The deputy principal of Karamu High School has been confirmed as its new principal in an announcement yesterday by the Hastings school's Board of Trustees.
Michael Leitch, who joined the school as deputy at the start of last year, has been acting principal since head Martin O'Grady left in December, after being appointed principal of Feilding High School.
Originally from Hamilton, Mr Leitch moved to Hawke's Bay in 2000 to teach physical education and science at Napier Boys' High School, where he became responsible for various roles including hostel master, staff representative on the BOT and dean, before being promoted to senior master in 2009.
Mr Leitch says that he has been fortunate to work alongside some of New Zealand's best educational leaders in Ross Brown, his principal at NBHS, and in Mr O'Grady and plans to take his learnings from them in continuing the growing momentum and success that Karamu is enjoying.
"I am really excited to have this opportunity to lead this fantastic school," he said.
"We have an exceptional team of staff with the expertise and energy to continue to move the school forward.
"We place a strong focus on academic success for all students, whilst also valuing and providing a full range of sporting and cultural opportunities, where our students excel".
He is heavily involved in a wide range of sports but admits his own playing days are numbered.
As a coach he has covered everything from fifth Grade Rippa Rugby to first XI Cricket where in 2012 Napier Boys' High School won the Super 8 tournament. In addition he has coached rugby, football, basketball, hockey and golf to various levels. This year he is embarking on a new coaching challenge in the form of junior girl's football.
Mr Leitch and wife Angela have two sons, Lachlan and Cameron.