At such a young age, Thomas Ferdinand Harefa, Alumnus to International Teacher’s College UPH cohort 2016 has been entrusted to be Life International School’s Secondary Principal, a Christian school located at Sihanoukville, Cambodia. This Balikpapan-born principal is responsible to co-lead a diverse international team of Christian educators in creating an optimal learning environment and spiritual climate for their Secondary students, one to which will support the community to meet the school’s vision, mission and expected student outcomes.
“For a Christian school administrator, the most important aspect of leadership is one’s relationship with God. I believe it is important (and to some extent rewarding) to become a ‘Martha’ in handling various things at a time, but the Lord calls us to be a ‘Mary’ — to commune with Him and love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. I aim to exhibit Christ-like authenticity, accountability, and compassion as a school
administrator. This is only possible through my daily commitment to be under His Word,” Thomas, or so is he known in his day-to-day errand, explains.
‘A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor’, so the saying goes. And the same applies for Thomas in his responsibility as a Secondary Principal. He makes use most of his time juggling day-to-day academic and administrative matters that pertains to our school community. Ranges from setting strategic school-wide policies to pastoral care of the teaching staff. Despite the difficulties however, Thomas believed that the Lord works in all things and has provided meaningful milestones throughout the past academic year.
Furthermore, Thomas believes that education has played in important role in his life. And as an administrator that strives to bring Shalom to wherever God calls him to administer, Thomas is humbled and grateful to have been able to attend UPH for his undergraduate education.
“I was fortunate enough to have attained the full scholarship offered by the International Teachers College (ITC) at UPH. At first, I was hesitant to be a teacher, however, the experience that I was enabled to have – including friendship with classmates across continents, mentorship with caring professors, and purposeful internships – made me fell in love with the high level of meaningful education that was offered. I am proud to have fought the good fight and call myself an alumnus of ITC at UPH,” Thomas closes with a smile.