TUSD Whistleblowers make their case against HT Sanchez

We grant our permission to publish this letter and to distribute it widely.

Open 50th Letter

From:  Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Retired Administrators and Parents, Grandparents


1. Heliodoro Torres Sánchez Does NOT Put His Money Where His Mouth Is!

2. HT Sanchez’ Head Cheerleader and Rescuer- Kristel Ann Foster    

Heliodoro Torres Sanchez Does NOT Put His Money Where His Mouth Is!

HT Sanchez talks a good line but many too many of us have learned that if HT’s lips are moving there is a lie or a bundle of lies being uttered. His commitment to TUSD and Tucson is not what he says.

When good old HT Sanchez wrangled himself to Tucson from Odessa, Texas he proudly held on to and displayed his Texas vehicle license plate on his big-bad-ass black truck long after he and his family had moved to Tucson. Mary Bell McCorkle, who understands just how important the “optics” are on things like this advised him to get an Arizona license plate immediately. (Mary Belle is the queen of “how things look” but has never really gone below the superficial appearance of any situation.) Sanchez, wanting to please Mary Bell, immediately registered his truck with the Arizona MVD and the optics were immediately remedied. With his new AZ plate it appeared as though he had taken his first step in becoming a Tucsonan.

This was the last step he ever took.

In the four years that HT Sanchez has been in Tucson making very, very good money from the tax payers (almost half a million dollars) he has NOT purchased a house for him and his family. Wouldn’t it have been a sign of commitment or a gesture of desiring continuity to actually purchase a house and make a permanent home in Tucson? We guess not, because he still lives in a rental house on North Sabino Gulch Ct. This all by itself is bad enough but what makes it so very optically worse (Mary Belle are you listening?) is that he did  purchase a house with his wife “Maria” several years ago but NOT in Tucson, when he moved here. The house is located at 809 N GAFFEY PL LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA and was purchased in 2008 for $360,000. According to the LA County Assessor’s Office it was purchased by Heliodoro Torres Sánchez, Jr.and his spouse Maria Sanchez.  HT is paying property taxes on a house in Los Angeles. He pays NO property taxes in Tucson. Several improvements have been made to the house in Los Angeles, thus, Sanchez invested additional funding into LA through construction in labor and materials. You can look up more details on the Sanchez property at:


The AIN is: 7448-005-009

Zillow information on the property states: “The Zestimate for this house is $447,971, which has decreased by $2,709 in the last 30 days. The Rent Zestimate for this home is $2,295/mo, which has increased by $4/mo in the last 30 days. The property tax in 2015 was$4,758. The tax assessment in 2015 was $385,729, an increase of 2.0% over the previous year”

(Article continued below)

HT Sanchez’ Head Cheerleader and Rescuer- Kristel Ann Foster    

Kristel Foster and Adelita Grijalva keep repeating about the importance of continuity as an argument for HT to keep his lucrative employment as Supt. He has held the issue of continuity over their heads every time things get rocky by threatening to leave- even though the District needs “continuity” which he has twisted to mean they need him. This is how he got his gigantic salary increase. Their argument is now being recited by those emailing, posting and planning to picket the Board and speak during call to the Audience at the 2/21 meeting. “Continuity” is the dog whistle for “we do not want to lose political control and power.” “Continuity” is the incantation that many who have been pulled into this issues actually believe is the issue. There is NO continuity in TUSD. HT has pushed out anyone who had any institutional memory and has surrounded himself with weak “yes” people.  No one questions HT. Those who have brought up concerns about several of his decisions professionally have had to leave or have been buried in offices without any more say. (Retaliation is the only managerial doctrine held by HT.) Continuity in an organization should not be dependent on a single person, much less someone who has not lead the District in any successful direction.

