YIS ALUMNI QUARTERLY Vol. 10 / July 2011 In this Issue 1
YIS Supports Schools and Relief Efforts in Ishinomaki
YIS Alum Experiences Egyptian Uprising
Featured Alumni & Former Staff Eric Ellefsen Kyoko Bernard
Benvenuti Italian Cultural Institute!
Kim Cofino – Technology Learning Specialist
Connected Learning Community Set to Launch
Dale Howe – High School History Teacher
Class of 2011 at a Glance
10 Class Notes
The YIS Alumni Quarterly is published electronically by Yokohama International School for the enjoyment of former students, parents and staff as well as the current school community. We welcome your comments and suggestions (contact email@example.com). Editorial Team: Bob Pomeroy YIS Head of School Operations Shohei Nishihara (Class of 2004) YIS Communications and Advancement Coordinator
© Yokohama International School
YIS Supports Schools and Relief Efforts in Ishinomaki
James MacDonald with Watanoha JHS leaders
YIS Volunteers in Ishinomaki
Head of School James MacDonald and I traveled north in May to meet with the leaders of two schools that YIS has ‘adopted’ in the tsunami-ravished city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture: Watanoha Junior High School and Minato Junior High School. Despite the incredible scale of damage and destruction, it was inspiring to meet the leaders of these schools, to be introduced to some of the students, and to know that we could play a small part in their recovery. Thanks to contributions from the PTSA and other fund raising efforts from our students, staff and families, prior to the summer break we were able to contribute 3.5 million yen to the Ishinomaki schools. The donations will be used to replace resources ranging from baseball uniforms to a school flag, and will be purchased locally where possible to help businesses in the region. We also discussed various longer-term possibilities for exchange between YIS and the schools. In addition to these adopt-a-school activities, over the course of several weekends in May and June groups of YIS teacher and parent volunteers traveled to Ishinomaki to help with relief efforts organized by Peace Boat Japan. The conditions were spartan and the sludge and debris removal work exhausting, but participants were rewarded in the knowledge that their efforts were contributing to and greatly appreciated by the local community. Writing about her experience on her blog, Rachel Farber, one of the YIS parent volunteers, remarked: “I didn’t know how much good I could do with my meager strength and just a few days. But as one of my teammates quipped, ‘Every shovel-full we do is one that someone else doesn’t have to.’ ” As noted in the interview with Eric Eleffsen elsewhere in this issue, further volunteer assistance will be needed for a long time to come. I would encourage YIS alumni looking to lend a hand in Tohoku to consider volunteering with Peace Boat or other organizations active in the region. Bob Pomeroy Editor 1
YIS Alum Experiences Egyptian Uprising Dexter Thompson-Pomeroy (YIS Class of 2008) was on a study abroad program in Alexandria, Egypt in January when the tumultuous events in that country began. He shares an account of his experience. Having studied Arabic at Columbia University since my first year there, I had been looking forward to spending this past semester in Egypt in an immersive study abroad experience. I chose Middlebury College’s program in Alexandria, Egypt because it was the most intensive program available, and I wanted to learn as much Arabic as I could in one semester. I arrived in Egypt on January 7th, Christmas for Egypt’s Coptic Christians, at a time when tensions were running high after the New Year’s bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria. After a few days of orientation we began the ‘Language Pledge,’ requiring us to speak only Arabic, not just in the classroom, but in our daily life. We stayed in a dorm of the University of Alexandria with Egyptian hallmates, who were always friendly and happy to help us with Arabic, and with getting accustomed to life in Egypt. As I explored the city and hung out at coffeeshops and juice stands, I began classes, taking Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, and a class on the Arab-Israeli Conflict. I was also scheduled to start a one-on-one seminar on classical Arabic poetry. Holding a copy of local Egyptian newspaper with the headline: While I had initially been worried about sectarian conflict following the “Last Appeal: Save Egypt. Curfew imposed in Greater Cairo, church bombing, the weeks following the attack actually saw a strong solidarity movement emerge, with signs everywhere promoting Muslim- Alexandria and Suez... Tanks roll into the streets after security Christian unity, symbolized by the crescent and cross together. But on the forces fail in the face of the ‘revolution of the protestors’ ” 25th of January, a different sort of unrest began. Inspired by the protests that brought down the Tunisian government earlier in January, Egyptians thoughout the country began protesting the Mubarak goverment. While I was initially thrilled to be in Egypt at such a historic time, and the Egyptian students were enthusiastically going out to protest when not studying for their exams, by Friday the 28th I began to feel anxious. On the 28th, in preparation for massive protests after Friday prayers, the government cut all internet and cell phone service in the country, and a curfew was announced. That night, we heard from friends and on the TV that protestors had burned and looted all of the police stations in Alexandria.
