There’s been a changing of the guard at Heathdale Christian College.

Outgoing principal Reynald Tibben handed over the reins to Ross Grace last week after 17 years at the helm.

Mr Tibben was a land surveyor in Western Australia before becoming a teacher.

He worked in schools around WA and Tasmania before taking over the principal’s role at Heathdale 17 years ago.

When Mr Tibben started, Heathdale had 700 students. Today, there are about 1300 enrolled.

“There was nothing as you drove down the highway … we were right on the edge of town,” he remembers. “We’ve just about changed every single building, except for the transportables, and plans have been approved [by Wyndham council] to change those as well.

“Really, we’ve done a whole makeover here. It’s a great place to work, always has been.”

Mr Tibben said he would take six months off then figure out what he does next.

New principal Ross Grace started his career as a primary school teacher and quickly found himself drawn to leadership positions.

He has spent the past 20 years at Donvale Christian College, the past seven as principal.

“As I met with the board and they articulated the vision they had for this college, I thought, I want to be part of that,” Mr Grace said.

“I’m coming into a strong, vibrant community … one of Reynald’s legacies is the building of this community and the strength of this community.”