Nigel Barker

Teaches Design, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Science
IT Coordinator
Previously taught in UK, Tunisia, Colombia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Zambia

I joined HIS long ago, and really enjoy working here! My previous experience was mostly teaching Chemistry, and I continue to be a senior examiner for the IB. My interests include the outdoors, playing the guitar, and surfing poorly.

Clare Barnfather

British & Japanese
Primary Vice Principal / PYP Coordinator and Reading Teacher
Previously taught in UK

I arrived at HIS in 2008 and have taught classes from Kindergarten through to Grade 5 during this time. I have been coordinating the Primary Years Programme for five years and take the role of Vice Principal (Primary Division). I also participate as a PYP workshop leader, consultant and member of the school visiting team for IB evaluations. I advocate the dramatic and visual arts in my teaching practices and spend my free time exploring my creativity through drawing and writing, swimming and volunteering at the local dog shelter.

Wayne Bartelink

Teaches Grades 4 and 5
Previously taught in Canada, Japan (Japanese High Schools and Junior High Schools)

I have been teaching at HIS since 2003. I organize the HIS entry in the Hiroshima Peace Marathon. I run a guitar club and coach Primary futsal/soccer. My interests include the outdoors, ice hockey, soccer and playing music.

Edward Hardisty

Teaches Science and Biology
CAS Coordinator
Previously taught in UK and Hong Kong

I am originally from the UK though I moved around Europe a lot as a child due to my father’s job. I have been a teacher for 17 years, 7 in the UK and the last 10 in Hong Kong. In this time I have taught all of the sciences with an emphasis on biology and environmental science. In my spare time, I am rather keen on photography especially wildlife and action as well as watching sports, with a special interest in ice hockey and rugby. I am looking forward to my time in Japan as it is a country I have visited several times from Hong Kong and I love the culture and beauty of the country.

Marybeth Kamibeppu

Teaches English as an Additional Language, and English in the secondary school
Previously taught in Thailand, US, Japan

I started working at HIS in 2015. I enjoy teaching students of all ages and working collaboratively with my colleagues, so I love being at HIS. My professional interests include bilingualism, extended reading and volunteering to support teachers. When I get away from school, I can usually be found attending sports activities, trying to exercise or meeting friends for coffee.

Mika Kiriake

Teaches PE throughout the school including Life skills in G6-10
Previously taught in USA, Japan

I began my teaching career in the United States. I have taught at universities and have been teaching Japanese at HIS since I came back to Japan. I have a degree in teaching foreign languages. I also have been an IB workshop leader for DP Language B since 2013. I enjoy interacting with my students very much. My interest includes playing tennis, reading both in English and Japanese, and chatting over cafe latte and sweets.

Ayako Kurokawa

Teaches Art and Design
College Counselor
Previously taught in Japan

I joined Hiroshima International School in 2015. I am originally from Hiroshima, born and raised up until high school, then moved to Toronto, Canada to do my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Fine Arts. After returning to Japan, I have taught both Japanese and DP curricula at local Japanese schools. I love teaching art classes and interacting with students who are inspired and motivated! I am also an examiner for DP Visual Arts since 2011, IB workshop leader for both CAS and DP Visual Arts, and DP school visiting team member since 2013. I love visiting galleries and museums and I also love watching my daughter draw.

Yumi Kyogoku

Teaches PYP/MYP Japanese
Japanese Department Coordinator
Previously taught in the USA

I joined HIS in 2015. I was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. I have a Bachelor and a Masters degree in Education from the US. I worked at elementary schools in the US for 17 years. My goals as a teacher are to support students in a variety of ways, provide opportunities to successfully participate in a safe learning community, and help them to become a lifelong learner. Outside of school I love swimming and walking with my dog.

Junko Koibuchi

Teaches Japanese in Grades 4 – 12
Previously taught in Japan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka

I began working at HIS in summer 2011. I have been teaching Japanese language and literature for over fifteen years in Japan and overseas. It is my pleasure to see my students smile in the classroom. I enjoy teaching and learning languages. I also enjoy exploring different cultures including our own culture especially Japanese tea ceremony. I love traveling, reading, yoga and playing badminton.

Annie Levasseur

Teaches Global Politics and Individuals & Societies
MYP Coordinator
Previously taught in Poland and the Republic of Georgia

I am originally from Montreal, Canada and have been teaching internationally since 2008. This is my second year at HIS. Outside of work, I enjoy learning languages, traveling, photography, reading, playing music and cooking. My teaching experience has brought me to engage with all three IB programs and I have been an examiner for DP history since 2013. I am a big supporter of the IB’s educational philosophy and am happy to be contributing to its development at HIS.

