At TIS, all of our homeroom teachers are fluent English speakers and are qualified to teach in their home countries (currently Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States). They also have teaching experience in elementary/junior high school settings and are comfortable working in an international environment.
Ms. Jerbylyn Agtutubo (Philippines) – MYP (Math)
Ms. Agtutubo graduated magna cum laude from the Philippine Normal University in 2002 with a degree in Bachelor in Secondary Education major in Mathematics. She then took on further studies at Miriam College, and finished her Master’s degree in Educational Measurement and Evaluation in 2014. Her experience in international education started when she worked as a Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics teacher at Singapore International School in Jakarta Indonesia, wherein she taught Secondary 1 to Secondary 4 students. While taking up her masters, she was working as a middle school mathematics teacher at Domuschola International School, an IB school in the Philippines. She stayed in the school for four years, later on being assigned to lead the secondary school department and to start up the school’s application for authorization in offering the IB Diploma Programme. Recently, she has worked as an IB MYP Mathematics teacher at Madison International School in Monterrey, Mexico. She has participated in various IB in-school, face to face and online workshops including PYP Concept Based Instruction, PYP Assessment, PYP Action, MYP Mathematics Category 1, DP Math Studies Category 1, and DP Coordination. Being an international educator gives her the opportunity to work and travel at the same time and so she takes advantage of the chance to discover and explore new things in the different places she settles in or visit. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, hanging out at the beach, going out for coffee with a friend, and sometimes just spending time at home to watch movies and catch up on some reading.
Mrs. Judy Alfuen (Philippines) – PYP (Kindergarten)
Mrs. Alfuen graduated Cum Laude from the Philippine Normal College now Philippine Normal University with the degree of Bachelor in Elementary Education. She passed the Professional Board Examination for Teachers which qualifies her to teach K-12. She began her career at the age of 20 and whilst teaching she decided to pursue her post graduate studies. Mrs. Alfuen finished her Master of Arts in Education in 1998 and Master of Early Childhood Education in 2004. After 17 years of teaching in her native Philippines she moved to Vietnam and spent 3 years as a curriculum and test writer in a school in Ho Chi Minh City. She then became a Middle School Math Teacher in an international school there. She became an active member of the Saigon Mathematics Competition League of Coaches, where her school received the champion award for three consecutive years. Mrs. Alfuen was also one of the organizers of the SEAMC 2014 (a well-known Math Competition Group for South East Asian Countries). Her passion for teaching math led her to further study. She is currently enrolled in the online program of the University of the Philippines taking a Diploma in Mathematics Teaching which will conclude in 2016. Mrs. Alfuen’s teaching philosophy is to provide a high quality education and to empathize with and respect students, as she believes that each one has something special that can be built upon.
Mr. Wilbetson Chua (Canada) – DP (Math, Physics)
Mr. Chua was born in the Philippines and grew up in Canada. He graduated from University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Mathematics and Education. He has accumulated three years of teaching experience having the opportunity to work in China, Canada, and Korea where he taught Physical Education, Science and Math in the high school level. He enjoys learning new cultures and meeting new people while also having the opportunity to travel around the world. His other hobbies include playing sports, hiking, and cooking. Mr. Chua’s goal for the year is to create a fun environment where students feel comfortable learning and challenging themselves. He looks forward to getting to know each and everyone in TIS.
Ms. Rebecca Chong (United Kingdom) – PYP (Kindergarten)
Miss Rebecca has obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History with Honours from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). During her time at university she volunteered in a variety of different capacities that allowed her to gain experience with children of various age groups, which led to her decision to attain a Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Education from the University of Reading (England). After qualifying as an Early Years Teacher, Miss Rebecca was offered a teaching position in an IB kindergarten in Hong Kong where she taught pre-nursery children for one year before deciding to move to Japan. While working at the Victoria Educational Organisation in Hong Kong, Miss Rebecca attended numerous professional development opportunities including “Making the PYP happen in the classroom in the early years” Category 1, “PYP 3-5 Year Olds” Category 3, and the HKIS Literacy Institute’s “Reading and Writing Workshop”.
