Charles E. Nunley, who left his post as superintendent of Arlington County's 15,000-student school system nearly a year ago, has remained in the county, works as an education consultant and says he misses some things about his former job.

"I don't want to get into specifics, because the next question will be, 'What don't you miss?' " he said in an interview last week.

Nunley, 56, had a stormy four-year tenure as superintendent. While some in the schools praised his budgetary skills and his overtures to the business community, others claimed he was not well prepared on issues and remained out of step with Arlington's diverse, activist school population.

Last year, Nunley worked for the National College of Education in McLean, a private school offering graduate and undergraduate degrees to about 3,000 persons, most of them employed adults. Nunley said he worked on a marketing survey for the college to see if a classroom-based master's degree program in education would be popular in this area.

He said he now works as a consultant to a private, nonprofit group in Alexandria called "1987 -- The Year of Thanksgiving," formed to plan ways to commemorate the Constitution's bicentennial. "I'm trying to help them in terms of organizational structure -- how to get schools and colleges involved," Nunley said.

While Nunley has remained in the county, he has severed most ties with the schools and kept such a low profile that the four current School Board members who served during Nunley's last year had no idea what he is doing now.

Nunley said he keeps up with local school issues to some extent -- "I read the papers," he said -- but had no comment on his successor, Arthur W. Gosling.

"It's best to keep your mouth closed once you've left a job," he said. "I just wish everybody good luck."