The Texas school district led by TUSD’s newly appointed superintendent decided tonight to hold a special meeting next Monday to discuss naming H.T. Sanchez the lone finalist for the top post there.

Sanchez, who accepted an offer last week to be Tucson Unified’s next leader, has been the interim superintendent of the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa for three months.

Because his contract is still being negotiated, Sanchez is not legally bound to TUSD.

Numerous community members spoke in praise of Sanchez during a special meeting held tonight in Odessa, calling him “forward thinking,” a communicator and a leader willing to listen.

Several said the Ector County school district is on a good path and that a change in leadership could derail those efforts. “Dr. Sanchez is, bottom line, what’s best for kids,” one speaker said.

But some board and community members in Odessa said they would prefer to conduct a national search.

After the testimony, board trustee Nelson Minyard requested another meeting with the intention to name Sanchez the lone finalist. No vote was taken.

Sanchez was not at the meeting. He hopes to be in Tucson as close to July 1 as possible.