Meet Our Staff
Grade School Teachers & Staff (Grades 1-9)
Hello! My name is Brandon Porterfield. I am the co-principal with Mr. Brian and the Director of the Preschool. I have been teaching for 15 years and have a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration. Okinawa has been my home for twenty years and I currently live in Haebaru with my incredible wife and two kids. I am honored to be a part of this school and dedicated to support every member of the school community.
Greetings! My name is Brian Bates, and I am part of the Hope administration team. I will be working alongside Mr. Brandon as co-principal. This marks my 8th year in education and my third year with Hope International Academy. I have taught in the USA, Thailand, China, mainland Japan, and have comfortably settled in Okinawa with my lovely wife and three beautiful children. I am passionate about my field and will do my best to create a safe and nurturing environment for all Hope students.
Hi there, my name is Colin Gear and I am the Curriculum Coordinator as well as a Mathematics teacher here at Hope. I have been teaching for the past ten years, mainly working with IPC and IMYC schools in South Korea, China and Thailand. I have a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. I’m incredibly excited to join the Hope team and work with this excellent school community.
Hola! My name is Mariano Zuk. Born in Argentina but educated globally. With over 18 years of teaching experience, my educational philosophy is aligned with the belief that quality education is essential to foster the skills and values that our children need to meet tomorrow's challenges. School Position: G1 teacher/Head of Tech Integration Academic background: - BA in Social Science (Japan) - MA in Linguistics (Australia) - MA in Global Affairs & Policy (S.Korea) - M.Ed in Advanced Teaching
Hello everyone! My name is Becca Page, and I was born and raised in the south-east of England. I have a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. I have six years’ teaching experience and have taught in international schools in Thailand (Chonburi and Bangkok) and Tokyo. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy keeping active and spending time outdoors. I am excited to begin my seventh year teaching here at Hope and to be living in Okinawa!
Hi! My name is Aliza Oro, I am a teacher from Manila, Philippines with 12 years of teaching experience in a variety of subject areas. I have B.Ed in Elementary Education specialized in Special Education. I arrived in Okinawa at the end of June 2018. It is a privilege to work with a team of talented teachers and to collaborate with such wonderful students and supportive parents at HIA.
Howdy, y’all! My name is Yoshitaka Yamauchi. I was born and raised in Okinawa but lived in Texas for a couple of years for elementary. After graduating high school here in Okinawa, I went back to Texas and got my bachelor’s degree in Science (Interdisciplinary Studies) and Special Education. I have been teaching since 2012 and taught in three countries: the United States, Turkmenistan, and Japan. I am excited to be part of HIA to make learning fun!
A beautiful day to all. My name is Joseph Jerome E. Sanchez, known to everyone as Mr. Sanchez. My passion is to teach young minds and help them realize their dreams by becoming a productive and passionate individual. Being part of this institution from the very beginning, I am proud to say that I have witnessed the school grow and become a place where students are given the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and be globally-minded individuals.
G'day! I'm Sam Chambers and I'm from Melbourne, Australia. I hold a Bachelor of Arts with double majors in History and Japanese, and a Diploma in Teaching with specializations in Humanities and Language Education. I also hold a CELTA. I moved to Okinawa in 2012 to pursue both my dreams of learning karate and teaching overseas. I'm currently training to become a yoga teacher. My mission is to help my students explore their unique interests and enable them to pursue their dreams!
Hello! My name is Helene Smittil. I was born and raised in Norway, where I got my Bachelor’s Degree in English, and a Practical-Pedagogy degree which allowed me to pursue my passion for teaching. I have taught for 3 years, in a variety of subjects, such as Science, History, English and Norwegian. I am very excited to be a part of the HIA family after starting in February of 2021. I feel very privileged to be working in the Okinawan community.
Magandang Buhay! My name is Richie Mae Andrei Zuñiga. I am from the Philippines, where I got my double degree in Literature and teaching experience. Through teaching I aspire to help people grow and be part of nation-building. My goal is to nurture and hone a generation of wise, open-minded and capable citizens who will be changemakers. I am glad to work in a school that shares a similar vision with me.
Hello everyone, my name is Jay-R Evangelista. I've been part of the wonderful HIA team since January 2020. I am originally from the Philippines, teaching senior high school, and already in my 4th year in the teaching profession. I specialize in middle school and high school students teaching social sciences and society. I love teaching, and I am very grateful to be part of our school and promote international mindedness that positively affects each student!
