Monthly flashbacks: Farewell, Mrs Chia!

For four years, Mrs Dayna Chia has taught in Dunman High School – as a History teacher, as the Discipline Mistress, and finally as the Vice-Principal! Her candid and sassy manner has made her a treasured friend, mentor and role model for many. Sadly, she has since left the school to attend a teaching course. Ask anyone in Dunman High and they will be happy to share many interesting and deeply personal encounters with her – and that’s what we did. Enjoy these responses!

Dr Foo:

“Okay for…. Dayna, I think she’s a very ‘people’ person. As a ‘people’ person, she connects with every member as an individual. So for students, she really cares for each and everyone, whether you are her former history student, an ordinary student, or a student leader (Mrs Chia being the in charge of Student Development). She looks at each and every one of you like an individual, and every individual who carries certain interesting characteristics, which is very important for an educator, because we need to connect with each and every one of the students that pass through our hands. And I think, as a very young educator, she has mastered these skills very, very well.

Secondly, she is very, very, devoted to her work. To me, every piece of work is a piece of art, and I think that in Mrs Chia’s duty, both as the HOD for Student Development and as the vice-principal, she has displayed good working habits, treating every piece of work wholeheartedly, making sure it’s of very high standards. And because of this, sometimes she may go overboard, and sometimes she may be a bit impatient.

So, my advice to her is that she needs to be a bit more relaxed … to enjoy the beautiful scenery in school, and to continue having candid conversations with both staff and students. It’s places and people that will help her to understand why it’s important to be able to take out some time, *breathes in deeply*, just to enjoy the scenery and the people. And to be a bit relaxed. And once she’s more relaxed, and more steady, I think she can even master the skills of a leader, much, much better. I wish her all the best in her leadership journey. “

Words from teaching staff:

“Mrs Dayna Chia is a visionary leader who walks the talk. She is dedicated and passionate in her work and gives her 100% in all that she does. Besides her duties as VP of the DHS, Mrs Chia also makes it a point to get in touch with the ground and volunteers to deliver class based CCE lesson across all levels. Her care and concern for students is second to none and she will continue to be an inspiration for many others.”

– Mr Ethan Tay

“Mrs Dayna Chia is a very passionate educator who constantly thinks of ways to engage and develop students. She began her mission in Dunman High School as Head/Student Development and took over the Baton of Vice-principal overseeing Student Development. Her determination and willingness to go the extra mile for students and staff have inspired many to care, to serve and to lead. Mrs Chia even attended Chinese class during weekday evenings and weekends despite her busy schedule! I was amazed and encouraged by her positive learning attitude to improve her Chinese so that she can better appreciate DHS’s culture and communicate with all staff and students effectively! I guess she wants to tell all Dunmanians that nothing is impossible and we all can achieve as long we have the determination. Personally, she is not just a boss but also a coach, a mentor and a friend. Thank you very much Mrs Dayna Chia and I wish you all the best in your next mission as an educator!”

-Mr Lim Pia Leong

Words from students:

“Mrs Chia is the one who gave me the courage to turn to the direction of my fears and walk straight to them with the conviction that finishing the race with faith is way more important than the outcome, because the process is the stage of introspection which is often neglected by us. Through the mentoring sessions and conversations that I’ve shared with Mrs Chia, I started to soften my heart and understand that despite having a lot of fears, we will never know how many breakthroughs we can achieve until we are brave enough to dive straight into the foreign waters. Mrs Chia is a legend in Dunman high, but her gift in enlightening and touching lives should not be limited to just here, where she will be missed nevertheless.”


“Dear Mrs Chia,

As you leave to pursue the next milestone in your life, we invite you to look back on the indelible imprints you have left in the hearts of each and every Dunmanian.

While it is a rare affair for most to interact the vice-principal, those who have had the chance to do so, as brief as they may be, would be in accord that you have a charismatic and unmistakable presence. From your sunny nature to the challenging perspectives you offer, you owned a leadership persona clearly distinct from the other leaders.

Oftentimes, it is difficult for students to share an immediate recognition for contributions of the school leaders. Unlike the intimate interaction we get to enjoy with our teachers, Dunmanians are rather distant from your sphere of day-to-day work. Nevertheless, you continue to radiate an intrinsic joy of working almost every school day. Your passion has been an inspiration for many.

As you would always urge us to connect the dots in our lives and find clarity in our pursuits, we earnestly hope that the Dunman High experience has made a remarkable checkpoint in your life. May you look back 20 years from now and still crack a smile every time you reminisce the years in DHS 🙂 ”

– Yi Xian

While Mrs Chia may be sorely missed by many of us, we wish her all the best in her future endeavors and teaching career! We are very grateful and privileged to have known her in the span of four years and we will strive to uphold the school’s values and character as Dunmanians, so as to make Mrs Chia and all the other staff proud.

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