The sun has all but set on Cameron Archer's tenure at the helm of Tocal College.
Dr Archer announced his resignation on Thursday, days after Tocal's 50th anniversary bash, and will leave his post in September.
"I didn't want the 50th anniversary to be a swan song," he said. "Back to Tocal was about the college and the students.
"It was quite deliberate, I had thought it through."
Dr Archer has been principal at the college for 28 years and said no two years were the same.
"It's a completely different job now."
Dr Archer had been deputy principal before he took over from John Drinan as principal.
During his time at the college, the Tocal Field Days have prospered and much work has been undertaken on the preservation of Tocal Homestead and its outbuildings.
The Tocal Homestead complex is what it is today through Dr Archer's keen interest in history and the preservation of agricultural heritage.
Graduates from the college's youth education programs can be found throughout Australia in a range of positions in rural and related industries.
"More educational programs are delivered by Tocal away from the main campus than on the CB Alexander Campus here at Paterson," he said.
"Much use is now made of online learning and taking the learning opportunities to the client rather than vice versa."
With the college in great shape and the major celebration behind him, Dr Archer said the time was right. In October he turns 65 but doesn't consider his resignation his retirement.
"There are plenty more things I want to do," he said.
Chiefly, he aims to write an environmental history of the Paterson Valley from his PhD thesis. Then there are his board positions.
Recruitment will start immediately so that the next principal can start in time for Tocal's annual foundation day in November.
Dr Archer said he had enjoyed working in the one role for an extended period and said that "short-term chief executives tend not to inherit their own problems".
"I've enjoyed that aspect, sometimes you make mistakes and say, uh-oh, we better not go there again."