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Grijalva replaces Stegeman as TUSD board president
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Grijalva replaces Stegeman as TUSD board president

Adelita Grijalva has been selected to serve as the TUSD Governing Board president for the remainder of 2019.

After 20-or-so minutes of back and forth on Tuesday evening, the board elected Grijalva on a 4-1 vote.

The only board member who voted against her nomination was board clerk Rachael Sedgwick.

When asked why she didn’t vote yes, Sedgwick told the Star it was because of her “past interactions” with Grijalva.

After being voted board president, Grijalva suggested voting for a new clerk, as well.

“I really do think it would be beneficial to have Ms. (Leila) Counts or Ms. (Kristel) Foster,” Grijalva said. “Ms. Counts, mostly because she has not had the opportunity to serve in that position.”

Board newcomer Leila Counts said she felt honored that Grijalva wanted her to serve as clerk but declined the nomination.

Forcing Sedgwick to step down, Counts said, would only reinforce community members’ beliefs that the governing board is perpetually divided.

“If I do a quick cost-benefit kind of analysis, it’s not worth the cost,” Counts said.

Board member Kristel Foster said she was interested in serving as clerk, but the board voted 3-2 to not change any leadership position again until next year, keeping Sedgwick as clerk.

Mark Stegeman, Sedgwick and Counts voted to support the measure, while Grijalva and Foster voted against it.

Foster told the Star she couldn’t support keeping Sedgwick as clerk because of her political convictions.

“If I have an opportunity to make sure we had progressive leadership, pro-public education, women in leadership roles — I’m going to take every opportunity to do that,” Foster said. “I had half of that this evening.”

Stegeman, who served as president for the first half of 2019, initially posed the idea of splitting the presidency into two six-month terms at TUSD’s organizational meeting in January.

Stegeman said in January he would resign as president six months into his term so another board member could take the reins and show the community the TUSD governing board wasn’t “divided into alliances,” the Star reported.

Contact reporter Brenna Bailey at or 520-573-4279. On Twitter:


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Brenna explains how national, state and local K-12 education issues impact Tucson schools. She's a proud product of Arizona public schools. Send her news tips, story ideas and existential life questions at

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