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IDEA ALUMNI. Graduates of the Institute for the Development of Educational Administrators (IDEA) from across the country gather for their first summit to discuss various challenges in school administration and share their stories of success. Supplied photo.  

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Alumni of the Institute for the Development of Educational Administrators (IDEA) drew together at their first summit held on Saturday, May 5.

IDEA is one of the programs of Xavier Ateneo’s School of Education (SOE) aimed at forming school administrators to be more responsive to their management and leadership tasks. 

In her message to the IDEA alumni, SOE dean Dr Jovelyn Delosa recognized how the program was able to touch the lives of school administrators. She also asked the alumni not just to engage in academic conversations but also to reconnect friendships.

“This is an avenue where we can work as a group so that we can do something to inform policy, not solely as individuals assigned to apostolates and schools, but as a community and family," Delosa said.


TOUCHING LIVES. Xavier Ateneo's School of Education dean Dr Jovelyn Delosa shares on how the program was able to touch the lives of school administrators in her welcome remarks. Supplied photo. 

Dr Alfonso Hortelano, IDEA professor and former director of the program, emphasized that the graduates of the program are “sources of inspiration to the program and to one another."

In turn, the alumni coming from various parts of the country shared not just their struggles but also their triumphs and successes.

Hortelano hopes that the future batches of graduates will live up to the goal of IDEA which is transforming leaders to be visionaries, determined, and innovative. 


INSPIRATION. Dr Alfonso Hortelano, IDEA professor and former director of the program, says that the graduates are “sources of inspiration to the program and to one another." Supplied photo. 

Emerging Leadership Framework 

This summit centered on the theme, "Emerging Leadership Paradigm for School Administrators," considering the changing landscape of schools following the reforms in our educational system and determining the crucial role of leadership in promoting these changes.

Fr Dennis Cagantas PhD, the resource speaker of the said event, described the context of education to be "volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous."

Cagantas said that this context has been the case since there has been “an observable rigidity in the school structure” which reflects the Newtonian concept of leadership in looking at "what is measurable." This framework has motivated leaders to pursue control by establishing designs that could measure and predict performance, and at the same time, reach targets efficiently and effectively. Thus, this type of leadership concept, which many organizations subscribed to, focuses on oneself and the authority it espouses. 

He went on to propose an alternative leadership framework that looks into "the changing and moving reality."

Cagantas said: "The organization is a community of persons interlinked; they are greater than predictions, probabilities, and results. An essential question that leaders should ask in this frame is ‘Is what I am doing still make sense?’ It, therefore, challenges leaders not only to consider the results but also things that matter. These are what we call intangibles that go beyond the measurables and targets.”

Although it seems challenging to achieve, Emerging Leadership Paradigm can provide a voice for the people, especially in the decision-making, which in turn make people feel more engaged and connected in the organization. As a result, the people become part of a community geared towards action.


EMERGING LEADERSHIP. Fr Dennis Cagantas PhD, the resource speaker of the 1st IDEA Summit shares that Emerging Leadership Paradigm can provide a voice for the people, especially in the decision-making, which in turn make people feel more engaged and connected in the organization. Supplied photo.  

Practicum papers of IDEA alumni

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the practicum papers of five alumni of the IDEA program.

The paper presentations were as follows:

“A Curriculum Enhancement Plan on Pastoral Management Preparation for SJVTM” by Fr Harold S Parilla JCL

“A Strategic Financial Development Plan for NDJC, Jolo” by Fr Romy S Saniel OMI DM

“Student Activities and Social Involvement Plan for XUHS” by Samuel F Macagba III

“Faculty and Instruction Development Plan for SSA-Bacolod” by Claude Feliza Z Ganaban

“Strategic Enrolment and Financial Development Plan for NDI Isulan, Sultan Kudarat” by Fr Rex dela Cruz Bacero DCC

Each presenter shared the stories behind the paper, the development process, challenges in executing the plans, and insights from the whole experience.

Common to the presenters was their association with the IDEA program, most especially, their mentors, who helped them put in actuality their plans in their own school context. 


PRESENTERS. From left to right: Fr Parilla, Fr Saniel, Macagba, Ganaban, and Fr Bacero. Supplied photo.

An open forum followed the paper presentations, where presenters were asked about the technicalities of their papers up to the various leadership insights that they have acquired as school administrators.

The IDEA graduates considered the event as “a source of inspiration” as well as an expression of gratitude for the lessons and formation that they have acquired from the program. 

Moving forward

Following the open forum, the presidents and representatives of each batch gathered to talk about the directions of the IDEA Alumni Community. They agreed that the summit, being a good learning experience for the community, should be conducted every other year. 

A steering committee was also formed, headed by Xavier Ateneo’s Junior High School assistant principal for formation Samuel Macagba III, who is also the president of the Fr Hofileña Student Council of the School of Education Graduate Studies.


MEETING OF LEADERS. IDEA batch representatives brainstorm on the direction of their alumni community. Supplied photo. 

The IDEA summit culminated with a fellowship night at the Pearlmont Hotel, where participants enjoyed an evening of talents, fun, and camaraderie.

Dr Dixon Yasay, director of the XU Governance and Leadership Institute, graced the fellowship and introduced Laughter Yoga to the IDEA alumni. 

IDEA has been training school administrators since 1972 and it remains one of the most active institutes of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan.∎


LAUGHTER YOGA. Dr Dixon Yasay, director of the XU Governance and Leadership Institute, introduces Laughter Yoga to the IDEA alumni. Supplied photo.  


SCHOOL OF EDUCATION. Dr Edralin Manla serves as the director of the Institute for the Development of Educational Administrators and one of the esteemed professors of the program. Supplied photo.  


IDEA PROFESSORS. From left to right: Mark Hernandez, Fr Harold Parilla, Dr Alfonso Hortelano, Dr Edralin Manla, Dr Jovelyn Delosa, and Dr Charity Pagara. Supplied photo. 


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