STAMFORD — Tom Main, who has led King School since 2002, announced Tuesday the next school year will be his last on the job.

“It is the right time for a change,” Main said in a letter to the school community.

The longtime head of school will remain in the position until June 2018, when he will have completed 16 years at King.

“That is a long tenure by any measure, well over twice the average tenure of an independent school head,” he wrote in the letter. “And we have been successful. I could not have imagined, back in 2002, just how far we might have come in the last fifteen years. I am confident that the progress will continue, and it really must, which is central to the timing of this transition.”

The board of trustees said it will soon begin a national search for a new head of school.

The Newfield Avenue private school provides preschool, elementary, middle and high school education.

Tom Conheeney, president of the board of trustees, said Main “raised the academic bar” by attracting and retaining “exceptional faculty,” adding honors and Advanced Placement courses and launching new programs in global education, sustainability, service and diversity. Conheeney said Main also led King through a campus makeover, which included a new middle school and performing arts center as well as other facility upgrades.

“His vision enabled King not only to establish us as an independent school widely known for academic excellence and a personalized approach to teaching and learning, but also to improve significantly our physical campus,” Conheeney said in a letter Tuesday.

It’s not clear where Main is heading after 2018, but he said in his letter that it’s time for a professional transition and he’s “eyeing some fascinating opportunities.”

noliveira@stamfordadvocate.com