On the 29th, the Egyptian students in our dorm were all told to go home, and our program director called and said that we should all move to an apartment that two students in the program had been renting, fearing that the dorm would not be safe from looters. That night, as we heard reports about criminals released from jail blocking roads, and government thugs paid to wreak havoc, we watched the men in the neighborhood assemble to form a militia to defend their homes. We heard gunshots throughout the night, and watched as they searched cars that went down the street, and kept watch with sticks, bats and pipes.
Dexter in Istanbul after evacuation. 2
The next morning our program directors successfully got a bus to take us all to the airport, and after spending a night there, we were evacuated back to the US. Once in New York, I consulted my advisors at Columbia about my options. I chose to continue my semester at Boğaziçi University in Turkey, wanting to go back to the Middle East, and fearing that if I were to go to another Arab country, there could be a revolution there too. From February until June, I spent a considerably more relaxed time in Turkey, taking Political Science and Turkish language courses and traveling. While I had a wonderful time in Turkey and hope to continue studying Turkish as well as Arabic, I was sorely disappointed to have lost the opportunity to continue my semester in Alexandria. I hope to go back some day, and I hope that the post-revolutionary Egypt I visit then will be a better place.
Featured Alumni & Former Staff
Eric Ellefsen (YIS 1981 - 1989) It’s certainly a very fortunate circumstance to be educated in, and all students should take advantage of this and absorb as much as they can. What led you to become a member of Peace Boat? After graduating from university in the UK, I came back to Japan for the summer holidays. I hadn’t been back to Japan for 10 years and only intended to stay for the summer, and then get back to Europe. However, I came across an advert in the Japan Times looking for volunteer interpreters on something called “The Peace Boat”.
Eric and friend see off the 66th Peace Boat cruise
When were you at YIS and what was school like then? I was a student at YIS from 1981 to 1989... all the way from kindergarten to 5th grade, until our family moved overseas. I always felt that YIS was a unique institution even amongst the other international schools of the region. Not affiliated with any religious bodies or other entities, the “YIS Spirit of Independence” (as I like to call it) always made me a proud alumnus. YIS represents to me a balanced education, and an institution that instills each of its students with a strong sense of what it means to be a global citizen, the joys of being such, as well as the foundations of humanism, internationalism and modernity. It’s great to come back to YIS and see how it has changed... and how it hasn’t. •
What I used to call the “new gymnasium” is now the “old gymnasium”!
We didn’t have a cafeteria back then, but I see there is a great new facility now.
I have many fond memories of spending my pocket money to buy food and snacks from GG Mini-Mart after school! I wonder if students still do that?
I understand that Food Fair is still going strong! I used to love Food Fair (as all the other students and families I’m sure) and especially the Korean BBQ booth and the Dutch pancakes.
The multi-cultural environment of the school still prevails. Walking through the corridors of YIS after 20 years, is still feels the same. Remarkable.
The mix of students from all across the world, the school is a veritable United Nations!
