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Fukuoka International School Teachers

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FIS hires teachers who can guide and inspire students through a process of enquiry based learning so as to fully develop their critical thinking skills.

Brian Freeman
Brian Freeman
Teaching Area :
Elementary Principal
Grade 5 IBPYP
Country :
United States

Introduction
Brian Freeman has been appointed as the Elementary School Principal at the Fukuoka International School as well as the grade 5 teacher. He has had 18 years of teaching experience in the United States, Japan and Australia. Brian has a strong philosophy in providing a challenging education for his students, however providing a nurturing and fun environment for them to learn in. Brian’s outside interests include hunting, spearfishing, surfing, fishing and archery. Apart from having 4 wonderful children, he proudly owns 3 hunting dogs and is a registered Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder with the Japan Kennel Club.

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Paul McKenzie
Paul McKenzie
Teaching Area :
Secondary School Principal
Grades 6-10 IT
Country :
New Zealand

Introduction
Paul McKenzie is the new Secondary School Principal at Fukuoka International School having previously held the same position at the International School of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He is returning to Japan where he first started working in education 25 years ago as a teacher and trainer of ESL teachers in Osaka and Sapporo. It was in Osaka Mr. McKenzie met his Canadian wife, Jennie, and has since taught in Canada, the Middle East, Europe and most recently, West Africa. With over ten years experience in international school administration in both IB and non-IB schools, Paul and Jennie are excited to be back in Japan; this time with their youngest child, Abby in Grade 11. Mr. McKenzie believes the best preparation for successful entry into universities and careers around the world requires learners to actively engage in discovering their passions and how they might contribute to local and global communities. An education that immerses students in authentic, inquiry-driven activities deepens conceptual understanding and an appreciation of academic pursuits. He believes that through diversity we find inspiration and strength and as a parent and educator, is convinced international schools are the best places for developing globally minded citizens. Japanese language and culture, science, technology, history and sailing are among Mr. McKenzie’s main interests. He is also keenly looking forward to the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

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Joanne Sandrin
Joanne Sandrin
Teaching Area :
Pre-K3
Country :
Canada

Introduction
For the past 14 years, Joanne has taught overseas in Russia, Japan, Ecuador and Myanmar. She has a particular interest in teaching younger learners and early childhood development and feels passionate about supporting the pre-schoolers on their way to primary school. Joanne has many interests, some of which include travelling, photography, technology, and scuba diving. She is also an avid language learner who speaks Italian, Russian and French and is working on Japanese.
Professional Qualifications: CELTA, B.A., B.Ed.

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Ginger Lubbe
Teaching Area :
Pre-K4
Country :
USA

Introduction
Ginger Lubbe is from Seattle, Washington in the United States where she earned degrees in English and elementary education. She has taught English in America, Spain and Japan. At Fukuoka International School, she has taught prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. Ginger is an avid reader and enjoys helping her young students to develop a love of reading.

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Erin Linton
Erin Linton
Teaching Area :
Kindergarten IB PYP Teacher
Country :
Canadian

Introduction
Erin was raised in rural New Brunswick, Canada and continued her education by attending University of Kings College in Halifax. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in English and History, she took her experience volunteering in a classroom and considered education her next adventure. She attended Queens University in Kingston, Ontario for the Bachelor of Education programme. Erin has spent the last four years teaching at an international school in Qatar and was delighted to continue on to Fukuoka International School this year. Erin is excited to learn more about Fukuoka, Japanese culture and cuisine, and most importantly her students!

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Aisling Brehony
Aisling Brehony
Teaching Area :
Primary Grade 1
Country :
Irish

Introduction
Aisling Brehony spent her childhood moving between countries in East Africa and attended a variety of educational institutions including an international school in Tanzania. She completed an undergraduate in Applied Psychology from the University College Cork in Ireland and went on to complete her post-graduate in teacher training from Cambridge University in England. After teaching in England this is her first international school experience as a teacher. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, hiking, rock climbing, yoga and painting.

