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Apr 29, 2013 1:27 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Community organizes to fire Sunnyside Superintendent

TUCSON - Sunnyside School District residents are organizing to get rid of their superintendent.

Manuel Isquierdo has been in the position 6 years. His contract goes through June 2014. He makes a base salary of $150,000, but his gross is estimated closer to $300,000.

Some people are concerned about the example he is setting for students. He owes the IRS $150,000 and lost his home, according to the Associated Press. He has had his driver's license suspended for unpaid fines and failing to go to court, according to the AP.

School board member, Daniel Hernandez, spoke to dozens of people at a community meeting at the Valencia Library Sunday. He needs 2 more of his fellow board members to vote to get rid of Isquierdo.

"We're going to do what we do with our other elected officials," Hernandez said. "Lobby them and ask them to support the decision of the community."

A budget override recently failed on the ballot and Hernandez is hoping to try again. He thinks it did not pass because the public will not support giving more money to the district with its current leadership.

The proposal is not even on the board's agenda and there is no indication they will vote on it anytime soon.

Rene Teyechea is a history teacher at Desert View High School. He was at the meeting and wants Isquierdo to leave.

"Right now our morale is really low because of issues concerning our superintendent," he said.

Linda Lopez is a former school board member and now a State Senator. She says the neighborhood is capable of making the change.

"The recent publicity right now about what Dr. Isquierdo has done and is doing has really fired up the community," she said. "There are lots of people out there who want to make a change."

Isquierdo did not return a phone call to comment on this report.

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