The advert said “Would you like to sail around the world by ship? Become a volunteer interpreter on the Peace Boat!” (or something to that effect, I can’t remember the exact words). I had never heard of the organization before but decided to give it a try. I found out at the interview that I am able to interpret pretty well and I got hired for the volunteer position. After completing one around the world voyage, Peace Boat asked me to join as a full-time staff member and here I am now, 10 years on! (Please check out our website: www.peaceboat.org/english) What sorts of projects have you been involved in? I was in charge of numerous teams of translators and interpreters for our organization. As part of our global voyages with a focus on studying about local social justice issues, ecological problems and / or histories of conflict, precise and accurate interpretation and translation are absolutely essential to our activities. I am also involved in our dealings with the shipping industry and the cruise ship operational side of our activities. I have also been in charge of arranging tours for our visits to Samoa, Eritrea, India, as well as working on stints overseas in places such as Malta, Spain and Israel/Palestine. Tell us about Peace Boat’s relief efforts in Tohoku. Our relief efforts can be followed on our blog at the following: http://peaceboatvoices.wordpress.com/. The content of our relief effort focuses on mud and debris removal, as well as hot meals and relief goods distribution. The tsunami which hit after the quake brought with it huge amounts of sludge from the sea bed (which contains traces of toxic industrial waste as well as dead and decaying fish and marine life), which has to be removed along with the debris from all the destroyed 3
buildings and homes. Progress is of course being made owing to the extensive volunteer operation. However, the task is far from complete. Mud and debris still cover huge areas of the region and more and more volunteers are needed. Please spread the word! Owing to our global network of partner associations, we are also well placed to receive donations (both material and financial) from overseas to put to good use in relief efforts locally. I cannot stress the need for more volunteers enough. If you may know of any individuals or groups who are willing to volunteer, please get them to send us a query e-mail to relief@ peaceboat.gr.jp. Thank you! Do you stay in touch with your old classmates? Not all, but yes I do with some. Thanks to facebook! What an age we live in! Eric and staff on the 51st Peace Boat cruise
Kyoko Bernard (Faculty 1978 - 1987) Japanese Language and TOEFL English in the early years. Subsequently, when YIS was implementing the IB Diploma Program, Mr. John Tanner, the Head, appointed me as the Japanese Language Coordinator for Grades 1 to 12. He asked me to reorganize the structure and the content of the Japanese language program in order to meet the IB Japanese language syllabi. Moreover, in preparation for YIS to become the first international school in Japan to be jointly accredited by the Council of International Schools (ECIS at the time) and New England Association of Schools and Colleges, I was appointed the Head of Foreign Languages, including such languages as French, Spanish, Dutch and German in addition to being the Japanese Language Coordinator. It was during this period that I introduced the mother tongue/ Japanese culture classes in the elementary grades.
Kyoko in 1982
As I had been directly involved with the Japanese language curriculum development for the IB and worked toward the creation of the IBâ€™s Japanese language foundation course, the Director General of the IB appointed me as the IB Regional Representative for Japan in 1995.
How long were you at YIS and what were your roles here?
What was interesting about teaching Japanese language, culture and history to students who had international backgrounds?
When I finished my M.A. in Asian Studies in 1973, Mr. Stan French, the Head of YIS at the time, asked me to join his faculty to start a Japanese Studies course. Originally I had intended to teach at YIS for only one year as I thought that I was not suited to teaching. However, I found teaching very interesting, and I remained at YIS for 31 years until my retirement in 2004. I taught Japanese Studies, Asian Studies,
It was a privilege for me to encounter so many dynamic students who brought into my classes their diverse cultural perspectives and personal experiences. I was very happy to have had the opportunity to teach Japanese language and culture to international students as it is important for an individual to develop a solid awareness of oneâ€™s identity through language and cultural studies.
You were closely involved with the construction of the gymnasium. Could you tell us some stories behind this? YIS was so closely linked with the expatriate community that it had little connection with the local Yokohama community. However, YIS had to gain the endorsement of the Yamate Neighborhood Association prior to obtaining Yokohama City’s permit to build a gymnasium in a first class residential area. In my role as liaison between YIS and the Japanese community, I was able to assist the YIS Board Chair and its members to gain the support of Yokohama City officials who helped ensure that the local community would cooperate with YIS. Moreover, through my father’s introduction, I was also able to arrange meetings with Mr. Yutaka Ueno, the Chairman of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce, in order to secure the support of local business leaders toward the gymnasium fundraising. What are some of your most memorable experiences at YIS? Perhaps the most memorable are the field trips, which gave me ample opportunity to get to know more about my students. I also enjoyed having great colleagues at YIS, a number of whom have become lifelong friends. Other memorable events that epitomize the international nature of YIS were the reunions that my husband and I attended in San Francisco as well as in Seattle. What have you been doing since YIS? After I left YIS, I was invited to join Tamagawa University Research Institute while I continued to act as the IB Representative for Japan and Korea. I visited schools not only in Japan but also in India, Vietnam, South
Bernard family reunion in London
Korea, Australia, New Zealand, China and Hong Kong. At Tamagawa University I taught international education to students majoring in Education and I organized IB forums for both international and Japanese educators. I also assisted Tamagawa Gakuen to become the first Japanese school in the TokyoYokohama area to obtain the IB’s authorization to offer the bilingual Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program. In July 2010 I retired but I am still connected with Tamagawa University as a Visiting Professor. I am now enjoying spending time with my four grandchildren aged 12, 9, 7 and 3. Do you have any messages to your former students? Best wishes to all of you and please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org when you have time as I would love to know what you are doing now.