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Corina Badea
Corina Badea
Teaching Area :
Grade2 IBPYP teacher
Country :
Romania

Introduction
Corina was born in Romania. She has been teaching for 15 years in countries like Romania, USA, and Japan. She has supported K-12th grade students in acquiring all English language skills, and now she is working as a second grade teacher at Fukuoka International School.

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Sean Tully
Teaching Area :
Grade3 IBPYP teacher
Country :
London

Introduction
Sean is from London but first began teaching when he lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sean spent many years teaching English in Chiang Mai, working for the largest private Thai school in Northern Thailand as a Grade 3 teacher, before teaching at the British Council and as an ELL teacher for the American Pacific International School. Sean has BA Politics degree from the University of Leeds; he completed his Post Graduate Certificate in Education with the University of Nottingham in 2010. In the last year, he returned to London to work in a Primary state school while gaining Qualified Teacher Status with the Institute of Education at the University College of London (UCL). Sean has also taught in Busan, Korea, and was delighted to move to Fukuoka, Japan, having never visited the country before. In his spare time Sean likes to write, swim, and travel.

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Duane Black
Duane Black
Teaching Area :
Grade3
Country :
American

Introduction
Duane Black has been working with primary aged children for over twenty years. He has helped students in America, Singapore, Japan, and China. He believes that each child is a gift to the world that is worthy of special cultivation and understanding. Duane has a Bachelors in Economics and a Masters in Elementary Education. Subjects such as music, PE, ESL, and IT have been a part of Duane’s primary school experience over the years. He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. Archery is a favorite pastime as well as Japanese taiko drums. Duane is very excited to be back in Japan after being away for over ten years. He looks forward to improving his Japanese language skills and becoming a better, well-rounded PYP instructor.

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Christian Horner
Christian Horner
Teaching Area :
Grade G4 IBPYP teacher
Country :
United Kingdom

Introduction
Christian is from Manchester, England. After working in Japan as an English teacher, he returned to the UK where he studied for his Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching. He taught in primary school in the UK for six before returning to Japan with his family. In his free time he likes to travel and enjoys mountain biking, hiking and camping.

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David Gates
David Gates
Teaching Area :
Grade 6、ELL
Country :
USA

Introduction
David Gates is starting his first year at Fukuoka International School. David hails from Aurora, Colorado in the United States. He has previously taught English in France, Japan, and the USA for over twelve years. He loves to bring his background in anthropology and cultural studies into his classroom. David has had the pleasure of working with both secondary and post-secondary students from all over the world. In his free time, David enjoys a wide range of activities including: spending time with his wife and young son, playing and designing board games, tinkering with electronics, reading, writing, cooking international dishes, running slowly, playing video games, and studying languages.

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William Lester
William Lester
Teaching Area :
Secondary History,
Humanities and IB Business Management
Country :
American

Introduction
William Lester attended Arizona State University where he graduated with a degree in Secondary Education with emphasis in Geography and Social Studies. He is currently in the last year with SUNY Buffalo State University in which he will receive his Masters in Multidisciplinary Education. William is new at Fukuoka International School and has come from Doha, Qatar where he spent the last two years teaching IGCSE Business Studies. William also has a background in teaching Economics and World History in Arizona, ESL in South Korea, and Outdoor Education in Europe. Along with a number of outdoor activities William mostly enjoys hiking, camping, and playing guitar. William feels that the key to a successful learning environment is communication within the educational community, personal dedication, and a friendly attitude.

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Akiko Koga
Akiko Koga
Teaching Area :
Grade 7, ES/MS Japanese
Country :
Japan

Introduction
Akiko Koga has taught Japanese language in established IB schools in Singapore and Kyoto, Japan for 17 years. She has experience in both MYP and PYP, and enjoys being an active IB teacher. She is excited about seeing each student develop both academically and socially. She likes to consider the needs of each of her students and to support every individual as far as possible. 
After living in Singapore, a multi-culture, multi-lingual country for more than a decade, she has developed a passion for participating in various cultural activities such as cooking and eating national dishes, wearing traditional costume, and learning the customs and languages of different ethnic groups. Since she returned to Japan, she has been spending her free time in learning about aspects of Japanese traditional culture, such as the tea ceremony, flower arrangement and kimono. She is looking forward to sharing her experience with the FIS community, and to learning more from others.

