* Outram Secondary
AFTER 16 years at Hwa Chong Junior College, Mr Chan Poh Meng now heads Outram Secondary.
Mr Chan, 40, who had been vice-principal of Hwa Chong JC, learnt of his new posting when he came home on Dec 12 after a trip to China.
"I was pleasantly surprised and have been preparing myself psychologically to adjust to the new environment," he said.
Speaking of the switch from heading a junior college to a secondary school, he said: "I have to be more down-to-earth for the students to understand me as they are not young adults. I love children. It was refreshing to see the innocent-looking faces of Secondary 1 students."
The support of the students' parents is also heartening, he said.
"More than 90 per cent of parents turned up at the orientation - so many eager parents - it was overwhelming. I feel the responsibility not to let them down," said Mr Chan.
He will also oversee Outram's move back in May into new buildings at its old site in York Hill.
"I am fortunate there is already a system in the school. Ideally, it would be good to understudy the previous principal for six months for greater interaction. I now have to observe the school and be more sure of things before making any improvements.
"I would like to inject more autonomy into the school and ask of teachers to be involved in decision-making.
"The challenge is not to fail myself and I think it is good for me to move through different types of schools to get a macro view on the education process."