Meet Our New Head of School

Welcome to Sacred Heart! Our International School campus is a harmonious wooded oasis in the Hiroo district of Shibuya-ku in the heart of Tokyo.

I first visited our campus as a very young woman in 1986 when the Japanese Alumnae of the Sacred Heart hosted an international congress for Sacred Heart (SH) alums throughout the world. Over 700 of us representing 35 countries attended, and during a free afternoon I made my way to the International School. I was smitten by joyfully diverse students. A seed was planted.

Fast-forward 37 years. Last year, I moved here from Canada where for ten years I was the Head of School for the Sacred Heart School of Halifax in Nova Scotia. I returned with significant experience.

I taught math at Sacred Heart in NYC, and was an administrative leader at our SH schools in San Francisco, Chicago, Louisiana, and that all began at my alma mater Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha, Nebraska where I was a young PR/admissions director and teacher.

Though new to ISSH, my life purpose is our mission. You will hear me refer to the Goals and Criteria, a profoundly meaningful articulation of why we exist. Few schools are so deeply rooted in a time-tested mission that remains ahead of its time. Our mission is love. Across the globe, unity, dynamic cross-fertilization and mutual support mark each Sacred Heart school's focus on intellectual and personal development in the context of a loving community that seeks to make a positive difference in our world. 

I have a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from the University of San Francisco. My Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and secondary teaching certification were both earned at St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame where I cheered on the Notre Dame football and basketball teams. I am a sports enthusiast, and while I ran the NYC Marathon in 1991, I now treasure long walks in Tokyo. Golf remains a passion. I'm loyal to the Golden State Warriors and still bleed orange for the SF Giants while adopting the Tokyo counterpart. And, I look forward to using our School's US Open quality tennis courts. 

Thank you for learning about the International School of the Sacred Heart.
I look forward to meeting you in person,

Sr. Anne Wachter, RSCJ
Head of School

PS: Students call me Sr. Wachter, and adults typically call me Anne (not Sr. Anne).

Outstanding Academics
Steeped in 115 years of international education in Tokyo, ISSH students have the finest of academic programs led by outstanding educators from 20+ countries who embrace Sacred Heart’s clear and enduring mission. ISSH graduates of ‘23 proudly upheld the tradition of outperforming their Japanese and counterparts across the globe as their AP Exams results earned them internationally respected and accepted university credits before even beginning their universities careers. 

Accreditation and Vision 
The International School of the Sacred Heart is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the prestigious Council of International Schools (CIS). Based in the Netherlands, CIS is the trusted gold-standard for international schools and ISSH is now engaged in an in-depth self-study, a significant part of the process to renew its accreditation. Also in forward motion is the centerpiece of the strategic plan - the construction of an arts and science center that also includes multiple new classrooms and a fabulous cafeteria overlooking spacious green play and practice areas. 

An International School within a Global Family
The heart and soul of ISSH is shared with and similarly articulated by five other Sacred Heart schools in Japan and 100+ schools across the globe. At ISSH, 20% of the faculty and staff are alums of ISSH or another Sacred Heart school. Not only a testament to the strength of the program, this provides a solid foundation for change. “Courage and Confidence” have been the hallmarks of Sacred Heart women since the Society of the Sacred Heart was founded in France in 1800. After expanding to the United States in 1818 the Society spread rapidly across the world. In 1908 the first school, ISSH, was opened in Asia.

Relational Leadership
The founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Madeleine Sophie Barat (canonized in 1925) had a relational leadership style that kept the global family of schools unified even as each embraced its local culture and reality. During her lifetime (1779-1865) and under her leadership, over 100 schools were founded, and on four continents. Trusting relationships were the "intranet" of her day; they provided courage in the face of great risks. Out of love for our students, we continue to take risks and go many extra miles.