Bryan Mejia

Librarian and Early Childhood Teaching Assistant
Previously taught in USA, Japan

I joined HIS in 2015. I came to Japan in 2014 as part of the JET Programme and taught English at various Junior High schools and Elementary schools in Ehime-ken. Since coming to Hiroshima I help teach in the EC Classroom, manage the school library, and help organize Reading Week. My hobbies include weight lifting, reading English and Japanese novels, and cooking/baking.

Mary Miranda-Ferris

Singapore / USA
Teaches Kindergarten and Grade 1
Previously taught in Guam, Thailand, and China

This is my 2nd year at HIS. I have a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education from the US. My classroom teaching experience ranges from Kindergarten through Grade 5. I have taught the PYP curriculum for 6 years and one of my teaching passion is instilling in my students the joy of reading.

Alexandra Omukova

Teaches Mathematics
Previously taught in Russia, USA and Japan

Alexandra decided to become a teacher at the age of 6. At 4th grade she seriously thought about which subject she would want to teach, mathematics or English? Her homeroom teacher gave her an idea that she might be able to do both. Alexandra has earned a Master Degree in Mathematics at Yakutsk State University. Since then, Alexandra taught different ages in Russia, USA and Japan. Her passion for education and mathematics brought her to HIS.

Jessica Pechhold

Director of Studies; teaches Humanities
Previously taught in the USA

I have lived in Hiroshima since 2013. Previously, I have taught IB Psychology and continue to work as a Senior Examiner for the IBO. I have worked as a teacher, administrator, and in teacher mentor and training programs in the US. Outside of school, I enjoy cooking, staying fit, and hiking.

Damian Rentoule

Previously taught in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Hawaii

Damian Rentoule, Principal at Hiroshima International School (HIS), has been involved in education as a teacher and administrator in Australia, Japan, Brunei Darussalam and the United States. Damian received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in curriculum and pedagogy from the University of Queensland, Australia and a Masters in Education degree from the University of England, Australia during his educational journey and long ago realized that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Damian has taught in PYP, MYP and DP classes during his educational career and is a workshop leader for the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuing to be involved in various aspects of IB teacher training. Damian is passionate about education and is enjoying working with the wonderful team at HIS.

Karen Sallie

Teaches Grades 2 and 3
Previously taught in Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and various other locations

This is my fourth year at HIS. Previously, I taught with Cirque du Soleil, on tour teaching artists and children of artists. I have also taught in Canada, South Korea, and Taiwan, specializing in teaching ESL and in teaching communication skills to students with hearing loss. In my free time, I enjoy running, reading, knitting and exploring new places.

Shinobu Sasahara

Teaching Assistant in Grades 2 and 3
Previously taught in Japan

I joined HIS in 2002 as a TA. I taught English to all ages from 3-year-olds to adults at various language schools before that. I have also worked as an ESL teacher. This year I am working in the Kindergarten and Grade 1 class as a TA again, and I am excited about working with that age group. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading and drawing.

Samuel Sheehy

Teaches English and Design
Previously taught in the UK, Spain, and Japan

I started as a language teacher in Japan before returning to secondary education in the UK and then teaching internationally in Spain. Literature is my first love and I write in my free time. I also enjoy running, skiing, watching football and wandering around cities.

Takako Tokunaga

Teaches Music throughout the school

I have been teaching at HIS since 1994. I coordinate school music events such as Festive Eve and the annual Spring Concert. Directing the primary chorus and secondary orchestras is always an inspiring challenge and sharing the pleasure of making music is my life-long joy. I have joined the IB Educator’s Network to lead workshops for candidate school educators especially in Japan, and have become a member of the IB DP Music Curriculum Revision Committee since 2014. When not working, I enjoy gardening, fishing, and listening to my son’s daily reports.

Ritchelle Valdez

Teaches Grades 4 and 5
Previously taught in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore

I am delighted to be part of the G4/5 team. I am Ritchelle Valdez and I am from Cebu, Philippines. I have a bachelor’s degree in English with Applied Linguistics and took further studies in Special Education. I have taken different roles as a lower elementary teacher, PYP Exhibition mentor, cross-country and swimming coach. I look forward to expanding my experience and sharing strategies that I’ve picked up along the way.
Prior to embarking on a journey to Japan, I have taught in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. I enjoy reading and the outdoors, like running and biking.

Yoko Yanagi

Teaches Japanese A in the secondary school
Previously taught in Japan

I have been teaching at HIS since 2008. I am a Specialist teacher of Japanese Classical Literature. I love Japanese culture and history and enjoy travelling to Nara and Kyoto to explore these interests. In my spare time I enjoy reading, experimenting with baking cakes and spending time with the family.

Masayo Yoshitake

Teaches Early Childhood
Previously taught in Japan and USA

I joined the HIS faculty in 1999. Before that, I taught at several pre-schools in California. I enjoy playing sports and I have been coaching the HIS Volleyball Team since 2006. My hobbies and interests are calligraphy, reading, and visiting hot springs.