General Faculty and Staff Meeting 2023
Just before SISFU’s 25th anniversary, the General Faculty and Staff Meeting was held last February 22, 2023 in Bistro Lima. The venue and all attendees were decked out in red and maroon to match the theme of the event, “Love Will Keep Us Alive”. This message was to reflect SISFU’s efforts to show appreciation to all employees and to cherish their service.
The programme hosts, Ms. Thefanie Balon and Ms. Rizielene Balute of the Accounting Department, started the event in high spirits. This was matched by Ms. Cristina Aguilar-Borja’s introduction to Dr. Melva Diamante, SISFU’s President, who gave the opening remarks. In her usual inspirational tone, Dr. Melva expressed her gratitude to all the SISFU staff and her joy for the budding silver anniversary. To strengthen the theme of the meeting, she also shared the different definitions of love and the ways in which it manifests in our personal and professional lives.
To add another heartwarming layer to the event, Dr. Nancy De Guia, SISFU’s Dean of Academics, read a poem she wrote for Dr. Melva. For the many years she has led the staff and faculty in achieving our vision and mission, there were nothing but words of kindness and appreciation in the piece Dr. Nancy prepared. Continuing on with the lively atmosphere, Ms. Cristina called on a number of staff to dance a Tiktok trend.
Ms. Phi Anh Tatlonghari – an author, teacher by profession, co-founder of a non-profit organization called Project: Ki.D.S, and co-developer of REPLAY (Reinventing Play) – prompted the crowd with the question “does unconditional love have a place at work?” as the event’s guest speaker. Aside from the more commonly recognized forms of unconditional love that is from faith and from birth, she mentions that it is much harder to continue to choose to love “despite of '' and “in spite of ''. Especially in the workplace where individuals differ in backgrounds, habits, and opinions.
To further round up her points of discussion, she facilitated an activity to practice showing appreciation at work by distributing heart cut-outs among attendees. Everyone then penned a short message to a colleague or two that they appreciate despite certain particularities.
After a delectable lunch, everyone gathered together to hear the small and big wins of each department. There were numerous goals achieved and even more ongoing strategies and plans to ensure the growth of SISFU. It was inspiring for each team to see the many efforts of the other departments to maintain our standard.
The HR department then took this opportunity to transition to handing awards to the employees who were recognized for their varying contributions to the school. A number of staff were named Chief Happiness Directors and Outstanding Innovators. On the other hand, Galactic Gratitude Awards, Bucket Filler Awards, Top Negotiator Awards, Ninja Speed Awards, Snickers Awards, Simply Sweet Awards, Grateful Heart Awards, and Gritty Rookie Awards were also distributed.
Aside from garnering certificates and prizes from the awards, employees were also given the chance to win more goodies by playing games such as guess the emoji, categories, and extreme rock-paper-scissors.
Truly, this was an event filled with camaraderie, love for our community, and appreciation for the roles we get to play in the world of innovative education!
Written by: Victoria Clarabel Amante