The chief academic officer for Prince George’s County public schools, who for the past four years has worked to improve the district’s academic standings, has submitted his resignation to take a position with a nonprofit organization.

A. Duane Arbogast will become vice president of educational services at the Children’s Guild, a Baltimore-based organization that runs schools for children with special needs. He also will be chief operating officer of the group’s charter schools.

“This is an opportunity . . . for me to work in a smaller organization where I can really focus on the work,” Arbogast said. He described the new position as the “right fit for the trajectory I want for my career.” His last day with the county is Feb. 14.

Arbogast’s resignation comes at a critical time for Prince George’s, which is working to turn around its school system. It also comes as the district implements the new Common Core State Standards and changes how it evaluates teachers.

“I think it’s a major loss for the school system,” said school board member Edward Burroughs III (District 8), who has worked with Arbogast since 2010. “Dr. Arbogast is one of the most dedicated and purely talented academics in the region.”

Arbogast came to Prince George’s from Anne Arundel County, where he worked for 32 years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and senior manager of academic accountability.

In July 2012, a short time after Arbogast took over as a deputy superintendent, Superintendent William R. Hite left to take the top job in Philadelphia’s school system.

Several elected officials recommended Arbogast to become the interim superintendent, but the board instead hired from outside the system, bringing on Alvin Crawley, a longtime educator in Arlington County. After a year, Crowley became the interim superintendent in Alexandria.

Arbogast remained in his acting deputy superintendent position until August, when Kevin M. Maxwell, the new schools chief executive officer — who also came from Anne Arundel — began assembling his team and replaced Arbogast with Monique Davis. Maxwell wished Arbogast the best in his future work.

“He did a lot of good in Prince George’s County and in Anne Arundel,” Maxwell said. “And I thank him for his many contributions while he was here.”

Arbogast leaves a system that has made improvements over the past several years. But it is also a system that County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) attempted to take over last year because he said change was not happening fast enough.

Arbogast said he is proud of the work he was able to accomplish in Prince George’s even during the struggle over the school system.

“I have always been very frank about the challenges that we face,” Arbogast said.

Officials at the Children’s Guild said they are excited for Arbogast to join their team.

“He has been a successful district leader in large suburban and urban settings and is an instructional leader with proven results in academic growth as well as an innovator in institutional models and alternative programs,” said Andrew Ross, chief executive of the Children’s Guild. “We know his breadth of knowledge and experience will take both the Children’s Guild’s schools and Monarch Academy charter schools to new academic heights.”