SCARBOROUGH — Superintendent George Entwistle says he’ll retire at the end of the school year, putting recent budget battles behind him, but he won’t be leaving the field of education altogether.

Entwistle announced his retirement from public education at Thursday’s School Board meeting, saying that his departure would be effective June 30, 2016.

Entwistle, who became superintendent in July 2011, has taken heat lately from budget critics who questioned his spending decisions. In his resignation letter to the board, he addressed detractors and highlighted strides made despite restricted financial resources.

“For those who believe that merely adequate or status quo efforts on behalf of Scarborough students are good enough, it is important to know that the community’s educators, our 3,000-plus students, their parents and grandparents, and their future colleges and employers just do not agree,” Entwistle said. “Simply good enough is not the return-on-investment that these stakeholders will accept.”

School Board members lauded Entwistle’s ability to engage the community and build consensus throughout the district, though the town is known for having perennially contentious school budget reviews that require repeated validation referendums.

“Dr. Entwistle has provided outstanding leadership to Scarborough schools for the past five years,” Chairwoman Donna Beeley said in a news release. “He’s led the work of engaging our whole educational community in an effort to reflect on their work, engage in small learning communities and utilize well-recognized professional data and analysis to guide improvement in teaching and learning.”

Entwistle said he announced his retirement early enough to give the School Board plenty of time to search for a replacement.

Entwistle, who lives in Portland, has a background in psychology and worked in human resources before earning a doctorate in educational leadership, he said. During 13 years in public education, he was assistant superintendent in Camden-Rockport schools for a year before heading districts in Falmouth; Belmont, Massachusetts; and, finally, Scarborough.

“I have had the privilege of working with a fine staff of educators and educational leaders – teachers, leaders, and support staff that are worthy of the highest levels of community pride and positive, professional regard,” Entwistle said at the meeting. “A forward momentum of continuous improvement has been underway over these past five years and we are seeing students and staff grow and develop in extraordinary ways.”

Entwistle, 62, said his wife, Nancy, a speech and language pathologist in South Portland schools, also plans to retire in June. Together, they’re considering opportunities to work in education abroad.

“We’re looking into doing some international work,” Entwistle said. “So we’ll be traveling, but it won’t be just for fun.”