Mr. Jared Dano (Canada) – MYP (Individuals and Societies)
Mr. Dano graduated from the University of Manitoba, Western Canada’s oldest university, with two degrees. He has a B.Ed which he graduated from with the dean’s distinction. He is certified to teach kindergarten to Grade 12. Along with his B.Ed, he has a B.A with a double major in Asian studies and geography, and a minor in history. In addition to these credentials, he also completed the Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (CTESL) program certified by TESL. Canada. Mr. Dano has had a variety of teaching experiences including teaching early years and middle years for the Aomori City Board of Education, early years at Lertlah School in Thailand, international students at the University of Manitoba, and middle and high school level in the public school system in Canada. To further his teaching expertise, he has completed many professional development sessions, including: An Introductory Workshop for the IB MYP, Implementing the MYP, Delivering Individuals and Societies in the MYP, Designing Authentic Assessment, and Global Contexts in the MYP. Mr. Dano’s teaching philosophy is to provide a high quality education that helps every child to become a responsible and productive member of the global community.
Mr. Andres Eguiguren (Chile / United States) – MYP (Individuals and Societies)
Mr. Eguiguren was born in Chile and grew up in that country as well as Venezuela and the United States. He obtained a B.A. in Plan II (Liberal Arts) with honors from the University of Texas at Austin. After obtaining his Texas Teacher Certification in Elementary and Bilingual/ESL (Pre-K to 6th Grade), he taught fourth grade in Texas and was the director of a pre-school and daycare in St. Louis, Missouri, before deciding to work and live overseas After briefly teaching at a university in Zhengzhou, China, Mr. Eguiguren was the Lead Teacher at two local high schools in the United Arab Emirates before pursuing his Master of Education in TESOL at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He went on to take on posts as Academic Director and Acting General Director at two language schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, before joining the British International School Vietnam in that same city. It was at this time that Mr. Eguiguren became both an IELTS Examiner and an IGCSE English examiner. In 2005 he joined the International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he taught MYP Humanities (now Individuals and Societies) and IB Diploma History as well as taking on the role of Head of the Humanities Department during his last two years there. He was also an IB Diploma examiner for two years and an MYP moderator for three years while at IST. Mr. Eguiguren has since continued to teach IB Diploma History, Theory of Knowledge and IGCSE History, as well as acting as a university and careers adviser, at Hiroshima International School and Nexus International School Malaysia. Most recently, he successfully helped Albanian College Tirana obtain IB Diploma candidate school status as the Deputy Head in charge of the high school programme. With his ten years of IB Diploma experience, Mr. Eguiguren looks forward to helping Tsukuba International School in its efforts to be authorised for the Diploma Programme and is delighted to return to Japan with his family.
Mr. Paul Escott (United Kingdom) – PYP (Grade 5)
Mr Escott graduated with BA (Hons) in French Language and Literature from UEA in England before coming to Japan on the JET program. Having worked in Elementary and Junior High Schools in Akita, he completed his Certificate in Teaching English to Adults in London then worked in Yokohama for six years. He received his Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2011 from Birmingham City University and taught in his hometown of Birmingham for three years before moving to the British Council School of Madrid, where his class’s teaching and learning featured on Spain’s top TV news. He holds Level 2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and in his spare time enjoys playing his guitar, hiking and spending time with his family.
Ms. Sega Guadarrama (Philippines) – PYP (Grade 3)
Ms. Guadarrama is from Manila, Philippines. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Major in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Education, Major in Basic Education Teaching. She is a qualified preschool to elementary school teacher after passing the Philippine Licensure Exams for Teachers. She has been in the academe for over twelve years, half of which in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. She has experience teaching lower and upper primary levels from the previous institutions she has worked for. She has attended workshops by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS), Innovative Global Education (IGE) and Stanford University. She enjoys travel and exploring the world with her family.
Mr. Andrew Hayes (United Kingdom) — MYP (English)
Born on a small, idyllic island in the north of Kent in the United Kingdom, Mr Hayes went on to study Media and Journalism at Bournemouth University in England. After graduating from university in 2003 he went to teach English in Hanoi, Vietnam for three years, working with children and adults. He returned to the UK to study a Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education, majoring in English, at Canterbury Christ Church University. He then taught English Language and Literature at a secondary school in England, before embarking on an Eastern European odyssey in Hungary for six years. There, in the university city of Szeged, he taught English to high school students and later worked as an English Communications Manager for a large Hungarian conglomerate. Arriving in Japan in 2013, Mr Hayes commenced work at Tsuchiura Nihon University Secondary School, teaching English to 13-18 year old students. Now working at TIS, Mr Hayes is assisting the school with the English syllabus and developing the Diploma Programme. In his free time, Mr Hayes enjoys nothing more than sampling local Japanese delicacies and trying out interesting and innovative new restaurants. A keen traveller, his hobbies include scuba diving, cooking and reading as often as possible.
