Pedicone to call it quits in June


by David Safier

TUSD Supe John Pedicone will be stepping down in June. That gives the Board a reasonable amount of time to look for a replacement.

A few un-mulled-over thoughts and predictions.

  • Pedicone's plan to make massive school closures and state-of-the-art megaschools his legacy isn't going to happen. That's a good thing.
  • A Board with a Grijalva/Juarez/Foster majority will pick the new Superintendent. That doesn't mean they'll make the right choice, but at least the choice won't be made by a Stegeman-led voting bloc. (I gotta wonder whether the new makeup of the Board moved Pedicone's retirement timeline up a year or two.)
  • The whole Ethnic Studies question takes on a new tone without Pedicone gumming up the issue with his toothless pronouncements and backroom deals. If the new superintendent is more supportive of a Mexican American Studies-style curriculum — and that issue is sure to be an important part of the interviews — that may mean the Board will play it less safe with the courses and be more willing to incur the wrath of Huppenthal, Horne and their anti-brown cronies.

Feel free to add your own thoughts and predictions in the comments section.


  1. If Augustine Romero is the new superintendent, the legislature will immediately tear TUSD into three school districts.

  2. Are there locals — either people who work at TUSD or, like Pedicone, in a neighboring district, who would be good choices to fill the position?

  3. If a national search produces a supe who understands the dynamics of TUSD, bring him or her on. However dropping someone into this position from somewhere else, USA, is not particularly a recipe for success.

  4. Dr. Pedicone is right. There were too many negative comments by the public at board meetings. I really wish that I had thanked Dr. Pedicone and the Board for standing up against the anti-democratic, anti-intellectual, racist attacks on our students and their education.

    Pedicone and Huppenthal designed an inside-outside squeeze on MAS. He carried Hupp’s water without regard to the effects on students. What people who believe that TUSD can design new classes that will pass muster won’t say is that there is no way to implement HB 2281 without exposing what it is–an elimination of the Mexican American perspective of our society. Huppenthal declared the following student poem to be in violation of 2281. If you understand why this poem is illegal and why prohibiting students from writing this poem is good for their education, please share.

    I am a strong beautiful motivated Chicana
    I wonder if our community will ever get better
    I hear violent (sic) all over the world
    I see people get beat up on t.v.
    I want our community to get better
    I am a strong beautiful motivated Chicana

  5. If some ways, I think Pedicone and the TUSD Board were “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. They were second-guessed and harassed continuously during his term– that on top of the financial and ideological assault from the Arizona Legislature. It was an impossible scenario for growth.

    That said. Pedicone was not a good leader for this difficult time period. He was distracted by his consulting and out-of-town junkets– “fiddling while Rome burned.” I think Dave’s right. Pedicone couldn’t make the big construction deal for his well-heeled SALC buddies, and the massive school building land transfer to the charter school capitalists didn’t go as smoothly as he had anticipated– so he is cutting his losses.

    Pedicone and the board– all of them– were guilty of playing politics at some point or another in recent years. Hopefully, *all of them* will take this time to reflect on their duty to TUSD children and families.