When Kristina Crouch was welcomed on to St Michael's Catholic School grounds as the school's new principal this week, it was a homecoming.

Crouch, a former pupil at the school, was welcomed with a pōhiri on Monday.

Board of trustees chairman Terry Hughes said the day marked a new chapter in the school's history.

"Welcome back to your old school," he told Crouch.

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"To the community of Rotorua Primary School, we are well aware of the taonga you are handing over to us today. We look forward to years of great things happening at our school."

Crouch replaces Shelly Fitness as principal.

New principal Kristina Crouch (front right) walks onto the school grounds with her family. Photo/Stephen Parker
New principal Kristina Crouch (front right) walks onto the school grounds with her family. Photo/Stephen Parker

"The school was in very good hands under Shelly. It's special to see that legacy is going to continue under Kristina," Hughes said.

Crouch started out as a teacher in Taupō before working as a deputy principal in Rarotonga and for the Ministry of Education in the Cook Islands.

She became an assistant principal at Rotorua Primary School three-and-a-half years ago, but jumped at the opportunity to work at St Michael's Catholic School.

"This is the school I went to so when the opportunity came up it was a fantastic chance to be able to practise my faith and my passion, which is education," Crouch said.

"It was an opportunity to merge my faith and education and to come home to the community that I grew up in."

St Michael's Catholic School pupils welcome their new principal to the school. Photo/Stephen Parker
St Michael's Catholic School pupils welcome their new principal to the school. Photo/Stephen Parker

Term 2 ends for most schools this Friday and Crouch said she was looking forward to getting to know the community when school resumed for Term 3.

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"I'm really looking forward to building a relationship with all the children and the families and getting to know them."