STAWELL - New principal at Stawell Secondary College, Colin Axup is settling into the role.
Mr Axup has spent the past 22 years in Melbourne, 19 years as a full time teacher at a government all boys school in Melbourne.
"I did a variety of things at the school including being involved in the rowing, sailing and water polo programs," he said.
"I was also heavily involved with the Australian army cadets, I commanded the unit for 17 years."
Mr Axup was also involved with the Australian army cadets at a national level and at the end of 2010 he moved to Williamstown High School to take on the position of assistant principal.
"The school had 1400 students across two campuses," he said.
Mr Axup said he didn't apply for the position in Stawell unfamiliar with the area.
"Being a part of the Australian army cadets I've travelled to the Grampians with student cadets for 20 years," he said.
"I really like the area, so it didn't come to me as an unknown concept."
Mr Axup said there were a few reasons behind his decision to apply for the position of principal with Stawell.
"The reason behind my decision to become a principal was to be in a position to affect positive change," he said.
"To be able to take the opportunity to steer an organisation and take it forward.
"In other roles you have the ability for input at different levels, but you're not the boss.
"I can bring my own ideas and thoughts into play and develop different and my own processes."
Mr Axup who is also completing a Masters degree in school leadership part time said he is kept busy.
"I do it as an intensive, so six times a year I need to spend a weekend in Melbourne," he said.
Mr Axup said technology will continue to provide the school with the biggest opportunities.
"I think technology will be one of the biggest assets we have and what we can do with that as students and teachers is important.
He said the was one example of how the school currently makes good use of technology.
Mr Axup said the school already had six virtual classrooms.
"Student groups of about six or seven go into a room with a television and camera to take a class," he said.
"They will then learn with a teacher and more students from other schools across the state, including places like Horsham.
"That is one example of how we offer opportunity, any other school with the same technology can be involved."
Mr Axup said he believes the school has some natural advantages.
"It has excellent facilities, but of course we would always like more," he said.
"The building of the trade training centre later in the year will be of great benefit in the future.
"This will enhance what we deliver through Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning at the school."
Mr Axup said his message to students and the school community has been the same since he had the opportunity to speak at the presentation night last year.
"People should aim to pursue excellence and success," he said.
"Within that success is multifaceted, it comes in many different forms, but is always worth celebrating.
"At the end of the day every student is an individual and we need to provide the opportunities and pathways for them to achieve that success.
"We need to help them to aim as high as possible.
"Develop a want to succeed and the desire to succeed in whatever it is they are after."
Mr Axup said students shouldn't feel restricted by the direction they chose to take, regardless of whether it is VCE or VCAL.
"One of the things I ask of students who have taken on an apprenticeship is do you want to work for someone else or be your own boss," he said.
"If we encourage them to take that extra step then the success can become much sweeter."
Mr Axup said a challenge for the school is its size.
"The reality is the opportunity of small cohorts of 60 to 70 students in a year level can be limited," he said.
"So we need to look at how to provide a wide selection of subjects so students have the choice."
Mr Axup said a curriculum review would be taking place over the next six months.
"The review will be quicker than at most schools and look at not just what we offer but how we offer it," he said.
Mr Axup encouraged the wider community to become involved in the curriculum review.
"The college is very much a part of the Stawell community, we are their high school, we'll be looking to parents to have their say," he said.
Mr Axup said he looks forward to going to work every day.
"As a teacher you get a lot of joy out of spending time with people and adolescents.