Benvenuti Italian Cultural Institute! We are very pleased to announce that YIS is joining in an exciting collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo. The Institute will be using our Modern Languages Building to provide Italian language and culture classes on weekday evenings and on Saturdays. Although the Institute’s primary audience is Japanese adults, members of the international community are also welcome and a special YIS discount is available for YIS parents, staff and alumni interested in the courses. In addition, and a key reason why we are excited about this relationship, is that we are exploring options for Italian language classes for our students as well. In particular, we would like YIS to be able to offer Italian as a mother tongue language. So besides providing YIS with a bit of alternative revenue, this relationship will enable us to strengthen our ties and enjoy cultural exchange with an important member of the international community. Che meraviglia!
Kim Cofino – Technology Learning Specialist What is your background and how did you come to join YIS? I’m originally from Connecticut, USA, and I’ve been teaching overseas since August 2000. My first international school posting was at Munich International School in Germany where I stayed for five years as the Academic IT Coordinator and developed their MYP integrated technology program. From Munich, my husband Alex (who also teaches here at YIS) and I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We absolutely love Asia, so when we had the opportunity to move to Bangkok to work at International School Bangkok, we jumped at the chance. After five years in the tropics, we felt like it was time to move on and specifically sought out YIS. I had formerly worked with Chris Oakley at MIS (who always said how wonderful YIS and Japan were when he lived here many years ago), and knew quite a few members of the current (and former) YIS staff who also spoke very highly of the school. We came out for a visit in April 2009 and fell in love with the school, the city and the country. When jobs became available for both of us last year, we applied right away. As soon as we arrived in August, we knew we made the right decision! How did you get involved in technology and learning? I grew up in a very technologyrich house. My parents both worked for IBM and we always had all sorts of computer parts around the house. During university, I had a number of educationrelated jobs, including teaching conversational English to international school students, which I loved. I also studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where I discovered that I definitely wanted to live overseas. When I graduated from university, I looked for ways to combine my love of technology, teaching and travel. A friend of mine was already working at MIS, so I applied for a job there, and absolutely loved 6
Kim shares some obviously cool technology with students.
my experience. Eleven years later, and I can’t think of anything else I would rather do! Could you tell us about the Connected Learning Community and how it will impact teaching and learning at YIS? The Connected Learning Community is centered on our 1:1 laptop program (1 laptop per student). Many international schools around the world are providing laptops to their students as part of the educational program. Personally, I believe our program is special for a number of reasons. The most important of these is the number of teachers, parents and students who have collaborated together to design the vision, the policies and the expectations. It truly is a community program, which is exactly what we want! We’re also fortunate to have amazing staff, a very active parent community and exceptionally supportive administrators. I for one am very much looking forward to seeing how things develop next year. Basically we would like students and teachers to have the opportunity to use technology whenever and wherever necessary to support and enhance learning. I hope to see our students become active creators of media, sharing their work in online spaces, collaborating with students around the world, and building a deeper understanding of digital citizenship (safe and responsible online behavior). We would like to take our wonderful collaborative community to the next level of connectedness. How do you work with teachers to integrate technology in the classroom? As a technology coach, my job is to help teachers build their understanding of how technology can enhance the learning experience. This means lots of different things, depending on the individual teachers comfort level with technology. One of the most important aspects of my job is co-planning units and lessons with teachers, departments and grade levels, and then co-teaching in the classroom to model effective technology instruction and provide hands-on, just in time, practical support.
