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TUSD celebrates bond work, honors former Borton principal

Posted April 30, 2014

Borton Magnet Elementary celebrated the completion of the district's voter-approved bond and honored a principal who helped create the school's magnet program 35 years ago at an event held Tuesday, April 29.

Borton was the recipient of community-supported bonds that funded improvements including the addition of nine classrooms, a new multipurpose cafeteria, a playground renovation that includes new equipment and the remodeling of the school library. The 10-year bonds funded work across the district as well.

Dr. H.T. Sanchez, TUSD superintendent, said that it is evident that the work at the school at Borton enhanced the campus. He also noted that Borton is a key example of an integrated magnet school.

"It is extremely important that this site was at the center of immigration efforts. This campus then and today stands as work well done," Dr. Sanchez said. "We look forward to more celebrations like this as milestone after milestone is put in the path of Borton's future."

David Ashcraft, a member of the Bond Fiscal Oversight Committee, said five accomplishments stand out from his tenure on the committee: The voters' will was carried out, the process was transparent, work was provided to the Tucson labor force in a much-needed time, projects were completed on time or early and on budget or under budget and the quality of the workmanship at all the schools involved was excellent.

He said the oversight committee's focus at every turn was on the students. "One thing we always said, at every meeting, was ‘Will this benefit the children of TUSD?'"

The Borton event was attended by several past principals, teachers and staff members who were on hand to tour the additions and honor former principal Jo Musser. Musser led the school's transformation into a magnet school –TUSD's first – 35 years ago.

Musser explained the goal those many years ago: To create a school with select teachers, controlled class size, an aide in every classroom, full-time arts and PE instruction an integrated population. She said that goal was met within months, and people were clamoring to get in.

"It was an educator's dream, and it was a parent's dream," she said. "I was blessed to be a part of it."

 Dr. Sanchez addresses Borton audience
Dr. H.T. Sanchez addresses the audience, which included many of Borton's past principals and current and former teachers, at a celebration held in the school's courtyard on April 29, 2014.
 Former Borton principals Bob Wortman and Jo Musser
Former Borton principals Bob Wortman and Jo Musser. Wortman read a book in Musser's honor at the celebration.