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TUSD board to consider ousting principal of Catalina High

Citizen Staff Writer



The future of Catalina Magnet High School Principal Linda Patterson could be decided Tuesday when the Tucson Unified School District’s governing board votes on whether to issue a notice of intent to dismiss her.

A notice is required before a certified administrator can be dismissed.

Patterson, principal for two years at the midtown high school, has been at the helm as Catalina has gone through some tumultuous times.

• In August, the school reported nearly $30,000 (more than $14,000 in cash and $15,000 in checks) missing from the school vault. The funds had been collected during registration and were for extracurricular activity fees, yearbooks and locker rentals.

The thief never was found. Patterson and school finance manager Teresa Herlein received letters of direction for their failure to correctly monitor school funds.

A letter of direction is not discipline, said TUSD spokeswoman Chyrl Hill Lander, but guidance and instruction on how to correct behavior. It does not go into an employee’s personnel file.

The Catalina money had been left at the school over the weekend, but the district requires that large amounts of money be deposited each day.

• The school’s aviation program, which has been one of the main classes that attracts students, came under fire early this year when it was discovered that the company contracted by the district to teach students how to fly, Arizona Aero-Tech, had paid more than $44,000 in fines to the Federal Aviation Administration for safety problems. The district later canceled the contract.

• Last month, one leader of the school’s highly decorated Junior ROTC program was reprimanded and another was given “direction” for violating district and Air Force policies dealing with discipline of cadets.

The practice of forcing cadets to do push-ups and other physical activities as discipline was terminated.

Patterson, whose salary is $90,268, has been on personal leave since March 27. Lander said she did not know the reason for the leave.

Patterson declined to talk to a Citizen reporter Monday.

She was an assistant principal at Mazama High School in Klamath Falls, Ore. before being hired as Catalina’s principal on July 2, 2007.

If you go

What: Tucson Unified School District governing board meeting

When: 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. It will be preceded by a 5:30 p.m. closed, executive session.

Where: District headquarters, 1010 E. 10th St.

Info: 225-6437

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