n 14 December 2018, which was her last day at SOTA, we sat down with our Principal of six years, Ms Lim Geok Cheng. Wearing her ever-warm smile, she reminisced on the past few years at 1 Zubir Said Drive, and we revelled in our last opportunity to talk to her in her capacity as Principal of SOTA one last time.
"Hi Ms Lim! What will you miss most about SOTA?"
MS LIM: Performances and exhibitions! SOTA students always try their best and produce meaningful and interesting work, and I love attending these. It’s also very satisfying because every successful exhibition and performance is an indicator that things are running well in the school: teachers have taught well and students have put in great effort. I also appreciate the interpretation and individuality of each artist because it makes each work unique.
I will also miss the staff at SOTA. I love the openness of the Heads – although there will always be differences in opinion, especially with regards to sensitive issues, we would always ultimately agree on a decision and move on. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the teachers – they are a most nurturing bunch of people who always give students room and opportunities to do better. I have utmost respect for the corporate team – they toil behind the scene, enjoy very little glamour and always put in their best effort. Kudos to the staff at SOTA!
"You have been posted back to MOE as a Senior Consultant (School Excellence). What do you think you could apply from your experience at SOTA to your next posting? How has SOTA influenced your worldview?"
MS LIM: Life is filled with beauty, complexities and trade-offs. Plans, reviews and key performance indicators are good, but there is life beyond these. Relationships, beliefs and compassion are the driving forces beyond systems and processes; these are the areas that have been bringing satisfaction to the team and myself. I have become more sensitive and humble, and a strong supporter of the arts.
"Share with us your hopes and dreams for SOTA. Where do you see us 10 years from now?"
MS LIM: SOTA will continue to produce passionate and creative students grounded on purpose to make the world and Singapore a better place. 10 years from now, with a better set of reading glasses, I would love to read about our students’ impact in the world of the arts and the community, and about their compassion and deeds of kindness for others.
"And finally, any parting words for SOTA students and your colleagues?"
MS LIM: Live well. Have sufficient sleep!