Our Founder


Shelley Sacks

was born in Cape Town, South Africa and studied Early Childhood Education at Barkly House Teachers Training College, which specialised in training teachers for preschool and kindergarten.

At an early stage in her teaching career she was awarded a scholarship by the Department of Education in Cape Town, recognising her excellence in teaching. She went to the University of Cape Town for further studies and received a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education.

Before leaving South Africa to live in Sydney, Australia, she was appointed Director of a preschool nestled at the foot of Table Mountain. It was here that her skills as a leader and teacher started to emerge.

With a heavy heart, she migrated to Australia and after five years, once again excelling herself as an educator, she became the Director of Temple Emanuel Woollahra Kindergarten, where she spent 8 1/2 years building the school into one of the most sought after in Sydney. Among her many projects was redeveloping the garden which was an oasis in the heart of urban Sydney; refurbishing the school so that it reflected openness and invited endless opportunities for learning and creativity. Shelley became well-known as a warm-hearted, loving professional who was available for parents at all times and wanted the best for the teachers and children in her care.

At the essence of Shelley is an openhearted and creative soul, who immerses herself entirely in her work with children. Her own need for continual growth as a human being is reflected in her teaching — she consistently encourages children to think for themselves and promotes the importance of mutual respect; in doing so each child’s potential is able to reach new heights. It is through her high level of creativity and ability to enter the world of the child, that Shelley can bring about the best in each child under her care at her Tokyo preschool, Ohana International School.