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Mark Epley
Teaching Area :
Middle School Math and Science
Country :
American

Introduction
My name is Mark Epley and I am teaching middle school math and science this year at FIS. I am originally from Huntington Beach California and have taught in California, Guam, Hawaii, New Zealand and most recently on the island of Saipan. I am a graduate of San Diego State University and have teaching credentials and licenses from California, New Zealand and Hawaii. I enjoy sports and outdoor recreation during my free time. My wife Tomoko is from Osaka and is an assistant at FIS and both of our children are attending FIS.

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Liam Grainger
Liam Grainger
Teaching Area :
English
Country :
Australian/ British

Introduction
Liam Grainger is a new Secondary English teacher at FIS. He is coming from Helsingborg, Sweden, where he taught English and worked as learning support. Mr. Grainger is coming to Fukuoka with his Swedish/ Vietnamese partner, Camilla and their cat, Neko.
Mr. Grainger is himself a product of the International School system, having graduated from The United Nations International School of Hanoi. Since then, he has obtained his Bachelor degree in History/Politics from Griffith University in Queensland and a Master of Teaching of English and History from Monash University in Melbourne. He has completed student placement and taught in Hanoi, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Sweden.
In his free time, Mr. Grainger enjoys playing guitar, various sports, reading, playing video games and spending time with family and friends.

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Hisako Ueda
Hisako Ueda
Teaching Area :
Grade 9, Secondary Japanese / IB DP Japanese
Country :
Japan

Introduction
Hisako taught at Harvard University for five years before returning to Fukuoka to continue her teaching career. After teaching at Kyushu University and Fukuoka University, she joined FIS in 2003. As Head of the Japanese Department, Hisako coordinates the language program and oversees instruction.
She currently teaches Grades 7-12 native classes and IB Japanese A courses. In addition, Hisako is the advisor for the Japan Day Committee, comprised of high school students, who volunteer to produce this whole-school, cultural event; her guidance and supervision are instrumental to the success of this annual production.

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Jonathan Marfleet
Jonathan Marfleet
Teaching Area :
English, Humanities
Country :
Australia

Introduction
Jonathan was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Foreign Languages and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Jonathan began his teaching career at an independent school in Australia before relocating to Dubai. After several years teaching at first an American and then a British curriculum school, he joined an educational consultancy firm that worked with independent schools throughout the Middle East region. He also worked with a specialist student travel company and led student tours to various destinations in Europe, Africa and Asia. Jonathan is a qualified PADI scuba diving instructor. In his free time he enjoys travelling, cooking and various outdoor activities.

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Sarah Emily McNew
Sarah Emily McNew
Teaching Area :
Grade 10, English
Country :
American

Introduction
Miss McNew is thrilled to be joining the highly qualified and enthusiastic teaching staff at Fukuoka International School this year. A passion for reading and an aptitude for literary analysis led Miss McNew to a career teaching English a little over a decade ago, and she cannot imagine a more challenging and rewarding career. After spending eight years in the public school system in America, she decided to embark upon her journey as an international educator. FIS will be her second international school, having spent the last three years teaching in Izmir, Turkey. As a lifelong learner herself, she is eager to explore her new home and discover all she can about the fascinating culture of Japan.

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Owen Macfarlane
Owen Macfarlane
Teaching Area :
ELL
Country :
Canada

Introduction
Owen was born and raised in Victoria, Canada. After getting involved with international exchanges to Brazil and Japan as a high school student, he continued traveling in university as a Japanese language student to Kobe, Japan. Following university, Owen participated in the well-regarded JET Program in Kyoto City as a high school assistant language teacher from 2006 to 2010. During these years, he fell in love with teaching and, in the summer of 2010, decided to return to Canada to complete teacher training. From 2012 to 2015, Owen worked as an ELL teacher in the West Vancouver School District while also completing his Masters of Education in Teaching English as an Additional Language at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. In his free time, Owen trains in Gojyuryu and Shitoryu Karate as well as playing and coaching volleyball whenever possible. He is very excited to join the Fukuoka International School community and looks forward to exploring the Kyushu region.

