|Posted on July 2, 2015 at 3:10 AM||comments (0)|
Mr. Thong Kok Chaw Retirement
TRIBUTE TO A TRUE VISIONARY
To An Officer
To A Gentleman
To A Friend
Our Principal-par Excellence, Mr. Thong Kok Chaw for whom we celebrate the history of a lifetime journey in the teaching profession that culminates with his retirement.
Mr Thong is truly a visionary. His immense contributions to ACS is indeed highly commendable; giving ACS a complete turnover in terms of its infrastructure and upgraded facilities and placing ACS on a common platform with other schools in Seremban.Mr Thong was born and bred in Seremban, in a family of 6 siblings of humble parents who worked hard to provide the best for the family. Growing up in an ordinary neighbourhood, he discerned very early in life about the rewards of hard work and sacrifice. Having an industrious father as a role model, Mr Thong discovered that a good education assured a better future. Hence, from a very young age, he worked very hard, excelling in school. He completed his primary education with a double promotion within 5 years at SK Dato Klana Maamor and continued his lower secondary education at SMK Dato Sheikh Ahmad up till Form 3 and thereafter at SMK King George V from Form 4 to Upper 6.
In 1974, upon completion of the Higher School Certificate, Mr Thong pursued his studies at the University Science Malaysia, Penang in a Science Degree Course graduating with an Honours Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in Chemistry & Mathematics with a Diploma in Education; making him the youngest amongst his peers to graduate at 22 years of age.
He began his career in the teaching profession in April 1978 with his first posting in Muar where he taught Mathematics and Further Mathematics to Form 6 students and Chemistry to Form 5 students. While still teaching in Muar, Mr Thong settled down to a family life in 1980 and has 2 children from his marriage. Within a few years in Muar, his responsibilities increased. This included single-handedly preparing teachers’ personal timetables and managing the maintenance of the science laboratories while at the same time teaching 30 periods per week. During the December holidays, he was a Further Mathematics examiner for the STPM examination. In 1983, Mr Thong was transferred back to Negeri Sembilan where he taught at SMK Chung Hua, Kuala Pilah as an ordinary academic teacher while continuing to hold other responsibilities as a class teacher. He was promoted as the Senior Assistant 1 of the same school in 1984 and he continued to serve there until 30 June 1993. During his tenure in SMK Chung Hua, Mr Thong was given the Excellence Service Award.
On 1st July 1993, Mr Thong was again promoted to a higher scale, taking the position of the Head of Mathematics & Science Department at SMK Za’ba, Kuala Pilah. He served in this school for only 6 months as he was transferred back to Seremban on 1st January 1994 to SMK Chan Wa as the Afternoon Supervisor. Within 6 months of his posting to SMK Chan Wa, Mr Thong was again given a parallel transfer to SMK Methodist (ACS), Seremban, also as the Afternoon Supervisor.
In 1996, Mr Thong was again promoted as the Senior Assistant 1 at SMK Tunku Ampuan Durah , Seremban. He remained there until mid-December 2000.
On 16 December 2000, Mr Thong rose the promotional ladder once again as the Principal of SMK Dato Mansor, Bahau where he served until 2003. Mr Thong’s upward mobility of the success ladder had remained progressively constant, making him an exemplary role model as the youngest amongst his peers to go up the ranks as principal of an established ‘A’ Grade school at 45 years of age.
His final transfer back to Seremban as the principal of SMK Methodist ACS Seremban was on 16 May 2003, serving here until his retirement today. An illustrious journey began during his tenure in ACS.
As the new principal of ACS, his immediate task was to further improve the school from where his predecessors had left. Under Mr Thong’s leadership, ACS underwent massive transformation in terms of school facilities and infrastructure. He turned around the inside of the physical structures in ACS; improving existing facilities as well as adding new ones for the benefit of both students and teachers alike.
To begin with, our school office underwent a massive renovation where built-in cabinets and lockers replaced old and rusted metal cupboards. The clerical staff had glass cubicles to work within. Our school counsellors and discipline teachers were also given their own rooms to work. In the teachers’ room, a new partition was erected to accommodate the Heads of Departments in their own separate space. A male students’ toilet was built and improved using the previous premise of the school scouts’ room and the prefects’ room. A new Living Skills Workshop was added to the existing workshop. These transformations stretched over the period from 2004-2005.
