Teachers and Staff

We know that great teachers make all the difference in the classroom. Our teachers and staff are diverse and multi-talented. We only work with the experienced, passionate and responsive educators and warm, nurturing and attentive child care providers who all share a genuine joy and enthusiasm in their work with young children.

Meet our team of professionals who make the Hand In Hand way possible.

Seth Weddle

Lead Teacher

"The concept of teaching gives me a sense of determination and adventure. I imagine myself traveling long distances to achieve goals, exploring new territories along the way. Teaching is invention: old, modern, and future. Teaching is discovering new places and things. Teaching is a process where the progression and evolution are just as important as the final product. I look forward to providing an excellent service, environment, and experience for my students, working with them side-by-side and hand-in-hand on this journey.”

Seth graduated from Eastern Michigan University and is certified by the state of Michigan, USA, for teaching in both primary and secondary settings. Seth was a student at Frankfurt International School in Germany for several years, where a love for international education grew. Seth enjoys spending quality time with friends, playing the guitar and writing music, drawing and painting, riding his bike, and traveling. He is passionate about researching new and challenging ideas to enhance his lessons and he feels fortunate to be working in a learning environment with wonderful kids every day.

Linda Stephens

Lead Teacher

"Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I love the time I spend with my students in the classroom each year. It brings me joy to see them grow both socially and academically. The motto from my first school has become the central theme to my teaching: "We must create in children a desire to become lifelong learners." I feel it is my job to show your children that learning is fun and exciting! I hope to instill in them the desire to continue growing and learning, well beyond their years in school."

Before joining Hand In Hand, Linda taught in both the Kindergarten and Preschool program for 4 years at a private school in Tennessee, U.S.A. Linda holds a Tennessee certified teaching license. She began her teaching career upon graduating from Tennessee Technological University in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education. Linda's experience with young children began with a job as a nanny over summer and winter breaks in 2008 which continued until the summer before moving to Japan in 2016.
In her spare time, she likes to travel and read. Linda and her husband have been to many amazing areas in Japan and Thailand and hope to continue to add new cities and experiences to their list in the future. She always make sure to bring a new book along for the ride.

Adi Weingarten

Lead Teacher

"I believe that the most important characteristic for a teacher of Early Childhood Development is enthusiasm and passion for children. This does not refer to just enjoying being with children, it is also about wanting to make a difference to each and every child.
In my classroom, my main focus is guiding students to develop self-confidence and a sense of self. During Early Childhood years, children begin drastic social, physical and emotional development and it is my goal to recognize and value each student’s diversity and the differences in how students learn by providing instruction that accommodates to each individual student and their needs.
I am looking forward to working with my students as they take their first step into their school journey."

Adi graduated from Macquarie University in Australia with BA in Japanese Studies and a Minor in Education with an emphasis in the Arts in Earlychildhood Contexts and Early Childhood Pedagogy and Curriculum. She then continued her education with Australian Academy in 2014 to earn a diploma in Earlychildhood Education and Care, while working at a preschool to gain experience.
She has always been fascinated with Japan and it has been her longest dream to live and work in this country. Adi loves to spend time traveling around Japan and figure skating. She is also an avid fan of boy-band NEWS.

Yumiko Iwai

Curriculum and Instructional Coordinator

"I joined Hand In Hand in 2011 starting as a teacher in our preschool program. I was appointed as the school’s Curriculum and Instructional Coordinator for my 10+ years of experience in early childhood education. My primary focus is the design, implementation and coordination of curriculum throughout our programs with our teachers and Director, and asses its effectiveness. I'm also responsible for training and maintaining our teaching and childcare standards and techniques. I believe in fostering children's curiosity which is fundamental to lifelong learning and creating a safe environment for children to explore the world around them."

Yumiko holds a degree in Early Childhood Care & Education from Burnaby College in Canada. She began her teaching career in 2001 at a private preschool in Canada and later at varying international preschools in Japan. In her role as Curriculum and Instructional Coordinator, she is committed to provide the best early learning experiences possible for each child. With the desire to expand her capacity to serve and support families and staff, Yumiko is currently taking university courses in psychology.
Yumiko is married and has one daughter. In her free time, she enjoys singing gospel music and ballet dancing.

Juliet Platon

Lead Childcare Provider

"I believe that the most important thing in caring for toddlers is ensuring that they feel safe with me and nurtured. When children put their trust in me, they enable me to provide not only their physical needs, but also their emotional needs. I enjoy watching the children grow each day. It is my goal to create an engaging and learning-enriching classroom where the children can learn through imagination and play. I love working with toddlers and I love knowing that each child is unique and different with their own personality. I hope to bring both my maternal and professional skills to care for our children at HIH."

Juliet has worked across many facets of the early education field for over 15 years before joining Hand In Hand. She began working in our Childcare program in 2015 and became our Lead Childcare Provider the following year. She is especially skilled in working with children that may be a little anxious or sad as they start daycare for the first time. Juliet lives in Yokohama with her husband and daughter. In her spare time, Juliet enjoys cooking and reading.


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