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The news bulletin of St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School


C e l e b r a t i n g

P a s s i o n

a n d

D r i v e

Issue 1 | 2013

Imprints of the Canossian kindred spirit:


Celebrating our shared values

Page 2

Page 4 – 5

Page 7

Fostering a spirit of giving to make a difference

United in common endeavour

Living the CORRI qualities Ms Ong Jing Yun

Dr Sylvia Goh

Commemorating Foundress Day and Canossian Awards Day 2013

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Page 6

Leading, Caring, Inspiring

Drawing inspiration from the motto – Via, Veritas, Vita

Believing, perpetuating the school spirit

Ms Amanda Ong

Ms Theresa Tan

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Mrs Lorna Ong

Fostering a spirit of giving to make a difference

Dr Sylvia Goh – SAC Class of 1947 ■

Retired Paediatrician

Committee Member and Past President of Canossian Alumni Association 2010/2012

Recipient of the Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award in the MCYS Volunteer Awards 2012 for her unwavering dedication and contribution to the fostering scheme and to the setting up of a specialised Fostering Unit

She serves as an inspiration and a role model to all of us. Dr Sylvia Goh is possibly one of the oldest Canossian alumna today. She also stands out as an exemplary Canossian who has contributed greatly to the community through living out the Canossian values. Dr Goh has contributed meaningfully to help the poor in society and has done her Alma Mater proud. As a paediatrician, she has cared for numerous children in St Andrew’s Mission Hospital for Sick Children and has made a difference to the lives of the many children fostered through her work serving in the Committee on Fostering for over 45 years. Dr Sylvia Goh is without doubt, an inspirational beacon of kindness and humility. During her teenage years, her education had to be put on hold during World War II. The set back did not deter her as she went on to look for a new school to enrol in when the war ended. As she was already 20 years of age then, she was rejected by many schools for being overaged. In 1946, she managed to get a place in St Anthony’s Convent which was then located along Middle Road. “SAC was the only school that took pity on me and accepted me,” she recounted with appreciation to the then Principal at SAC for the chance to complete her studies after the war. Coming from a large family and growing up with seven other siblings, she was truly grateful that she was able to continue her studies. As she had lost her father during the Japanese Occupation, a friend of her father helped finance her studies, on condition that Sylvia promised to give back to the community after she had accomplished her academic



pursuit. This sowed the seed for her dedication and passion towards helping needy children in the later years. Despite getting advice to consider pursuing her studies in dentistry in view of the lucrative prospects then, young Sylvia had already made up her mind on a career as a doctor so that she could make a difference to the lives of those in need. Even though her schooling days in SAC are long over, Dr Goh vividly reminisces about how her Mathematics teacher, Mother Teresa, a stern yet in all ways a kind nun, would motivate the students dragging their feet along the corridors with her encouraging words, “Passion my dear child, passion!” To illustrate how the essence of these words have transcended time, ask any SAC student today to name one of the core values of a Canossian Champ and the answer is likely to be, “Passion for Life”. When asked what she would change if she could go back in time, Dr Goh’s reply was that she would have preferred not to disrupt her education. The essence of her answer was also a reminder to all of us that the education we are receiving is truly a blessing and we should all treasure it. Dr Goh also commended Ms Melanie Martens, our current Principal for her student-centric leadership and expressed her hope that SAC students would remain compassionate and grateful, and continue to keep the school spirit alive. She also added that students should sacrifice time and effort to give back to their school even after graduating.

By Stephanny Jane Kessler (4/4), Adeena Bte Mohamed Nagib (4/8) and Ong Jing Wen Kimberly (4/8)

“If not for SACSS, I will not be who I am today,” – Dr Goh sharing with Canossians today that, likewise, the school has also nurtured them to overcome the hurdles in life.

Leading, Caring, Inspiring

Ms Amanda Choo – Teacher, PE Department ■

Former national sprinter

Reigning national 100m women’s record holder as well as holder of the 4x100m (Women and Junior) and 60m (indoor) National Records

