HUSKY EXPRESS May 29, 2017


 Administration Corner 

  Head of School   

Kamitsuka Piano Concert with an Addition - Every year in May, concert pianist and former HIS student (1958 ~ 64) John Kamitsuka, comes to HIS to perform for our students and community. This year it came with a special addition. At Mr. Kamitsuka’s request, he was joined at the piano for a duet with Ray Kasai. Ray impressed both is peers and Mr. Kamitsuka by playing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #5 without ever having played it before! Way to go Ray!
A special thanks to John Kamitsuka for coming to see us and introduce us all to the wonders of music.


Incoming Teachers for 2017 ~ 2018

EY Teacher - Tanya Dechodomphan grew up in an international environment while attending Ruamrudee International School in Thailand. She completed her undergraduate degree, certification and a Masters of Education at the College of New Jersey before returning to Thailand to teach at First Steps International School, a program entirely dedicated to Early Years and lower elementary learning. Tanya’s pedagogical knowledge and experience is wide-ranging at the EY level and she has been serving as her school’s Curriculum Coordinator since 2013. Tanya is newly married and we look forward to welcoming her and her husband in the summer.


PE Teacher - Mariano Alonso and Anna Alonso - Mariano is a certified teacher from Argentina who began his career as a professional soccer player before retiring, moving to the United States to continue his education, earning an additional BA in Spanish Language and Literature.  He has worked in several coaching and physical education programs during his 15 years in the United States. Mariano comes highly recommended by his current school where it was noted he will be sorely missed. Mariano and Anna will also be the dormitor parents for next school year.


Dorm Coordinator - Anna Alonso is a career elementary classroom and resource teacher.. Anna and Mariano are joined by their 1 ½ year old son, Max. Anna will be overseeing the dormitory with Mariano.


Milepost 2 - Mrs. Shibuya is returning to MP2 in a post-retirement, part time position where she will remain the core subject teacher alongside Mrs. Oda. We look forward to having Mrs. Shibuya continue with us in elementary.

  From the Principal’s Office  

Student Council Elections for 2017-18
Congratulations to the new student council officers for 2017-18.  It was a very close race across the board, but the eventual winners were:

Ben Feeger - Student Body President
Midori Hong - Social Officer
Chris Rafter - Spirit Officer
Aymui Fukuyama - Sports Officer
Mayu Fujita - Arts Officer
Reina Otake - Service Officer
Sari Hirata - Middle School President

After School Driveway Safety
Our driveway can be a little crowded at times, particularly at this time of the year after school when families congregate on the track, close to the driveway as their children play on the field.

We ask that parents please stand well back from the gate (and please keep your children from running out into the driveway and parking lot).

With the warm weather, it is wonderful for children to have this extra time after school to play with their friends before heading home.  

Please support us in keeping everyone safe.

PSAT Exams October 2017
I am collecting the names of students (9th grade - 11th grade next year) interested in taking the PSATs in Fall 2017.

It should be noted that in the interest of accurately tracking student progress year after year, HIS requires all 11th grade students to take the PSAT (and HIS will cover the cost for them).

The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:

  • To receive feedback on student strengths and weaknesses in skills necessary for college study. Students can then focus their preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
  • To see how their performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to universities.
  • To enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (11th grade students).
  • To help prepare for the SAT. Students can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions they will see on the SAT.
  • To receive information from colleges when they check "yes" to Student Search Service.

For the above reasons, we encourage students in 9th and 10th grade to also consider taking PSAT for practice.  Please note however that for students in 9th and 10th there will be a fee of $16 US (approximately 1800 yen)

Students in 9th or 10th grade next year who are interested in taking the PSAT this coming fall should let me know either in person or by email by Friday June 9th 2017.

Next PTA Meeting
The last 2016-17 PTA Steering Committee meeting is coming up on Tuesday, June 6th.  We encourage everyone to come if you are interested in joining the steering committee for 2017-18.  New members bring new ideas, so please consider it!

Upcoming Testing:
- SAT Subject Exams--- Saturday, June 3

 @ Niseko 

Dear HIS Niseko Parents,

A big THANK YOU to our intrepid PTA. We had a most successful SPRING BAZAAR by all measures. It was a wonderful, wonderful day of fellowship, food, and good stuff, cheap.

