TSON News | Sylvia Campoy responds to Kristel Foster’s “URGENT TUSD ISSUE”

Sylvia Campoy responds to Kristel Foster’s “URGENT TUSD ISSUE”

Statement by Sylvia Campoy Pertaining to
Kristel Foster’s Recent Urgent Communication to Numerous Individuals
February 14, 2017

With this statement, I have forwarded an “urgent” email which I received from Kristel Foster at 8:08 this morning. I ask that you review the email prior to reading further. (Screenshot is below)

Long ago I was removed from Ms. Foster’s communications, thus, upon seeing an email from her this morning, I found it peculiar to once again be the recipient of one of her TUSD emails and even more so since it was tagged “URGENT TUSD ISSUE.”

As I opened her email, I assumed it had to do with the desegregation case or some top priority student-based educational issue.  I was mistaken. As I read her email, which was a plea for individuals to attend tonight’s Board meeting because, as she states, “… this Board needs to hear from our community now more than ever,”  I found myself disheartened by the desperate plea being made to individuals based on a communication which is saturated with conjecture and accusation.

The message itself is misleading since the entire Board executive session agenda item was not included in her email and since her opinion relative to the purpose of the agenda item is apparently based on hearsay and supposition.  (I have included the full agenda item below.)The same type of solicitation by Ms. Foster has been made to her Facebook friends. It may be some time before the public learns more about said personnel matters but clearly, as of now, the matter is a confidential one that will be dealt with in the executive session, which mandates confidentiality.  

In her email, Ms. Foster claims that “Our district is now vulnerable to lawsuits by both of these employees as no due process has been followed.”What we know is that the issue is a personnel matter being dealt with in the executive session, which may fall under one of more of the noted categories: discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, salaries, disciplining or resignation of a public officer. This is all we know.

It is alarming to witness a member of the Board take such frantic and urgent measures to communicate to many individuals about a confidential personnel matter and to urge that they attend today’s Board meeting and address the Board absent all of the facts while fueled with plenty of speculation and accusation. Clearly, all of the facts are not known- nor should they be known with regard to dealing with a personnel matter in executive session. A reaction from community members is being provoked without the provision of substantive information.

What is of absolute paramount concern is the fact that the communicated sense of very high urgency on a confidential personnel matter (over which there is little known) is so blatantly misplaced.  Where has such urgency existed in dealing with a current and viable lawsuit- the 40-year-old desegregation case? There was obviously no such high-level importance or attention devoted to doing what was necessary to support the six magnet schools which have now lost their magnet status due to TUSD’s failure to meet the requirements agreed to by the TUSD Governing Board. Certainly, student discipline issues have not been resolved since the USP was approved by the Governing Board in 2012/13.  The list of USP areas which have suffered from a lack of priority attention or, it seems, any type of attention, does not stop with the ones listed here.

In her email Ms. Foster laments the District’s vulnerability to lawsuits, which frankly seems to be enticing legal action, yet, the District’s failure to resolve a current and real lawsuit through ongoing good faith effort has not seemed to cause such feverish consternation. Here, priorities are made clear and, frankly, seem absurdly upside down.

Ms. Foster is correct in stating that  “… this Board needs to hear from our community now more than ever.”  The issues, however, should URGENTLY focus on students, teachers, classrooms, schools, instructional leadership, and quality support services provided to the schools- with the Unitary Status Plan tied into these areas with visible, thoughtful and committed planning and implementation instead of reactionary resistance (both legal and operational). The priorities within TUSD must be readjusted to URGENTLY focus on these issues. This is what must be conveyed to the Board. 


Executive Session Agenda Item:

D.  Personnel issues pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(1); legal advice/instruction to attorney pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(3) and (A)(4) – Requested by Board Member Rachael Sedgwick

1)  Discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, salaries, disciplining or resignation of a public officer 2)  Discussion of consultation for legal advice with the attorney or attorneys of the public body 3)  Discussion or consultation with the attorneys of the public body in order to consider its position and instruct its attorneys regarding the public body’s position regarding contracts that are the subject of negotiations, in pending or contemplated litigation or in settlement discussions conducted in order to avoid or resolve litigation

  a)  Superintendent  b)  General Counsel

Also published on Medium.

30 comments on “Sylvia Campoy responds to Kristel Foster’s “URGENT TUSD ISSUE”
  1. Completely disgusted by the spineless Board and their caving once again to the Machine including the spineless Mayor and Mike Varney.