Some back story will help rattle some memories: HT and his best friend, Adrian Vega, who he brought with him from Odessa, Texas and who he appointed Deputy Superintendent, moved into the Fruchthendler neighborhood. Each family moved into separate households. Those close to the families have reported that HT, in particular, wanted to live in an affluent neighborhood with a TUSD school that was high achieving. In HT’s review of neighborhoods and schools within the TUSD boundary, Fruchthendler became the school and its surrounding neighborhood filled the bill nicely for his need to mingle with those who are wealthy. (His “Chicano” image only surfaces when he drives west of the railroad tracks and speaks to the Ochoa community.)

You will recall that even his best friend, Adrian, had to leave his position for fear that HT would ruin his career.  From a long list of those who have left TUSD 1010 administrative positions, the following provide just a fraction of those who have left TUSD while under the Sanchez reign: Yousef Awwad, Teri Melendez,  Jim Fish, Cara Rene,  Jose Figueroa, Maggie Shafer, Candy Egbert, Steve Holmes, Scott Haggerman, Damian Jackson, Ana Gallegos, and Victoria Callison. What is amazing is that it is Sanchez who promoted Awwad and Gallegos and it is Sanchez who hired Holmes, Jackson and Haggerman. Still, they all fled. Even his own hires do not stick around once they experience HT’s anemic leadership nightmare. He almost  wiped out his first cabinet totally (Abel Morado was the only one left from the Pedicone legacy) and replaced it with many who have also chosen to leave. Principal turnover rate has been the highest ever remembered and teachers, in record numbers, are forfeiting their contracts or leaving at the earliest contract-allowed chance. There is absolutely nothing about this revolving door that conveys consistency. 

Kristel Foster has once again come to the rescue of Superintendent Heliodoro Torres Sánchez to whom she regularly shows her fond admiration and devotion. Some even say she salivates at the mouth in wonderment as she watches him speak.  Kristel is a rescuer. She is the type of rescuer who has dated a few men who need help changing and she immediately assumes the role of being the one who is going to save “him” (one right after another). This type of rescuer becomes addicted to this dynamic. In her personal life, this probably has wound up in dysfunctional heartbreaking relationships. You know, he uses her. She tries to “fix’ him and eventually he runs. But with the roles that are in place between Kristel and HT Sanchez, the dynamics are not only personally damning- they are institutionally damning. She does not understand that regardless of his words or actions, he too wants to flee from her rescuer clutches since it so emasculating. (Those with Napoléon and narcissistic complexes can’t cope with any type of emasculation.)   But Sanchez he will exploit her devotion, especially now that she has assumed the role of running the campaign to keep him as Supt., WITHOUT holding him accountable. Exceptional and even good leaders keep good leader around them and as has been seen, most of the strong and good leaders have escaped HT Sanchez.

While HT remains within Kristel’s rescuer M.O., we question the professionalism of a Board member who hosts meetings with HT at her home and wonder why the Board office or Superintendent’s office are not suitable for their meetings. We wonder why some of their meetings go late into the dark of night. Doesn’t she understand that she and HT are easily recognized and that someone walking or driving by her house could easily capture them on a video/picture as she walks him to his truck and bids farewell to him?  We are curious if HT is also attending such intimate late-hour meetings in the homes of other Board members. We cannot bring ourselves to believe that Kristel is an objective Board member in either directing or evaluating HT Sanchez.

She enables his incompetency and rescues him from any consequences that should take place as a result of the many mistakes he has made and the horrible state the District is in currently. Of course, for four years she has had had Cam Juarez and Adelita Grijlava support each and every single one of her HT-rescues. Why? Because none of them have wanted to fess up to the fact that they made a horrible decision in hiring a person with 2 months of INTERIM supt. experience and who has basically bluffed his way through “running” the District. It has been a cozy relationship of understood incompetency all the way around, along with Kristel’s rescuer complex. But the bluffing has failed and the District is suffering in every corner of the institution.

Kristel came unglued last Monday when she learned that an item had been placed on the Board agenda that would allow the Board to address her beloved’s employment. How was she going to rescue him this time? She became hysterical. She jumped to air-head conclusions and sent out an URGENT alert to everyone she knows that the Tucson sky is falling and that the only way to stop it from falling is for each person she contacted to communicate their support for Sanchez. (She seems to have done alot of her Sanchez rescue work during Sunnyside work hours, which should really be disallowed!)

