New TUSD superintendent likes challenges

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Saying he likes jobs with challenges, John Pedicone is preparing to become the next superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District. He received a unanimous vote from the board.

New superintendent, Dr. John Pedicone, has no misconceptions about the Tucson Unified School District. He knows the problems it's faced, the money it's lost, and how people feel about the district.

"I've been in these focus groups where people talk about the district really negatively, they don't love this district," says Dr. Pedicone.

Pedicone also knows the criticism surrounding his affiliation with the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

"Because they look at business organizations like SALC as a liability instead of an asset, we can't do the work in school without being partners with every constituency and the business community is really critical."

John Pedicone isn't concerned about the cons of becoming TUSD's new superintendent.  He's concerned about the pros.

"To improve is really the key objective in all of this," said Pedicone.

"He's gonna be a fabulous leader and I think he can help rally the community but we all have to step in."

Ann-Eve Pedersen, an education activist and mother of a TUSD student, is happy the governing board chose pedicone to take over as chief of the district.

"Dr. Pedicone's a master communicator," said Pedersen.  "I think he has a lot of good will in the community because he has served the community."

Pederson hopes Pedicone's affiliation with salc will help the district move forward.

"I think the business community absolutely has to get behind education locally and at the state level."

It's the type of support former Superintendent Elizabeth Celania Fagan was unable to get, but time will tell. So far, for pedicone, the time is right.

"People like to work for a good boss and he has that reputation," said Pedersen.

"Building hope, putting action behind it, getting people to believe that so that we can make that happen.  I can't do it alone, nor can anybody," said Pedicone.

Pedicone is a former Flowing Wells School District superintendent, and currently works for the University of Arizona College of Education and is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.