Retired school head still ready to serve

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Outstanding principal: Cheah receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Selangor State Education Department representative Abdul Latiff A Aziz.

Outstanding principal: Cheah receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Selangor State Education Department representative Abdul Latiff A Aziz.

Even though Cheah was principal there for only three years, she has clearly won the hearts of both staff and students.

At a ceremony to mark her retirement, which coincided with her 60th birthday, head prefect Valerie Gan said she will never forget a principal like Cheah.

“The inspirational things she says and the way she cares for each of us (her pupils) is what we’ll miss of her the most.

 “Not all headmistresses would care for the pupils in detail. She wants to know how she can help in each pupil’s life,” Gan said.

She added Cheah teaches in an “inspirational way” by giving talks and using innovative styles of teaching which is “not boring” to pupils.

Former pupil Aishah Hadi said Cheah is a friendly, loveable and caring person.

“She is not only a teacher, but also a mother and friend to all of us,” said Aishah, adding that Cheah managed to motivate teachers to do their best for the school and pupils.

Assistant head prefect Danish Iqbal Muhammad Mohd Jefry said he will miss Cheah’s quick wit peppered with appropriate sarcasm, as well as her way of imparting learning points.

“Her interactive teaching style suits our style of learning, making us learn and absorb the lessons better,” he said.

Caring heart notwithstanding, Cheah also delivered when measured against the cold hard key performance indicators.

Before Cheah helmed the school in 2012, SMK Tropicana was a Band Five school, smack in the bottom 12% of the nationwide school ranking system.

Today, the school is ranked 819th out of 2,300 schools.

“The school was in bad condition until she became principal. She helped build the school to what it is today,” said Danish.

Senior assistant principal of student affairs Cheng Ley Sing, who had been in the education field for the past 20 years, said Cheah is a bold and courageous leader.

“Her dynamic leadership as well as willingness to accept and enforce (new) ideas has helped the school in many ways.

“She is a driver who motivates the school to believe and expect that all things are possible,” said Cheng, who likened Cheah to a “miracle worker” who always managed to make things happen for the school.

Senior assistant principal of co-curriculum Loi Poh Sieng said Cheah was one of the best principals she’s known.

“She will volunteer to be the relief teacher when an extra pair of hands are needed. I will miss her leadership which has led to academic and disciplinary improvements in the school,” said Loi,.

School chief clerk Noormah Bajuri said Cheah was a “special principal”.

“She is an open person who treats the school staff like family, creating a fun and positive working environment … not all principals can do that,” she said.

In her farewell speech, Cheah said she was leaving with a heavy heart.

“I would miss my colleagues and my pupils the most. I have an ‘attachment’ to them.

“The greatest thing that’s happened in my 36 years in the education field, is being principal of SMK Tropicana,” she said, adding that her pupils have made her very proud.

Cheah has no intention of sittling idly at home to enjoy retirement as she is planning to serve in the private education sector.

“I’ve actually had quite a number of offers. Teaching and moulding lives is my passion,” she said.

Sumber:  The Star Online