Save the Date: June 9th @ 9:30 AM

There will be an upcoming PTA Meeting on June 9th at 9:30 AM. The main topic will be tuition fees and the Niseko Community and Corporate Scholarship  and Financial Assistance Program. Mr. Ratzliff will attend this meeting. All HIS Niseko parents are invited and encouraged to attend.

Upcoming Dates of Note:

May 30 Kondo cultural exchange 13:30~
May 31 Ohisama Read aloud
May 31 Niseko kids dental check up 12:00~
May 31 New Teachers in town visit us(“Introduction to the Community” workshop) 15~15:30 ish
June 1  International Read Aloud

Teacher Administrator HIS Niseko

 Students Art Show 

June 5th, at the MPR, from 3 to 4:30, and its free. The pieces shown will be from MP1 students all the way up to AP Art students. Also, AP Art students will sell their art as an art auction. 

 Music Department 

HIS Choir Performs for the America-Japan Society - Last Thursday, HIS Choir students joined Ms. Sugino and traveled downtown to the Grand Hotel to perform at the annual general meeting of the Sapporo Chapter of the American-Japan Society. The leadership of the society annually looks forward to the appearance of our students on the stage where they are complimented for the energy they bring to entertaining. Thanks for being such a powerful voice for our school.

 Husky Hugs 

Husky Hugs go out 

  • Mr. Adams - for his organization of the ES Sports Day.
  • Mr. Kelly - for his support during ES Sports Day
  • HIS PTA - for coming out to support ES students on their day of sport and fun on the field.
  • Ms. Harmon & the Grade 10 Class - for providing snacks, coffee and the very popular car wash during the elementary sports day.


 Beach Clean-up Service Trip 

As and end-of-year project, 27 students from grade 9-12 participated in the Beach Cleanup at Otaru Dream Beach on Sunday, May 28th. This event was hosted as a combined project of the ACT Service Club and the Student Council. ACT Club members, Student Council members, as well as other students spent a full day cleaning up the beach.

Although the weather was cloudy and rainy, the students were able to make a community contribution by clearing the area. It was a worthwhile experience, and taught many of us the importance of no littering, in order to save the environment. Thank you Mr.Piazza and Aseltine for chaperoning the trip!

 Upcoming Events 


JUNE Events

June 1 - MS Science Fair
June 2 -Student Council Talent Show
June 7 - HIS Reads Finale
June 8-9 - MS Overnight Trip
June 14 - MS / HS Sports Day
June 15 - Last Day of School / Graduation
June 16 - Teacher’s Last Day


The MS girls volleyball team continues to impress in their `Spring Training` for the upcoming season as do the MS boys basketball team. Thanks to Pedro and Nicholas for coaching these up and coming basketball players.

Go Huskies !

 Husky Lunch 

Please here for viewable and downloadable versions of the Husky Lunch Menu -  May. 29 - June 2

 Elementary Activities 

Thank you to all the students, teachers and parents who supported this program this year.Last week of basketball on Monday. Guitar to continue for a couple more weeks. A big thanks to all the kids, teachers and parents who supported After School activities this year.

 HIS Parent E-mailing List 


Do you ever have trouble receiving the weekly HEx, Husky-Info bulletins or other school-wide emails?  Do you have another email address to which you’d like to receive these electronic communications? If so, please email our communications coordinator at so we can update our mailing lists and include you as soon as possible!

 From PTA 

Please note, all Steering Committee meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month.  Any parent is welcome to attend, and please let Neil or Megumi know if you would like to become a regular (and voting) member of the committee.

We ask that parents please complete the PTA Survey sent out last week if you have not done so yet. This will help us as we work to improve the PTA at HIS.

Next meeting is  June 6th at 3:45 in the Teacher’s Lounge

Free babysitting is available for during the meeting upon request.


 Hand-Made Paper for Sale 

Dear HIS Community,

The Early Years class has been busy recycling paper to make new paper to help look after our environment. We have also been discussing the plight of animals on Earth, and are wanting to help endangered animals. We are looking to sell our recycled paper in order to fundraise money and make a donation. Please support us by buying a homemade card…perfect for all occasions such as Mother’s Day, Birthday’s and thank you notes.

Full size: 100yen
Half size with envelope: 100yen
E-mail Ms. Ashlee or visit the classroom to purchase.  (




ご購入されたい方は、Miss Ashlee宛てにメール連絡くださるか、直接EYクラスにいらしてください。ご協力よろしくお願いいたします!(

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