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Kamlesh Ballgobin
Kamlesh Ballgobin
Teaching Area :
Grade 11、 Secondary Science / IBDP Physics
Country :
Mauritius

Introduction
Kamlesh holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Technology from the University of Technology, Mauritius, BSc (Hons) Physics with Electronics from the University of Mauritius and a Diploma in Information Technology from the OXFORD CAMBRIDGE and RSA Examinations body. He is qualified to undertake assessment of candidates’ coursework for IGCSE Combined/Coordinated Science in accordance with CIE regulations.
Kamlesh is a trained IB physics teacher and has taught physics for the past 6 years. He is also an IB examiner. Kamlesh has a passion for science and is very keen to supervise and encourage students to participate in science challenged/competitions/communication contest. He likes to play football, volleyball and badminton.

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Kaoru Shimomura
Kaoru Shimomura
Teaching Area :
Secondary Maths / IBDP Maths
Country :
Japan

Introduction
Kaoru Shimomura was born in Japan and spent her youth in countries such as Kenya and UK. After completing her teacher training in Sussex University, she moved to London to work at Ehser High School before moving to Fukuoka. Kaoru is interested in swimming, reading and travelling: so far she has visited over 25 different countries.

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Santiago Rey
Santiago Rey
Teaching Area :
Grade 12
Secondary Math / IBDP Maths
Country :
Costa Rica

Introduction
I have taught from 6th to 12th grade, American curriculum, British curriculum, IGCSE and all four Maths courses offered by the IBO. I studied Pure Mathematics for 6 years and started my teaching career at the Universidad de Costa Rica as a Pre-Calculus teacher and then taught for 8 years at the British School of Costa Rica before obtaining a Masters in International Teaching from Framingham State University.
I can sit down and solve Maths problems for hours. I can stand up and teach how to solve Maths problems for hours. I do not know which one of these activities I love the most.

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Vera Cruz Pereira
Vera Cruz Pereira
Teaching Area :
IB Diploma Chemistry Biology and Universities Counselor
Country :
Portugal

Introduction
Vera taught first at the Secondary School of Pedro Nunes in Lisbon. She taught Sciences to both middle and high school students at the Portuguese School of Luanda, where she also served as Head of Middle School Homeroom teachers, and at public schools in Portugal. She also taught Biochemistry in vocational courses to prepare laboratory technicians in Portugal.

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Vincent Lehane
Vincent Lehane
Teaching Area :
PYP Coordinator
Country :
Irish

Introduction
Vincent Lehane is joining Fukuoka International School as the PYP Coordinator and will also be teaching Grade 5 with Mr. Freeman. He is from a small town called Clonakilty in the south of Ireland. After school he completed a degree in Economics and Finance at the University of Limerick and also a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sunderland. Vincent arrives at FIS having just completed nine years teaching in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; most recently as the Grade 2 Team Leader at a very large IB World School. He believes that all children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and be happy and engaged in all their learning opportunities. Vincent is very excited to be living in Japan and is looking forward to all the opportunities to learn more about the unique culture as well as enjoying many of the outdoor activities that are within easy reach in Fukuoka.

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Aki Shiokawa
Aki Shiokawa
Teaching Area :
ES / MS / HS Music
Country :
Japan

Introduction
Aki Shiokawa began teaching at FIS in 1997. She has extensive experience teaching piano to students for over 20 years. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Toho Gakuen School of Music, and Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Aki has performed professionally in Boston, and performs in Fukuoka, Japan. She organizes and directs the musical aspects of all school events. She established a very popular after school group piano class inclusive of students at all levels of proficiency, from elementary to secondary, in the FIS Annex piano room. Aki also ran the summer school music program.

