A new principal has started at a Christian school in Whanganui, taking over from a long-time staffer.

Martin Bullock started his role as the new principal of Faith City School earlier this month, replacing former principal Ruth McLeay who has retired.

McLeay was at the school for a total of 23 years, spending nine years as principal.

"Before I became principal I taught the new entrants," she said.

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McLeay said she enjoyed watching the pupils grow and learn throughout the years.

"I've seen children from the age of 5 grow and leave the school and I've seen children of the pupils I taught start at the school. I've really enjoyed my time at the school."

The Christian side of the school is very important to her, she said.

"I enjoyed seeing the children grow in their faith."

McLeay said she is confident she is leaving the school in good hands.

"Martin is great. I'm positive he'll do a very good job."

Whanganui-born Bullock attended St Augustine's College (now Cullinane College). He then went to Massey University and teachers college.

He has been teaching for 24 years at a number of schools around Whanganui.

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"My first post was at Whanganui City College and then I moved to teach at St Augustine's College. From there I became deputy principal at Cullinane College.

"I then taught at Arahunga Special School before coming to Faith City School."

Bullock said he has a passion for teaching.

"I love teaching and working towards making life better for children. It's exciting to be a part of their development and watching them grow."

His goals include continuing the work McLeay did during her time as principal, Bullock said.

"She did a fantastic job as principal. The school is well established and I'd like to build on the values already at the school."

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He said he is also focusing on the Christian faith which is important to him.

"I'm looking to build the pupils' understanding and relationship with God. I've been a member of the Faith City Church since 1993."

Bullock looks after the missions programme at the church.

"Later on in the year we are going to Brazil for two weeks where we will be working with Youth With a Mission - it's very exciting."

He said he is looking forward to being principal at the school which has a maximum roll of 150 pupils.

"The school is in a very good place. The staff is absolutely fantastic and the students are delightful.

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"Three of my children will be attending the school. It will be nice to be a part of their schooling day."