Whistleblowers: How long will HT Sanchez’s stench linger over TUSD?

We grant our permission to publish this letter and to distribute it widely.
Open 54th Open Letter

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

Subject: How Long Will the Stench Last?

He left with his tail between his legs, defanged and humiliated. He left because several of his administrative calamities (violations and lies) caught up with him. As a “good” Catholic, as he peddled himself to be, he should have known that his sins would catch up with him and that penance of some sort would find him. He had no choice but to resign.

HT Sanchez would have been terminated if he had not resigned, no matter how he may try to spin it. We all know this. (Although, A. Grijalva & K. Foster refuse to admit any of this because, of course, his calamities all implicate each of them.) Even a novice to the situation recognizes this.

It has been a stinking situation and the reeking smell has all been caused by no one else but HT Sanchez. He could have left with whatever amount of dignity he had remaining but instead, his antics immediately following his resignation were so tremendously contrary to professional conduct that they only added to the repulsive stench emanating from him.

Even though he was no longer an administrator or superintendent he attended the Arizona Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents to garner sympathy and support based on more of his pathetic lies, stating that he had grown tired with certain Board members and decided to move on.

NOT true! It was not his choice. This was bad enough, but the stinker also visited with legislators, again, attempting to harvest sympathy and political support as he lied to them about the reason behind his resignation. There is no end to the lies that Sanchez utters. He layers his lies on top of one another, which is in many ways what got him to the spot he is now in. Of course, HT has the individual right to go anywhere and attend any meeting he pleases, BUT not as a representative of TUSD and not as a superintendent. (He lost his crown a month ago.) If he chooses to continue to walk in the “poor me-loser” mire, he will be called on his exploitative acts over and over again.

We were so exhausted from hearing about his legislative lobbying and one bill vs. another during all of our meetings. It was never really about the legislation; it was about his “heroic” work; over and over and over again. Fools like Michael Varney and Mary Belle McCorkle fell for the hero image HT painted for himself. We hope that our principals’ meetings will focus on our schools from now on. Sure, we understand the importance of getting legislative updates, but HT’s number one job during the legislative session had become his lobbying efforts. He neglected all of his other responsibilities which is only part of the reason that our District is in turmoil.


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What adds to the stench is the way that Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster have decided to act as the team of mean stinky obstructions against the new Board majority. If Mike Hicks says that the sky is blue, Adelita screams that it is not blue; that she is insulted by his statement that it is blue. She insists that it is orange and that it has been orange for the 14 (painful) years she has been on the Board. She says she knows best. She repeats her statement many times almost singing it as if it had been rehearsed. The more emotional she becomes, the higher her singing pitch goes. It is like nails scraping on a black board. Kristel jumps in, while flaying her arms in all directions, reads her prepared points from her laptop and says that, of course, the sky is orange at all times during the day; that Adelita should know and how dare him say that the sky is blue. She then states, “Let me reiterate, the sky is orange 24 hours a day. I checked with Dr. Sanchez and he validated it, so, of course it is true.” This is the level of obstruction that is being acted out at every Board meeting. It is an embarrassment to everyone who works in TUSD and to the entire community.

Sanchez needs to stay out of TUSD business. HT needs to stop looking for sympathy based on his hallucination-like lies and the multiple incorrect/immoral and perhaps illegal actions which he took as supt. If HT wants to lick his wounds, he should but it should be without a political audience. Adelita and Kristel- the mean team– need to stop sulking. Being tagged as the mean ones is not exactly the legacy they should be working to accomplish. HT is gone. Live with it! Many more than HT, Adelita, and Kristel will ever know continue to celebrate that he is gone. Soon the stench will dissipate.

HT needs (or should) distance himself from TUSD administrators and staff. None of us owe him anything. We do owe our focus on our schools and TUSD. We know he is still reaching out and it is inappropriate and tacky.

Once Dr. Trujillo starts to dig into the desegregation court order he will find that what has been happening to our schools is the terrible. Principals at the magnet schools and those that have lost their magnet identity have been dumped upon even more lately. With little notice we were directed to turn in our school plans and our budgets. No one can do a good job with surprise dictates that give us inadequate time to do our work and result in negative consequences to our schools. We do not know how many schools took a beating with their budgets but we know many did.

We are optimistic about Dr. Gabriel Trujillo as OUR Interim Superintendent

The fact that it was a unanimous vote was impressive, until Kristel Foster opened her mouth and began to whine again. Does she ever stop? And, then, of course, Adelita Grijalva agreed. Could either of them every try to make their comments in a positive and constructive context? We hope that Dr. Trujillo has been able to see the dysfunction that HT created during his four years. HT did not think that curriculum and instruction were important enough to fill the position for almost a year and a half and we know that he has found one mess after another within this area. He will find many more messes throughout in his new position. It would be perspicacious of him to keep his distance from the man that left TUSD in chaos and to quickly figure out who around him is going to begin to serve the District and its students and who will continue to just get by.