Mr. Ken Koshibe (Japan) – PYP (Physical Education)
Mr.Koshibe graduated from Temple University with Bachelor of Arts. He started his teaching career as a cram school teacher in Tokyo until he was offered to coach the high school boys basketball team at Yokohama International School. The following year, he was offered a position as an assistant teacher. Soon he found his passion in teaching and completed the physical education certification program in Washington. He enjoys playing almost any sport (especially basketball) and also loves photography and travel around the world. He is a passionate and motivated teacher who is always committed to learn and improve. He is passionate about giving students the best possible education in academics and life.
Ms. Kim Marie Loupas (United States) – PYP (Pre-Kindergarten)
Ms. Kim comes from Columbus, Georgia. She graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Education. She has two teaching certifications, Georgia Educator Certificate in Early Childhood Education and a Georgia Educator Certificate in Middle Grades (4-8) Math. After graduating university she spent five years in Shimane prefecture, working as an A.L.T., teaching English at two junior high schools. While in Shimane, she also volunteered at a Japanese preschool and participated in a local high school taiko group.
Ms. Hiroko Momohara (Japan) – PYP, MYP (Visual Arts)
Ms. Momohara graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with a Bachelor of Arts. She is qualified to teach English at the junior high school and high school level. She worked as an English teacher in Japanese high schools for 11 years. While she was in Vienna with her husband and two sons for a year, she became interested in different educational paradigms, such as Waldorf/Steiner education. From 2000, she began to study education through art. She now holds art programmes for children and their parents and she enjoys playing the lyre (a small harp).
Mr. Ken Nakanishi (Canada) – PYP (Grade 2)
Mr. Nakanishi was born and raised in Toronto, Canada as a second-generation (二世) Japanese-Canadian. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an Honors Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and Bioarchaeological Anthropology). After volunteering for three months teaching English and working on various international development projects in a rural village in Indonesia, he decided to pursue teaching. Mr. Nakanishi graduated from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto with a Master of Teaching (Primary/Junior Division). His thesis was about “Inclusionary Education for Students in Conflict with the Law: Case Study”. During his teaching candidacy, two of 4 placements were at IB certified schools: Junior Kindergarten and Grade 2. During the summer of graduate school, he worked at a summer intensive academy in Seoul, South Korea, teaching SAT prep to high school students. Upon becoming a certified teacher, Mr. Nakanishi taught Grade 3 at the Canadian International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for two years. During this time, he completed several additional qualifications for the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT): Special Education part 1; and ESL part 1 and 2. He has also completed an IB Category 1 workshop: Introduction to the PYP curriculum. Mr Nakanishi is fluent in Japanese, and enjoys dance, scuba diving, and travelling
Mr. Stephen Okyne (United States) – PYP (Grade 4), Well-Being Coordinator
Mr. Okyne is from New York. He has a Bachelor of Science (Behavioral Science) and a Masters of Science degree in Education which includes New York certification for grades 1-6. He has worked in public schools in the US and in Japan. He is a dedicated, resourceful and goal driven professional educator with a solid commitment to the social and academic growth and development of every student. Mr. Okyne enjoys listening to music, gardening, basketball and a good game of football, American of course! Although he is not a great cook, he does like to experiment and try new dishes. He likes to travel and his journeys have taken him to Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, Ghana, Thailand and England among other places. Mr. Okyne enjoys meeting new people and exploring different cultures.
