Name: Lisa Yip Sau-wah Years of headship: eight School: Sha Tin Tsung Tsin Secondary School Did you always want to be a school principal? It has been my ambition since primary school. I wrote in one of my Chinese compositions, My Dream, that I wanted to be principal of my school, Hong Kong True Light College in Ap Lei Chau, and reform the school. I wanted to create an enjoyable learning environment for the students. True to my dreams, I went on to head Hong Kong True Light College for 20 years. After so many years at True Light, I felt like a change, but it's not easy to completely revamp your career. Having never worked in an 'estate school' or a co-educational institution, I thought such an unfamiliar environment might get me excited about teaching again. So I took this job as head of Sha Tin Tsung Tsin Secondary School. What is the most demanding part of a principal's job today? Dealing with rapidly changing government education policies, some of which are ill-planned and unaccompanied by sufficient resources to implement the changes. Principals have to act as mediators between policy-makers and teachers on the frontline. We want to make sure teachers don't feel 'helpless' in the face of new policies and can get on with the job of teaching students. Describe your style of headship. Mine is a democratic style. Major decisions are made in consultation with teachers, parents and students. What do you enjoy most as a school head? To see young people grow into happy, well-adjusted adults. They may not all become doctors or legislators, but as long as they are decent and hard-working, I consider them successful. What is the most memorable moment of your career? The school was celebrating its 10th anniversary with an open day some years ago. So many visitors came for the wonderful exhibitions, games and shows the teachers and students had put together that we were bursting at the seams! Their hard work and the success of the day were a fine tribute to the school. What don't you enjoy as a school head? I don't suffer a minute of unhappiness at the school. I enjoy the different challenges I have to face each day. What would you like to tell your students? Learn ceaselessly and grow continuously. What would you like to tell your teachers? Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. Any tips for principals? To be a good leader, you have to have a sense of mission. You have to be dynamic. Most importantly, you have to like dealing with students and teachers - human relations are the key element in a school environment.