Deering High School Principal Ira Waltz will retire at the end of this school year, the Portland school district announced Tuesday.

The district said that a search for a new principal will begin immediately. Waltz has been Deering’s principal since 2010, and was the district’s acting superintendent during the summer of 2012.

“I am sad to see Ira go, but I respect his decision,” said Superintendent Xavier Botana in a prepared statement. “As with everything that Ira has done, his decision to retire has been deliberate, respectful, inclusive and thoughtful. Clearly, his interest has been on making sure that Deering continues its positive trajectory.”

Waltz has agreed to work on future planning with Botana, Assistant Superintendent Jeanne Crocker and his replacement to ensure a smooth transition for Deering as it enters the 2017-18 school year.

“During graduation ceremonies this past Wednesday, it was clear that Ira would leave an indelible mark at Deering,” Botana said. “His calm, tolerant and welcoming persona is central to Deering’s character. Many of his graduates showed their appreciation for him during the ceremony and in their public and private remarks.”