The physical development and improved infrastructure continued to escalate consistently. In 2010, the building of the ‘Pusat Kegiatan Kokurikulum’ was completed and officiated by the Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan. In 2013, the Audio Visual Room was built from the extension of the first floor of the Jones Block. The Discipline Room, the PTA Stationery Shop and the School Cooperative Shop were built on the extension from the Schmucker Block. The Music Room, an addition to the Co-curricular Activity Centre was built in 2013.
Mr Thong’s personal effort and interest contributed to the transformation of the physical environment from a concrete landscape to a garden school. He initiated the planting of trees and colourful flowering plants all around the school to give the school a new breath of life.
Working alongside Madam Chuan Teik Mei, the former Senior Assistant 1, Mr Thong worked tirelessly to upgrade the academic achievement of the school by initiating various academic programmes for the various subject panels.
During his tenure in ACS, Mr Thong was promoted from the DG48 scale to the DG52 scale in 2007. He was once again promoted from the DG52 scale to his present DG54 scale in 2010.
In a more pensive tone, Mr Thong did express the heavy price of leadership. Many a time, decisions had to be made that may seem unfavourable but he always defended on the right thing to do. Mr Thong has been known for his quiet nature; a good listener, many teachers find it comfortable to talk to him or to settle pressing issues with him.
Unknown to many, Mr Thong is a conservative and a reserved person; preferring not to highlight his achievements as well as his contributions to education throughout his tenure as a teacher. A proud father, Mr Thong revealed that during the early years of his marriage, he and his wife sacrificed a lot in order to give the best to their 2 children. Today his daughter is a Specialist Doctor married to a Cardiac Specialist while his son is a Marketing Executive in a Multinational Pharmaceutical Company. Both of them are doing well in their respective chosen vocation and are contributing productively to society.
During his pastime, Mr Thong enjoys reading biographies of successful people which to him is edifying as well as personally encouraging.
Mr Thong, as ACSians remember, always presented himself meticulously. His impeccable dress code of long-sleeved shirt and matching necktie gave an aura of control. When pressed on the discussion of dress code, Mr Thong revealed that he believed in image projection in accordance to the office one holds.
Mr Thong’s retirement makes him no less relevant. As he closes this chapter of his journey in the teaching career, a new page opens in the new dawn. His plans for the future is indefinite. A Christian, Mr Thong believes on the dependence on God for the future.
We want to remember Mr Thong for all that he has strived for. We pay tribute to a legendary who contributed tirelessly for the betterment of ACS.
Adapted from the retirement text ‘Tribute to our Beloved Principal’ written & read by Miss Indradevi Sethupathy on 23rd October 2015
SELAMAT BERSARA TUAN PENGETUA!
Mr. Aziz bin Mansor Retirement
ACSians bade farewell to Mr. Aziz bin Mansor on the occasion of his retirement on 18th September 2015. Mr. Aziz taught Geography and Civics and was also the School Discipline teacher. In a brief assembly, Mr. Aziz was given a grand farewell by the Principal and the ACS community amidst celebrations. May his days be filled with happiness and good health.
Mr. Amrik Retirement
ACSians bade farewell and best wishes to Mr. Amrik Singh Sidhu who retired on 25th March 2015. Mr.Amrik Singh Sidhu served as a Science teacher throughout his teaching career which spanned from 1974. He was also a long time Scouts Master for the ACS Scout Movement. His retirement celebration was attended by both the Morning and Afternoon Session teachers. Students who were taught by him remember him as a courteous, kind, easy going and lovable teacher. He was also well liked and respected by all teachers. ACSians wish him happiness, health and a good rest.
Mdm Ong Geok Mooi's Retirement
CSians bade farewell and best wished to Madam Ong Geok Mooi, a Science teacher, who retired on 6th May 2015. Madam Ong Geok Mooi had served in ACS since 1979 and was also actively involved in the School Red Crescent Society.
The retirement celebration was held amidst pomp and splendor. We wish her good health and a great new beginning.