Laptop and a stack of paper in hand, she strides confidently down the hallway, pausing only to mingle with lingering staff and students. One can easily identify her from her distinctive gait, her signature hair bob and characteristic blue blazer. Today concludes her first week here as Principal of Sha Tin College and, though she is still warming up to her new position, she is settling in exceptionally well.
Ms. Larkin was very impressed by the genuine warmth of the school and students she witnessed during her first week. Describing the school as having a “culture of positive relationships” with upbeat, interested, and welcoming students and staff, she is prepared to face the upcoming challenges of becoming a principal. “When you start something new”, she reflects, “you have to prove yourself– and I’m still seeking to prove myself.”
One of the core values that she believes that our school encompasses is the outstanding level of student engagement. Students who are “very engaged in their studies” are also always seeking to utilize the endless opportunities provided to advance their commitment to service. It is in this uplifting atmosphere that students never fail to support each other in the midst of all their commitments; they recognise the “importance of kindness and respect”, which are merits that Ms. Larkin highly values. During the first two weeks, our new principal has met student leadership teams such as the Student Council, the Media Team, and Student Leaders of each house. Appreciating the idea of “students leading the school”, she promises to continue supporting these “very driven and highly motivated” individuals.
At STC, one of the most prominent systems is the house system, and Ms. Larkin has already experienced the overarching theme of community over competition. Having met the SL team of all four houses earlier on this week, she commends the student leaders for speaking “very kindly to younger students [so that they feel] like a part of the school community,” and highly praised the engaged group of students for being role models for other students.
Over the course of two weeks, Ms. Larkin visited all the year assemblies and prepared a short presentation to introduce herself. “I myself am a product of personal experiences”, she confesses, and this is a quality that makes her, like anyone else, more human. Having much experience in the field of education, she was previously the Head of Secondary in RCHK, a skilled teacher for many, as well as a devoted mother for her two children. Though brief, the presentations gave sufficient insight on her vision for this school in the years to come- the main message being “we’re all in this together.”
Sha Tin College is extremely fortunate to have Ms. Larkin join our school community, and the Media Team would like to wish her a fruitful year, with many more to come!
Laurel Lee, 12D2 and Jennifer Yu 12G2