Nigel Barker

British
Teaches Design, Chemistry and Mathematics
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
PYP Coordinator & EAL
Previously taught in UK

I arrived at HIS in 2008 and have taught classes from Kindergarten through to Grade 5 during this time. I am an IB PYP workshop leader and school visitor and enjoy working collaboratively with others. I advocate the dramatic and visual arts in my teaching practices and spend my free time swimming, drawing, reading, travelling and volunteering at the local dog centre.

Wayne Bartelink

Canadian
Teaches PE throughout the school
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.

Christina Hyde

USA
Teaches Science and Biology in the secondary school
CAS Coordinator
Previously taught in the USA

I joined HIS in 2013, and I teach science in the secondary school. I began my teaching career in 2010 as a middle school science teacher. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, being outdoors, and most importantly photography!

Joshua Jones

USA
Teaches Mathematics in the secondary school
Previously taught in the USA

I have been at HIS since 2013 and teach mathematics in the secondary school. My teaching career began in 2005 at a university in Texas, and I have been teaching high school since 2010. My interests outside of school include philosophy, cooking, and computer/board games.

Marybeth Kamibeppu

American
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

Japanese
Teaches Japanese throughout the school
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 enjoy interacting with my students very much. My interest includes playing tennis, reading both in English and Japanese, and chatting over cafe latte.

Ayako Kurokawa

Japanese
Teaches Art throughout the school; college counselling
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 and IB workshop leader for both CAS and DP Visual Arts. I love visiting galleries and museums and I also love watching my daughter draw.

Yumi Kyogoku

Japanese
Teaches PYP/MYP Japanese
Head of Japanese Department
Previously taught in USA

I joined HIS in 2015. I was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning. I worked as a classroom teacher in K-8 language immersion school in the US for 15 years. My goal as a teacher is to teach my students how to become a lifelong learner. Outside of school I love walking and travelling with my family.

Junko Koibuchi

Japanese
Teaches Japanese throughout the school
Previously taught in Japan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka

I began working at HIS in summer 2011. I have been teaching Japanese for over ten years in Japan and overseas. It is my pleasure to see my students smile. I enjoy teaching and learning languages. I also enjoy exploring different cultures and getting to know lots of new people. I love traveling, reading, yoga and playing badminton.

Denise Lee

Canadian
Teaches Science
Previously taught in Canada

I joined HIS during the summer of 2016 to teach science to grade 6-8. I am also the supervisor for the school’s Athletic Association. I am an advocate for the sports and arts as I was a competing swimmer, dancer, pianist and artist, and currently I am practicing kendo, ultimate frisbee and longboarding (not great but still learning)!

Annie Levasseur

Canadian
Teaches Humanities and History
Previously taught in Poland and the Republic of Georgia

I am from Montreal, Canada and have been teaching internationally since 2008. I have a BA in Liberal Arts, a PGCE in Education and am currently finishing a masters in Global Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. When not working or studying, I enjoy learning languages, travelling, hiking, reading, playing music and cooking. I am a native speaker of French and English and can speak a few other languages at various levels, including Polish and Russian.

My teaching experience has brought me to engage with all three IB programs (PYP, MYP and DP) and I have been an examiner for DP history since 2013. I am a big supporter of the IB’s educational philosophy and am looking forward to contributing to its development at HIS.

Bryan Mejia

USA
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

I am from Singapore and have made my home now in Arizona, USA. I have a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education from the US. I have 10 years of teaching experience and have taught in Guam, Thailand, and China. My classroom teaching experience ranges from grade one through grade five. I have taught the PYP curriculum for 5 years and one of my teaching passion is instilling in my students the joy of reading. I am looking forward to working with the little ones!

Paola Pardo

USA / Colombia
Grades 2 & 3 Teaching Assistant
Previously taught in Colombia

This is my first year in Japan and HIS. Having worked as a preschool teacher and teaching assistant for the past 3 years in Colombia, I am continuing to develop my skills as an educator. I am passionate about traveling whilst playing an active role in education and eco-social regeneration. I look forward to developing my japanese and traveling in and around Japan. I like yoga, rock climbing, photography and being outdoors.

Jessica Pechhold

USA
Director of Studies; teaches Humanities
Previously taught in 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.

Stirling Perry

American
Teaches English and Theory of Knowledge
Previously taught in Japan, Colombia, Ecuador, Taiwan, Turkey

Tadaima! I’m very excited to be back in Japan after an absence of 8 years. Teaching is both a passion and job for me, and I’m very happy to be a part of the HIS team. My other passions include playing sports (rugby, soccer/football, volleyball), traveling, reading, photography, and generally learning more about the world and my place in it.

Damian Rentoule

Australian
Principal
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, 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 life-long 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

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

This is my third 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

Japanese
Teaching Assistant in Kindergarten and Grade 1
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.

Takako Tokunaga

Japanese
Teaches Music throughout the school
Previously taught in local high schools

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.

Jason Underwood

Australian
Teaches English, Life Skills, IT
Previously taught in Japan and Australia

I joined the team at Hiroshima International School in 2012. Since then I have taught a range of subjects but I specialize in English. My interest in performing arts has found an outlet with the school’s annual production, Festive Eve, which I help produce. I spend my weekends looking after my three daughters and cycling whenever I get the chance!

Ritchelle Valdez

Philippines
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.

Matt White

Australian
Teaches grades 4 and 5
Previously taught in Australia, Singapore and Colombia

I have moved to Japan from Bogota, Colombia where I was for the past 4 years. Prior to my time in Bogota I spent 5 years in Singapore, which has become my second home in many ways. My last 9 years have all been spent in PYP schools and I have been lucky enough to find myself in positions of leadership, moulding curriculum and heading the PYP Exhibition for the last 3 years. I like students to surprise themselves, become leaders and leave the classroom as better people. I have moved to Hiroshima with Paola. We moved to Japan to explore the country, immerse ourselves in the culture and learn a new language. Since I chose this career path, Japan has always been on my radar and finally the time has arrived.

Yoko Yanagi

Japanese
Teaches Japanese throughout the 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

Japanese
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.