Former John Paul College teacher Justin Harper has been named the school's new principal.
In a written statement, John Paul College board of trustees chairman J-P Gaston said the board was excited by the "energy, faith and experience" Harper would bring to the role.
Former principal Patrick Walsh announced his resignation in February after 19 years at the school. He started as headmaster at Sacred Heart College in Auckland at the start of this term.
The school community was informed of the new appointment on Monday. Harper's first day will be on July 25, in line with the start of Term 3.
Harper, who is principal at Cullinane College in Whanganui, worked as a maths teacher and dean at John Paul College from 2004 until 2010.
Harper told the Rotorua Daily Post it was a "real joy" to be able to return to the school.
He described the move as a "reintroduction" to the community where two of his children - now aged 12 and 15 - were born.
"We are feeling very pleased and humbled by the change that's coming up. It's a move home for us, it's about having a chapter in my family life where we are able to put down roots," he said.
"I know John Paul College - but it has been a while since I have been there. It will be good to reconnect and see where the future direction of the college lies."
After his first stint at John Paul College Harper started teaching at Trident High School in Whakatāne. Years later he was appointed deputy principal at Waihi College.
He's now in his fifth year as principal at Cullinane College where he works alongside his wife Nicola Harper, who teaches English and religious education.
The family now looked forward to spending more time with relatives who live across the Bay of Plenty region - including his Tauranga-based parents.
Asked what he would bring to the role, Harper said "a real passion and desire to see the school build on the success it has already achieved".
"I would like to see the school fully explore all sides of its life from academics, sports, the faith aspect of the college as well as exploring te ao Māori."
He said the school was led "extremely well" by Walsh for nearly two decades, and he had left a big legacy to follow up.
"I certainly am looking forward to working the hard yards the college will need from principals moving forward."
He said it had been a "pretty tough and emotional" day for staff and students at the Whanganui college who were informed of his resignation yesterday morning.
Harper's wife Nicola and their 15-year-old would also be leaving the school.
"They are losing a fantastic student, an awesome teacher and myself as principal."
Gaston said the board was also "extremely appreciative" of staff, students and whānau who contributed to the recruitment process.