CHRIS Mitchell is passionate about educating children.
"All kids can learn," he said as he settled into a new role as principal at St Joseph's Primary School at Kerang.
"They're all individuals and they have their own identity, which is reason for celebration.
Mr Mitchell's rapport with the new foundation class - the new identity for the former prep. classes for five-year-olds - was evident in the playground a day after the youngsters began their primary education.
He has been a teacher for 26 years, working in the Catholic education system at Nhill, St Arnaud, Ballarat and Swan Hill before seven years working with the Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Office as a learning and teaching education officer.
Mr Mitchell was principal at Robinvale before his appointment to Kerang.
"I have found it a welcoming, friendly place and I have inherited a well-equipped school in good condition," he said.
KOONDROOK Primary School principal, Amanda Bradford said that the school welcomed 15 foundation students and had an enrolment of 82 overall.
Bernie Monahan transferred as a teacher from Cohuna and new foundation teacher is Kylie Chalmers, who previously worked at Wakool and St Mary's at Echuca.
KERANG South Primary School has 18 new students, split into two classes with Grade 1 students.
KERANG Primary School has two new foundation students in a Grade 1 composite.
KERANG Christian College has seven new foundation students.
COHUNA Consolidated School has 133 enrolments this year, 13 of them preps, who are now known as 'foundation 1' students.
ST MARY'S Primary School has 120 students enrolled this year, 16 of them preps.
LEITCHVILLE Primary School has one foundation student enrolled, five-year-old Ryder Smith is the sole prep student this year, and one of just eight students at the school.