"I thought it was time to do something else."
With those words, Schools Superintendent Frank Alvarez brought the curtain down on his nearly nine years at the helm of the Montclair School District.
The decision to walk off the stage by one of the longest tenured superintendents in the district's modern history came as a complete surprise but it wasn't a spur-of-the-moment choice.
"It's a very tough decision," Alvarez told The Times in an interview in his office Tuesday morning, shortly after the district released a prepared statement announcing the move.
"This is purely a matter of personal choice," Alvarez explained. "People shouldn't read anything into this decision.
"Eight-plus years is a long time. I'm leaving because basically I feel it's time to go. I enjoy tremendously what I do. People are just shocked that it's happened this way, especially with two more years left on my contract."