how we teach

Your child will learn better when they’re happy, our teachers are dedicated to making that a reality.
  • Leadership Team
  • Elementary School
  • Secondary School


Dr. Richard Swann
Richard Swann
Head of School
Dr. Swann holds two Baccalaureate degrees in education and music, a Master’s degree from the University of Western Australia, and earned his PhD in education from Florida State University (USA). He has served learning communities for over 35 years in Australia, the USA, Europe, the Middle East, South-East Asia and China, where he has been the principal/head of school in internationals schools as well as in bilingual schools.

In addition, Dr. Swann is also a professional musician. He is an orchestral and choral conductor, instrumentalist, and singer.
Mr. Nathan Burton
Nathan Burton
Secondary School Principal

Nathan has over 30 years of educational experience, including experience as an Assistant Principal, Athletic Director, Web Master, and professional tennis instructor.

A North Carolina native and world traveler, Nathan holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Education and a Master's degree in School Leadership. He brings his passions for service learning, global citizenry, and problem-based learning to DAIS.

Ms. Lubaina Essack
Lubaina Essack
Secondary School Assistant Principal

Ms. Essack holds a Master's degree in Science and a PGCE in Education. Her professional experience includes being a Secondary School Principal, a Curriculum Coordinator, a Department Head, a Middle School/High School Science and Biology teacher and a School Guidance Counsellor.

As a school leader, Lubaina values authenticity, transparency, academic rigor, and the spirit of harmonious collaboration. Her primary educational focus is on inquiry and skills-based teaching that promotes critical and creative thinking, information literacy, communication, collaboration, and innovation.

Mr. David Jones
David Jones
Elementary School Principal

Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Communications Studies, and a Postgraduate Degree in Primary Education from the University of Toronto. He is a global citizen who was born in the U.K., raised in Canada, and has enjoyed his journey into international education at schools in Seoul, Beijing, Changsha and now Dalian as an Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, Grade Level Leader, Homeroom Teacher, Librarian, and Technology Integrator.

Mr. Jones is passionate about promoting 21st century skills, while encouraging students to develop a growth mindset, which will help them achieve their personal best in every aspect of their life. He is looking forward to creating an environment that fosters creativity and innovation, incorporating Inquiry Based Learning and Project Based Learning.

Mr. Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson
Athletics and Activities Director
Mr. Robinson got his Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Sport & Fitness Science/Health Science from the University of Luton and his Master's degree with distinction (Performance Football Coaching) from St. Mary’s University. He has a FFA/AFC Coaching License (Australia/Scotland), Management and School Leadership Certification (Harvard Business School), and other certifications.

He has been working in education for more than 20 years, including 16 years as a teacher. Paul's interests include volleyball, basketball, swimming, softball, cricket, football, freeletics, gym, fitness, DDPY, boxercise coaching, cycling, running, golf, travel, history, music, cooking, and reading.


Mrs. Robin Capozzoli
Robin Capozzoli
Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, Librarian

Mrs. Capozzoli obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston. She also has a Master's degree of Elementary Education and a post graduate degree in Educational Psychology.

She has been in education for 20 years and working internationally for over 10 years. Mrs. Capozzoli has served in several roles including curriculum, leadership, and teaching a variety of grade levels.

Ms. FK
Fakazile Hlongwana
Pre-K Teacher

Ms. Hlongwana has acquired Bachelor of Arts in Primary Education and completed an 120hr TEFL program with ITOL institute.

She has taught in kindergarten both in South Africa and China and has an experience in a few education systems such as Montessori and Reggio Emilia approach. This speaks to her flexible style of teaching and ability to easily cater for each of her students' needs.

Ms. Lydia Donahue
Lydia Donahue
Grade 1 Teacher

Ms. Lydia Donahue has more than 13 years of international teaching experience.

She holds a Master's degree in Education from Arizona State University. She also has a Teacher Certification and a National Board of Teacher Certification. Her previous positions include Instructional Coach and Special Education Teacher.

Mr. Tairo Medeiros
Tairo Medeiros
Grade 4 & 5 Teacher

Mr. Medeiros is an Upper Elementary Math and Science teacher originally from the US. He holds BA in Communications, a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, MA in Teaching (K-6), a Teacher Certification and a K-6 General Educator License among other certificates.

With 15 years of teaching experience (Math, Science, STEM, ESOL, and homeroom), Mr. Medeiros is also a multi linguist: he speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and Mandarin.

Ms. Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith
EAL Teacher

Ms. Smith graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with a degree in Business. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of South Africa.

Lauren has more than four years of experience working in China. Her previous positions include a Kindergarten ESL homeroom teacher and Bilingual School Elementary teacher. She is passionately involved with sports and enjoys spending time outdoors.

Mr. Martin Moratillo
Martin Moratillo
Art Teacher

Mr. Martin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts, and a Master’s degree in Education Management.

Working in education since 1991, Mr. Martin taught in the UK and US as an artist and teacher visitor. He also traveled to Pakistan under a UNESCO scholarship to show his artwork and to teach drawing. In Peru, he taught Creativity, Art History and Drawing of the Human Figure in local universities and art schools. Recently, Mr. Martin has been giving talks and lectures to local art teachers in different cities of China, regarding Creativity, Art History, and Sustainability in Art Education. 

Ms. Lelia Lemay
Lelia Lemay
Music Teacher

Ms. Lemay has a Master’s degree in Music Performance from University of Montreal.