Inducted into the Singapore Olympic Academy’s Roll of Honour in November 2012

Ms Amanda Choo has, without doubt, an impressive resume – from being Singapore’s fastest runner, breaking several records as a national 100m sprinter to being a dedicated teacher in our school. While her path seems to be paved with triumphant glory, in reality, she has also faced numerous roadblocks in her life’s journey. Amanda’s spirit in making the best out of each tough situation is not unlike the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Albeit not a Canossian before teaching at SACSS, Amanda can relate to the Canossian values or CORRI qualities, as we know today, particularly Compassion for others and Other-centredness. However, she acknowledges that the two attributes that have contributed most to what she is today are Passion for life and Resilience. The Can-do spirit has guided her through the many ups and downs of her life. Some of the hurdles that she has to deal with along the way range from injuries to the loss of a loved one. Amanda overcame the obstacles to beat the odds and become Singapore’s fastest sprinter. Among her proudest moments was when she bounced back from a serious injury to set a new record. Determination and passion have kept her going through the years to do her best in engaging her students or blazing the running tracks. The rich experiences have also enabled Amanda to empathise with her students – signalling to them that she can understand the challenges her students are going through and she is there to provide support and encouragement when needed. Amanda’s love

for teaching is clearly evident in the reflections she shares during morning assembly about her past experiences and the lessons she has drawn from them. She has impressed upon her students that nobody has it easy, but if one wants something bad enough, one can attain what one sets out to achieve. While most of the time teachers teach content – such as how to differentiate numbers or why steam has a higher heat capacity than water, Amanda teaches her students how to realise their dream. According to her, “If you fall while chasing a dream, you can pick yourself up. That is provided you place passion before glory. This is because glory will only get you as far as your previous success and stops at your first loss. But passion gets you to your first success, past your first loss, and beyond your limitations. Plus, passion makes what you do interesting. Hence, you will be doing something that you love in the process.” Amanda also advises those who are trying to chase their dreams to always set realistic t a r g e t s. I t i s a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o re m a i n grounded, be optimistic and to keep moving forward. She emphasises once again to those c h a s i n g t h e i r d re a m s , “ N e v e r g o a f t e r something because you want it for the fame or glory but because you are passionate about it, because you love doing it.” The sprint champ and passionate teacher has definitely inspired her students through walking the talk of the Canossian Teacher – Leader’s Creed – in Leading, Caring and Inspiring.

“Never go after something because you want it for the fame or glory but because you are passionate about it, because you love doing it.”

By Tan Gek Ching Elizabeth (3/6), Cathlyn Gerianne Gomes (4/8) and Cherrilynn Chia Wen Ping (4/8)



United in common endeavour

Commemorating Foundress Day and Canossian Awards Day 2013

On 27 February the student population gathered for the Foundress Day Mass to honour St Magdalene, the foundress of our school, for the work she did for the poor children and for all the sacrifices she made for them. The mass, led by Father Glen D’ Cruz, began with a reading from the bible. The congregation then sang hymns that resonated from their hearts.

The Canossian Spirituality Representatives from each class also received their badges during the celebration.



After the mass, teachers and students adjourned to their

The awards presentation began with Secondary 1 and 2

respective classrooms to partake in breakfast together. It

award winners receiving their respective awards on stage

was a meaningful occasion for students to reflect and bond

witnessed by their proud parents and honoured guests

with one another along with their form teachers as they

seated among the audience. Next item in the programme

shared a ‘potluck’ breakfast spread (above, left).

was an elegant dance item entitled ‘Benevolence’

Next was the Canossian Awards Day Ceremony – which was

performed by the school’s Modern Dance troupe.

held as an extension of the Foundress Day commemoration.

Following the performance, the award winners from

The awards presented each year recognise the fruits of

Secondary 3 and 4, and the top scorers in the 2012 GCE

the hard work by Canossian Champs who have excelled

N-Level and O-Level Examinations strode proudly up on stage

academically the previous year. Receiving an award on this

to receive their awards. The wide smiles etched on the faces

notable occasion gives the recipients an immense sense of

of each one of the students receiving their awards conveyed

achievement and encourages the students to continue to

a sense of gratefulness for the achievements attained.

strive harder for excellence.

The awards ceremony culminated with a heartwarming story, about the star in each child and in everyone of us, shared by Sister Christina just before closing the ceremony with a prayer. The seamless commemorative programme – from the F o u n d r e s s D a y M a s s t o t h e C a n o s s i a n Aw a r d s D a y Ceremony was indeed a celebration to keep the Canossian spirit aglow – by the Canossian community, united in common endeavour.