In addition to co-planning and co-teaching, I facilitate professional development individually, in teams, and for the whole school. This past school year we’ve been incredibly fortunate to host an EARCOS weekend workshop, two-days of tech-related Professional Development in February, and two-days of Apple-focused PD with students in May. In 2011 – 12 we’re starting a Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy graduate program, hosting 2 EARCOS Weekend Workshops, and sending teams of teachers to the best educational technology conferences in Asia. Basically, I am consistently trying to help teachers feel more confident and enthusiastic about using technology to create a media rich and well-connected classroom environment. Personally, I think I have the best job in the world! Could you share some examples of how YIS teachers are using technology with the students? We are doing some amazing things here at YIS from ELC all the way up to grade 12. In elementary, kindergarten students are using iPads to support early literacy and numeracy. Grade 4 students are using the classroom blogs to stay connected and discuss their learning outside of class time. Grade 5 students used VoiceThread to
reflect on the process of designing their Exhibition project. In middle school, grade 6 humanities students used 3D software called Sketch-up to “see and build” ancient structures (like the pyramids). Grade 6 technology students are using screencasting and video editing to create tutorials about what they learned this year - and then sharing them on a central website for all members of the YIS community. In high school, grade 9 history students used Twitter to bring the Civil War to life, by taking on the role of each major political figure and interacting with the course material. Grade 9 English students used VoiceThread to help them examine and reflect on their writing. Grade 11 students used VoiceThread to collaborate and share their understanding of the environmental impact of factories. And those are just a few examples. There is something fantastic going on in every grade level and subject area here at YIS. How do you like living in Japan? I love Japan! For me, it really combines the best of what I loved about Germany with my favorite aspects of life in Thailand and Malaysia. I feel very at home here, even though we’ve only been here a short time. Now I really need to get working on my Japanese.
Connected Learning Community Set to Launch One of the most challenging issues facing educators today is designing schools that provide students with an education suited for a fast- and ever-changing world, and technology is certainly a core element of what defines this 21st century education. While it does not drive learning, technology can open incredible new avenues to enhance and extend learning. Our new Connected Learning Community (CLC) aims to provide ever-present computing and network access for our students on a common learning platform, while further developing our educational practices to increase collaboration, enable flexible progression and differentiated instruction, and more actively reflect a real-world learning environment. Beginning in the 2011-12 school year, every middle and high school student at YIS will be provided an Apple laptop computer with standardized software that they are able to use at home as well as at school. At the same time, we will also be upgrading classroom technology provision in the elementary school. We are confident that providing a common platform for students that can be used outside of school as well as in the classroom will bring many benefits, including helping foster continuity of learning between home and school. How will the CLC change the learning experience of a YIS student? YIS students have for many years had laptops available from Kindergarten to Grade 12. As technology skills and integration in learning activities have increased, the demand for laptops, especially in the middle and high schools, increased to the point where there were not enough computer resources available. Making laptops available for every student in every class provides a more natural integration of technology into our school curriculum as technology use doesn’t have to be planned weeks in advance. In this way the use of technology is more authentic and closely mimics the use of technology in the workplace. How will each student having a laptop affect his/her daily school life? Our students have had laptops available in almost every class, and on those laptops we have some specialized software. Teachers book the laptops for use. Students progress from class to class, and as they do so they are faced with the challenge of using a different laptop, each with subtle differences, in each of their classes. When students go home they use yet another computer and are faced with the change of completing their coursework without the specialized software that the school owns. Providing individual laptops to students will make the education process more seamless and efficient. Are YIS teachers qualified to teach using laptops? Our teaching staff have enthusiastically embraced the integrated use of technology for many years. In fact, ten of our teachers have been designated as Apple Distinguished Educators, recognizing their advanced skills in technology integration in the classroom. We have had hundreds of laptops in use on our campus, and it is because we have seen the positive impact of laptops on the educational program that we have decided to take this next important step. 7