As a professional musician, Ms. Lemay toured in Europe and performed with several orchestras and ensembles in North America. She has 10 years of teaching experience in Canada, Haiti and recently in China. She developed acute arts management skills while working for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in their Education team. Her latest and proudest accomplishment has been designing and implementing a music program for the Canadian International School of Guangzhou.

Ms. Tafoya
Elyda Torres-Tafoya
STEM Teacher

Ms. Tafoya has more than 12 years of teaching experience.

Ms. Tafoya has a Bachelor's degree of Applied Science in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Elementary Education with a Math, Science, and Educational Technology (MSET) Concentration. Her prior roles include a Classroom Teacher, Lead Engineering Teacher, Reading Interventionist, Robotics Coach, Grade Level Design Lead, and Head of Educational IT. 


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Jordan Reed
English Language Arts Department Head

Mr. Reed graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Art degree in Integrated Language and his secondary teaching certification. He received his Master’s degree in International Education from King’s College London.

In 2011, Jordan moved to Dalian to teach English in a different environment. Jordan is a lifelong learner who brings his enthusiasm for learning into the classroom every day. His love of writing and literature propels him to help students find a voice that is their own. 

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Robert Flanagan
Social Studies Department Head

Bobby Flanagan serves as the DAIS Social Studies Department head and is an extremely proud graduate of the first public university in the United States, The University of North Carolina, with a Bachelor of Arts in History and currently working on a Master's degree in Educational Leadership.

His teaching experience started 20 years ago, and since then he has been working alongside grades 8-12. An expert in Geography and History, he has worked with both AP and IB curricula. Mr. Flanagan has been involved in all areas of school life, having been a Student Government advisory, grade level leader, Prom Coordinator, and varsity basketball, track, and soccer coach.

Mr. Fabian Sanchez
Fabian Sanchez
Science Department Head

Mr. Sanchez holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University, respectively. Mr. Sanchez came to United States when he was 17 years old from Colombia, South America and earned a scholarship to complete his undergraduate studies from EXXON corporation.

Mr. Sanchez has been a Secondary Science teacher, primarily in the area of Chemistry for the past 11 years. He holds an IBDP Certification and AP Certification.

Ms. Sonsie Ang
Sonsie Ang
Math Department Head

Ms. Ang completed her Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and Master's degree in Business Administration in Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in the Philippines. After a few years of working as a civil engineer and having a small business, she took up part-time teaching at Lourdes College. 

Here, she found that her true passion is teaching, which led her to get a certificate in Professional Education and a Diploma in Special Education. She then went and worked in Virginia and New Mexico as a Middle School Math Teacher for four years. She has more than 10 years' experience working at DAIS.

Ms. Annie Cui
Annie Cui
Mandarin Language Department Head

Annie graduated from Shenyang Normal University in 2008 with a degree in English and Education.

While completing course work for her bachelor’s degree, Annie took up a half-year internship in a Chinese public middle school, working as a homeroom teacher. She currently holds two official teaching certificates, a National Teacher Certificate and a Certificate for Teachers of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. Ms. Cui came to DAIS in the fall of 2009. She believes that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish, and she is very passionate about spreading Chinese language and culture to the world.

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Meik Loughran
EAL Department Head

Meik Loughran joined the DAIS community in 2013. Born and raised in Colorado, he studied foreign language education at the Pädagogische Hochschule in Karlsruhe, Germany before graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in 2010 with a bachelor’s in German and philosophy. In 2016 he earned a master’s degree in EAL international education, curriculum and instruction preK-12 from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

He believes that even beginning-level English language learners can work at all levels of higher-order thinking and that reading and writing proficiency is dependent upon the development of rich oral academic language.

Ms. Iveth Morillo
Iveth Morillo
Secondary Curriculum Coordinator

Ms. Morillo has developed expertise in curriculum design and implementation with over three decades of experience in academia. As an international educator she has acquired cultural awareness, as well as teaching and learning expertise while working in South Corea, Ecuador, Morocco, USA, and China. 

Ms. Morillo earned her Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the Montclair State University of New Jersey and Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Universidad Central Del Ecuador. Her previous positions include a university professor, Curriculum Coordinator, IB Coordinator, IB Extended Essay Coordinator, Head of Department, ELL Specialist, and Spanish and English Language Arts Educator.


Our outstanding and experienced teachers belong to an elite group of professionals aligned to the highest international standards, that share best practices with their colleagues around the world, helping students reach their maximum potential.

At DAIS, we’re the most forward-thinking educators in the world, and we use our global reach to create a learning experience like no other. We have a highly qualified and experienced faculty. 77% of our teaching team hold a Master’s degree or higher.

We commit considerable resources for recruitment every year to hire the absolute best teachers for our students. DAIS's outstanding reputation for educational excellence for the past 15 years allows us to compete for top teaching talent.

The world’s best educators inspire our students to achieve their personal excellence.
Why Teachers Choose to Work at DAIS


Our international teachers continually educate each other and provide support while getting the best ongoing development training available.

Teachers join training at Nord Anglia University, meaning our educators are at the cutting-edge of their profession. We offer an Executive Master’s in International Education from Kings College, providing our teachers with an in-depth understanding of school leadership in international settings. We take select teachers on subject-specific training every year with MIT and Juilliard. Our Regional Education Team provides all teachers with Becoming Bilingual training.
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Exceptional teachers make exceptional schools, and our educators are some of the very best. Our learning environment is enhanced by a balanced ratio of national and international teachers. 

Passionate about inspiring young minds and helping students thrive, our teachers never stop learning through local and global, continuous professional development programs – something that attracts talent both in China and from around the world. 
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