JAMESTOWN, N.Y. -- After three and a half years at the helm, Tim Mains closes out his tenure Friday as Jamestown's superintendent of schools.

"Mixed emotions. Sad because I really love the people here and the things we've been doing. Very excited not just about what I'm about to do but about what I know Jamestown is going to continue to do," Mains said.

Mains recently accepted a job as superintendent of the Pine Bush School District on the other side of the state. He says his departure was a joint decision with the school board.

"What's awkward is the timing of it. It would be nice if all this happened at the end of the school year or in the middle of the summer, but sometimes you can't write the script." said Mains.

"I wouldn't characterize it as any tension. I'd frankly rather do it now," said Paul Abbott, School Board President.

School board leaders say they appreciate what Mains has accomplished, and are set to start the process of finding a new leader.

"When you lose the person who's the CEO if you will of your organization, there's going to be an adjustment and so there'll be some growing pains as we go through this," said Abbott.

"He's a good man. He worked hard here. He implemented some changes here that some folks may have agreed with, other folks may not have agreed with," said Sam Teresi, (D) Jamestown Mayor.

Mains cites rising graduation rates, developing community partnerships as well as tackling new standards and curriculum as key accomplishments. He advises his replacement to keep setting the bar high.

"To keep your sights high, because you'll be surprised what students and the adults can do," said Mains.

Sylvia Root has been hired as the interim superintendent. The board hopes to name a permanent replacement by July first.