The ISAKx team is composed of entrepreneurs and educators with decades of experience across fields as diverse as finance, e-commerce, and aerospace. Our instructors are young (at-heart), yet experienced educators who have been deeply involved in UWC ISAK Japan’s high school and summer school programs.
UWC ISAK Japan Co-Founder and Chair of Board
Ms. Kobayashi’s passion for education began during her studies at a residential high school in Canada, and continued to develop over the years. Before returning to Tokyo in 2008 to launch the ISAK project, she spent two years working for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Philippines, where she worked to program non-formal education projects for street children. Prior to UNICEF, Ms. Kobayashi worked at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Ms. Kobayashi began her career at Morgan Stanley and holds an MA in International Education Policy Analysis from Stanford University and a BA in Development Economics from the University of Tokyo.
UWC ISAK Japan Founding Head of School
Rod Jemison was appointed founding Head of School from his position as Director of the Upper School at La Jolla Country Day School, a private school north of San Diego, California. During his eight-year tenure, he successfully led in all areas of the high school’s operations including educational program reform, fundraising, finance, preparing for college and marketing. A native of Nashville, TN (USA), Mr. Jemison first came to Japan in 1992 as a member of the Japanese Exchange Teaching Program where he served as an assistant language teacher at Kurikoma Junior High School in Miyagi-ken.
UWC ISAK Japan Faculty Emeritus Global Politics and Theory of Knowledge
Cary believes in student-directed learning in and out of the classroom. He thinks we can learn more if we understand how we learn. He spent three years helping to develop the Project Based Diploma (PBD), an alternative high school leaving certificate for independent learners, at UWC Mahindra College in India. He also helped to design a similar program at The Harbour School in Hong Kong. Mr. Ried studied peace and conflict at graduate school and worked in diplomacy and public health before returning to teaching. He believes in the UWC ideal of bringing passionate young people together to learn from each other.
UWC ISAK Japan Summer School Director Emeritus
Jesse is an educator and advisor focused on leadership, organization building, and growth experiences. He served three years as Director of Summer School here at UWC ISAK Japan, after volunteering for the program since its beginning in 2010. He was also a Teaching Fellow with our founding faculty in 2014. Jesse brings experience from a startup leadership team, management consulting, and biology research at NASA. He received his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. Jesse also teaches mindfulness and meditation, designs interactive art and games, and writes poetry.
UWC ISAK Japan English Instructor
Jason has taught in International Schools in Japan and high schools in Australia and has witnessed the transformative power of student-directed learning. He joined the UWC ISAK High School teaching team as an English Teacher and soon became involved with ISAKx. Helping students achieve their goals and step forthrightly in the world is one of the most rewarding aspects of education for Jason. He is an enthusiastic triathlete, novelist, and father. His undergraduate studies were in History and Management at the University of New South Wales and he earned his Masters of Teaching degree from the University of Tasmania.
UWC ISAK Japan Faculty Emeritus Environmental Systems and Societies
Dr. Mandy is a biologist with a passion for education, conservation and natural history. As a graduate student, she specialized in evolutionary biology of insects on Pacific Islands including Hawaii and Tahiti.Though she loved her research in the islands, she felt that there was little point pursuing academic conservation efforts, when children (and adults) have become so disconnected from nature and so she committed to a career in environmental education, encouraging students (and teachers) to learn about their natural world and to take ownership for their learning.
For the past decade, she has been teaching Environmental Science to students aged 7-22, in a variety of international settings, from the urban chaos of Bangkok to the peaceful forest surroundings at UWC ISAK, and most recently at a seed saving centre in rural northern Thailand.
UWC ISAK Japan Faculty Emeritus Environmental Systems and Societies
Ryan has worked as an IBDP teacher in Canada, India, Ethiopia and Japan and has taught a range of courses including Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Systems & Societies, Marine Science, Physics and Theory of Knowledge. Prior to becoming a teacher, Ryan studied endosymbioses (B.Sc) and biogeochemistry (M.Sc) and also worked with wildlife in Canada, Ghana, and Cambodia. In addition to his teaching roles in the IBDP and MEXT systems, he has served as the Head of Biodiversity & Sustainability at UWC Mahindra College and Head of Science at UWC ISAK Japan. Ryan thoroughly enjoys teaching and learning through systems thinking, scientific inquiry, and education for sustainability.
ISAKx Admissions Consultant
The ISAK philosophy personally resonated with Kanatsu before the ISAK high school opened and she decided to join ISAK as a volunteer in 2011. She served as a project manager of ISAK Summer School 2012 and 2013. After living in Singapore for four years, she returned to ISAK again in 2018 as summer school staff. She has studied public administration at graduate school in the US after receiving her bachelor’s degree in International Relations in Japan. She is very excited at the new program, ISAKx, and looks forward to interacting with students all over the world!
ISAKx Marketing Consultant
Believing that education is the most essential element in shaping a better, peaceful, and sustainable future, Hiromi joined the ISAKx team. She resonates with ISAK’s mission to prepare young leaders from diverse backgrounds to take action in building a better future, and she hopes to spread this mission beyond campus. Hiromi is the Head of K12 Services at Rarejob, Inc., and Director at Envizion, Inc. She is a candidate of Master of Science in Decision Analysis at Minerva Schools at KGI.
ISAKx Short Programs Admissions Consultant
Hanae is passionate about supporting educational professionals in their activities to create learning for children beyond the existing school framework. She also runs training programs in Japan to learn from overseas Project Based Learning & Social and Emotional Learning advanced practice schools.Exciting about the endless possibilities through the program, ISAK’s philosophy and the essence of education that ISAK values. I am looking forward to interacting with a diverse group of students from around the world.