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Counts resigns Tucson Unified board presidency; Grijalva takes over
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Counts resigns Tucson Unified board presidency; Grijalva takes over

TUSD board member Leila Counts stepped down from her role as board president, saying she was unable to devote the time necessary to provide the service she believes the board and district deserve.

“Due to some recent health issues that have come up and negative effects of COVID on my kids’ learning, and I need to be more available and present for them,” she said during the Aug. 24 board meeting. “And I just believe that the board deserves more than I’m able to give right now.”


Counts said she will serve out the rest of her term as a board member, which runs through the end of 2022.

Adelita Grijalva, who is the longest serving member on the board and has served as president numerous times, replaces Counts as president. New officers are typically selected at a board meeting in January.

Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo said during Counts’ eight months as board president she was a leading voice for a pay increase to special education teacher aides as well as raises to veteran employees to avoid pay compression, for school counselors becoming eligible for performance pay and for increasing preschool programing.

Counts said stepping down was a difficult decision.

“I really need to be there to basically help co-teach with our teachers right now and catch my kiddos up, and they come first,” she said.

Tucson is looking pretty green! Check out the views from Sabino Canyon following this summer's above-average rainfall. 

Make sure to check the weather before heading to Sabino Canyon as some trails and areas may be closed due to flooding.

Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at or 573-4223. On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara

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