Smithtown Superintendent Edward Ehmann announced Tuesday he plans to retire at the end of the school year.
Ehmann, who is in his fifth year leading the district, has spent his entire 37-year career in Smithtown.
He said he is announcing his retirement now because his contract requires nine months' notice to the school board. His last day will be June 30.
Ehmann, who earns $219,555, said he plans to continue working with children.
"There's a point in your life when you realize it's time to move on to new challenges," Ehmann told reporters Tuesday night. "There are other things I'd like to do. I consider myself a teacher first and foremost."
Ehmann first worked for the district as a custodian when he was a teenager.
After a stint in the Army, he rejoined the district as a teacher and later served as a principal and assistant superintendent for personnel. He was named superintendent in 2007, succeeding interim superintendent Judith Elias.
The school board will hire a consultant to recruit and recommend candidates to replace him, Ehmann said.
With Michael Ebert