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Paul Ricketts
Paul Ricketts
Teaching Area :
Athletic Director
Physical Education and Health
Country :
Canada

Introduction
Paul has taught at Fukuoka International School for 13 years. Paul first taught middle school science and physical education, and a high school writer’s workshop before moving into a Grade 4 teaching position (with one year in Grade 5) for the next 9 years.
Presently, Paul teaches Health and Physical Education to Grades 4 through 10, is the school’s Athletic Director and chairs the Safety Committee.
Paul has been very active in coaching the volleyball teams throughout his time at Fukuoka International School as well as being involved with various other extra-curricular sporting activities.

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Ablong, Rafael Enriquez
Ablong, Rafael Enriquez
Teaching Area :
ES Physical Education、
ECA Martial Arts
Country :
Phillipines

Introduction
Raffy has taught physical education to different levels of students for many years at FIS.  He has attended PYP workshops including the one held recently for physical education teachers at Chadwick International School in Sodong, South Korea. He runs the FIS martial arts program and coordinates for the FIS charity books project for Philippine schools. He  teaches martial arts to all kinds and levels of students and instructors on weekends and non-school days in Fukuoka prefecture. As Shihan or senior instructor, he conducts trainings and workshops in other prefectures and coordinates for all Tong-il Moo-Do master instructors in Japan. He has also served as a volunteer for many years until now in peace organizations that help people overcome the problems of misunderstanding and conflict, natural disasters, hunger and lack of educational equipment or opportunities in Asia.

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Katherine Cincoski
Katherine Cincoski
Teaching Area :
Elementary ELL
Country :
American

Introduction
Katie Cincoski has 12 years of experience teaching at the elementary level. For the past 4 years she has been an Instructional Coach in Colorado, where she lead and provided support for teachers to improve classroom instruction. Katie has a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration, with an ELL certificate. Katie taught at FIS in 2010-2012, and is excited to be back with her husband and two daughters. When she is not teaching, Katie enjoys playing sports, baking and shopping!

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Nirupama Karkhanis
Teaching Area :
Art
Country :
India

Introduction
My name is Nirupama Karkhanis and I am delighted to start my tenure as art teacher at FIS. I have a BFA in fine arts, India, MS in computers in education from Shenandoah University-Washington D.C. and art history credits from BYU, Utah. Having lived overseas during most of my teaching career, I was always attracted towards working in Japan and learn more about the art and culture of the land of the `rising sun`. I have taught in India, Indonesia, USA and South East Africa-Malawi.
My husband is also a HS math teacher and we have two children, well settled (with two kids each). We play badminton, like Indian classical music and play Sitar and Violin of which we are life long learners!

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Michelle Nagashima
Teaching Area :
Secondary Art
Country :
Australia

Introduction
Michelle has enjoyed her many years teaching in various settings in various countries from kindergarten through to university. Having lived most of her life in many different countries Michelle enjoys languages, history and culture and never finds enough time to travel, learn about different places, and hear the stories of the local people and share a laugh and a smile. Michelle likes dance, drama, sports, travel, cooking, craft, and time with her son. Michelle has her Bachelor degree from the University of Melbourne, and Masters Degree from Deakin University, Australia.

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Miho Yoshida
Miho Yoshida
Teaching Area :
ES / MS Japanese
Country :
Japan

Introduction
With her experience of teaching Junior high school students privately and being a cram school teacher in Japanese and English, Ms.Yoshida currently teaches Japanese for elementary native class and second language class. She also works as an assistant teacher for a secondary Japanese class.

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Vishwany Ballgobin
Teaching Area :
Librarian / PreK3 - G1 Music
Country :
Mauritius

Introduction
Vishwany is from Mauritius and traveled to Fukuoka with her husband, Kamlesh Ballgobin who is the Physics and Science teacher. She has almost 10 years of experience in Early Childhood Education. She is a passionate and dedicated educator. She enjoys sightseeing.

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