TUSD’s new leader, H.T. Sanchez, has brought a colleague from Odessa, Texas, to the district to serve as his deputy superintendent.

Adrian Vega’s first day of work for the Tucson Unified School District was Monday. He is taking over for Maria Menconi who left the district with former TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone.

Vega is to be paid the same amount Menconi earned — last school year her base salary was $133,900.

In making his personal appointment, Sanchez called Vega a “very impressive individual.” Sanchez cited Vega’s history of working in the Dallas Independent School District, which serves three times as many students as TUSD.

At Dallas ISD, Vega held the following roles: assistant principal of an elementary school, a coordinator of professional development and a director who worked with professional development for leadership and aspiring principals.

“To work and succeed in a district like that, and to be noticed and elevated in a district that large is impressive,” Sanchez said.

Most recently, Vega served as the principal of New Tech Odessa High School — one of less than 200 Apple Distinguished Schools in the country, and a model for 21st century learning.

According to the Odessa American newspaper, there was talk from Vega’s former school district of attempting to keep him. It was reported that the Ector County Independent School District’s acting superintendent polled at least two school board members on whether they had any interest in making Vega the interim superintendent with aspirations to hold the position permanently.

Vega told the publication it didn’t seem like that was the direction the board there wanted to head in.

The situation is similar to when Sanchez was named the sole finalist for TUSD’s superintendent post. At the time, Sanchez was serving as interim superintendent of the Ector County school district but the board there hadn’t even advertised the superintendent job. It wasn’t until Sanchez was selected in Tucson that they began discussing the possibility of naming him the sole finalist in Odessa.

Ultimately, the TUSD Governing Board appointed Sanchez and completed contract negotiations before the ECISD board could take a vote.