Portage Collegiate Institute has found it's newest principal, and they didn't have to look far to find him.

Lawrence McKenzie, PCI's new principal, was the vice principal for the school over the past four years. Now that he's been promoted, he explains why he wanted to be the principal at PCI specifically.

"I began my teaching career in Portage. I was actually working in the PCI building when it was an elementary school (K-9)," notes McKenzie. "I've been with the Portage la Prairie School Division for over 25 years."

While he certainly has enough experience for the role, the current landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic can still lead to curveballs being thrown his way. McKenzie says he's focused on making sure this year is as safe, and as enjoyable as possible.

"We're still doing certain things to make sure that our students are going to be safe, such as making sure our classrooms are spaced out," explains McKenzie. "We're stressing the importance of students being vaccinated so there's been some changes that we've had to make. Our students and staff have been pretty resilient and receptive to to the changes that we've had to put in place."

He adds himself, along with the administration, is excited to work with the student body on new events for this year. He's also looking foward to have majority of sports return. McKenzie says the one thing he's most excited for is seeing all the students finally returning to the classroom in person.