Mabuhay! I'm Jessa Mae C. Jarilla. I was born and raised in the Philippines and came to Okinawa in 2020. I am a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education and majored in English. Back in the Philippines, I was an English as a Secondary Language teacher for Koreans for two years. I love teaching students not only because I can share something with them but also learn from them. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful school and community.
Peace to everyone, My name is Romel Bautista. I came here to Okinawa last January 2020 with my wife and three lovely kids. I received my bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and started teaching in 2010. In Physical Education classes, I will promote the power of decision making and goal setting as life skills, and educate students on the importance of maintaining a healthy body and mind through positive behaviors. Thank you for this opportunity to continue learning with you.
Mabuhay! I am Ms. Danica. I have been in the academe for over 13 years specializing in reading and literacy instruction. I work with children diagnosed with dyslexia, and those who struggle with reading, spelling, writing, and handwriting. I am living the dream of being able to make a difference in our students’ lives through children's literature. Bachelor in Elementary Education Communication Arts-Reading MA in Language and Literacy -ongoing Orton-Gillingham Practitioner under AOGPE -ongoing
I completed a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education focusing on Early Childhood Education and have MA Special Education units. I have taught Deaf children for eight years in the Philippines before coming to Okinawa. I’m glad that I am now sharing my knowledge in ASL with Hope students, making them more adaptable and able to communicate with the deaf or whenever the need arises.
Preschool Teachers and Staff (Age 0-5)
私は沖縄生まれ沖縄育ちの中里和子です(^^) シーサイド保育園で０歳児クラスを担当しています。子ども達と関わる仕事が好きで続けて います。０歳児は日々の生活の中で一人一人の成長が盛んなので見逃さないように見守り、 成長の喜びを担任と保護者で共感していきたいです。丁寧な保育を心がけて良い保育に繋げていけるように努めていきたいと思います。よろしくお願いいたします。
シーサイド保育園０歳児担当の當真香織です。 毎日の成長が著しい０歳児。子どもたちの「自分でできた！」の喜びや成長をサポートできるように努めていきたいと思っております。 どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。
Hello! My name is YURINA KOISO. I belong to Beachside Preschool and 1 years old’s teacher. I have lived in New York for one year and half as an aupair. I am cheerful and friendly. I like to sing, dance and play with kids! I want to tell kids the Okinawan culture and nature. Thank you! んにちは！私はビーチサイド保育園の1歳児担任の小磯 百合菜です。私はオペア留学でニューヨークに1年半住んでました。私は明るくてフレンドリーな性格です。子どもたちと歌を歌ったり、ダンスしたり、遊ぶことが大好きです。子どもたちに沖縄の文化や自然を伝えていきたいです。よろしくお願いします。
A wonderful day to all. I am Miss Jommaline, and I have been in Okinawa for seven years now with my husband and two lovely kids. I have been teaching young children from 0-3 years old since I arrived here, and it has always been an exciting experience for me. I love being with kids, and it always made my day see them smile and have a memorable experience in school. It has been my teaching principle to take care and love my students as if they are my own.
Hello! I am the Chief for the BeachSide Preschool 1 and 2 year olds, Kaori Tasaki. I moved to Okinawa from Miyazaki Prefecture in April 2020. I have a lot of experience and training in preschool and I want to help all children reach their full potential. I strive to create a class filled with laughter and smiles. Thank you. こんにちは。ビーチサイド保育園2歳児担任・主任の田﨑香織です。2020年4月に宮崎から沖縄に移住してきました。長年の保育経験を活かし、たくさんの可能性をもつ子どもの力を引き出しながら、楽しく笑顔いっぱいのクラスにしていきたいと思っています。よろしくお願いします。
My name is Ayana meguro. I have experienced both kindergarten and nursery school,have learned a lot from both children and parents! I wanted to experience various things, so I went abroad for several years. Yes, but I'm back with the desire to grow with the children again. We will laugh a lot with the children and grow together. 目黒郁菜です。私はこれまで幼稚園・保育園ともに経験してきた中で、子どもたち、保護者から沢山の事を教えてもらい、色々な事を経験させてもらった事がとても大きく、海外に行ったり数年のブランクはありますが、また子どもたちと一緒に成長したいと思い戻ってきました。 子どもたちと沢山笑って、一緒に成長していきます。 よろしくお願いします。
Hi Im Beda Savellon, a professional, dedicated and caring teacher from the Philippines. I've been teaching for several years in the elementary and preschool department in the Philippines, Qatar, Libya, UAE and Japan. It's a great opportunity and privilege to be a part of HIAO family where I can share and provide appropriate learning activities for kids while having fun.