  2. No one was spineless. Todd Jaeger could not provide legal advice on a matter over which he was part of the discussion so he recused himself. This left the Board without legal counsel and they could not discuss the item. It is pretty clear that there will be action taken on the four+ years of incompetency that has plagued our District. It couldn’t happen last night but it is going to happen.

    Sure, Grijalva allies showed up at the meeting to support Sanchez but their comments had NOTHING to do with what is NOT happening to support students and teachers. TEA and their circle of 10-20 have sold their union soul to Sanchez and the Grijalva-former Board majority. The Tucson Chamber of Commerce has no idea of what is happening across the District and either does the Mayor. We can always count on the Casa Maria Sanchez loyalists to support Sanchez over the children in South Tucson. Mary Belle McCorkle worked on Cam Juarez’ campaign and endorsed Kristel Foster. She can’t be counted on to state anything without her political bias. Cam Juarez’ comments were once again platitudes right out of his campaign, which, as we all know did not work out too well.

    As for Sylvia being wordy. Hum? Did you say this about MLK or JFK about their wordy communications? Or how about Adelita, Cam and Foster who ramble without really saying anything? HT had to be directed to shorten his statements and responses during Board meetings. Sylvia delivers and has for decades. She is owned by no one and everyone knows this. It is what threatens Sanchez and his clan. No one could be better suited to work for the Mendoza Plaintiffs. Anyone who knows anything about communication knows that the writer has to speak to both those who are up to speed and those who have just tuned in. She did this in her statement and it is a cheap and pretty desperate dig to criticize the use of adjectives and number of words.

    TEA’s lost value to teachers has only worsened during the last several years and it is tragic because teachers have been left without any advocacy. TEA has continued to slide deeper and deeper into the pocket of the TUSD Administration. The same TEA groupies show up at meeting after meeting to attack those who are not aligned with Sanchez and his crew and applaud him and the Board flunkies. Jason Freed is weak and so are those who surround him. I was horrified to see Frances Banales address the Board in support of Sanchez. She was TEA President just prior to Freed and was rewarded for her loyalty to Sanchez and his Board clan by being promoted to an administrative position. There are no boundaries in TUSD now.

    As a TUSD administrator I take risks on daily basis. I work my way around Sanchez’ directives to support my school and students. I go outside of the District for funding for programs and services my students would otherwise do without. I say little during our principal meetings because most of what I want to say is in opposition to the idiot positions held by Sanchez, which are not good for kids. Anytime any of my peers have spoken out in disagreement with Sanchez, each have paid for it in one form or another. Sanchez is evil, manipulative and political. These are his strong skills and what have kept him in his position. He knows little about running an urban school district.

    Our own administrators association also has its own sell-out problems but not quite in as deep in HT Sanchez’ pocket as TEA. The largest amount of principals do not feel well represented.

    I hope that Sanchez will be held accountable and that his life span as TUSD Supt. is near over. Our schools are a wreck. Morale is the lowest ever. Fear is rampant. There is no leadership at 1010. NONE.

    It is time for big change in TUSD and it has to start at the top.

    OK- my 15 minute lunch is over. Back to the kids.

    • Look into the Arizona Federation of Teachers to support admin, teachers and staff. They continue to put their students and members first!

  3. I agree 100% with “It is Time!” The district is a mess and it starts at the top. HT is only worried about how much he can milk this community for in pay before heading back to TX. He has surrounded himself with a weak central staff who jump when he commands them. He fears strong women like Rachael Sedgwick and Sylvia Campoy because they do not fall prey to his “charm”, as do Kristel and Adelita. Guess who lead the standing ovation last night for HT?

    Three years of a quality education for our students have been lost with HT at the helm of TUSD. Discipline is inconsistent, pay for teachers/subs is insufficient, morale is low, six magnet schools have lost their status, positions are unfilled for an entire school year, attorney costs have increased and the USP has yesterday to be implemented! If this is the “consistency” Kristel and Adelita want so desperately to keep, then I must be the Queen of England!