Ms. Ester Palit-Ang (Philippines) — MYP (Sciences), DP (Biology, Chemistry)
Ms. Palit-ang was born and raised in northern Philippines. Growing up in a family of educators, she knew that teaching was her passion. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Biology/Science Education with honors and shortly after passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers, she was employed in the high school attached to the university where she obtained her degree. While serving her alma mater as a full-time science teacher, she pursued and finished her Master of Arts in Science Education. She accepted the challenge to teach in the college level in the same university and became an assistant professor. She was one of the pioneering faculty members of the Environmental Studies Department and actively involved in curriculum planning and development of its programs. She was assigned to teach major and minor subjects in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences. Alongside, she served as an adviser and technical critic for undergraduate research students. In her sixth year in the university, she was sent to Ibaraki University for her Master of Science in Bio-resource Sciences (major in Environmental Chemistry) under the auspices of Japan International Cooperation Agency. Her experience in a Japanese university and science research institutes in Tsukuba City had further developed her laboratory skills and in areas such as data analysis and writing scientific papers. She also became a part of the Japanese educational system where she spent seven years as a teacher in the primary and middle schools of the Kasama City Board of Education. Ms. Palit-ang is very much delighted to join TIS and the idea of implementing the IB curriculum. When she is not teaching, she enjoys cooking, gardening, camping and helping out in her community.
Mr. Travis Pardy (Canada) — MYP (English)
Mr. Pardy is from the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. After completing a Bachelor of English, which included two years on the Dean’s List as a top-performing student, he worked in Japan for 6 years as an English instructor and office manager in the Tohoku area. After completing his Bachelor of Education back in Canada, Mr. Pardy taught for 3 years as teacher to both children and adult learners in Canada, while also volunteering on local boards and committees in the areas in which he worked. He then returned to Japan to work here at TIS with his family. He is delighted at the idea of teaching IB curriculum, as the IB’s mission statement fits well into his own personal educational philosophy of creating open-minded and reflective learners. Mr. Pardy holds Level 2 in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
Ms. Naveeya Pumhiran (Thailand) – PYP (Pre-Kindergarten)
Ms. Naveeya graduated from Chulalongkon University, Bangkok, Thailand, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, First Class Honor. She studied Broadcasting and Performing Arts as her major and minor subject respectively. Being fluent in spoken and written in English, she became an English Tutor at a private English Institute for 3 years as well as instructing drama classes and workshops at various International Schools around Bangkok. Her teaching experience assured her that she’s on the right career path. She then decided to study her Master Degree in Drama and Theatre in Education at the University of Warwick, UK and graduated with Distinction. Naveeya came back to Thailand to teach drama for a year before moving to Japan with her family. She joined TIS as an afterschool care assistant for 2 years before becoming the preschool teacher’s assistant in 2016.
Ms. Rae-Ann Reyes (Philippines) – MYP, DP (Visual Arts)
Ms. Reyes graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (major) and Education (minor) in 2003 and a Master of Family Life and Child Development degree in 2012. After graduating, she taught preschool children in a local Chinese school for four years. She spent a year at Bannister Academy in the Philippines where she was a preschool program director and designed the preschool curriculum and policies. She then pursued further teaching experience in IB schools such as Cebu International School and Chinese International School Manila where, apart from preschool, she was also an elementary homeroom teacher, an elementary art teacher, and an IB Visual Arts teacher. In between teaching, she has also worked for Scholastic Books as an educational program consultant. Her hobbies include sewing, arts and crafts projects, travelling, and cooking. She makes handmade clothes and learning toys and resources as a passion project.
Mr. Goro Sakaguchi (Japan) – MYP (Sciences)
Mr. Sakaguchi was born in Shizuoka, Japan and spent most of his childhood years in the United States. After completing his compulsory education, he returned to Japan and studied Geology at the Shizuoka University. He achieved his Diploma and teaching qualification in 1995, and since then, he taught at various schools and institutions both domestic and abroad. Mr. Sakaguchi has seven years of teaching experience in the IB MYP Program and he is very excited to implement the philosophy at TIS. On holidays he loves to travel, but on weekends, he cooks, swims, plays the piano, takes photos and much more.
Mr. Michael Sansoni (United States) – PYP, MYP (Music)
Mr. Sansoni holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Voice Performance and Music Education, and two Master’s degrees from Yale University, one in Voice Performance and one in Choral Conducting. He is the only student to ever complete both of these degrees at Yale. Before coming to Tsukuba International School, Michael taught for six years at Franklin High School, a large public high school in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. He has sung solo with the Aspen Music Festival Opera Center, the Cervo Guitar Festival, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Cleveland Youth Orchestra. Michael has completed both PYP and MYP category 1 in terms of professional development, and has recently passed the Kanji Kentei Level 7.
