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Four file for vacant PCC Governing Board seat
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Four file for vacant PCC Governing Board seat

  • Kynn Bartlett/Wikimedia

Four Pima County residents have asked to be appointed to fill the seat on the Pima Community College Governing Board left empty when David Longoria abruptly resigned last month. Georgia  Brousseau is a former PCC Board member and retired TUSD principal, Demion Clinco is a former state legislator, Miguel Cuevas a ex-member of the TUSD Board, and Rene Teyechea is a teacher at Desert View High School.

The application deadline is Tuesday. Pima County School Superintendent Linda Arzoumanian hopes to fill the District 2 seat on the PCC Governing Board sometime in December, after a citizens committee is appointed to help review applicants.

The applicants to fill the seat are:

Georgia Brousseau, a member of the college's governing body from 1976-1984, is a retired principal of Wheeler Elementary School in Tucson Unified School District.

Demion Clinco was appointed to the state House of Representatives in February 2014, but the Democrat lost in the general election. He is the head of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation.

Miguel Cuevas served on the TUSD Board from 2008 to 2012, when he lost a re-election bid. He unsuccessfully ran for a seat again in 2014. He is a manager at the AFNI call center.

Rene Teyechea is a social studies teacher at Desert View High School.

Longoria resigned suddenly in October, with former aide to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry moving north to become chief of staff for Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor.

The process for filling his seat representing District 2, which encompasses much of the South Side and extends to Sahuarita, was laid out by Arzoumanian, who will appoint his replacement to serve out the rest of his term, through the end of 2016.

A Community Advisory Committee will be set up by the county superintendent to help review the candidates. Arzoumanian will choose a PCC faculty member, a PCC staffer, and a PCC student, as well as a district resident and the owner of a business with the district to serve on the committee. She will also appoint to the committee a local school district superintendent, who will be selected directly and not from those who applied by the Tuesday deadline.

Longoria was appointed to the PCC Board in February 2010 to fill a vacancy, and was then elected that November to serve from 2011 through 2016.

Longoria's resignation and replacement will be the second in months for Pima's leaders. Marty Cortez suddenly resigned from her West Side District 5 seat at the end of June after holding it for two decades. Martha Durkin, deputy Tucson city manager, was appointed to that empty seat in August.

With Longoria stepping down, just one of the members remain of the Governing Board that was reviewed as "dysfunctional" by the Higher Learning Commission as PCC was placed on probation by that accrediting body in 2013. Scott Stewart of District 4 on the East Side has a term that runs through next year.

The other members of the Governing Board are District 3's Sylvia Lee, elected in 2012 for a 2013-2018 term, and District 1's Mark Hanna, elected last year for a term running through 2020.

The college was placed on probation by accreditors — putting at risk both federal financial aid and students' ability to transfer course credits — in part because of what HLC investigators termed "a culture of fear and retribution that pervaded the administration of the college."

Although the school was taken off probation in March, PCC remains "on notice" by the HLC. Accreditors will continue to monitor progress as improvements are made.

As Lambert was appointed in 2013, after the college was put on probation, he said he would model "important behaviors that start to open the door to a new way of transparency and a sense of openness."

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