    • Thank you time for big change. Your comments are right on. I too work for the district & know that I must stay behind the glow of the computer screen–not only for my safety, but for the job security of those with whom I work.
      Not only have I worked for TUSD for ten years, but I’ve been a TUSD parent for 12 years. My kids have had close to zero problems with their teachers & principals, and I have had very few issues with school staff at the girls’ schools. We were lucky to have always gotten into our first choice of schools, but I find it pretentious when parents from the choice TUSD schools show up for board meetings in support of “continuity.” These are often the same vocal parents who flee to charter schools when their children get the less desirable teacher or who don’t get into the magnet of their choice. Supporting HT is not supporting your teachers–just because we have the manners not to complain about his policies, doesn’t mean we support him. Our time spent with parents is best spent discussing their kids academic success.
      We have seen too many excellent teachers & principals leave the district recently to believe there is any continuity in TUSD.
      Many of us think HT should be kept around until a qualified candidate is found to run the district. Maybe by the time his contract is up, that individual will surface. Until then, the board should work him for every cent he is grossly overpaid. Maybe he’ll choose to leave if he is supervised properly from now on.

      Thank you David, Lillian & betts. It may seem like we aren’t awake, but we hear you, & appreciate your loud voices on our behalf.

  4. I have to add my support for David, Lillian, Betts, Ricky H. and Sylvia. You speak for many of us still working at TUSD, who must remain silent because of the regime and culture HT has brought to our district.

    Thank you!

    • Well thanks for the thanks–I was planning just to chime in on the comment that accurately described the Mendoza plaintiff rep Sylvia Campoy to Anonymous,but was super happy to see the following comments as well. Anonymous, consider the fact that the game is not about whether or not HT is safe “for now”. It is about whether or not our kids are getting the education that each one of them deserves. SO many good teachers and principals have been driven away by the asinine ideas/demands from the top that the naysayers are becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t have to let this happen. While I too advocate the slower strategy laid out by “TUSD employee”, the point is well made that below his pinnacle, there is absolutely NO continuity. How well I remember the number of principals he replaced when he first got here! If this is the revolution, let it begin. And lets be DAMNED sure that the next person who comes in is vetted BY THE COMMUNITY and actually has more than 2 months of experience as an interim before turning over our kids to her/him.

    • Hmmmm….I attended the TUSD Board meeting this past Tuesday and these comments were brought up repeatedly and to be completely honest, I am actually LESS concerned about what Rachel said than why this was being focused on. That is to say, this was the night that Rachel and two other board members were to evaluate whether or not the current superintendent would be fired. It seems like this is being used as a distraction from the real issue, which is that it is time for HT Sanchez to go. I think that Rachel was the focus of a possibly calculated attack, the ultimate Mean Girl move…? Watch your back ladies who dare to threaten HT Sanchez and his mean girl squad! I cannot be sure but I do wonder why Jamie Utt did not record the meeting and does not provide meaningful context for the comment. I am not saying Jamie is lying bc Rachel admitted she said it but she also says she said if facetiously and I believe her bc I have met with Rachel in person and while I can say from that meeting she does not fully “get” white privilege and all the ways it serves her…she is FAR from being the minority in that regard. What continues to bother me is the very superficial distraction from the core issue that HT Sanchez has led TUSD, the school district my daughter attends, into very toxic territory-the five pages of teacher separations for this month do not lie, the budget analysis performed by a group of certified public accountants donating their free time and referenced on Three Sonorans does not lie, the ongoing blaming of the desegregation plaintiffs and special master when it benefits Sanchez-instead of taking responsibility, and the ongoing ridiculous dog and pony show at the beginning of each and every board meeting belies the truth…Sanchez is NOT doing a good job and has created more problems for teachers, counselors and students than any one person should. So people use your critical thinking and analysis skills, go beyond asking whether or not something is TRUE, we know it is-she admitted it. Take it that one step further and ask WHY is this being focused on right now? Don’t fall for the HT Sanchez game, be smart, think, analyze and think some more.

      Christie Humphries

    • The claim that Rachel Sedgwick proclaimed “white supremacy” is just one more despicable attempt to smear her.. She’s been attacked by the same political operative, not a TUSD activist, at nearly every Board meeting. It’s been disgusting. What a horrible way to treat someone who is working hard to be a good member of the TUSD Governing Board.

      She’s working very hard and comes to the Board meetings prepared to ask the right questions. I didn’t vote for her and now wish I had. She’s turned out to be an excellent addition to the Board.

