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the students' voice

Up Close and Personal


Mrs Deborah Tan


Full name: Mrs Deborah Tan-Ow Mei Lun

Date of birth: The year of birth should suffice - 1958

Schools attended: Jervois East Primary School (now Jervois Special School), RGS, HCJC, NUS.

Hobbies: Going to church, Golf (When I can find the time; I would like to place my service to God as a priority.)

Special Talents: Good psychomotor skills (hand-eye coordination)

Goal in Life: That my time spent while I am alive should be meaningful to those around me.

Q: Describe yourself.

A: It may be difficult to describe myself. My friends and former colleagues describe me as a temperate person, one who is generally slow to anger and ready to listen to others.

Q: What were your feelings when you first found out that you were to lead your alma mater?

A: I was pleasantly surprised and happy to be able to serve and lead my alma mater.

Q: What is it like working in a school with your ex-teachers?

A: Many of my former teachers are no longer teaching in RGS. I was a team member of the school's softball team and Mr Goh Kin Soon was one of our teachers-in-charge. He is now HOD of IT in RGS. However, teachers who taught my friends in other classes are still here. They are as dedicated as they were 26 years ago. They are Mrs Low Woon Ying, Mr Lim Chin Nam, Mrs Ummu Choo, Mrs Maureen Ting, and the recently retired Mrs Virginia Abraham. I am grateful for Mrs Choo's and Mrs Abraham's readiness to return as relief teachers so as to continue in their contributions to the school.

Q: Has RGS changed since the time you were a student here?

A: Every school changes with the profile of how society changes. There are distinct changes. Some of the changes have been good, such as the approach to teaching and learning. RGS has 121 years of history, so the RGS girl must be able to understand and hold on to the legacy of RGS and yet be positioned for the future. While we change, it must be balanced with the past and the present.

Q: What was your most memorable experience in RGS?

A: There were many things. We read To Kill A Mockingbird as our text for Literarture in secondary three. We had a strict and firm but very inspiring teacher, Mrs Sandra Heng who helped us to appreciate the book. We did quite a bit of role playing for the different characters in the book. I was given the role of Scout to play and that was fun. I must testify, and I am sure my classmates would agree, that there was not a single moment of boredom during our literature lesson that year.

Q: What are your hopes and visions for RGS?

A: I think that there should only be one vision: a shared and collective vision of teachers and students. We try to admit the best of the girls from the primary schools into RGS. Our vision must be one that sees our girls as leaders in their respective fields. Our role is to develop in them the qualities of responsible thinkers who will be nimble, creative and responsive to the challenges of an information and technology-laden future. We hope to nurture in them good character so that they can make wise and good decisions for the present and the future, and that as active creators of a better age, with the talents and gifts they possess, they will not only live and work with passion but always lead and serve others for the better.

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