The OCG Governance Structure

Since becoming independent in 2010, Orange Coast Gakuen has been administered by a three-part Board that includes representatives of our teachers, parents (the Parents Association), and elected Trustees.

We have no Principal or single decision maker.  Rather, the Board takes into account the interests of all school members when making its decisions.  The Board has remained focused on its mission of creating a curriculum and school environment that encourages the study of Japanese.

In order to keep our administrative expenses low, OCG relies on its elected Trustees and PA officers serving on a voluntary basis.

Explanation of Parent Responsibilities

Committee List

OCG is a parent-run school. The Parents Association helps to govern and administer all aspects of the school, from events to budgets to curriculum matters.

In an effort to keep our tuition and fees as low as possible, we require all families to provide at least some time to help run the school. We understand that everyone is very busy, but without your participation we would either have to raise the PA fee, or else cut back on the numerous cultural events that we arrange for our students. These events introduce students to aspects of Japanese culture that they would normally not encounter. They include a Tanabata celebration, Summer Festival, Undoukai, a Holiday Performance, Setsubun, Hinamatsuri, Children’s Day, a Speech Contest, and much more.

We therefore require each family to sign up for a committee.

The PA is also active in raising funds needed to operate the school. Our sole fund-raising activity each year is the Orange International Food Fair, held during Labor Day weekend. Parents can use the hours they work at the Food Fair to defray some or all of their School Management Fee. We encourage you, however, to come out to lend us a hand!

Events Committee – This committee will prepare for and conduct all OCG events.   Members will coordinate event matters with teachers and officers.  “Cultural Events” include: the summer festivals, Undoukai, Hinamatsuri, and others.  “Ceremonies” include: opening and closing of the school year, Speech Contest, Gakushuu Happyoukai, General Meeting.  Members in this committee will also sign up for duties in at least two specific events within this committee.

Academic Committee – This group will work with the teachers in gathering curriculum-related materials for classroom use.  Another function will include running the school’s lending library. Committee members must be able to read and speak Japanese.

Safety Committee – The purpose of this committee is to oversee school security while class is in session.  The group will also help establish safety-related policy and rules and will advise the officers and Board on all safety- and insurance-related matters.  Currently, this committee is engaged in a writing a comprehensive emergency disaster plan.

Administrative Committee – Members will be responsible for various aspects of school operations, including registering new students, working with the landlord (Brethren Christian Schools) on facility-related matters, and helping with purchasing and mail, and managing and operating school equipment (audio/visual and sound system).

Fund Development and Marketing Committees – This committee will oversee all fundraising activities throughout the year.  The committee will also be responsible for coordinating our community interface and media-related activities.  Translations of announcements and newsletters are specialized functions within this committee.  School photography is also included within this category.

Advisory Committee – This group will act as a liaison with our alumnae to create and deepen connections between the current and past members of this OCG family.

The Parents Association

Orange Coast Gakuen was established some thirty five years ago by Japanese immigrants and their descendants as a place where their children could learn about the Japanese language and culture. Our school has changed since then just as the world has changed: today our 100 plus students come from varied backgrounds, nationalities, and ethnicities. Our students and their families are united in their desire to learn the Japanese language.

OCG is run and operated by an active Parents Association (PA). The PA organizes various events and engages in fundraising activities, including participating in the annual Orange International Street Fair. The money that we earn is used to pay for the school’s monthly rent and other expenses.

We invite anyone who is interested in learning Japanese to visit us at our school!

Current PA Officers

Danny Fukumoto
PA President


David Fujii
Vice President


Naeko Karst
Vice President

Hai Le
Vice President

Alan Sasaki
Vice President


June Chung

Kathy Pagaduan
Vice President

Shizue Maeda




The Board of Trustees

The OCG Board is ultimately responsible for all decisions related to financial matters, personnel, and anything that affects the school. The Board consists of representatives of the Parents Association (PA President and Treasurer) and the Teachers (Chief Instructor and Assistant Chief Instructor), plus six elected OCG Trustees.

The six OCG Trustees are chosen by the OCG parents to serve two-year terms.  Nominees are identified in the Spring and the vote is held at our Annual General Meeting in June.  Anyone who has served as a past PA officer at OCG is eligible to run for the Board.

Members of the Board of Trustees


Robert Uriu
Board Chair

Alice Tsuji
Board Vice Chair


Shoko Araki


Toyomi Shigaki


Rie Strong


Atsuko Wattanasarn


Linda Sugiura
Past PA President


Danny Fukumoto
PA President


Hiromi Kishimizu
Senior Instructor


Miyoko Foutch
Assistant Senior Instructor

Our Board Advisors


Joel Minamide


Takako Scott




Past Board Candidate Statements

Shoko Araki

Three years ago, I was asked to serve on the Board of Trustees for OCG. Since then, I have continued to be committed and dedicated to the success of OCG in offering the best Japanese language and cultural education experience we can offer to our students. My personal goal as an active Board member is to provide strong leadership and work together with the Board to ensure a great future for OCG. I appreciate your support.

Miho Favela

I have been sending my kids to Orange Coast Gakuen, starting with Chuo Gakuen about 16 years ago. However, I have become involved more about 10 years ago when I saw all of OCG's former parents giving so much and selflessly trying to keep the school operating smoothly. I have seen many changes in those years, and I believe the school has a tremendous potential to thrive and become an even finer school with its good curriculum and passion from all the OCG famiies (this is a very unique school that is run solely by parents/families). My second daughter will be graduating this summer, however, I am very blessed to have been a part of the school's growth, and I would be proud to continue to witness and be a small part of its future growth.

Bob Uriu

When OCG went independent two years ago the Board members all made a promise that we would remain involved with the school until it was stable and thriving. With all of the work that you all have put in, we have made a lot of progress over the past two years. But there is still more to do. I would love the opportunity to serve the school for two more years.

Diane Yamamoto

My children started OCG with the goal to learn Japanese language but came away with much more and they are still realizing these benefits even as young adults. I personally was drawn to OCG by the passion and energy that flows through our teachers and parents and have served as Treasurer for the past several years. I would love to serve OCG to help it thrive for future generations to experience.

Rie Strong

It is very difficult for Japanese living in America to teach our children the Japanese language and culture, but it is also a very important thing. OCG has created a nearly ideal Japanese language school, based on a stable curricular approach and built on the efforts of its teachers and parents. I would like to continue to help the school prosper in the future.