DARIEN -- Darien High School Principal Dan Haron announced Wednesday that he will step down at the end of the school year.

In a letter emailed to parents and staff Wednesday night, Haron wrote that he is taking a position with his family's real estate development company in New York.

"The decision was not an easy one because of my deep connection to DHS, its students, its staff, and the greater Darien community that supports it," Haron wrote in the email. "My passion for teaching and love for students . . . hasn't subsided. Admittedly however, as of recent, other opportunities and prospects have excited me as well; opportunities which I couldn't ignore."

A graduate of Stamford's Westhill High School, Haron lives in Stamford. He was promoted to principal in May 2007, when he was 35, after working at Darien High School for a decade as a math teacher, math department chairman and assistant principal. He earned $171,520 as principal in 2010.

Haron wrote in the email that he will be joining his two brothers, a cousin and others at the company, which his father started 30 years ago.

"It is a company with a strong moral compass and a culture that is consistent with my values," Haron wrote. "The company's vision transcends mere buildings and structures by aiming to change entire communities for the betterment of the people who live in them."

Before his tenure at Darien High School, Haron was founder and managing director of an educational consulting company, Active Insight Science. He has a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude, and a master's degree from Columbia University.

"I feel blessed to have been a colleague to such an extraordinary faculty and staff, and I feel humbled by the fact that parents in this town had entrusted their most precious `commodity' -- their children -- in my hands," he wrote. "I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your professionalism, support, and encouragement all these years."