シーサイド保育園の主任の前川智恵です。生まれも育ちも大阪ですが、沖縄に魅了されて１５年前に移住してきました。家族とともにアメリカに２年間渡りましたが、また沖縄に戻り保育士に復帰。様々な特色のある保育園で経験を積み、ご縁があって2018年よりここHope International Academyの保育園で働かせていただいています。 今年度は元気いっぱいな3歳児クラスを担当。子どもの個性を大切にし、未知なる可能性を最大限に引き伸ばしながら、「毎日笑顔で楽しく」をモットーに保育を行っていきたいと思います。 よろしくお願いします。
I am Noami Maxuin Manao, born and raised in the Philippines where I finished my Early Childhood Education degree and started my teaching career. I have been working with young learners in international schools in Okinawa since 2011. I love children and I love working and learning with them. It is my joy to be part of HIA family- to help and guide young learners in early stages of their lives and to share wonderful learning experiences together.
Hello, my name is Makiko Sakihama.I’ve been working with children ranging from ages 0-5 for about 7 years including 2 years working in the states. Teaching and the development of children has always been a joy of mine. It is my pleasure to be a part of such a great school and I look forward to building wonderful memories with the members of the team and the students. こんにちは。私は4,5歳児担任の崎浜真希子と申します。2年間のアメリカ留学を含め7年間子どもと関わる仕事をしています。日々の園生活を通し子ども達が心身共に成長していけるよう職員一同、見守り支えていけるように勤めていきたいと思います。
こんにちは。 2021年3月に大阪から沖縄へ移住してきました、中山亜弓です。 大阪では13年間ダンスインストラクターとして3歳の子ども〜大人までJAZZやHIPHOPダンスの指導を行ってきました。その他アーティストバックダンスや障がい児施設でのダンス指導を10年間行ってきました。 子ども達一人一人の個性を尊重し、いつも子ども達の心に寄り添い可能性を最大限に引き出せる保育者でありたいと思っています。 そしていつも笑顔を忘れずに健全にあたたかく子ども達をサポートしていけたらなと思います。 宜しくお願い致します
Mabuhay! I am Ms. Pricela Galvez from the Philippines. I graduated with a Bachelor in Elementary Education and finished my Master’s Degree in Educational Management. Before I joined HOPE I taught in one of the International Schools in Saudi Arabia for four years. This year marks my second year at HOPE working with small kids is my passion as a teacher. I am excited to be an instrument in discovering their abilities and guiding them on how to to reach their greatest capabilities.
Hello, My name is Ettie Fujita. I’m from Tokyo. After graduating from high school, I worked in California as a stylist. I moved to Okinawa 9 years ago and worked at another international school for about 5 years, and 2 years have passed at HIA. Mainly, I support the lead teacher and I am also the Art teacher. I’m happy to continue building great team work with my HOPE family.
Hello, everyone. My name is Aya Ota. I am the Reception teacher. I have a teacher's licenses for 0-15 years old and I have taught in the public and private schools over 20 years. I love children and enjoy teaching them a lot. I love the ocean and I am very happy to see it from my classroom everyday. My goal is to support and encourage students to learn and have them confidence in themselves.
Hello.My name is Akane Hikawa. I was born and raised in Osaka and came to Okinawa in 2015. I have worked in kindergarten and nursery for four years. I love working with children and I will do my best to come with a smile every day. I would like to grow together with the energetic and creative children of HIA.
こんにちは！瑞慶山遥香です。０〜２歳児フリーの保育士で、今はシーサイド保育園０歳児クラスに入っています。子ども達の個性を大切にし一緒に笑ったり喜んだりしながら笑顔の溢れるクラスを作っていきたいです。 私は、体を動かすことが好きなので子ども達とダンスをしたり、戸外遊びをして一緒に楽しむ中で保育園が楽しい！と感じてもらえるように日々の保育を頑張りたいと思います。 ９月までの短期間になりますが宜しくお願いします。
こんにちは。島袋美紀です。 まだまだ未熟な私ですが、子どもたちの成長に合わせて一緒に歌ったり身体を動かして楽しみながら子どもたちの良い所を引き出せるよう頑張ります。 また、「保育園楽しい！」「また明日も行きたい！」と思ってもらえるような環境づくりをし、子どもたちが毎日のびのびと、笑顔で過ごせるよう明るく楽しい毎日を過ごしていきたいと思っています。そして、子どもたちと一緒に成長出来たらとても嬉しく思います。