  5. Apparently “Anonymous” (Kristel Foster and/or one of her misguided supporters) did not comprehend the question as posed by “TUSD 20+ employee,” and is honed in only on a baseless dig at Sylvia by asking if she has responded to Rachael Sedgwick’s comment regarding white supremacy. 20+ is correct in asking if Sedgwick emailed Sylvia directly, as Foster did. This sure does not seem to be the situation or Sylvia would have responded publically. Additionally, Sedgwick has been grilled over the statement and has given an extensive public response, which by the way, required more than a 100 words. She explained that she uttered the statement out of total frustration at someone who was insistent in his effort to paint Mark Stegeman and Mike Hicks, as white supremacists, while implying that any alignment with them by her would paint her in the same light. After a substantial back and forth Sedgewick facetiously made the statement. In the short run her public statement should suffice for those of us who are not attempting to tear her down based on her role to hold Heliodoro Torres Sanchez accountable. This is what the issue is all about. Nonetheless, her positions and voting record will, in time, tell the real story, just as Kristel’s and Adelita’s records have exposed them for who they are and what they stand for in their role as board members. Cam is part of this too. There is a very long list of actions or inactions which have shown them to focus on issues other than students. “Big Change” outlined many of problems which are linked only to Sanchez and his rubber-stamp former board majority but this just a short list. The list actually began even before he was actually appointed since he started offering consultant contracts before he had even become “official.”

    I know dozens of people who have met with Sylvia and who say that she has provided more information about desegregation than TUSD ever has. Some have met with her ready to attack her because of the gigantic mess with discipline and HT’s constant blaming of the situation on the plaintiffs and Special Master. But after she presents timelines, court records, district records, and documented fact after documented fact, each have recognized where the lack of accountability points, which is to the administration and board. People who pay attention know that she is solid and very real in her commitment to students.

    Like Sylvia, I question why Kristel has NEVER used her position and contact list/FB to have her contacts/friends show up to a board meeting to address an issue having to do with kids. Her misplaced commitment to HT is offensive and only fuels many of the rumors floating around about her and HT.

  6. Interesting how people rise to Sylvia’s defense re. being verbose, redundant, and flowery. (while simultaneously being verbose, redundant, and flowery…hmmm)

    I did not say 1 word defending or attacking her premise, yet the apostles came out in full force to her defense. Have you ever considered she likes the attention she gets from this?

    I see many problems at TUSD, primarily regarding inefficient, misaligned, and unequal, financial allocations and priorities. I believe fixing these problems will require a radical cultural change that will make many uncomfortable.

    Open your eyes and you will see.

  7. I think it is nice that people have spoken up to support the issues that Sylvia stands for since she does not often get any allocates. How anybody can possibly suggest that she does what she does for attention shows how out of touch they are. I have heard the specific attacks on her, the plaintiffs and special master by Sanchez. His comments about her have been personal and all factually incorrect. Not once- but many times. Last year Sanchez executed a campaign to have her replaced as a representative and said that one of the parents from the audience to whom he was addressing should take her place. Is this the kind of attention to which “Succinct” is referring? Sanchez’ actions were mean-spirited and stupid and he failed. In a legal case the person who is guilty does not get to dictate who represents the party who they have hurt.

    I recall a peer telling me that he thanked Sylvia for the work she does and her response was that it is all owed to the Mendoza Plaintiffs and their legal counsel. He said he was impressed because, “she really meant it.”

    I have a few succinct words for “Succinct”: Stop word counting and making stupid inferences. You are right; everyone should open their eyes, starting with you.

  8. Politics aside. And whatever side anyone and everyone sides with. Current and or past board majorities. The fact remains. The District is in dire straits. And 46,000 kids education hang in the balance. Voters are clamoring for change and the Tucson political elites are scrambling to hang onto whatever they can to maintain a legacy of mismanagement to the detriment of the kids and the community. HT, Adelita and Kristel had their chance and lost this past election. Now it is time to move the District forward for the betterment of all.

  9. When HT called Mike Hicks for a meeting, but instead sent his “pit bulls” AKA Kristel and Adelita, is that a quorum? (Mike Hicks didn’t go but sent Mark Stegeman who was met in the parking lot by the two and a TV camera.)

  10. The TEA is afraid that HT will remove them from their sole right to represent. This is the rational behind them caving and going against the interests of their members and students. Perhaps it is time to give the staff in TUSD the choice to be represented by another Union? The Arizona Federation of Teachers is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the PALF. They could easily move in to support their members if given a chance too! Let the staff choose, void the contract of the TEA and allow the AFT-AZ to offer a choice to the staff that interested in doing what’s best for their students.

  11. TEA has been completely ineffective in supporting teachers: pay, support for discipline, and benefits. They should have been at the forefront of the 123/301 monies, and substitute teacher scandals. And they are led by a non-educator, who gets paid more money than the average teacher!

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