Dale Howe – High School History Teacher Okaerinasai! When were you at YIS previously and what made you come back? We were previously at YIS from 1995 to 1999 but we continued to follow the school’s progress and growth while living and teaching in Colorado and Thailand, and were really interested in the direction YIS was taking. So when the opportunity presented itself, and at the same time looking at the size of the school and the ability for our sons to be exposed to their mother’s language and culture, we jumped at the chance to return. What are some of the changes that you noticed upon returning? Structurally there have been many changes in the last twelve years to the campus with the addition of the ELC/Auditorium, the Modern Languages Building, Kirin Building, Inge Building and Cafeteria, Pauli Building, and the Turf. But probably even more changes in the surrounding area with all the growth along the water to Minato Mirai, and the convenience of the new train line that connects our community with the Tokyo metropolitan area. You specialize in teaching East Asian History. What sparks this interest? After finishing my undergraduate studies I was very fortunate to travel in East Asia where I spent a considerable amount of time in China and Tibet. It had a lasting influence on me as I read as much as I could on the region and hoped to return one day. Various circumstances occurred that allowed me to live and study in Kyoto, and I wanted to know more about East Asia. So when I eventually went to graduate school it became my focus of study and passion. Now I am very fortunate that in teaching IB History 8
Dale with sons Tobi (left) and Kai (right)
at YIS I am able to focus on the East Asia region, and hopefully I can give my students some insight into this fascinating part of the world where they live. You are also a parent of two YIS students. What are some of the key benefits of a YIS education from the parent’s perspective? The key benefits would be the immediate sense of community we all felt after moving here. Kai and Tobi have wonderful teachers, coaches and mentors and are receiving an outstanding education. My wife Noriko and I have been able to observe them in the academic setting, on the sports field, and to see the great groups of friends that they have made. However one drawback in being so close is that they feel they can come to my room at any time if they are in need of financial support. You were a passionate basketball coach. Do you still coach and play? I am still passionate about basketball and enjoyed coaching the varsity boys’ team this past season, but when I find the time to play now I am usually relegated to passing to Mr. Disher. I would say that I am also passionate about outdoor activities such as surfing, skiing and cycling, and I am happy that there are a number of staff that share the same interests. Do you have any messages for your former students? A fairly intelligent individual by the name of Albert Einstein once declared, “There is no causal relationship between reading, writing, and mathematics, and being a decent loving human being.” Show compassion and empathy towards others. I hope that you are all happy and healthy, and if time allows please drop by for a visit. It has been wonderful to see a few of you already!
2011 at a Glance
On June 16, YIS celebrated itâ€™s 38th High School graduation in the gymnasium with 61 graduating students. The commencement address was delivered by the Honorable Belmiro JosĂŠ Malate, the Ambassador of Mozambique, and the ceremony featured enthusiastic music and drama performances, along with a slideshow of artworks from the IB visual arts students. Congratulations, Class of 2011! Graduates: 61 Nationalities: 18 countries University destinations: Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA Planned university studies: aerospace engineering, animal science, applied economics, applied psychology, architecture, art & design, biochemistry, biology, biomedical engineering, biomedicine, business & finance, civil engineering, cognitive science, sports science, creative engineering, criminology, engineering, science, statistics, honors immunology & infection, hospitality management, international business, international relations, liberal arts, mathematics, mechanical engineering, marine biology, medicine, molecular toxicology, musical performance, peace studies, psychology, physiotherapy, physics, political science, visual arts Gap year plans: Language study, overseas, community service, kick boxing training, soccer training, working on a cruiseship Career aspirations: choreographer, bank officer, entrepreneur, dancer, designer, doctor, entrepreneur, engineer, government officer, industrial engineer, designer, mechanical engineer, musician, nurse, owner of hotel franchise, pediatrician, physician, physiotherapist, psychologist, speech therapist, sports trainer, wedding planner, writer 9
Class Notes 1970s 1974
Felice Miller (YIS 1969 - 1972) I live on Maui with my husband and have 2 wonderful children. I’m a Realtor with Equity One Real Estate here in Paia, Maui. I love to play tennis, surf, create beautiful meals from our organic gardens. I have a home-based international business with a company called Waiora, a science-based wellness company. Five years ago, I was one of the first to bring to Japan a product called NCD- Natural Cellular Defense . It came on the market as a detoxifying agent to remove heavy metals, (including radioactive isotopes), toxins and chemicals safely from the body. Waiora opened their Tokyo office in Akasaka in 2008 . For more information, please go to www.myncd.com/940959 or email me email@example.com. My goal is to educate people that there is something they can do about the radiation that will continue to impact people’s health and lives worldwide.