As we have discussed the type of superintendent search that should take place, we outlined several options and listed the pros and the cons. We are in favor of a national search or at least one that includes targeted states with large school districts that have similar demographics as TUSD. No matter what process the Board decides to use, what is important is not to make the same mistake that was made last time in the hiring HT Sanchez. No single candidate should hijack the process like HT Sanchez was allowed to do. He gave the Board an ultimatum to consider him and him only as a finalist and the majority of the Board went along with it. There have always been rumors that the position was his long before he showed up for the interview. None of the preselection games should be played this time and the only way to make sure it does not happen again is to make the process as transparent as is possible. This time around, the top candidates should be thoroughly scrutinized. If the Board won’t do it, others will!

Thanks to Three Sonorans for posting every single one of our open letters and to the Arizona Daily Independent for posting some of our letters and referencing them from time to time.

Thank you to our readers.



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16 comments on “Whistleblowers: How long will HT Sanchez’s stench linger over TUSD?
  1. WhistleBlowers, HT has moved on why can’t you? Are you trying to stay relevant with a 54th letter that says nothing? Why not start a 55th letter letting us all know how much GOOD you are all doing at your respective schools, In spite of HT’s lingering stench?

    • I agree with moving forward but I don’t fault the WB for having a departing remark about HT as Trujillo comes in.

      First of all, I had to watch the board meeting from home this week because I spent 4 Tuesdays in a row at Duffy and needed to regain my sanity and watch with the liquid protection of red wine to calm my senses.

      After the 5-0 vote to appoint Trujillo I posted on social media that this was good and I even lauded Kristel and Adelita for this moment of unity… But that lasted about 10 seconds.

      A friend of mine who is well connected calls Kristel “Debbie Downer” and that description fits her perfectly. She is still a mean girl but now that she is not in the majority one has to wonder if some of her moves are geared towards sabotage in revenge for her Latino lover who is no longer leading TUSD.

      I read the WB letter as also being a word of caution for Trujillo; HT may offer to help but any input from our disgraced corrupt leader who resigned rather than face jail should be discarded immediately.

  2. Three Sonorans, I agree with you 100%. The members of the board who are now in the minority will always be who they are. I do not see them changing any time soon. I am not sure of the circumstances of how Dr. Trujillo came to the district, but I do hope he is not influenced by anyone or anything other than the betterment of the students and TUSD.

  3. I read the Whistleblower’s 45th letter and think that it was all about keeping HT Sanchez in check once again, as he attempts to interfere with TUSD’s business. Of course, how can the Whistleblowers not comment about how ridiculous Kristel Foster and Adelita Grijalva act during Board meetings. In addition I think it was a message to Dr. Trujillo to steer clear of HT and his influence. At this point all HT has to offer is nothing more than lies. If the individual who commented thinks so negatively about the Whistleblowers, s/he had the choice to pass over the post; ignore it; etc. I have a strong feeling that it was Kristel Foster or one of her new found buddies leaving the comment. Who else does not want people to read and pay attention to the Whistleblowers?

    I spoke to Foster about a year or so ago and shared with her some problems that were taking place at my school. She turned the conversation to herself and then proceeded to tell me how much she loathed Mark Stegeman. It was beyond inappropriate; it was bizarre. After that I paid closer attention to Board meetings and witnessed her attack Stegeman several times. I think she has mental problems. It appears to me as though she makes some effort to calculate her comments during Board meetings but then she allows her personal emotions take over and she comes across like a really pathetic angry person.

    She never followed up on the issue I shared with her. Interestingly enough, I also spoke to Mark Stegeman about the problem and within two weeks the problem had been worked out.

    Dr. Trujillo has a lot of cleaning up to do. People at 1010 seldom come to the schools and when they do it is to shoot off directives. There is no support for the schools.

  4. Whistleblowers, Not giving Dr. Truillo much credit are you. So someone who has an opinion unlike your own, is considered negative? So much for respecting someone else’s thoughts. FYI not Kristen Foster of a friend of hers. There are more than just Administrators working out of 1010.
    I also like how you brought up a story that was a year or more old and tried to make it relevant.

  5. I think the Whistleblowers should continue to document what is happening as long as HT and the “mean girls” are influencing TUSD. They have inside information, that I believe is important for the Tucson community to know.

    Dr. Trujillo, please clean out 1010 starting with Mary Alice Wallace, then Stephanie Boe followed by Abel Morado and Matt Munger!

  6. TUSD PEON, I agree! (hopefully not TUSD PeeOn) I don’t have information on HT influencing TUSD after his resignation.

  7. The more anybody inside or outside the district exposes the truth. More power to them! HT Adelita Kristel and Cam are all power hungry a$$holes who don’t care and never have cared about the kids or the teachers.

