We prioritize the appointment of highly-qualified, experienced class teachers, assisted by specialist teachers and full-time teaching and learning assistants. The teaching staff comes from a variety of places, but mainly from the UK. All of our class and specialist teachers hold a UK teaching qualification or an international equivalent and have at least two year’s experience in a British or British international school.

A community of life long learners, we keep abreast of curriculum development, new teaching methodologies and research, exploring these during regular training days throughout the year.


  • John Aspinall - UK - Deputy Head & Library Teacher

    I am a UK qualified teacher and started teaching at St Michael’s International School in 2010. The community spirit at our school is wonderful and I have enjoyed every moment of my time here. I am happiest when I see children enjoying their learning, reaching their potential and becoming independent and motivated learners. I love Japan and have lived in Fukuoka, Kyoto, and the ninja town of Iga-Ueno before settling here in Kobe. On weekends I enjoy spending time with my family, playing the piano, reading a good book, and catching up on the football scores.

  • Fiona Rizzo - UK - Early Years Teacher

    I am delighted to be teaching in St. Michael’s and to have been given the opportunity to teach all the wonderful children in Early Years. I am a UK qualified Early Years teacher. For the past 12 years I have been working in a primary school in Kew, Surrey, England where I was a class teacher and the senior lead for my department. I am extremely excited to have returned to Japan to embark on my new teaching journey. I have previously lived and worked in Japan, before leaving to marry and have children of my own. I am enjoying reimmersing myself into the rich culture, cuisine and language that surrounds this beautiful country.

  • Nicolas Foster - Canada - Early Years Teaching Assistant

    I joined St. Michael’s in 2015, first in the English Language Section for three years before joining the international school as an assistant. I have set the goal to make the most of my TESOL & TEYL certifications to help children strengthen their use of English and to support them to become strong, independent learners with the help of our amazing team of professionals. I always rejoice to see St. Michael’s children grow into curious, hungry for knowledge and confident, unique beings. In my free time, I love cycling Japan’s many wondrous places and discovering rural Japan at its best, watching movies, going to Disneyland or to music concerts with my family.

  • Tomoko Sushida-Bunch - Japan - Early Years Teaching Assistant

    I am excited to become a part of the St. Michael’s International School team in August 2021.  I learned about education in Japan and the United States and have worked with young children in both counties for several years.  Before joining the Early Years team I taught the SMIS-English Mommy & Baby class where I supported 1-2 year old babies and helped their mommies learn about early childhood education.  I am looking forward to growing, working and learning with our Early Years students!

  • Sally Bunker - UK - Year One Class Teacher

    I am very excited to be joining St Michael’s this year as the Year One Class Teacher. I have seven years teaching experience in the UK. I am passionate about making learning enjoyable and engaging for children and helping them to develop into confident, compassionate lifelong learners. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, reading, wild swimming, playing tennis and listening to music. I am looking forward to exploring Japan and improving my Japanese while here in Kobe.

  • Lydia Wells - UK - Teaching Assistant Year One

    Since coming to Japan in December 2014 I have enjoyed teaching a range of different learners in a variety of settings. I joined the St. Michael’s community in 2016 and spent three amazing years as the Year Three Teaching Assistant before moving to Year One. The incredible learners at SMIS make me laugh every single day and I am very excited for another academic year full of fun with Year One. I am passionate about diversity, inclusivity, and international mindedness and aspire to promote this outlook in the classroom. When I am not in school I love going to the theatre, reading, and finding delicious sweets to eat.

  • Rebecca Price - UK - Year Two Class Teacher

    I qualified as a teacher at the University of Exeter in 2014 and have taught in both the UK and Spain. I joined St. Michael’s in 2018 and am excited to be entering my fifth year here. I am passionate about helping children develop the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to become enthusiastic, life-long learners. When I am not busy learning Japanese or exploring Japan, I enjoy reading and trying new sports and outdoor activities.

  • Akiko Nakagawa - Japan - Teaching Assistant Year Two

    I have been working at St. Michael’s since 2006. I studied Childcare and Education in Devon, England and I have been working with young children in England and Japan for almost 20 years now.  I completed a pediatrics course both in England and Japan too. I look forward to getting to know each child and their families. During my holiday I love traveling with my family and visiting my friends in other countries.

  • Thomas Greene - UK - Year Three Class Teacher

    I am a UK qualified teacher and  joined the St. Michael’s community in August 2020 after three years of teaching experience in London, U.K. I enjoy the range of teaching opportunities that St. Michael’s offers, including the range of technology available. I am passionate about encouraging children to learn and apply skills that will support them to be lifelong learners. When I am not teaching, I enjoy Japanese cuisine, running and all manner of sporting activities.

  • Kitty Anand - India - Teaching Assistant Year Three

    I have been associated with St. Michael’s International School since 2013. I am a trained ABA shadow and have had the opportunity to work with many great and experienced teachers in different classes since then. I enjoy working with students and am passionate about making learning interesting so that they can focus well and do their work independently. I am very excited about my new role as a T.A.