Her list of contacts on FB and server list interfaces with many within the “Grijalva” camp. And since there is real political leverage that will be lost with the voluntary or involuntary termination of Sanchez, the entire “G” camp is now doing what they do best; turning the whole thing into a political-power game. One thing for sure, none of their politicking has to do with students, schools, and teachers. They are planning a protest at Tuesday’s Board meeting; having “fans” call or email Board members in support of HT; and they will also have people speak during call to the audience on Tuesday.

We are asking that the Board review all 50 of our open letters to remind them of things we have brought to light for the last few years. They can find our letters at:http://threesonorans.com/tusd-whistleblower-archives/ 

We are demanding that the Board not place any valid attention on the invalid political appeal to have the Board turn their attention away from holding the District’s Superintendent accountable. We are also demanding that the Board remember all of the parents, substitute teachers, teachers, students and community members who have brought forward their issues over the last several months. Things are not good in TUSD and at least three board members can do something about it…NOW!

Please check out the following links for actions YOU can take:



Also published on Medium.

5 comments on “TUSD Whistleblowers make their case against HT Sanchez
  1. It is time to remove the TEA’s contract to represent their members in TUSD! Void their contract for not having enough members and open up the district to the other Teacher’s Union. This is disgusting that staff, teachers and administrators would have to advocate via an anonymous letter! The politics being played in this district are epidemic of the problems faced in Public Schools across the state. Those that can, should look up the Arizona Federation of Teachers to support them in TUSD!

    At the same time, HT should be put on an improvement plan and use constraints to curb his authority. Perhaps, paid leave, well the plan can be worked out? Without their leader, many HT supporters in the district would fall in line for fear of a similar consequence. I’m sure there is at least 1 principal that can be trusted to run things in the interim. Again, giving time for an aggressive improvement plan and evaluation to be written. Do NOT pay HT to leave, make the environment that he is working in one that encourages him to resign. People like this will only continue to take advantage of the students and community they were asked to represent. People like this will only continue to play politics with politicians that are trying to socially engineer our Public Schools at the expense of ALL!

  2. Union Teacher….the worst idea possible is to keep the cancer growing while you pretend you can control it. If HT is kept in his position the G political machine stays in power. HT does what he wants to do and ignores the current majority. How do you put someone that does not respect Board instructions on an “improvement plan” when it means nothing to him. The kids will continue to suffer, the kids will continue to leave.

    In fact I have heard that Adelita’s current goal is to just let him finish out the year even though there is plenty of cause to cleans the District of his poison. The time is now and a sharp knife works much better than a dull knife. Do it for our children!!!

  3. There is no improvement plan or conditions that would constrain this egotistical power hungry man. Fire him so we can get back to educating students instead of playing political games.

    Now he has two choices: Texas or California!

  4. In order to help himself HT Sanchez should read the writing on the wall and resign. His failure to admit how badly he has botched things up both in running the District and in the way he has treated Rachael Sedgwick, Mark Stegeman and Mike Hicks will ruin his career. All of his mistakes and failures will be exposed if the Board is forced in moving towards termination. HT should man up and resign! Funny how for the four years prior to January HT could count to 3 but he now has forgotten.

  5. Sanchez needs to go. Surely, there have been enough violations of his contract to end his contract for cause. It would have been wiser for him to have quietly left when the Board majority changed in November.

    Hiring someone with so little experience has been a large part of the problem. Sanchez has consistently denied there were problems and attacked people who suggested there were problems. It’s not clear to me, that he was qualified to run a school district as large and complex as TUSD. TUSD had serious problems, before Sanchez ever came to Tucson.

    In retrospect, It was foolish to believe that someone with so little experience had the expertise to deal with the issues and move TUSD forward. The district is fixable, but not by Sanchez.

    Next time, the Board needs to hire someone who’s a skilled doer, not just a skilled talker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.