PETALING JAYA: Cheah Soo Eng was 26 when she started her teaching career at the then Pudu English Secondary School (PESS) in 1980. And she has remained there ever since.
“There is something special about this school that has kept me here for the past 34 years,’’ said Cheah, who will be retiring next Friday when she turns 60.
Over the years, Cheah turned down transfers to other schools because of the strong bond she has with the school.
The school’s value system, she said, inspired her to be a good teacher.
Cheah, who is the senior assistant, also noted that the school, now known as SM Perempuan Pudu, celebrates its centenary in September.
“This is a very special year for the school as we have achieved so much,’’ said Cheah, adding that the school emerged No. 2 among Kuala Lumpur schools for overall improvement last year.
Cheah, who teaches Science, said she was delighted as every student in her class, except for one, scored A in the subject in last year’s SPM.
“The only girl who did not score an A for Science received a B+. As the class teacher, it was one of my greatest achievements,” said the mother-of-four who has a two-month-old granddaughter.
Cheah worked as a civil servant in Singapore for a year after completing a degree in plant physiology at the Canterbury University in New Zealand.
“I left the Singapore civil service and came home because I wanted to serve the country by joining the teaching profession,” she said.
She pursued a Diploma in Education at Universiti Malaya in 1979 and was posted to PESS the following year.
PESS Old Girls Association president Suzan Kuah, who left school after completing SPM in 1980, remembers Cheah as a sweet young teacher.
“We all liked her very much,’’ recalled Kuah.