After conducting a nationwide search, the Tucson Unified School District named a new leader for its largest highest school.
The TUSD Governing Board appointed Karyle Green principal of Tucson High Magnet School on a 4-0 vote, with board member Michael Hicks abstaining.
While Hicks did not provide any explanation, fellow board member Mark Stegeman publicly shared that controversy swirled around Green when she prematurely resigned as superintendent of an Indiana school district last year.
According to press reports, Green’s resignation from East Allen County Schools came just months after an audit revealed that parents, employees and community members were unhappy with the way the district was being run and with district leadership. Employees were said to feel undervalued, and there was little confidence in “transparency or integrity of the central office,” particularly with Green.
When Green announced her resignation in January 2013, she agreed to remain on the job until the end of her contract in June 2014, press reports state. However, about two months later, the district announced that Green and the Governing Board “mutually agreed to part ways, effective March 1, 2013.”
Stegeman noted on Tuesday, before the vote, that he reviewed media coverage and internal interview records and still came to the conclusion that Green is a “strong candidate.”
Stegeman then went on to vote in support of Green along with board members Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster and President Adelita Grijalva.
Green’s most recent assignment has been serving as a high school principal Florida. She is taking over for Clarice Clash, who announced last spring that she would be leaving Tucson High, which serves more than 3,000 students, to pursue other opportunities within the district.
Shortly after Green was appointed, Clash was named senior director of curriculum development.
In other business, the Governing Board approved a $313.2 million budget for the upcoming school year.
While board members Grijalva, Juarez and Foster voted in favor of the budget, Stegeman and Hicks opposed it.
The budget includes $299.9 million in maintenance and operations funds, which is used for day-to-day operations. Another $13.2 million has been allocated to the unrestricted capital fund, which can be used for non-instructional purposes such as construction work, school improvement projects and large purchases of equipment and furniture.
As was the case last year, TUSD did not receive any soft capital funding, which is used to buy instructional aid materials, books, computers and small furniture.
In addition to the M&O and unrestricted capital money, TUSD receives federal funds, including about $64 million in desegregation dollars.
The budget for the 2014-15 school year is nearly $3 million less than was allocated last year.
The board also approved leasing Richey Elementary School to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe for use as a recreation and community center.
The district is charging only $1 per year, but the tribe will be responsible for utilities, insurance, security and maintenance, removing that financial burden from TUSD.