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Daniel David, A Teachable and Well-Rounded Achiever

Daniel David is a selfless and determined student who always prioritises the needs of others above his own. He has also matured in the course of his journey as a student in Fairfield. As the Assistant Sergeant Major from 2015 to 2016 and the Unit Sergeant Major of the NCC (Sea) Unit from 2016 to 2017, he demonstrated his leadership skills by actively nurturing and mentoring his juniors in NCC (Sea). He also attended multiple school programmes such as the Catalyst Programme, and emerged as a more disciplined leader who displays sound moral values.

How did you feel when you collected your results?
I felt a surge of excitement course through my veins as I walked up to my form teacher, Mr Alester Tan, to collect my results. After receiving it, I felt really humbled and overjoyed with my results, as all the late nights I spent studying and personal enjoyments I temporarily sacrificed to focus on my studies had finally paid off.

Are there any key people whom you owe your success to?
I owe my success in NCC (Sea) to Ms Liza, Ms Michelle Tan, Mr Wee Guo Yuan, and most importantly, Ms Trixie Chan, as they gave me the opportunity to assume the role of Assistant Sergeant Major of NCC (Sea) from 2015 to 2016. I am also grateful to Ms Karen Chin for placing her trust and confidence in my abilities to assume the position of Unit Sergeant Major from 2016 to 2017.

I would also like to thank the following teachers who have shaped my character, namely Mr Alester Tan, Mr Ezal, Mr Joel Li, Ms Brenda Nio, Ms Shahirah Banu, Mr Leonard Ngoei, Mr Joel Tan, Mr Yap Hock Heng, Mr Dannish Kurniago, Mr Eric Loh, Mr Lee Yew Ming, Mr Alex Woo, Mrs Lim Hwee Ling, Ms Thio Lay Hong and Mr Tan Puok Yuee.

Some honourable mentions include Mr Joel Li, who always gave me an expectation to live up to. He also enrolled me in a programme that effectively tackled and resolved the disciplinary issues I was beset with. Ms Brenda Nio made me realise that reputation is like a piece of paper. Once it is crumpled and torn, it can never go back to its original form. Mr Lee Yew Ming proved to me that punishment isn’t always the solution to tackle malicious behaviour, and that at times, you have to understand an individual’s background, reason for causing mischief as well as the negative peer influences, and give him or her the necessary advice so that they may avoid making the same mistakes. These teachers helped me to demonstrate clarity in making sound decisions in the course of my studies in Fairfield.

I also owe my success to my parents, who encouraged me to take up the option of being laterally promoted to the Normal (Academic) stream in Secondary Two. Having attained a PSLE score of 148 points, I was originally from the Normal (Technical) stream in Secondary One. But my parents believed that I was able to soar higher and do better, and pushed me to my limits to meet the criteria for a lateral transfer to the Normal (Academic) stream. With persistence and tenacity, I did well enough to qualify for the lateral transfer.

I am also thankful to my form teachers then, Ms Helen Chong and Mr Gary Chew, who encouraged me to go ahead with the lateral transfer. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and this opportunity was that first step I took.
How did you manage your time between your commitment towards your studies and holding key appointments in your CCA? 
To me, CCA was a stress-reliever. The camaraderie I forged amongst my cadets and schoolmates always gave me a reason to look forward to my CCA every Wednesday and Friday. It is important to plan ahead and prioritise what needs to be done first. This really helped me to cope well with both my studies and CCA.

Do you have any advice for the 2018 batch of Secondary 4/5 students?
You should never ever disregard the amount of effort our Fairfield teachers are willing to put in to help you succeed at the national examinations. Everyone is born with the ability to do something special, and should see themselves as being capable of doing well in their studies. Even if you fail, you must understand that every successful individual has encountered failures before reaching the top. Colonel Sanders, the founder of the recipe for KFC chicken, had his recipe turned down 1009 times before it was accepted. As an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before finally succeeding. Persistence and determination are key to achieving success, and I believe all of you will develop the willpower to do well in your national examinations.