ANY people stealing ANY political signs representing ANY constituency. We need to know the location and when the incident took place. Additionally we need the make/model/color of vehicle and what the person looked like. Of course a license plate would be very helpful as well.

    To this end please send any information to tusdkidsfirst@gmail.com. And thank you for all your efforts.

    TUSD Kids First

  4. Great! Students act out, disrupt an assembly and create chaos in the classroom and Three Sonorans takes the students’ side. And some wonder why substitute teachers refuse to go to Utterback and teachers are dropping out of that school left and right. Well, you have an “online publication” cheerleading bad behavior.

    Sanchez is wrong, clearly. But to allow students to threaten vandalism and property destruction as reasons to not take administrative action is blackmail.

    That’s a great lesson to teach students and people in that community: if you don’t agree, vandalize.

    Again, bad kids aren’t raised by bad school districts. They’re raised by bad parents.

    • When you don’t have qualified teachers, TUSD doesn’t even send subs to fill empty classrooms, and no monitors at times, no crossing guard and an open gate at all times students can leave from, I blame HT and his board for not using the magnet monies that they should be using at this school, instead leaving it to rot as they spend that money elsewhere.

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