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Saints Awards Ceremony 2014

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Saints' Awards #1

Saints' Awards #2 (Individual Photos)

Valedictorian Speech

Benjamin Koh (P6 Thanksgiving)

I, Benjamin Koh from P6 Thanksgiving, am deeply grateful to have been given the honour of representing this year’s batch of P6s as the Valedictorian. I have had a wonderful and joyful time in SAJS, a special school that will remain in my heart forever. My life here has been filled with many experiences, both good and sometimes challenging. It was a rough ride at times for me but my schoolmates and teachers guided me along the way. Hence, I would first like to express my gratitude to those who have contributed in a special way in my life and the lives of the P6s.

Most importantly, we have to give thanks to our Father in heaven who has been protecting us like a watchtower. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Whenever I feel alone or stressed, God always guides and protects me through these difficult times.

Next, I would like to thank my friends and classmates. We helped each other in our studies, supported one another when we had problems and cheered each other up when we were down. They treated me like a brother, and for that I am deeply grateful. My journey through SAJS was made precious and smooth-sailing because of them. Without them, life in school would not have been so enjoyable and memorable. I’m sure the P6s feel the same way about their classmates and schoolmates and I do hope that they will always remain good friends.

And who can forget the wonderful teachers we have had. Like many of you, I felt upset when they reprimanded me and told me “it is for your own good”. However, as I matured in my character over the years, I started to understand what that really meant. It’s not a model answer; it’s the truth. Though strict and firm, our teachers are the ones who understand and care for us. They shaped me to be a better person and pushed me to excel in my studies. I would like to give special thanks to my P6 form teacher, Mrs Andreatte Loh, who taught me important life lessons and stretched me to my fullest potential in my studies. I would also like to give special thanks to Mrs Susan Thomas who guided me through my first 2 years at St Andrew’s. She helped me adjust to the school and taught me important values such as respect and care for others.

Our thanks also go out to the wonderful parent volunteers who organized many wonderful events such as our annual SAPTA carnival for us. Some even sacrificed their time to pray for the P6s during the PSLE exam!

Last but not least, I would like to thank the Non-teaching Staff for making our learning journey for making the past 6 years a pleasant one --- the counsellors, the administrative staff and especially the OSOs who provided us with a clean, conducive learning environment. All of them are hardworking Saints who deserve to be commended.

My life really changed in SAJS. I remember my old P1 self, a little immature, shy, anti-social pupil --- I was really different back then. I was a quiet student who sat at the back, not saying a word. No one really noticed me. I would never have imagined myself to turn out to be who I am now! But then I made one friend, and from there I made new ones. I started to fit in with my classmates and adjusted to my new environment –-- one that I would be in for 6 years. I remember how we were always asked to write out our goals, both academic and character goals. I used to find it troublesome –-- a waste of time. But these turned out to be very important. I realize that SAJS focuses a lot on goals and character building. Our teachers and principals always ask us this question: “What’s the first most important thing in SAJS?” “What’s the second…?” “What’s the third…?” Our answer is always the same: Character.

My journey as a leader started out as a group leader. As the days passed, I progressed to become a Junior Leader, then a Prefect and lastly the School Captain. I must say it was not easy. I had many weaknesses which I strived to work on. Though I did not turn out perfect, I became a better person through the process.

In SAJS, our principals and teachers all have a common goal: to instill positive values that will help us acquire the traits of a servant leader. Every day, we have devotions and lessons infused with the teaching of our TRUE WISE values, namely Thanksgiving, Resilience, Unity, Empathy, Wonder, Integrity, Self-Discipline and Excellence. It is not something that is easy to inculcate in pupils. However, it is worth the time and effort. I have learnt to be a servant leader during my 6 years in Saint Andrew’s and these values will forever remain as guiding principles for me. For this, I would like to thank Mrs Wong our principal, Mr Tham our Vice-principal, our former Vice-principal Mr Chan, our former principal Mrs Pryke, Ms Vasanthi the Prefect Mistress, Canon Ong, Pastor Edwin and all the teachers.

I would like to end by saying that ‘No one is here by chance’ in St Andrew’s. So fellow Saints, remember how lucky and blessed you are to be in this school. Do not take it for granted. And to my fellow P6s, as we part ways and continue our journey in life, always remember our friendships and where we have come from. Once a Saint, Always a Saint.

Up and on!