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Leadership Team

Catherine Osias Endo, M.A.

Head of School

Catherine Osias Endo, a U.S. citizen, with a mixed ethnic background of Japanese, Filipino, and Greek, born and raised in Japan, graduated from Saint Maur International School in 1972. Upon obtaining her bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Religious Studies, and a master’s degree in English from Holy Names University in California, and a secondary school teaching credential from the state of California, she joined the faculty of her alma mater in the fall of 1977.

During her years at Saint Maur, Mrs. Endo has taught high school English, religious studies, and guidance, and has held the positions of high school coordinator, guidance counselor, high school student council advisor, senior homeroom/deputy homeroom teacher, and English department head. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors.

Jeanette K. Thomas, MBE, M.Ed., L.R.A.M.

Head of School Emerita & Director of Human Resources

Miss Thomas was born in India to British parents. She was educated in England and after graduating from high school, studied at the Royal Academy of Music at London University. She gained her certification as a K-12 Principal from the state of New Jersey, United States. On graduating from university, she taught music in England and in 1968 accepted a teaching position in Western Australia where she also played the ‘cello as an augmenting player with the West Australian Symphony and ABC (Australian Broad Casting) orchestras. In 1970 she continued her teaching career in Auckland, New Zealand, and in 1971 was appointed as Head of Music at Saint Maur International School, Yokohama.

In 1991, Miss Thomas was appointed as Head of Saint Maur International School, and has been a long-term member of the Board of Directors, serving as Chairperson since 2008. She has served on numerous accreditation teams throughout the Asia-Pacific region, representing WASC (Western Association of School and Colleges) and CIS (Council of International Schools.) On more than one occasion she has served as President of JCIS (Japan Council of International Schools) and as a Board member of EARCOS (East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools.) Her services to education have been recognized several times by the Kanagawa Private Schools’ Association, and in 1999 by the Yokohama Board of Education.

In 1998, Miss Thomas was conferred the title of MBE (Member of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth ll, at Buckingham Palace, London, for her services to Saint Maur International School and to international education.

Annette Levy, M.A.

Deputy Head of School, Director of Curriculum & Professional Development, & Director of Student Services

Mrs. Levy, originally from Australia, did her in-service studies in education through the Christian Heritage College in Brisbane; earned the PTC International School Leadership Certificate in 2011; and has more recently obtained her MA degree in Leading Innovation & Change from York St. John University, U.K. Mrs. Levy has been involved in school leadership since 2002 and has had experience serving as a School Head prior to joining the Administration Team at Saint Maur. A permanent resident of Japan, she has been living in Japan since 1985. She is the mother of three grown children who were all born and raised in Kyoto.

Mrs. Levy counts it a privilege to be working at Saint Maur International School, a school with such a rich heritage. She is working hand in hand with the faculty on seeing the curriculum lived out, developed and kept relevant for the students and their learning.

Timothy Matsumoto, M.Ed.

Secondary School Principal

Originally from Hawaii, Mr. Matsumoto serves as the Principal for both the Middle and High School and is the IB Diploma Program Coordinator for grades 11 and 12. He has a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Administration as well as a B.A. in Mathematics with a double minor in Art and Philosophy. Prior to joining the Saint Maur family, Mr. Matsumoto served as the IB Diploma Program Coordinator, Head of the Mathematics Department and Grade 12 Homeroom at Saint Maur; was the Head of the Mathematics Department at Kaimuki High School in Hawaii; and was an Assistant English Teacher in Koshigaya City in Saitama Prefecture.

Mr. Matsumoto is passionate about connecting students, staff, parents and community in order to create the best possible learning environment for our students. He hopes that - by coupling a wide-variety of extra-curricular activities, caring support systems, and engaging best practices - Saint Maur students will excel and develop into balanced, lifelong and unique learners.

Cassandra Kitani, M.Ed.

Montessori Pre-School & Elementary School Principal

Mrs. Kitani was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. Upon graduating from high school, she went on to study at the Australian Catholic University. In 1992, she successfully completed her Diploma of Teaching and in 1995, her Bachelor of Education. In 2010 she graduated from Deakin University, Australia with a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration.

Mrs. Kitani has taught in schools in Australia and Japan. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to hold various roles in schools including, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Science and Technology Coordinator, Summer School Coordinator, Elementary Project Coordinator, Grade Level Leader, and Classroom Teacher. She has taught at every level of elementary school with children who have a range of needs.

Mrs. Kitani is passionate about learning both in and out of school and believes that we are never too old - or young - to start learning. She believes that reaching children through differentiated instruction is key to enabling learning.

Everyone has a gift. Find it, nurture it, and watch the learner grow.

Richard Rucci, M.Ed.

Director of Admissions & University Counseling Team

Originally from the United States, Mr. Rucci has served as principal at Saint Maur for 15 years. He has 3 sons who all graduated from Saint Maur. His resident state is Hawaii, where he graduated from the University of Hawaii, and later received his M.Ed. from University of Southern California and a Masters of Asian Political History. He was principal of Seoul International School for over 15 years before moving to Japan.

Prior to joining Saint Maur, Mr. Rucci worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal of both Catholic and International Schools in the United States and Korea. His teaching experience includes various histories, Asian Studies, and several mathematics courses, his passion being Algebra and Analytic Geometry. Now at Saint Maur, he serves as Director of Admissions, as well as a university guidance counselor for Grade 12 students and Grade 9 advisor.

Mr. Rucci is very interested in the new concepts of behavior expectations and restorative justice. He wrote a 100 page book for ERIC (a semi-U.S. Government Agency) Working with Difficult People - A Guide for Educators. While in Korea, he wrote and edited Living In Korea 6 times and was a weekly correspondent for both The Korea Times and The Korea Herald. He also wrote Volume 1 and II of a book called Korean with Chinese Characters.

Yong-Lang Kwan, M.A.

Director of Alumni Relations & Services & Assistant Director of Admissions

Miss Kwan, a U.S. citizen, was born and raised in Yokohama where she attended local Chinese and department of defense elementary schools. After attending secondary school and graduating from Saint Maur International School, she received her BA from Holy Names University in Oakland, California as well as the California Elementary School Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. During the centennial year of her alma mater, she returned as a faculty member, teaching Grades 3 – 6 for 31 years, taking on responsibilities such as the coordinator of the Elementary School, Yearbook, Food Fair and member of the Board of Trustees. After completing her MA in Educational Administration from California State University at Northridge, she held the position of Elementary School Principal, Montessori Pre-School Administrator and Administrative Liaison to the French School until 2012.

Miss Kwan was appointed as the Director of Alumni Relations & Services and Assistant Director of Admissions in 2012. Believing that there is a common background and strong bond among alumni from other international schools in Japan, she has been a board member of IACJapan (International Alumni Council of Japan) since 2004. One of its goals is to provide a forum for alumni to network and share their ‘rich’ background. The numerous, successful Block Parties and Natsumatsuri’s have been a bridge to consolidate long-lasting friendship and support.