by Alicia Tan
Mrs Valarie Wilson took the helm of Methodist Girls’ School on 15 December 2021. As an old girl of the school, she is thankful to be back in her alma mater as principal. But this is not the first time she is in a leadership role in MGS. She served as head prefect and was also awarded the Tan Lay Chee Award for best all-round graduating student in 1987.
Mrs Wilson believes in holistic education, and hopes that an MGS education always inspires our girls towards being and becoming their best selves for our community and country, always to the glory of God as they seek to love and serve Him with the many gifts and talents He has blessed each of them with.
Mrs Wilson is a second generation MGS girl. She makes time to pursue her interests in music and the arts, and serves in the music ministry in Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.
Loaves+Fishes speaks to Mrs Wilson to get to know her better and about her thoughts for the year ahead.
Q: How do you feel about returning to your alma mater as the principal?
A: I am humbled to be called to serve in this capacity, and feel blessed for the opportunity to give back to a school that played such a significant role in shaping me to who I am today. It is truly a joy to return to our MGS family!
Q: Looking back, what are your fondest memories of your student life at MGS?
A: I have many - it is rather hard to choose! I appreciated starting every day with a time of devotions and prayer - it really centred me and prepared me for the school day ahead. My closest friends I have today are those I grew up with in MGS. We have many shared memories, such as doing projects together, eating chicken wings during recess, going for holiday camps, and playing (in my case, trying to play) games like netball after school. I also remember spending many happy hours in the music room for Music Elective Programme (MEP) lessons as well as co-curricular activities.
Q: You had served as head prefect in school. What does leadership mean to you?
A: I believe in leading by learning and listening. As a leader in today’s complex world, I serve alongside our colleagues, always in partnership with parents, board of management, alumni, and other stakeholders. It is through our collective wisdom, diverse expertise and myriad experience that we can do our best work that we have been called through the different roles God has placed us. I also believe that it is through building authentic relationships that our community will feel enabled, empowered and energised to keep learning and growing in purposeful and fulfilling ways.
Q: MGS has nurtured generations of Godly women of excellence with a heart of love What Christian values would you like the MGS girls to focus on in the coming year?
A: I have challenged our girls to commit our heart, soul and mind to love God and to love our neighbours (Matthew 22:37-39); motivated by love, to fill our heads with that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) and to use our hands to actively and tirelessly serve others and do good (Galatians 6:9). In this way, we can bring light and be a blessing to all whom we meet, living out our motto, To Master, To Grow, To Serve.
Q: In 1993, the Methodist Church was invited to start a preaching point in MGS. Less than a year later, in 1994, CCMC became the 16th Local Conference in TRAC. The partnership between school and church has grown from strength to strength over the years. What further collaboration would you like to see in the coming year?
A: MGS remains deeply grateful for the love and support of CCMC all these years. With the ongoing pandemic that has shifted schooling experiences in some ways, we hope to reimagine and rethink even more meaningful and purposeful touchpoints between school and church. I look forward to us coming together, united in our love for God and our school, to design, plan and implement programmes that will continue to support and meet the needs of MGS and the wider community.
Q: What is one verse that you lean on in serving as a leader?
A: It would be Proverbs 3:5-6 - “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” These verses remind me to always remain a humble, learning, listening child of God, submitting to His wisdom, strength and direction across all areas of my life.
Q: Tell us a little known fact about you that will surprise your girls at MGS.
A: I am a Peranakan who enjoys spicy food!