The JIS Podcast

Join Jakarta Intercultural School for discussions about education, developing the whole child, learning in Indonesia, and more on the official JIS Podcast.



Episode 14: Meeting Learning Needs at JIS With Deputy Head of School Maya Nelson

Every child develops at a different pace and each student’s developmental journey is unique. But what happens when a child needs additional help in areas such as reading, speech, language, or motor skills? At JIS, this is where the Support Services Team (SST) steps in and provides their specialized, targeted support.

In this absorbing episode of the JIS Podcast, host Joanna Sommers (JIS Middle and High School Curriculum Coordinator) is joined by a very special guest who can boast about having been a JIS student, parent, teacher, and principal. She now has a key leadership position that oversees all our campuses and divisions: it’s Deputy Head of School Maya Nelson!

Follow their in-depth discussion about special education at JIS, neurodiversities in children, the role of the SST, and how our team of specialists, therapists, and psychologists identify and help students who may struggle with developmental delays.

Episode 13: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity at JIS

Diversity and inclusion are values that international schools strive to uphold as multicultural communities, including JIS. But how do they hold up in the lens of today’s growing movements and conversations about anti-racism, representation, and equality? Does JIS truly exemplify the principles of diversity and inclusion? 

In this episode of the JIS Podcast, host Joanna Sommers (Middle and High School Curriculum Coordinator) seeks to answer these questions and more with three special guests: High School Principal Clint Calzini, PEL Grade 3 Teacher Donise Lyons, and High School Math Teacher Susan Lee.

As co-chairs of JIS’s Focus Group Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), they chat with Joanna about the meaning and importance of DEI, how more and more international schools are recognizing the need to review their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and what JIS is doing to change the way we talk about this important issue and take action.

Episode 12: The Changing Landscape of International Schools

Changes and innovations are a common part of international education, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to adjust their approach to learning almost overnight. To learn about the ways the landscape of international schools has evolved in recent years, what it looks like today, and how JIS has responded, JIS Podcast host Joanna Sommers (Middle and High School Curriculum Coordinator) speaks to JIS Head of Admissions Kat Ngkaion, Middle and High School Therapist Kris Carlson, and Middle School Counselor Angie Machacek. 

As JIS Dragons and as part of long-time expat families, they give us their professional and personal insights into the importance of social-emotional well-being in ensuring a smooth transition between schools for students, and how families can choose the best schools for their third-culture children.

About the Host


Joanna Sommers is the Middle and High School Curriculum Coordinator at Jakarta Intercultural School. This is her 16th year in education and she holds a Master of Education (International Baccalaureate) from the University of Melbourne. She has taught a range of subjects, including IB History, Legal Studies, Social Studies, English, and Religious Education to students in every grade level, from six through to post-graduate masters students. 

Joanna has taught in Australia, Abu Dhabi and now Indonesia. She has a particular interest in concept-based education and loves the diversity that international schools bring to learning opportunities in the classroom. She is joined here in Jakarta by her husband Mark (who teaches Grade 8 English at JIS) and her three young sons Finn, Alfie, and Ned.