    In my free time, I enjoy movies, reading, music and spending time with friends and family.

  • Steven Lewington - UK - Year Four Class Teacher

    I qualified as a teacher at the University of Wales in 1994 and I have been working at St. Michael’s International School since 2005.  I  was the Library teacher for a number of years and also relished my role as classroom teacher in both Year Six and currently Year Four. Every day is a pleasure, full of surprises, challenges and opportunities for learning. I love it!

  • Nick Green - UK - Year Five Class Teacher

    I qualified as a teacher in 2009 and joined the St. Michael’s team in 2014 having previously taught in my home city of London.  I have always been passionate about helping to foster an attitude of aspiration, resilience and high expectations amongst children. I very much enjoy living and working in Kobe and am delighted to be a part of this community. Whenever I’m not busy teaching, I enjoy pursuing my interests in writing, travel and learning Japanese.

  • Samantha Gossage - UK - Year Six Class Teacher

    I am a UK qualified teacher and this will be my first year here at St. Michael’s. I am delighted to be joining this community and very excited to be teaching Year Six this year.

    For the past four years, I have been teaching in a primary school in Berkshire, England. I am passionate about supporting children in being the best they can be; encouraging their curiosity, resilience and independence. 

    I am really looking forward to learning Japanese and exploring all that Japan has to offer.

  • Avani Shah - India - Teaching Assistant Learning Enrichment

    I was born in India, but I have always lived in Kobe. I enjoy reading and watching movies. I began working at St. Michael’s International School in 2007 as the Reception Teaching Assistant. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of being able to assist in various classes. I believe that I am  very lucky as I get to experience St. Michael’s through the eyes of a teacher and an alumni.

  • Kumiko Kamatsuka - Japan - Teaching Assistant Learning Enrichment

    I have been working at St. Michael’s since 2004, teaching from Nursery to Year One. Having completed my Early Childhood teacher training in California, I am licensed to teach children aged up to five.  I am also certified to teach music based on the Music Rhapsody programme.

  • Jasmin O′Donovan - Australia - PE/Music Teacher

    I am an Australian certified teacher and joined St. Michael’s International School in August 2021 after previously working at schools both in Australia and Japan. I’m passionate about nurturing your child’s creativity and giving them the opportunity to discover their strengths and interests while exploring their place in the world. During my leisure time, I enjoy travelling and learning about Japanese language and culture. I also enjoy playing taiko, hiking and scuba diving.

  • Gabe Inter - US - English Language Learners (ELL) Teacher

    I have been working at St. Michael’s International School since 2006. I started as a teaching assistant, then I became an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher in 2012. I was delighted to join the Early Years team as a class teacher in 2019. This year I’m looking forward to supporting children as an ELL teacher and Library teacher. I am a US certified teacher with a Masters in Early Childhood Education, as well as a CELTA-certified English language teacher. In my free time, I enjoy watching sports and movies, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering at church.

  • Gloria Tang - Canada - English Language Learners (ELL) Assistant

    I have been working at St. Michael’s International School since 2014. I am CELTA-certified, and I have been working with English language learners of various ages since 2011 as a participant of the JET program in Mie Prefecture. In my free time, I enjoy travelling around Japan and learning about Japanese history.

  • Yoshiko Fujiki - Japan - Japanese Teacher

    Having taught Year One and Two pupils at an independent school in London for 10 years, I returned to Japan and started teaching at St Michael’s International School in 2010.  I have been studying language education in multilingual settings and hold an MSc as well as an MA in Comparative Education.  In an era of rapid globalisation, learning English is becoming increasingly popular in Japan; however, mother tongue education is equally important, as it plays an important role in fostering children’s cultural identity.  With this in mind, I will continue making the utmost effort to promote the Japanese language and support the children to develop and enhance their Japanese literacy skills.

  • Fusako Lang - Japan - Japanese Teacher

    I started working at St. Michael’s in 2012. Before that, I was a Japanese teacher at an American public elementary school for four years. I enjoy teaching Japanese language and culture and seeing children develop into confident communicators.  Living in Kitano, I run across many students from St. Michael’s in the local neigbourhood. I enjoy their lovely smiles and greetings, because I feel I am a part of the community and giving something back to society.

  • Chris Wong - Canada - ICT

    I have been taking care of the St. Michael’s IT department since 2021. With over 20 years of experience in enterprise networking, security and technical support, I hope to make technology easy and secure for everyone at SMIS.

  • Setsuko Morimoto - Japan - School Nurse

    I joined St. Michael’s as the School Nurse in 2011.  Prior to coming to St. Michael’s, I worked at hospitals in Kobe as a nurse/midwife for eight years.  I take pleasure in spending my days with our students who are full of energy.  In my free time, I enjoy swimming, cooking and playing with my cats.