STAFF REFLECTIONS : LAURENCE BIGOT, DIRECTOR – CONSTRUCTION & EXTENSION PROJECTS
After over 23 years of service with IFS (previously LFS), we bid farewell to Laurence
Laurence has been a part of and at the centre of the LFS > IFS journey. Her contributions to the school have been wide and varied and she will be greatly missed by the entire IFS community. IFS wishes Laurence all the best in all her future endeavours.
We sat down with Laurence and asked her to reflect on her time in Singapore and her time with the school.
When did you arrive in Singapore? What were your initial reactions/thoughts?
I arrived in Singapore in 1999. I followed my husband, who had just been transferred to Singapore, and we arrived as a family with our two daughters, who were six and barely three years old at the time.
I instantly loved this city and felt comfortable here.
It took me some time to adjust to being an “expat wife,” but everything fell into place once I found a professional activity.
Moreover, I understood right away that this Asia hub would allow us to visit South-East Asia (and beyond) easily.
When did you start getting involved with LFS/IFS? What has been your journey?
I immediately became a parent representative and was soon a member of the Parents Committee. At the same time, I became coordinator of the Festivities Committee and treasurer of the Humanitarian Group.
After two years, I was elected to the Executive Board in charge of the Works & Security Committee.
Then, I was hired (briefly) as AES & Communication Manager before getting the position of Infrastructure Projects Manager, which corresponds to my professional background.
All in all, I have been involved in school life for the past 23 years!
Reflecting on your time in Singapore, what have been the most significant changes you have seen/experienced?
Singapore has changed a lot since the end of the last century. What has impressed me the most is the development of the infrastructures.
Many well-known landmarks did not exist then: Esplanade, MBS, Ion, etc. Sentosa is also a good example: in 1999, between Siloso beach, which was already largely developed and Tanjong beach, which was under development, there was absolutely nothing: jungle and beach only. Universal, the Casino and many hotels and restaurants did not exist.
As a French person, I have to talk about the food, of course!! Finding French or European food in 1999 was difficult, and all the expats used to come back every summer with suitcases full of food. Today, I can’t even count the number of Western restaurants in Singapore, and you can find everything you want, delivered to your doorstep. What a big change.
Reflecting on your time at LFS/IFS, what have been the most significant changes?
When we arrived in Singapore, the campus AMK3000 had just opened, and there were 750 students.
Obviously, the biggest changes are related to growth with all the successive works to increase the capacity and significantly the opening of the campus AMK2900 in 2015.
I will also not forget everything progressively put in place for the school’s internationalisation to allow IFS to place itself in an excellent position in the international schools’ landscape.
And finally, the change in name in 2020, even if secretly in my heart, the school will always be LFS, my children’s school.
What are you most proud of? What have been your greatest accomplishments at LFS/IFS?
My greatest achievements, of which I am obviously very proud, are all the infrastructure projects in which I have actively participated, such as (but not limited to) the campus AMK2900, the kindergarten, and the Media Centre (3C).
My biggest regret is not seeing phase 2 of the extension project started before my departure.
What would you like to see IFS become?
I hope that phase 2 of the extension project will allow IFS to become the most beautiful French school in the world.
I want to thank LFS for all these great years and wish the best to IFS.