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Myers pledges budget fix if he’s TUSD chief

TUSD superintendent candidate Richard T. Myers says he would establish an 'open relationship' with the public and news media.

TUSD superintendent candidate Richard T. Myers says he would establish an 'open relationship' with the public and news media.

Richard T. Myers promises to include the community in his decision making process and to fix the budget problems of the Tucson Unified School District, if he gets the superintendent job.

Speaking during a meet-the-candidate TUSD forum at Catalina High Magnet High School on Monday night, he said he would create an “open relationship with the public and the media.”

“I am not one of those people that has all the answers,” Myers said. “My leadership style is to embrace the right people.”

The forum included four general questions on ability, leadership, communication and past examples of success working with multicultural populations. The candidate then answered questions submitted from the audience.

About 100 parents, teachers, community members and TUSD employees attended the forum.

Their questions focused on school closures, the district’s budget problems and community involvement.

Speaking on the proposed closure of four elementary schools, Myers said the state and the district are in a crisis.

“Leaving things the way they are is not a option we have,” he said. “We need to address the budget deficit for the long term.”

In responding to questions about student achievement, Myers said it is mostly a “societal problem.”

He called on the whole community to raise its expectations of all students, especially those who come from lower-income families.

Myers left Rosalva Meza, a TUSD parent and teacher, with a positive impression.

“He showed he had the right demeanor and I liked his idea of being inclusive,” she said.

Walter Silvas, a TUSD grandparent, said, “It’s important to have a superintendent from within our community because they know the hearts of our community.”

Richard T. Myers

• Current position: Retired after 25 years as an executive at IBM Corp.

• Education: Bachelor of science in engineering

• Experience: Myers has worked in the highest levels of IBM. He was part of the steering committee for the Rodel Foundation, which published the “Lead with Five” report showing how to reform Arizona’s K-12 education system. He is a TUSD Blue Ribbon Committee member. Myers has a strong background in reviewing financial and management structures. He co-chaired the Citizens Committee of the Regional Transportation Authority, which was charged with designing an enhanced 20-year transportation plan for Pima County.

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IF YOU GO

The public is invited to meet the remaining three finalists for TUSD superintendent over the next few days.

Each finalist will have a public forum. All will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Catalina High Magnet School auditorium, 3645 E. Pima St.

The forums:

• Tuesday – Patti Lopez

• Wednesday – Delfino Alemán Jr.

• Monday – Elizabeth Celania-Fagen

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