The assistant superintendent in charge of TUSD's preschools, elementary and K-8 campuses has submitted her resignation.

Maggie Shafer will remain on the job through the end of the school year, with her resignation effective June 28.

Shafer plans to work for the University of Arizona's College of Education as a field experiences coordinator.

The Tucson Unified School District will do a national search for Shafer's replacement, whom they hope to identify before Shafer leaves, said TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone.

"She has certainly been a stalwart leader over an extended period of time, and to see that come to an end is unfortunate," Pedicone said of Shafer. "I will miss working with her, and this district will miss her unselfish contributions and her relentless advocacy for children and what is right."

In her role as assistant superintendent, Shafer oversees 67 elementary and K-8 schools, as well as the district's preschools.

She is paid more than $113,000 a year, which is what Pedicone anticipates paying her replacement.

"We have to offer a competitive salary; otherwise we won't get people to come here," Pedicone said.

Shafer has worked for TUSD for 15 years. In that time she has done math professional development, served as an elementary school principal and at the director level before becoming an assistant superintendent in 2009.

Under Shafer's watch, the district has reduced the number of students who aren't reading well at the end of third grade, math achievement has steadily improved in the elementary schools, and the number of D-rated elementary schools has been cut in half while the B elementary schools have doubled.

"I have really enjoyed serving the students in TUSD and working with outstanding families, teachers, administrators and staff," Shafer said Monday. "I believe we have accomplished a lot here, and there is momentum for that to continue."

At the UA, Shafer will be involved in teacher preparation - the next "logical step" in her career, she said.

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Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea