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A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star

Three principals whose contracts were not renewed in April because schools were at risk of being labeled failing are being given a second chance after their students made significant improvement in achievement.

Heidi Aranda of Ochoa Magnet Elementary School, Mark Alvarez of Manzo Elementary School and Rex Scott of Catalina High Magnet School were offered new contracts Tuesday.

Though no official AIMS scores or grades have been released by the Arizona Department of Education, the decision to rehire the principals was based on preliminary test scores, said outgoing TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone.

The principals will be placed on improvement plans to ensure that the schools are working towards meeting achievement goals, Pedicone said.

In other TUSD business, Dean Packard was appointed principal of TUSD's award-winning University High School. He will replace Elizabeth Moll, who is retiring.

University High has repeatedly been named one of the top high schools in the country over the years, most recently ranking No. 29 as part of the 2013 U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools.

The TUSD Governing Board was also scheduled to reveal the results of an evaluation of Pedicone, who is stepping down, but had not done so by late Tuesday night, as the board meeting continued.

The evaluation was to determine whether Pedicone accomplished a set of goals laid out for him by the board for the 2012-2013 school year. Money is built into Pedicone's contract if he meets the goals, but is withheld each year pending the evaluation. Pedicone was to be graded on achievement, student enrollment, customer service, desegregation, school master plan, transportation and grants.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea