Intensive, personalized, and creative.

innovative and challenging

KAIS International School

KAIS International School is one of Japan’s most innovative and academically distinguished international schools. Conveniently located in central Tokyo, we have been serving the international community since 2006. At KAIS, our students learn in small classes in a family-like atmosphere, where they develop their connectedness to others while exploring who they are as individuals. We believe self-awareness, curiosity, and empathy are vital in the development of the adults who will shape the future, and everything we do aims to support this.

personalized and tight-knit

Cozy Classrooms

Small class sizes allow more opportunities for our students to engage in hands-on projects, receive individual attention from instructors, present their work to their peers, and participate in discussions. Our dedicated team of teachers is focused on engaging our students in the optimal high school experience both in and out of the classroom. While most of our students go on to study at top universities in the United States, we present our curriculum to our diverse student body from a global perspective. We invite you to come see our unique and vibrant school for yourself!

Tommy House


Tommy was born and raised near Chicago, IL, where he attended Loyola Academy. He went on to study at Southern Illinois University, with a major in Secondary English Education and a minor in Speech / Communications. Mr. House taught American and British Literature at a local high school in rural southern Illinois before moving to Tokyo over a decade ago. He has been a dedicated teacher & administrator at KAIS since the school's second year. An enthusiast of designing and teaching multidisciplinary curriculum, Tommy is a firm believer in hands-on, curiosity-based education. “When students are engaged, active learners, ‘transformative learning’ can take the place of ‘informative learning’. This should always be our goal as educators, as it is where real growth takes place.” Tommy is an avid runner, snowboarder, and musician.

Christopher Paxton

Assistant Principal

Drummer. Fair-weather cyclist. Left-footed footballer. These are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about Chris Paxton’s passions outside the classroom. Such passions are important because they inform and influence what he brings to mathematics education and college counseling at KAIS. Work hard in everything you do. Stay curious about the world around you. Always strive to be happy. Paxton holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Yale, a Juris Doctor from University of San Francisco, and is working on his Ph.D. in fatherhood.

Misako Horikawa


Misako Horikawa was born and raised in Tokyo. She studied English from a young age and focused on Japanese Literature in university. From her experience in international exchange as a member of the Girl Scouts when she was young, she has aspired to act as a liaison between people from different countries in order to improve communications and understanding. She taught English to children from kindergarten to high school before she began working at KAIS. Misako is a huge fan of the arts, particularly music and movies. Misako derives great satisfaction from helping the students of KAIS become independent and reflective members of both the local and global community.

Laura MacDonald

Humanities Specialist

A Canadian native, Laura hails from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor’s in Education from Queen’s University. Since starting at KAIS in 2011, she has taught a wide spectrum of classes from Leadership to Language Arts and World Cultures. She is committed to fostering a school community and to helping students connect to people and cultures outside of KAIS. Laura enjoys hiking, reading, and going on adventures with her young son.

Yuichiro Tsuchiya

Japanese Teacher

Tsuchi was born and raised in Miyazaki prefecture of Kyushu island. He moved to Tokyo in 1997 and entered Waseda University, where he majored in English literature, Japanese Literature, and Philosophy. He started teaching Japanese grammar and literature at KAIS International School in 2012. In grammar class, Tsuchi also exposes his students to Japanese culture, allowing them to participate in Japanese society more deeply. In his spare time, Tsucchi is the lead singer, guitarist and manager of Metro-Ongen, a popular indie rock band which performs regularly all around Tokyo.

Christopher Jones

History Teacher

After splitting his early years between Iowa and Philadelphia, Christopher Jones spent most of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee. From there he matriculated into Northwestern University where he studied Literature and Business. Christopher caught the teaching bug after a yearlong stint in Tokyo, and then he returned to Northwestern to pursue a Master's in Secondary Education. He gained experience teaching at Discovery International School in Honduras before returning to Japan ten years ago. Now he lives in west Tokyo with his wife and children. When he is not plotting new ways to make history relevant to KAIS high schoolers, Christopher enjoys winter sports, reading, running, and being in the outdoors.

Kaoru Nakayama

Assistant Director

Kaoru was born and raised in Tokyo. After working for an architecture company, she moved to England and France to experience other cultures and learn new languages. She spent a total of 17 years in Europe. While in France, she was a volunteer teacher of Japanese language & culture for over 10 years. She has prior experience in school admissions and administration and is looking forward to supporting the students and parents of the KAIS Community. In her free time, Kaoru enjoys hiking, camping, and Samba music.