  8. Whistleblowers seem to me to be giving Trujillo an open door to trust and credibility and nothing from the comment referenced says otherwise.

    Let me share my own personal experience with readers about HT. I was one of the administrators who HT initially charmed. While I consider myself to be intelligent, he had me fooled for quite some time. I take no pride in this fact. It makes me feel foolish but it also helps me understand why so many have been under his spell.

    HT had an incredible talent of giving people who had never been provided with access to the supt.’s office total access to him as the supt.; promoting specific employees; giving specific employees bonuses; giving specific employees salary increases; introducing specific employees to influential people in the community; and giving specific employees other types of “benefits” in exchange for their loyalty. He would do this by placing each individual in his camp and acknowledging each of them for her/his support and then talking about anyone outside of the camp in terms that made the other side the enemy. He presented a clear picture of “us” versus “them.” He made any of us within his circle feel special. He made each of us within his camp feel as though we were part of a very close and tight circle. This all worked until anyone within the circle questioned any of his decisions- no matter how small.

    HT could not accept any criticism and when it took place, he made sure the person was punished. He would freeze them out of the circle; he would freeze them out from access to valuable resources; he would actually demote people or take away their status; and he would fire people. So, he was two people: the charmer and the tormentor.

    He told each of us that Adelita, Kristel, and Cam would need to hold on to their seats in order for “us” to accomplish great things for TUSD. He made it clear that we should support their campaigns. The problem, of course, is that great things were never being accomplished. HT’s scam started to fall apart when Yousef Awwad abruptly left TUSD. The reason for the departure was obvious. HT was playing with finances in ways that Awwad did not want to be associated. This was an infrastructure crisis and then when Steve Holmes left to take the top position at Sunnyside the instructional foundation which had been built by him crumbled. From this point forward HT’s game unraveled and many caught on to just how bad things were getting within the District. HT would blame it on the state legislature or on the special master. He held on tightly to his three solid votes on the Board but then when Cam lost his seat, most of us knew that HT was going to have to pay for his mismanagement of the budget (for example, giving bonuses, salary increases, and promotions without Board approval) and for the torment that he had bestowed on so many.

    I hear the whispers within TUSD and many believe HT got a raw deal. These are the people who HT had placed within his circle and people who never bothered to see what was really happening outside of that circle. I also hear the whispers from people that are glad that someone who ran the District either with charm or fear and no other talent is finally gone. I am one of the whispers.

    • This is amazing! Sanchez was illegally using TUSD’s money to buy loyalty.

      As the writer says, the unapproved raises and unapproved promotions were grounds for firing him.

      We’ll see, if the present Board majority has the fortitude to reverse raises and promotions that were never approved.

    • Thanks so much for this comment. From the outside, this is certainly what it looked like, so I am relieved that in this case perceptions were correct.

  9. There is one very important item missing from the list. Based on what has been witnessed, HT Sanchez also used emotional/sexual relationships to manipulate women. I strongly believe that he had inappropriate relationships with at least two administrators . One of them should have been promoted over Mark Alvarez but HT did not want to make it seem that the promotion was a pay-off for sexual favors. She ended up getting cheated out of a position that should have been hers. She is three times more qualified than Mark but was left out in the cold- in all ways. The other became much more emotionally involved with him and it has damaged her, emotionally and professionally. She is a principal and we all know that when she was “with” HT she would tattle to him about anything that was said about him during our meetings. Consequently most of us distanced ourselves from her.

    Sure everyone knows about Kristel and HT. No matter what occurred between them, he obviously had the upper hand and manipulated her. She remains totally under his influence based on her recent behavior and posts.

    I came to understand why Mary Sanchez wanted to hang out with the administrators, even though it was totally inappropriate. I guess she felt that if she stayed close to the scene he would not cross the lines he did.

    For these reasons alone he should have been fired a long time ago. He created a hostile work environment based on his sexual exploits. He also modeled the behavior and many followed his lead: Nicholas Roman; Jose Morales; Jesus Celaya; etc.

    I spoke to an attorney about filing a complaint against HT for the creation of such a hostile work environment. He said I did not have the needed evidence but that I should report it. I laughed and said that there is no place within TUSD to report any type of violation. Where was I supposed to go? To HR? HR is as corrupt as HT.

  10. The district corruption and Abel Morado continue to rule unabated. When are we going to get to the root if the problem? Nothing will change until that man gets the boot out of the building.

    It is time for all of us to start speaking up. Out loud. There are so many of us and m no one wants to work at tusd any way. The fear isnt gone but it’s not as suffocating. Hey all, we have not done anything to have cause to be fired. We are hard at work and maybe expressing our first amendment rights for the first time in a long time. Hey do us a favor and this is a joint post by more than one teacher tell Morado you reap what you sow.

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