Our Executive Director Roslyn is Australian and a long-term member of St Alban’s church. She took over the operations of St Alban’s Nursery in 2013, after it suffered severe losses following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and the church decided it would have to close. Happily, the Nursery soon recovered, and we celebrated its 50th Anniversary joyously this year. In her ‘other life,’ Roslyn is a former journalist and securities analyst, now president of Sangi Co., Ltd., a company specializing in toothpaste (Apagard, Apadent and other brands), established by her Japanese husband Shuji Sakuma in 1974.
Roslyn’s message: As a person unable to have children, it never crossed my mind that I would one day be involved in the operations of a nursery! But it has been an absolute joy – first working with our former Director Gilma Yamamoto-Copeland, who created the Nursery as we have known and loved it, and now preparing for a new step forward in the capable hands of Wen Testado-Feri and her dedicated team. We look forward to a wonderful future with you all.
Our New Director is Rowena “WEN” Testado-Feri. She is a long-term resident in Japan with two grown-up daughters and a 9-year old son, and she has a long history in early childhood education. She has post-graduate degrees in both preschool education and psychology, and studying for her PhD in Education at Cagayan State University in the Philippines when the pandemic intervened. In Japan she has taught at a number of international preschools, including a period as Head Teacher at the US Embassy Mitsui Gardens International Preschool, and in the Philippines operated her own preschool in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan for almost 10 years. She has lectured at universities in both countries, and also works with children in the fields she loves, including as a drama teacher and stage director, and teaching music and dance.
Wen’s Message: “I am truly blessed and honored to be the new preschool director of St. Alban’s Nursery. I believe that learning happens when children experience joy and positivity in the classroom, and I am thrilled to welcome you all. It will be a wonderful and rewarding year for all of us.”
Our Co-Lead Teacher is Susanna Louise Mashima. She began her career as an English teacher, first in Austria, while completing her degree in German studies at the University of Wales in the UK, then in Japan, where she has lived since 2006. But in the course of teaching English to preschoolers, she discovered her real vocation was in early childhood education, especially focusing on “playful learning”, including physical and creative activities such as craftwork, performance, music and dance. She has spent the last three years teaching in two different international preschools here and participates frequently in early learning workshops, including several held by Harvard University in Tokyo.
Susanna’s Message: “I’m really grateful and looking forward to joining the St. Alban’s team under the experienced leadership of Director Wen who shares the same passion and vision for early childhood education as I do! I’m excited about working with Ms. Wen and Teacher Yuki and I look forward to seeing the nursery filled with colour, music, laughter and love each day as we play and learn together with our students. My biggest hope is for the children to feel safe, happy and relaxed as they come to St. Alban’s each day. Let the adventure begin!”
Our Licensed Hoikushi (qualified child-carer) is Yuki Hatakeyama. She has a rich background in early English-language childhood education. She has worked in several international schools including Laurus International School of Science in Tokyo, but also spent many years working in publishing, dance education, choreography and music, mostly with children. She graduated with a major in Japanese dance from Tokyo Women’s College of Physical Education, before completing a year of English studies at Sonoma State University in the US.
Yuki’s Message: “Hi, everyone! I love singing and dancing with children. But my most favorite thing is discovering and learning new things with them. Learning with a smile and learning with fun!”