TUCSON – After serving the Tucson Unified School District community for about a decade, Mark Stegeman has resigned from his position on the district’s governing board.
The longtime school board member confirmed Thursday afternoon that he has announced his resignation, Stegeman said he is expected to release a statement about the resignation later Thursday.
Pima County school superintendent, Dustin J. Williams released a statement shortly after the news spread of Stegeman’s resignation.
“I would like to personally thank Dr. Stegeman for his service towards education in the Tucson Unified School District. I wish him much success on his new endeavors,” Williams said. “Our office will help expedite the governing board vacancy process going forward.”
According to Pima County school superintendent’s office, the vacant position will be filled through an appointment, following ARS 15-302 protocol. The appointed member’s term will last until the next regular election for board members.
If deemed necessary, the county school superintendent may also call for a special election to fill the vacant position.
Stegeman has served on the board since 2009. The board member’s term expires Dec. 31, 2020.
TUSD Board President Adelita Grijalva talked with News 4 Tucson about Stegeman’s decision Thursday night.
“I was surprised because we had a meeting last night,” Grijalva said. “I thought that would be an appropriate time to let, I’ve been on the board with him 11 years, your colleagues, the superintendent, know this was a decision you would be making.”
Grijalva believes it was telling when Stegeman took his child out of TUSD in favor of a charter school last year.
“You are on a governing board and have been on a board for 11 years and truly working to improve it, it says a lot that it’s good enough for everyone else but not good enough for your child,” she said.
TUSD board member Kristel Ann Foster tells News 4 Tucson in a statement: “If you don’t choose public schools for your own children and you don’t believe that TUSD can succeed, then the right thing to do is step down and let someone who does serve in this seat.”
TUSD’s Dr. Trujillo made the following statement on Twitter:
On behalf of the Tucson Unified community I would like to thank Dr. Mark Stegeman for his 11 years of service to the district and certainly wish him many more years of health and happiness with his family.
— Gabriel Trujillo (@Gabriel18839216) October 4, 2019