Senior Leadership Team


Craig Coutts - Head of School

Craig Coutts joined YIS as Head of School at the start of the 2013-14 school year after working for 12 years in Singapore at United World College of South East Asia, including eight years as primary school principal. He has been involved in international education for more than 20 years, having also worked in Indonesia and the UK. Craig's passion is service in schools. He has been heavily involved in the leadership and development of service projects around Asia and is working with students, staff and others in the community to develop the service program at YIS. Craig is originally from New Zealand, where he studied and qualified as a teacher, and he later completed a Diploma in Management and a Masters in Business Administration through Henley College in the UK. 




Susie Clifford - Director of Learning

Susie Clifford is the Director of Learning, a school-wide position overseeing academic programs from ELC through high school. She completed her Bachelor of Teaching at the University of South Australia. She has been teaching for over 20 years and has taught all years from Grade 1 to Grade 12, as well as serving as middle school vice-principal and MYP coordinator. Her passion lies in teaching literature and fostering the love of reading and writing in all students. She has taught in Australia, China and England, joining YIS in 2008. Susie's husband, Alex Thomas, teaches Physical Education in the middle and high school, and their two sons are in elementary school at YIS.



Bob Pomeroy - Head of Operations

Bob Pomeroy is the Head of Operations. He joined YIS in 2007 after more than 20 years working in public relations and corporate communications in New York and Tokyo, including several years managing Fujitsu Limited’s global PR function at its Tokyo headquarters prior to joining YIS. A U.S. citizen, Bob is fluent in Japanese, holds an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Colby College and a Masters Degree in Intercultural Education from University of Massachusetts. In 2008 he saw his son walk across the graduation stage at YIS and his daughter do the same in 2014. Bob has been leading the YIS Cambodia Service Activity since 2010, helping to build schools in impoverished rural communities in Cambodia






Jacqueline Pender - Elementary Principal

Jacqueline Pender, the Elementary Principal, holds dual citizenship of the U.K. and Australia and joined YIS at the start of the 2011-12 school year. Jacquie is an experienced international educator and leader, with her two most recent posts as the Elementary Principal at Bonn International School in Germany and previously as the Elementary Principal at the International School of Manila in the Philippines. Jacquie began her career as an Early Childhood Educator and was a director of two Early Childhood Centers in Melbourne for ten years. She has served on a number of accreditation and authorization teams in the past, and she holds an undergraduate degree in Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Deakin University in Australia.





Jocelyn Hartley - Elementary Vice Principal and PYP Co-ordinator

Jocelyn Hartley is the Elementary Vice Principal and PYP Coordinator, responsible for providing leadership and coordination for ELC to Grade 5 at YIS. She completed her Bachelor of (Primary) Teaching and Masters of Education at Deakin University, Melbourne. Jocelyn has been teaching in PYP schools for over 16 years, in Australia, Germany and Singapore. She also served as the Head of Teaching and Learning at an independent school in Melbourne and PYP Coordinator at an international school in Singapore. Jocelyn is an IB School Consultant, Evaluation Visitor and Workshop Leader.






Liz Andrews - Secondary Principal

Liz Andrews joined YIS as Secondary School Principal at the start of the 2019-20 school year. Prior to joining YIS, Liz worked in Kobe, Japan; Tanzania, Thailand and Australia. Having worked in international education for over 20 years, Liz has been an MYP Coordinator, Grade level leader, department head, Vice Principal and Principal. Through the varied experiences of these roles, she has developed a keen interest in exploring inclusive classroom and community practices that support diverse learners. 

Liz is originally from Australia where she qualified as an English literature and Science/Biology teacher. She lated completed a Masters of Education at the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts in International School Leadership at the University of Bath in England. Liz and her husband Steve live in Yokohama with their two children who both attend YIS.




Giles Pinto - High School Vice Principal and IB Diploma Program Coordinator

Giles Pinto joined YIS in August 2020 as the High School Vice Principal and IB Diploma Program Coordinator, bringing with him two decades of experience as an educator that started during the Japan Exchange & Teaching Program (JET). Giles has worked as a school leader in IB Continuum schools in his home country of Canada and the Bahamas. Drawing from his Honours undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Alberta, Giles started his teaching career with MYP and DP English before taking on Theory of Knowledge as well. He did his teacher training at the University of Toronto, where he earned a Bachelor of Education as well as two other graduate degrees: Master of Arts (Asian Studies) and Master of Education (Counselling Psychology). Giles is an active member of the IB Educator Network as a workshop leader, consultant and unit reviewer. He lives in Yokohama with his wife Marlene and their twin daughters, Gabrielle and Joy, who are both high school students at YIS.


Medeha Zahid - Middle School Vice Principal and MYP Coordinator

Medeha Zahid joined YIS in August 2021 as the Middle School Vice Principal and MYP Coordinator. Prior to her arrival in Yokohama Medeha worked in Lebanon, Vietnam, as well as her home country, USA. In her 15 years as an educator she has held various roles including head of department, enrichment coach, mathematics professional development coordinator, grade level leader and co-chair of the steering committee for accreditation.

Medeha earned her Bachelor's Degree at the University of California, Berkeley before relocating to New York City to teach middle school mathematics while completing a Masters of Education at the City University of New York. During her time overseas, she went on to complete a Masters of Science in International School Administration at Endicott College. Medeha is joined in Yokohama by her husband, Nathan Vandermost.