Fabio Frescia

STEM Teacher

Fabio Frescia is an environmental engineer from Italy. He has been living in Asia for the past 13 years and he loves this part of the world. His wife is Japanese and he has two wonderful boys. Fabio loves to cook and travel. Music is one of his passions, as is playing football--he participates in a men's football league in Yokohama. As an environmental engineer, Mr. Frescia has not only studied and practiced mathematics and science, but also has a keen interest in these subject areas. He wishes to use his wealth of knowledge and experience in these fields to inspire a similar enthusiasm in KAIS students. Fabio joined the KAIS Family in 2020 as a STEM teacher and he is looking forward to many fulfilling moments of teaching and learning with his students and colleagues!

Em Bettinger

Yoga Instructor

Em is a popular Tokyo-based yoga instructor known for her classes at Sun & Moon Yoga and KAIS International School. Prior to moving to Japan, Em performed and taught contemporary dance to both children and adults in the UK. She started teaching dance at the age of 15 as an assistant at the dance school she was attending. She was introduced to yoga through her dance studies at The Laban School for Contemporary Dance and Middlesex University and yoga became her passion while living in Tokyo. She is currently training to be a health counselor with a specialty in nutrition.

Allan Wooding

Athletic Director

Right from an early age, as soon as Allan learned to walk, he started to run. At university in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago, Allan ran competitively, getting himself within milliseconds of Olympic qualifications. After moving to Japan in 2005, he coached track & field at high schools in Nagasaki for 5 years. Then in 2012 he moved to Tokyo and started one of the city's only outdoor functional training gyms, now called Intensity Matters, as a level 2 CrossFit coach. At the same time, Allan never stopped competing in short distance track and sprint triathlons. He plans on running 100 meters in 10 seconds at the upcoming Japan Masters Class Track and Field meet. His unique background combining speed and functional movement gives him unparalleled insight into how to make others faster. Allan puts emphasis on technique, discipline, and intensity for all functional movements. His ongoing quest to improve himself overflows into a desire to lift up all those that he works with. Welcome to the team, Allan!

Jackson Powell

Science Teacher

Jackson grew up in London, later completing a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering at the University of Warwick and a PGCE in Secondary Science Education at UCL’s Institute of Education. For the past 5 years, he has worked in various locations throughout London specializing in home education and the teaching of small groups. A love of learning underpins all aspects of Jackson's life and he hopes to inspire this love of learning in his students during his time at KAIS. Outside of the classroom, Jackson enjoys winter sports, hiking, skating, and tabletop gaming.

Miyuki Matsumoto

School Nurse

Nurse Miyuki was born and raised right here in Tokyo, Japan. In high school, she went to England as an exchange student to study English. After this life-enriching experience, Miyuki-san went on to study nursing. She joined KAIS in 2021 after working as a nurse at a university hospital, a home health care agency, and a nursery school. She is happy to be involved with and caring for young people through nursing. As the mother of two mischievous children, Miyuki enjoys cooking, engaging in winter sports, playing soccer and basketball, and dancing with her family.

Sarah Cramer


Sarah was born and raised in Fremont, California, which is located just outside of San Francisco. She moved south to San Diego to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Counseling and School Psychology at San Diego State University. Her passion for helping others combined with her love for working in schools motivated her to pursue a career as a school counselor. She continued her education at the University of San Diego, where she received her M.A. in School-Based Clinical Counseling. Sarah believes in creating a counseling culture that provides unconditional support for students to achieve personal, emotional, social, and academic self-fulfillment. She loves traveling, trying new foods, reading, leisurely walking, and spending time with family and friends!

Kyoko Moriyama

Art Teacher

An artist at heart, in form and in function, Kyoko brings a unique and fresh perspective to the KAIS community. Her artistic interests include batik, weaving, and anything to do with textiles. Kyoko first learned her various crafts at Joshibi High School in Tokyo and further honed her skills at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
since 2006


KAIS International School was founded in 2006 by Jonathan Yaffe and Charles Knudsen. The school started out in a small house in Jiyugaoka, and moved to Meguro in 2009. While we’ve grown in size over the years, we have never aspired to become a large school – we wanted to create the school we wished we went to, a place where students love learning. We believe smaller classes, hands-on learning, and balance between disciplines is a key component in our students’ growth and development. The mission of KAIS has always been to provide students with a holistic education – one that emphasizes the academic, the creative, and the physical.