SOTA: School of the Arts Singapore

Let's Meet - Mrs Mary Seah

Published on Mar 29, 2019

Let's Meet - Mrs Mary Seah


n the flash of an eye, it has already been more than three months since our Principal, Mrs Mary Seah, joined the SOTA community. Curious about her first impressions of life at 1 Zubir Said Drive, we speak with her to find out her thoughts and aspirations for SOTA!

"Hello Mrs Seah! Out of curiosity, what went through your mind when you found out that you had been asked to lead SOTA?"

MRS SEAH: My first thoughts were that it would be a complex challenge, with completely new areas of learning for me. I also asked myself if this would be an opportunity for me to further tap into the different identities that I hold - educator-musician, leader-collaborator, principal, and parent.

In spite of all these wonderings, I also recall feeling excited - about being able to journey with the next generation of creative young people, and being part of the process in helping them discover their place in society.

"How have your first few months at SOTA been like?"

MRS SEAH: I felt very welcomed by staff, students, parents, and stakeholders - all of whom hold SOTA dear to their hearts. It is a privilege for me to take on the mantle of leadership of this fine institution.

Staff and students have always asked me for my first impressions of SOTA. In my '100-day' speech delivered in the form of a letter that I read out to the school, I noted many areas of curiosities that still exist for me - Why do SOTA students speak so fast? Why do they spend so much time in school, play ping-pong at all hours of the day, sleep so little, and pretend that it is alright? Also, is there a place for discipline in arts education?

Beyond these, I have thoroughly enjoyed observing how our staff and students learn. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them immersed and focused on their craft, and growing.

"What are you looking forward to at SOTA?"

MRS SEAH: My strategic focus for the school - Intersections, Technology, and Cultural Leadership. We can only be made stronger if we worked together. I look forward to collaborating with and learning from the entire SOTA community.

As for our students, I hope that at the end of a six-year education you can walk out of this magnificent edifice onto the streets and be able to blend in - yet, always stand out.