“I am grateful to the school for recognising our achievements, as this will spur us to continue to strive for excellence and to reach new heights.” The theme of this year’s awards day ceremony was There’s

– Patricia Bautista Maronilla-Seva (4/3), on receiving an

A Star in Every Child and the Guest-Of-Honour during the

award on Awards Day

event was, Ms Theresa Tan (top row, centre) an alumni member who captivated everyone in the hall with her candid and inspiring address. By Sally-Anne See (3/6), Patricia Bautista Maronilla-Seva (4/3) and Stephanny Jane Kessler (4/4)



Drawing inspiration from the motto – Via, Veritas, Vita

Ms Theresa Tan – Alumna ■

Editor – Elle magazine

Built her career in magazines, from being a reporter for 8 Days to former editor of Female

A published playwright

Author of A Clean Breast, an autobiographical account of her battle with breast cancer

Last year, she was presented the Singapore Woman Award, for creating awareness on breast cancer issues

In Literature class, Theresa fell in love with language after being

Growing up with such rich school experiences has prepared her

introduced to Shakespeare while studying Merchant of Venice

for life. Throughout the strenuous Secondary 4 year, Theresa

and parts of Romeo and Juliet. She was fascinated with the beauty

struggled with both her Mathematics and Chinese subjects. Despite

of Shakespeare’s language and this has shaped her as a writer.

her many struggles, she is thankful that her teachers had given

“Did I write the story well?” and “Could I have put it in a more

her time to grasp the complicated concepts. She went on to attain

eloquent manner?” are some of the questions that she would

9 points for the GCE O-Level examinations and clinched a

ask herself even now in the course of her work. The study of

prestigious scholarship. This has impacted her as a mother today

Literature in SAC has definitely made an impact on her perception

– Theresa gives her children enough time to “get it”.

of the English language.

Theresa also went through some difficult periods in her life and

Theresa also recalls her adventures in Home Economics class

attributed that the CORRI qualities gave her the strength and

where she discovered that she was a rather good cook. “I

courage to overcome these obstacles. Theresa recounted – how

remember my first attempt at preparing mee siam was such a

Resilience taught her to get up and try again, while positive

success that Mrs Joseph had a sizeable helping”, she quipped.

thinking taught her to look on the brighter side in life. Most of

Despite Math and Chinese proving quite a challenge as

all, faith empowered Theresa to grow closer to God.

experienced by many students then, Home Economics classes,

The Canossian values have also equipped Theresa with the

however, gave her hope that she could actually survive in this

strength to overcome life’s challenges and made her the resilient

world – at least she could cook! In Junior College, she memorised

person she is today. She believes that what sets an SAC girl apart

Literature passages while baking Swiss rolls. Today, Theresa uses

is compassion and the positive Canossian spirit.

cooking and baking as way out from being stressed.

Theresa’s path to success has not been an easy one. Her definition

There were many people who inspired her during her years at

of the word ‘success‘ has changed over the course of her life. She

SAC. There was her Literature teacher, Ms Karasi, whose mother

used to believe that success meant achieving specific goals such

was the school cleaner. Theresa recalls how Ms Karasi would hug

as getting good grades and now defines success as a mindset of

and praise her mother in front of her students. The overt act of

being contented and fulfilled.

love and humility by the teacher earned Theresa’s admiration and respect. Then there was her English teacher, Ms Lorraine Boudville, whose unwavering support for Theresa’s writing spurred her on. Theresa also recalled how the old aunty and uncle who made crispy pancakes just outside the school compound made her imagine that if she were to get married, she would want to be with someone she could grow old with and do meaningful things together with.



Theresa has also learnt that life is never a race down a straight road from birth to death. To her, life is not so much about the materialistic gains but the invaluable experiences – both good and bad – and enjoying both the high points and low points. She then added, “What matters is finishing the race well, discovering and living out your purpose, and making your life count”. By Angelica Bernice Diaz Delgado (4/8), Ho Zhi Ying Michelle (4/8) and Nurul Amirah Bte Rozaini (4/8)

Living the CORRI qualities

Undergraduate pursuing her final year in Information Systems Management at SMU

Recipient of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Scholarship for People with Disabilities to pursue higher education in ICT

Co-founder of iDeaf-Connect, a social enterprise empowering hearing-impaired youths to run their own businesses Source: Today – Saturday, 17 November 2012

Ms Ong Jing Yun – Alumna

Jing Yun is one of the many students who have benefitted from the Canossian education through the school’s Hearing Impaired programme. Currently pursuing her undergraduate studies at the Singapore Management University (SMU) under the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Scholarship, Jing Yun strongly believes that the Canossian values have helped her to strive for the best in her studies and brought out her full potential as a student. The Canossian education has an influential role in nurturing Jing Yun to appreciate the importance of being credible and staying committed to do one’s best. Jing Yun’s success is not attained overnight. Like the rest of us, she encountered her share of setbacks during her journey to achieving her dreams. She has often fallen behind her classmates and each time her diligence to work hard helped her to keep up with them. She would consult her teachers during her free periods and after school to clarify her doubts and ask questions. While everyone is having fun on Saturdays and during the term breaks, Jing Yun would be in school studying and attending remedial lessons. Her persistence and perseverance along with the support from her teachers has paid off. Jing Yun did remarkably well and credits her success to the Canossian education.

