SINGAPORE - Raffles Institution (RI) and Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) will each be getting a new principal next year.
They are among 61 schools - from primary schools to junior colleges - involved in the Ministry of Education (MOE) annual reshuffle exercise.
Sixteen schools will have first-time principals.
In a statement on Friday (Oct 13), the MOE said the appointment of these new principals represents an important career milestone with the 16 assuming bigger responsibilities as leaders in education.
"For the 45 serving principals and (headquarter) officers who are assuming new principalship appointments, it is an affirmation of MOE's confidence in their abilities to continue guiding our teachers and students in schools," said the ministry.
It added that the process of appointing and rotating principals allows schools to benefit from new perspectives and enables experienced principals to share their insights across schools.
"Our principals will have the opportunity to take on new challenges, and contribute by shaping and strengthening the work of the schools that they are newly-appointed to," said MOE.
The 61 schools include four secondary schools formed through mergers - Yio Chu Kang Secondary, Peirce Secondary, Damai Secondary and Loyang View Secondary.
Some of the first-time principals include Mr Eric Lee Wei Tat, who will be moving from his current position as Bedok Green Secondary School's vice-principal to St Patrick's School and Mrs Finella Goh, who will step up to be principal of Lakeside Primary School. She is currently its vice-principal.
Several Integrated Programme schools will also be getting new heads. RI will be headed by Mr Frederick Yeo from next year.
He is currently principal of Crest Secondary School, a specialised school for Normal (Technical) students.
HCI will have a new principal in Mr Pang Choon How, currently the director of mother tongue languages at MOE's curriculum planning and development division 1.
The current principals of RI and HCI - Mr Chan Poh Meng and Dr Hon Chiew Weng - will be retiring.
Mr Yeo, 46, said Crest Secondary and RI may serve students with different profiles, but they have the same goal of helping them become better people for life.
"At Crest, we want to enable students who are disadvantaged in terms of their studies or personal family situations to find confidence and rediscover an interest in learning," he said. "In RI's case, students are high-achievers, they've done very well."
"But we want them to not just excel in their own right, but be more community-oriented...to connect with people from all walks of life, and that includes Crest students," said Mr Yeo, who has been in the education service for 20 years.
Another newly appointed principal is Mr Tan Kuo Cheang, who will step up as principal of Xinmin Secondary. He is currently the school's vice-principal.
"I'm excited because this is my first posting as a principal... I hope to continue the school's trajectory on focusing on values and character, and give students the options to discover their interests through subjects and co-curricular activities," said the 38-year-old, who had also been the vice-principal of Meridian Junior College.
Said HCI's new principal Mr Pang, who will be returning to his alma mater after more than 20 years: "It's a privilege to come back and lead Hwa Chong. I'm grateful for the opportunities I was given as a student to grow and develop."
His interest in biculturalism also stemmed from being part of the school's language elective programme, after which he completed a degree in Chinese language and literature at Peking University.
"The education landscape has really changed a lot and the opportunities today are more varied," said the 41-year-old, who was also principal of Chung Cheng High School (Main) for four years.