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September 2018

Video Presentation

The key note speaker, Ms. Alisa Simeral as she gives the opening plenary.

Workshop Framework

Breakout Session with Dr. Mercia de Souza.

Breakout Session with Mr. Josh Myers.

Breakout Session with Dr. Stephen Redillas, OP.

Breakout Session with Mr. Reeve Rodrigues.

Breakout Session with Ms. Rebekah Owens.

An experience worth reflecting

Reflecting on Diversity Conference

Dominican International School (DIS) Taipei in partnership with East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) conducted a conference about Reflecting on Diversity last September 28 to 29, 2018. The teachers and staff from DIS Taipei, DIS Kaohsiung and from other schools attended the conference. The keynote speaker was Ms. Alisa Simeral an educational speaker and consultant of the Learning Systems, Inc. based from Reno, Nevada, USA. She has guided education-based reform efforts as a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, professional developer, and leadership mentor in both K-12 and adult education settings. She empowers educators for their professional learning.


A pre-conference was held from September 25 to 27, 2018 at the B1 auditorium. Rev. Fr. Christopher Aytona, OP was the keynote speaker. Fr. Jeff as we fondly call him is an alumnus of the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila, Philippines is currently the Director of its Communications Bureau.

He had a conference with the DIS student leaders on September 25. Ms. Alisa and Fr. Jeff had a conference with the parents of DIS on September 27. Ms. Alisa gave five key points of being a parent: (1) value curiosity; (2) encourage questions; (3) talk about biases; (4) practice metacognition; and (5) MODEL, MODEL, MODEL. Fr. Jeff focused his talk on “Family: A Sanctuary of Love and Holiness”.

Also, he gave a workshop on broadcasting to the D'Torch Campus Radio Community Service Project Group last September 26, 2018.

On the morning of September 28, 2018, Fr. Jeff gave a spiritual retreat with the theme “The Drama of the Eucharist”, to the DIS Taipei and DIS Kaohsiung Faculty and Staff. He ended his talk with a video about “The Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires”. He concelebrated the opening mass for the conference with Fr. Stephen Redillas, OP.

Main Conference

The conference started with a performance from the junior D’Torch Orchestra led by Ms. Zoe Lin the Lower School Music teacher conducting. The conference was held in the DIS gymnasium. Sr. Ma. Zenaida T. Ancheta, OP the directress/principal of both DIS Taipei and DIS Kaohsiung delivered the opening remarks. She welcomed the more than 250 participants that include teachers from Tarlac, Philippines.

In the opening plenary, Ms. Alisa talked about “Mediocrity versus excellence: What’s the difference?” It centered on the difference between an average teacher with that of an excellent teacher.

After the plenary, breakout sessions were held in 3 of the classrooms on the 4th floor, the audio-visual room, and the B1 auditorium. The breakout session speakers were Ms. Rebekah Owens, professional learning coach of Morrison Academy – Taichung, ROC (Taiwan), Mr. Reeves Rodriguez, Director, Poveda Foundation, Pune, India, Dr. Stephen Redillas, OP, Director, a cleric currently assigned to Saint Mary Magdalene House in Caleruega, Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines, Mr. Josh Myers, Drama and ESL teacher of Washington Bilingual Elementary School, Taichung, ROC (Taiwan), and our very own Dr. Mercia de Souza, Professional Development Coordinator and Communication Arts Head.

Ms. Rebekah talked about “One size and speed fits ‘Most’? Reaching all students with mastery learning.” She showed teachers ways to differentiate instruction for diverse students through the use of mastery learning instructional strategies.

Mr. Reeves Rodrigues spoke about “Cetertainties in Diversity”. He let delegates explore the first step to dialogue in diversity which is to see ourselves as others see us. It means positioning oneself outside one’s own perspective and situating oneself within that of the others.

Mr. Josh Myers talked about the “Applied Drama and Improvisation in the Classroom”. It was about the benefits of play in the classroom. In schools and society play is often compromised through bargaining or punishment, but can be used effectively in the classroom.

Dr. Mercia de Souza spoke about “Project-based education-preparing students for the future: A case study.” She shared her experience in project-based education. Project-based education departs from traditional education and provides learning diversity in preparing students for coping with diversity in the future world.

Dr. Stephen Redillas, OP talked about “Teachers role in mediating religious diversity in classroom towards global citizenship education.” He explored the values and skills that can contribute to the successful management of a diversity and multicultural classroom.


Sr. Zenaida ended the conference with closing remarks. She thanked all the organizers and the committees, namely: Program and Sessions, headed by Dr. Mercia; Registration and Secretariat headed by Mr. Joe Schoeman; Planning and Coordination / Documentation and Certificates headed by Ms. Agosh Librea, Ms. Archie Racadio, and Ms. Janice Doyle; Audio-Visual Production headed by Mr. Ian Crisostomo; Ushers and Event Assistants by Ginny Hwang and Natalia Garcia; Planning Support by Ms. Ellen Chu, DIS Taipei VIP Chairperson.

All participants received a certificate for attending the two-day conference. The master of ceremonies was Mr. Bill Wolfe, a faculty of DIS Taipei.

From left: Fr. Stephen Redillas, OP and Fr. Jeff Aytona, OP - concelebrated the opening mass.

For more pictures from Pre-conference, please click here.

For more pictures from Reflecting on Diversity Conference, please click here.