“If not for SAC, who so willingly helped and accommodated students like me, I would never have been able to reach this far. The love I received has helped me overcome the challenges I encountered.” Aside from the packed schedule of balancing schoolwork and study time, Jing Yun made time for friends and counts interacting with her classmates as some of her most memorable experiences at SAC. Jing Yun was also a member of the Girl

To Jing Yun, the Canossian education has taught her values

Guides. The CCA has also provided her with many enriching

that will serve as the compass to guide her towards her goals.

experiences. Through her Can-do spirit, her Other-centredness

She learnt to think not only of herself, but of others. She is

and her Resilience, Jing Yun has shown that embracing the

grateful to her Alma Mater and adds, “If not for SAC, who so

CORRI qualities had shaped her to become an excellent servant

willingly helped and accommodated students like me, I would

leader – a true-blue SACSS I EXSEL graduate.

never have been able to reach this far. The love I have received has helped me overcome the challenges I encountered.”

By Patricia Bautista Maronilla-Seva (4/3), Angel Marie Jason (4/7) and Guillermo Erin Jasmine Espanto (4/8)



Believing, perpetuating the school spirit

Mrs Lorna Ong – Associate Member of

As a parent volunteer who helps out in hamper drives, during school

Canossian Co-Educators (the parent support group at SACSS)

fund-rasing events such as the annual Golf Day, on Teachers’ Day, as well as assisting in the supervision of reading lessons, Mrs Lorna Ong wears many hats. She first began her volunteer work at St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School and continued her work in St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School because of her daughter’s positive experiences in SACSS.

“St Anthony’s teaches the girls that life is not made up of only grades and money… more importantly, a caring heart.”

Mrs Ong, whose daughter is currently

So, what has made her stay on and

pursuing her studies at the Singapore

dedicate her time to contribute to the

Management University, is grateful to

school even after her daughter

SACSS for equipping her daughter

graduated in 2008? “It’s the school

with the life skills that include – the

spirit”. She observed that the school

empathy to communicate with

spirit is imbued within the students.

different levels of society, as well as

“Canossian Champs have big hearts

the leadership skills through showing

and are not afraid to step out to help

compassion towards others. Mrs

with sincerity, a distinct value instilled

Lor na Ong finds the spirit of

by the nuns and teachers”, she

compassion perpetuated by the nuns,


staff and the students to be the

Mrs Ong also believes that while

compelling characteristic of the

SACSS is not perceived as an elite

school that keeps her connected to

secondary school, it has many

the school.

students with the potential to be

“St Anthony’s teaches the girls that

nurtured to shine in their own right.

life is not made up of only grades and

“I have a friend whose daughter

money… more importantly, a caring

posted an impressive aggregate of six

heart,” replied the parent volunteer

points and she was not even from the

when asked how the Canossian

best class”, she shared.

Education is valuable. She had earlier considered two other girls’ schools when selecting a Catholic secondary school for her daughter. After consultations with several priests, St

And her closing words were…

“SACSS has what it takes to be right up there amongst the best”.

Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School became the recommended choice. On that account, she enrolled her daughter in SACSS and is glad she had made the right choice.

Published by:

Student Contributors:

St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School 300 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 467346 Tel: 6449 0616

From SACSS Foundress Signature Programme, Creative Arts Academy 2013 2013 Editorial Team: Co-ordinating Editor

Mrs Monica Menon


Ms Kamala Kausikan Mr Mohammed Ramlee Samsudin



Sec 3 – Sally-Anne See (3/6), Tan Gek Ching Elizabeth (3/6) Irdina Auni Bte Idris (3/8), Megan Ann Oliveiro (3/8) Sec 4 – Patricia Bautista Maronilla-Seva (4/3), Stephanny Jane Kessler (4/4) Angel Marie Jason (4/7), Adeena Bte Mohamed Nagib (4/8) Angelica Bernice Diaz Delgado (4/8), Cathlyn Gerianne Gomes (4/8) Cherrilynn Chia Wen Ping (4/8), Guillermo Erin Jasmine Espanto (4/8) Ho Zhi Ying Michelle (4/8), Nurul Amirah Bte Rozaini (4/8) Ong Jing Wen Kimberly (4/8)

Design : Atelier Synthesis

By Irdina Auni Bte Idris (3/8) and Megan Ann Oliveiro (3/8)

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