Celania-Fagen leaving TUSD superintendent job
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Celania-Fagen leaving TUSD superintendent job

 Elizabeth Celania-Fagen is leaving her post as superintendent of TUSD after two years on the job.

Fagen has been picked to head the Douglas County School District in Colorado. Douglas County is between Denver and Colorado Springs.

The Douglas district made the announcement Friday.

Fagen sent an email to TUSD staff Friday afternoon, saying, "My family and I love Tucson and thought we would remain here for a long time, however, an opportunity presented itself to me and after careful consideration I decided to go through the interview process."

"I want you to know this was a very difficult decision for me to make," Fagen wrote in her email.

Fagen was not available for comment.

Fagen began her stint with the Tucson Unified School District in the 2008-2009 school year, after being granted a three-year contract.

"Dr. Fagen's proven track record of success as a superintendent in a school district of comparable size where she has successfully managed economic challenges, her experience as a teacher and professional in the education field, her advocacy for parental choice and her demonstrated leadership in innovative reforms in public education make her an excellent choice to lead Douglas County School District," said John Carson, the president of the Douglas County Board of Education in a statement.

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DCSD is the third largest school district in Colorado with more than 54,000 students. It operates on a year-round calendar, alternating nine weeks of school with three week breaks, instead of traditional summer vacations.

TUSD has an enrollment of 56,000, with 10,000 staff in over 100 schools.

Representatives from Douglas County will conduct a site visit to Tucson to obtain additional information from TUSD board members, parents, students and the community, said the district. The site visit by a small team of board members and Douglas school district representatives will take place within the next two weeks.

A formal motion to appoint Dr. Fagen is anticipated in April, the district said.

Fagen has faced budget challenges and controversy over closing schools with low enrollments during her TUSD tenure.

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Fagen's email statement

 Dear employees -

I wanted to give you a quick "heads-up." I have some news and want you to hear it from me before the media begins to release the information.

Today, I was notified that I have been named as the single finalist for the Superintendent's position for the Douglas County School District located in Castle Rock, Colorado.

My family and I love Tucson and thought we would remain here for a long time, however, an opportunity presented itself to me and after careful consideration I decided to go through the interview process. I want you to know this was a very difficult decision for me to make.

I have enjoyed our collaborations and the forward movement the district has already made over the last 20 months. I know you will continue the hard work you are doing to facilitate change in the new school year.

The Douglas County School Board is scheduled to make a formal appointment in April and, if appointed, I will assume the Superintendent position as of July. I will follow up with more as circumstances permit.

Liz

Elizabeth Celania-Fagen Ed. D.
Superintendent