This section offers a chance to update fellow alums on what you’ve been doing since school days at YIS, share recent news and noteworthy accomplishments, or send a message to classmates. Entries are listed by class year, that is, the year of graduation from high school, whether at YIS or elsewhere. To submit a Class Notes entry for the next issue of the YIS Alumni Quarterly, please go to http://alumni.yis.ac.jp/?page=CN. Don’t forget to include your name, class year (i.e., the year you graduated from high school at YIS or elsewhere), and the years that you attended YIS. Please feel free to send a recent photo too.
Koji Joe Yamaguchi (YIS 2000 - 2009) Attending Boston University majoring in Economics and Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry. I still play basketball on two intramural teams along with a YMCA basketball league team. Had surgery for a torn ACL/MCL at the beginning of college which derailed me from academics and sports. I’m currently working at YIS and volunteering to raise money for the earthquake funds. I’d like to give a shout out to all the Class of ‘09 and basketball/baseball members from ‘06 - ‘09. Congratulations to the seniors this year!
Hideki Francis Onda (YIS 1975 - 1979) I am living in Roppongi and Hong Kong, racing cars and working like a dog. My son goes to YIS to keep up with the tradition. It is the best school in Japan.
Felice Miller (YIS 1974)
Alice Ridout (YIS 1977 - 1984) I believe I would have graduated in 1992 if I had stayed on until graduation age. My parents - Jim and Rosie Ridout both taught at YIS and my sister, Emma, also attended. On May 7, 2011, I was married to Paul Gregory in Kendal in the Lake District, England. We are currently living in Canada.
Mikkii Yamashiro-Knudsen (YIS 2007 - 2010) After Graduating I moved to Denmark and attended a sports college called Oure. There I took a basic ski instructors course for half a year. Now I will be working as a ski instructor in Wagrain Ski Resort in Austria. My plan is to continue with my skiing career for another year, working up to being a fully licensed professional ski instructor. After then I will apply to a university in Denmark to study engineering.
Matthew Brandt (YIS 2001 - 2005) Just landed a new job in Basel, Switzerland as Technology Manager for Stamford Consultants, a specialised Swiss recruitment company. I was in the Swiss military from July 2010 until January but had to leave officer’s school midway due to an injury in my leg. I am enjoying life here in Switzerland and would love to hear about how we have all spread out over the past 6 years!
Hideki Francis Onda (Class of 1979)
Yu Nishikawa (YIS 1997 - 2007) I have recently graduated from Pace University in NYC, where I majored in International Management and minored in Marketing. I miss YIS!! Yui Usui (YIS 1995 - 2007) Hello friends! I just graduated from New York University majoring in economics and minoring in math and business studies. Soon, I will be working at the risk management sector of Merrill Lynch. 10
Hisanori Tamura (YIS 1995 - 2009) I attend Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. I have my private pilot license and am working on my instrument rating. Afterwords I will be working on my commercial rating and FI (flight instructor) rating. Hopefully I’ll work as a flight instructor and build my flight hours and head to an airline company like Delta.
Akio Yahiro-Korte (YIS 2003 - 2010) Greetings everybody! I visited YIS on May 23rd and found myself walking down memory lane. It is so good to meet some of my old teachers that helped me through IB and the IGCSE. So what have I been up to lately? I have been studying at Notheastern University to satisfy my International Business major and Chinese/Medical Engineering minors. I am very excited to be going soon to the Yale Summer Session in New Haven, where I will be taking courses on “Good, Happiness and Evil” as well as “The corruption in Economics.” Then I’m off to Southern China to practice the language of Mandarin and enjoy great food. I hope to hear from all of you in the near future! Andrea Masuda (YIS 2005 - 2010) Hello all! I just finished my first year studying at University of Toronto, where I am planning to pursue a specialized course on visual culture and communication. I am also involved in intramural field hockey. Life in Canada is very cold!
Akio Yahiro-Korte (Class of 2010)