Ms. Chiaki Shirata (Japan) – PYP (Japanese)
Mr. Ashton Simmonds (Australia) – MYP (Design)
Ms. Dianne Suzuki (Australia) – PYP (Grade 1)
With three uncles as teachers influencing her childhood, it’s no surprise that Dianne dreamed of one day becoming a teacher. Graduating from Northern Rivers CAE (Southern Cross University) with a Diploma of Teaching, she set her sights overseas and found herself teaching English in Japan. Dianne was involved in TIS in its infancy, initially as a volunteer teacher, then a part time teacher, then finally as principal teacher before leaving to concentrate on her own family. Dianne’s many years as a teacher in a variety of settings and as a parent gives her a unique insight into the challenges that multi-lingual, multicultural and internationally-minded families face in Japan when trying to find the right educational setting for their children. Dianne is excited to be back at TIS to see the school grow and become what its founders dreamed it to one day be. “Education is not the filling of a bucket but rather the lighting of a fire”.
Ms. Misako Wada (Japan) – MYP, DP (Japanese)
Misako Wada graduated from International Christian University (Tokyo), with B.A.in College of liberal arts. She has a certificate for teaching Japanese as a foreign language and teaching certificate for high school. She has been teaching Japanese as a foreign language at Japanese language school in Tokyo, University of San Carlos, Guatemala (as a JICA volunteer), and a private high school in Kochi prefecture. After one year of maternity leave, she is looking forward to teaching at TIS again.
Ms. Ayumi Woollard (Japan) – Librarian
Mrs. Woollard graduated from Capital Normal University (China) with a degree in Modern Chinese after 4 years living and studying in Beijing. She achieved the highest level in the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) (National Chinese Language Exam). Ayumi spent 5 years living in the UK where she studied English at London Metropolitan University before moving with her family to the English Lake District, home of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Ayumi’s experience as the parent of a lively 2-year-old has driven her interest in early years education and she is enjoying the opportunity to develop her professional knowledge at TIS.
Ms. Hiromi Yagishita (Japan) – PYP (Pre-Kindergarten)
Mrs. Yagishita has a degree in English Language and Literature from Meikai University. After graduating, she worked at Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel for five years before deciding to attend Seitoku University in order to obtain her license to become a nursery school teacher. She has five years’ experience teaching in a Japanese nursery school. Mrs. Yagishita joined TIS in 2009, specialising in working with our youngest students. She helps the students take their first steps towards developing their motor skills and reading and writing skills, and she also introduces them to various elements of Japanese culture. Mrs. Yagishita has attended three official IB PYP workshops (Making the PYP Happen (twice) and Teaching and Learning in the PYP) and attended an “Early Years Job-Alike” at Tokyo International School in 2011. She has also visited several international schools to observe and learn from their early years programmes.
Mr. Prabhakar Yesupathem (India) – MYP (Physical Education)
Ms. Preetha Yesupathem (India) – PYP (Pre-Kindergarten)
Ms. Yesupathem is from Bangalore, India. She graduated BA (Hons) in Education from Chhattisgarh University, India, has a Diploma in Pre and Primary Education from Asian College of Teaching, UK and a Masters Diploma in TEFL. After teaching the upper primary she moved on to Pre-Kindergarten setting for the last 3 years. She has taught PYP at various International Schools at different locations in India and Africa. Ms. Yesupathem has attended the IB PYP workshop “Making the PYP Happen in the Early Years” and recently did a workshop on “Positive Discipline in the Classroom”. She is married to Mr. Prabhakar Yesupathem and has a daughter. Her hobbies include cooking, and travelling along with her family.
Ms. Kiyoko Koganei (Japan) – School Counsellor
Ms. Koganei completed her Bachelor of Science (Psychology) at Salve Regina University and a Master of Science (Marriage and Family Therapy) at Fuller School of Psychology in the Unites States. She is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and a clinical psychologist in Japan. She worked in several counseling centers associated with a graduate school and in local schools from elementary through high school. She is currently working for a clinic in Tokyo with psychiatrists and other clinical psychologists and also going to another graduate school to advance her career and learn more about research in Psychology. In addition to the work in the clinic, she owns a private practice, Hope International Counseling, in Tokyo for people who seek a healthier emotional life. Her daily life is filled with meeting and listening to people and reflecting on the amazing journeys that individuals take. Her goal is to not lose the spirit of enjoyment even in the busy moment and to balance work and relaxation. She misses the cultural experiences which she enjoyed while she was overseas. TIS is giving her the joy and excitement of being around people from different parts of the world.
