LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Aquinas Catholic Schools President Dr. Kurt Nelson has accepted the position of Superintendent of Catholic Education for Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Nelson has been president since 2006.

“Leaving Aquinas Catholic Schools and La Crosse is definitely bittersweet,” Nelson said in a statement. “The next president will inherit a tremendous school system filled with, and supported by, amazing people who will always have a very special place in my heart.”

A search committee is being formed to begin the process of finding a new president.

Nelson said he and his wife are excited about the opportunity to live close to family again after living away from them for more than two decades.

“Aquinas Catholic Schools and its families have a very special place in our hearts,” Nelson wrote to Aquinas Catholic Schools staff and parents in an email. “It has indeed been my pleasure to work with you and your children over the past eight years and I look forward to sharing the remainder of this school year with you.”

Dean Farther Robert Schaller will form a search committee and begin the process of finding a new president.