Sharing My Feelings Towards the PSG Secondary School:
The Preparation, the Construction Process and My Involvement, and the Feeling of Being a Vice-Principal
By Sarou Pheng (PSG Secondary School Vice-Principal, left)
To start off this article, I would first like to express my gratitude to God for all that he has done in my life and all his grace and blessings upon me. Back at the end of 2014, I started working with Pleroma Missions in Cambodia. I worked as an assistant for the Director, Debbie, when we first started the Primary School Project. I was just a young woman who hadn’t had many experiences in the education sector. After seven years of being equipped and working with Pleroma School for Girls, I have gone through many challenges but I also gained a lot of experiences that have shaped me to become who I am today. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that God has provided me here working in Pleroma School for Girls. As I look back, I never thought I would become a Vice-principal of a secondary school, for it is such an important responsibility. Without the mercy of the Lord, I couldn’t have done it.
The first batch of secondary school Grade 7 students (only six of them at the very beginning) started in 2019. With the fresh start of the secondary school level, I was given the responsibility to be a senior teacher to handle academic matters and overall procedures with the administrative team and our Principal, Debbie. My first year as a senior teacher opened my eyes to the leadership role and ways to adapt it.
We started smoothly with the help of the Hong Kong curriculum team. We also adapted the moral curriculum written by the Hong Kong team to the local curriculum from the government. We now have 65 students more, studying in four grade levels from grade 7-10. During the three-year preparation before we moved into the new building, I was involved in most of the main leadership work with the support of our principal Debbie and our teachers. Starting a new school involves the preparation of curriculum and timetables, teaching, recruitment of teaching and administrative staff, student enrollment, planning for school events and activities, and a lot of administration work. Those have been my main responsibilities since we started our secondary school.
Though the construction process of the secondary school took about 3 years due to the pandemic, it was a good chance for us to cope with the preparation of any related documents for the inspectors and truly it was a meaningful time of preparation. For some time, we had to share the campus with the primary school. During those periods, our secondary school team was trying to adjust the curriculum to fit into the different systems of leadership of the management between the primary and secondary sections. We had some challenges sharing the same campus because we didn’t have enough space for PE classes, and we had to use the library as one of our classrooms.
As the vice-principal, I am very proud of how far we have come and the fast development of the primary and secondary sections of the Pleroma School for Girls. I am also proud of and thankful to all the teachers’ involvement, their commitment, and hard work for our students. On top of that, I really enjoy my job and love what I can do for Cambodian girls and women. When I see all of them coming to school to study happily and joyfully, I feel so blessed and happy. Moreover, having them hear the gospel of Jesus in our school is rewarding to us as leaders, because it’s our main goal to restore the girls’ image through the eyes of God.
Both of my roles as Vice-principal and a teacher are important, since I have to take care of both the staff and the students. My responsibility is to manage and update academic programs to meet curriculum goals and to monitor student behavior both inside and outside classrooms, among many other duties.
Reflecting on this journey, I can say that it has not been easy for me. As a leader, I have to muster up a lot of courage and keep reminding myself to be a role model and an inspiration to others, as well as always growing and learning along the way.
I am grateful for the opportunity to write this article and share my thoughts and journey with all of you. Thank you very much!