Ms. Naoko Saito (Japan) – School Counsellor
Ms. Naoko Saito completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Biola University and Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in the Unites States. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in Japan. She worked in a counseling center associated with a graduate school in the U.S., also in a mental clinic and a public child developmental center in Japan. Over the years, she worked with hundreds of children and their families as well as individuals and couples, and visited many nursery schools and preschools as a clinical therapist. She is currently working as a school counselor in local schools from elementary through junior high and also working in several public health centers providing counseling for parents of 1 to 5 year old children. She loves working with children and intends to further grow as a counselor. She enjoys taking a walk in the neighborhood sensing the change of seasons, also loves traveling to experience different cultures, including ethnic foods. She enjoys spending time at TIS especially because of its cultural diversity and beautiful nature around it.
Ms. Patcharapim Takizawa (Thailand) – School Counsellor / After School Care
Ms. Takizawa Patcharapim is from Thailand. She achieved her undergraduate degree in Doctoral of Medicine, Khonkhaen University, Thailand. After that, she obtained the Diploma of Psychiatrists from the Thai Board of Psychiatry, Chulanlongkorn University, Thailand. She is certified as a medical doctor by The Medical Council of Thailand, and a psychiatrist board-certified by The Royal College of Psychiatrists of Thailand. Ms. Takizawa is also a certified trainer of the Beck Supervision Program in Cognitive Therapy, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, USA, and the Problem Based Learning Program, Maastricht University, Netherlands. She is currently a Ph.D. student of the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan. Before coming to Japan, Ms. Takizawa worked for the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Thailand as a psychiatrist and clinical instructor in both the general and international program, gaining experience in taking care of children and adults with physical and psychological problems. Her main duties were taking care of patients with mental disorders and addictive disorders. Furthermore, Ms. Takizawa also worked as an instructor, supervising psychiatric residents as well as teaching medical students. This is her first year of working as a school counselor at TIS. Ms. Takizawa has a true passion for working with children and values every moment that she spends in helping and supporting them. Her journey has just begun and she is very excited.
Japanese Program Director
Ms. Akane Kono (Japan) – PYP, MYP (Japanese), Japanese Program Director, Guidance Counsellor
Ms. Kono has a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Tsukuba and a Master of Arts in International Studies, also from the University of Tsukuba. She received an award for her master’s thesis. She has a certificate for teaching Japanese as a foreign language from the University of Tsukuba and teaching qualifications for both junior high school and high school (both in the “specialized” category, the highest one available in Japan). She has taught Japanese to both Japanese and foreign students at the Japan Aviation Academy and the University of Creation, and has given guest lectures at the University of Tsukuba and Ami International Exchange Association. Ms. Kono’s students have won awards for Japanese speech contests, Sakura Medal book trailers and haiku (Itoen haiku challenge). She has attended several IB PYP, MYP and DP workshops, both in-school at with other schools. She has also passed the 2nd Grade of the English Proficiency Test (Eiken) and Level 2 of the Secretarial Skills Proficiency Test. She is a member of the Society for Teaching Japanese as a Second Language, Society of Japanese Language Education Methods (JLEM), the Japanese Association of Second Language Acquisition (JASLA), Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe (AJE) and the Mother Tongue, Heritage Language, and Bilingual Education Research Association (MHB) and Japan Association for Research into IB Education.
IB Programme Coordinators
Mr. Ian Woollard (United Kingdom) – Learning Support, PYP Coordinator, Vice Principal (Elementary School)
Mr. Woollard graduated from the University of Leeds (UK) with a distinction and honours in BA Chinese (Major) and Politics (Minor). After Leeds, he undertook a Master’s degree in International Development at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, completing a Master’s dissertation on education and economic development in Rural China. He completed his teaching qualification at the University of Cumbria (UK) and has since added a postgraduate certificate in Special Needs education. Ian was attracted to the IB Programme because of its strong emphasis on responsible international mindedness and social action. His professional interest in teaching remains tightly aligned to his belief that education should be emancipatory and have the capacity to effect positive social change. Ian has lived and worked in the UK, Romania, India and China and is enjoying his time in Japan. He is married to Mrs. Ayumi Woollard. They have two children, Sora and Haru.
