Nonie Reynolds, TUSD dropout prevention specialist, resigned, admitting she made a mistake. She wanted a job with good money to spend time with her son.
By MARY BUSTAMANTE
The resignation of a Tucson Unified School District dropout prevention specialist who posed nude under an assumed name in an adult magazine is a relief to some district officials.
It also is a wake-up call that maybe there should be rules on things employees shouldn’t do in moonlightingt or second jobs, school officials said.
Nonie Reynolds, who resigned yesterday, appeared in explicit photos on four pages of Over 50′s magazine recently. She used the name “Chandler” in the spread, which also included text of a sexual nature.
“I think she did the right thing by resigning,” said governing board clerk Judy Burns. “No matter what an investigation would bring out, it would be very hard for her to be effective in her role.”
Governing board member Mary Belle McCorkle said Reynolds’ resigning may be a win-win situation for the district and the dropout prevention specialist:
“This way she is able to go on with her life and we are able to go on with the TUSD program . . . And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at the codes of conduct other school districts and public service agencies have for this situation.”
Board member Adelita Grijalva, who has worked with Reynolds in Grijalva’s capacity as project manager for Teen Court, agreed, even though she said Reynolds was “very good at her job . . . This is the best move for her, considering the kind of precarious position she might be in if she came back next school year.”
City and county workers have to seek approval from their supervisors before they can take a second job, Grijalva said, and that might be a good idea for TUSD.
Burns said such rules “would not be forcing morality on people. We’re protecting our kids. These are their role models, the people they see every day at school.
“Without the rules, I could see how someone might go out and think, ‘I can do whatever.’ ”
Grijalva said of Reynolds’ decision: “But you have to consider that stuff when you’re working with young people. Is this something we’d want in the hands of kids at Tucson High?”
Reynolds, who was placed on administrative leave May 13, had been working out of Tucson High Magnet School since 1996. Before that she worked out of a district office and out of Cholla High Magnet School, also as a dropout prevention specialist. She has been with the district since 1990 and earned $17.98 an hour.
Contacted last night at her home, Reynolds, the mother of two grown sons and one in middle school, said, “It was a mistake and I realized it almost immediately.”
While she said she didn’t think the school district could have fired her for what she did, “I left because of the attention it was getting, and I thought it was confusing for the students.”
Reynolds said the magazine spread came from “only one photo shoot, for one day,” she said, adding this wasn’t a continual job. “I wanted a job with good money and something that would give me time to hang out with my son. It was not illegal and it didn’t hurt anyone and it was not like it was real available to young people,” she said.
“But someone got hold of it and they brought it into school,” she said, acknowledging she was wrong when she didn’t think her students would see it.
“I made a choice and there are consequences, and sometimes it can affect the community,” she said. “So I felt I had a responsibility to the community to just move on.”
Still, she said, she has “a whistle-clean, excellent record. My personnel file is flawless and I have always had good evaluations.”
Reynolds, who will turn 50 June 2, said she hopes she can still work with young people, “because I always have worked real well with kids.”
In the meantime, she said she is “working with another photographer – doing some photos my way, with clothes on – to get a portfolio together.” She hopes to use the portfolio to land jobs for ads or possibly commercials.
She also is studying to become a personal trainer.
PHOTO MUG CAPTION: Yearbook photo
Nonie Reynolds’ photo from the Tucson High School yearbook. She recently posed for the Over 50′s magazine.