About Hokkaido International School

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HIS Teachers & Staff

HIS aims to provide students with the highest caliber teaching professionals available. To this end, HIS hires fully qualified teachers who are trained in their field of expertise. Annually, the HIS Head of School assesses the hiring needs of the school and selects candidates in a process that can stretch over many months. This culminates with the Head of School interviewing candidates who meet HIS requirements for employment and who best fit the school’s needs. HIS endeavors to hire teachers who stimulate the whole HIS community with their new ideas and their perspectives. [Please select the divisions of the school on the right side bar to see other teacher profiles.] 


Head of Shcool
Mr. Barry Ratzliff
Barry Ratzliff was born in Ethiopia and grew up on the west coast of Canada. After completing an education degree at Trinity Western University, he left Canada for teaching opportunities in Japan. Two adventurous years in Japan never ended and Barry met his wife, opened a Language School, completed a certificate in ESOL and joined the teaching staff at HIS as an ESL teacher. A masters degree from Michigan State University was followed by a transition to the secondary level to teach L.A., Humanities and History. Barry was a building-level principal for three years at the school before moving into the Head of School position in 2011. Barry and his wife Kaori have three boys, Saimon, Leo and Kamui.

Mr. Neil Cooke

Neil Cooke was born in Vancouver, Canada and attended the University of British Columbia for both his Bachelor of Arts (history major) and his Bachelor of Education.  After graduation he spent a couple of years traveling around the world which (in a roundabout way) led him to Japan.  Since then, Neil met and married his wife Akko and now has three children – Koyuki, Annabelle and Griffin.  Previous to arriving at HIS in August 2014, Neil was ten years at Canadian International School Tokyo – first as a history and literature teacher and then, for the last six years, as vice principal.  Neil and his family are very much enjoying their new lives in Sapporo and are honored and excited to be part of the HIS community. 

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