Mr. Vincent Jan Africa (Philippines) – MYP (Mathematics), MYP Coordinator, Vice Principal (Middle School)
Mr. Africa is from the Philippines. He is a graduate of De La Salle Lipa, Philippines of BS Secondary Education Major in Mathematics with honors. After teaching High School Physics and Mathematics for two years in the Philippines, he moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where he worked in an international school. During his stay, he worked as a middle school mathematics teacher, discipline coordinator and programme coordinator. Mr. Africa also does work for the IB Asia Pacific Region as a Workshop Leader, School Visit Team Member and Building Quality Curriculum Reviewer. He has been sent to lead workshops and evaluate IB school programs in several different countries such as Indonesia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia.
Mr. Peter Congreve (Australia) – MYP Mathematics, DP Coordinator, Vice Principal (High School)
Mr. Congreve is an honors graduate of engineering from the University of Queensland, Australia. His specializations lie in engineering, design & technology, physics, the earth sciences and mathematics; he also holds additional qualifications in computer programming. After graduating, Mr Congreve found himself drawn to education and spent many years tutoring in Australia and Japan before winning a coveted scholarship from Education Queensland to return to his alma mater to undertake a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. Mr Congreve graduated with a Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence and spent several years teaching science, mathematics and senior physics in Far North Queensland, before returning to Japan. As a passionate believer in the IB and its role in building multicultural understanding and empowering young men and women to engage socially and professionally at an international level, he is excited to have joined TIS in 2014. Mr Congreve is married with two children, and lives in Tsukuba.
Ms. Tara Belusevic (Serbia) – Staff Support Officer
Ms. Belusevic has been a member of the TIS team since 2018.
Ms. Joanne Handa (United Kingdom) – School Manager
Mrs. Handa graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA (Hons.) in International History and Politics and came to Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching programme (JET). She lived and worked in Fukushima prefecture, as an assistant English teacher and then as a coordinator for international relations. After completing an MA in Advanced Japanese Studies from the University of Sheffield, she has undertaken administrative work, including English editing and Japanese to English translation, for Sumitomo Life, Tokyo National Museum, and the National Institute for Environmental Studies. She has passed Level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and joined the TIS administration team in February 2011.
Ms. Hisae Kitazawa (Japan) – Financial Officer
Ms. Kitazawa has been a member of the TIS team since 2012.
Mr. Shinji Yagishita (Japan) – Facilities Officer
Mr. Yagishita has been a member of the TIS team since 2008, but he joined us as a full-time staff member in 2018.
Head of School
Ms. Shaney Crawford (Canada) – Principal
Ms. Crawford is originally from Canada. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Language and Linguistics from Queen’s University (Canada), a Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) from Charles Sturt University (Australia), and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Tsukuba (Japan). She has received several academic awards including the Governor General’s Academic Medal for highest standing graduate in her high school, an annual provincial scholarship and a one-time scholarship for high standing in her faculty at Queen’s University, a Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Japan, and an award for her master’s thesis at the University of Tsukuba. She has completed various PYP workshops (Pedagogical Leadership in the PYP in 2011, Making the PYP Happen in 2010 and 2011), MYP workshops (Delivering the MYP in 2011, Global Contexts in 2015, Approaches to Learning in 2016), DP workshops (DP for Administrators in 2014, Academic Honesty in 2016, Librarians in 2016, TOK for subject teachers in 2017, Role of the Supervisor in the Extended Essay in 2018) and cross-programme workshops (Governance in 2016, Creating Inclusive Classrooms in 2017). She has also attended job-alikes and visited many of the IB schools in Japan, and a number of schools in Hong Kong, to observe classes and learn more about their IB implementation. She has passed Levels 3, 2, and 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Levels 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 of the Japan Kanji Aptitude Test, and Levels 7, 6, 5 and pre-4 of the Japanese Language Examination. Ms. Crawford originally came to Japan in 1995, and has lived in Tsukuba since 2002. She has been involved with Tsukuba International School since 2004 and has led the school since 2011. She has been serving as the Vice President of the Japan Council of International Schools since 2012, and she sits on several governmental and non-governmental committees at the city, prefectural, and national level.