66 schools to get new principals next year

Mrs Jasmail Singh Gill, 62, principal of Unity Primary School for the past nine years, is among nine principals retiring this year. She has been principal for 21 years and says she has always found meaning in the job.
Mrs Jasmail Singh Gill, 62, principal of Unity Primary School for the past nine years, is among nine principals retiring this year. She has been principal for 21 years and says she has always found meaning in the job.PHOTO: UNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL

Ten to have first-time principals; rotation lets schools benefit from new perspectives

The four newly merged junior colleges (JCs) will see their new principals appointed in December as part of the annual reshuffle exercise of the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The School of the Arts (Sota), the only national pre-tertiary specialised arts school here, will also be getting a new head.

Mrs Mary Seah, 45, the current principal at Tanjong Katong Girls' School, will take over from Madam Lim Geok Cheng as Sota principal. Madam Lim, who joined Sota in 2012, will be posted to MOE.

Sota and the four JCs are among 66 schools - from primary schools to junior colleges - that will have new principals next year, MOE announced yesterday.

Mr Manogaran Suppiah, 59, the current principal at Serangoon JC, will lead Anderson Serangoon JC; Dr Hang Kim Hoo, 59, currently leading Jurong JC, will be principal at Jurong Pioneer JC; Miss Pamela Yoong Nyok Ke, 49, principal at Tampines JC, will lead Tampines Meridian JC; and Mr Michael Nelson De Silva, 58, principal at Innova JC, will lead Yishun Innova JC.

Mr Manogaran said he is excited about the opportunity of leading a merged college. "It is the coming together of two very strong colleges with a long history," he said.

Work already started a few months ago, on things such as the school uniform, crest and the anthem, he added.

The four JCs welcomed their first merger batch of JC1 students this year, which is one of transition.

Current Anderson JC principal Tay Lai Ling will be seconded to the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, and current Pioneer JC principal Tan-Kek Lee Yong will be retiring. Meridian JC principal Lim Yan Hock and Yishun JC principal Edelweis Yzelman will go to the MOE headquarters.

Other schools to have new leaders include Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Nan Chiau High School. Ten schools will have first-time principals. MOE said the rotation allows schools to benefit from new perspectives and enables experienced principals to share best practices across schools.

Mrs Seah said: "I am curious about how I might be able to help students process complex issues like social inequality through arts as a language."

Among nine principals retiring this year is Mrs Jasmail Singh Gill, 62, who has been a principal for 21 years, the last nine at Unity Primary School.

"I still enjoy what I do and have always found meaning and purpose in the job. I will miss my students and staff the most," said Mrs Gill.

• Additional reporting by Amelia Teng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2018, with the headline '66 schools to get new principals next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe