Ayako Lainez, MA SpED

Post-Secondary Counselor

Ayako is excited to support students in her work as a post-secondary counselor. She has completed the UCLA College Counseling Certificate and has worked previously at Fusion Los Gatos as the academic counselor. There she analyzed prior transcripts and supported the planning of a school journey that would help students reach their goals.

She received a BA in Liberal Arts from International Christian University (Tokyo), then later went to UC Berkeley Extension and earned a diploma in Business Management/certificate in Marketing. In addition, she earned a master’s degree in Special Education and completed the credential program at Notre Dame De Namur University. She holds a Clear Education Specialist (mild/moderate) credential.

Prior to joining Fusion, Ayako’s first job after college was in investment banking. In her spare time, she volunteered as an interpreter for visiting international therapeutic riding coaches. She was amazed at how people with significant disabilities could ride a horse much better than she could! Through this experience, she discovered what the right coaching could do to help someone reach their goals. This led her to working for non-profits and then eventually becoming a special education teacher. As a special education teacher/resource specialist covering grades K-8 , she taught small group lessons and assisted families to navigate the IEP process as case manager.

Outside of work, Ayako enjoys listening to records/music with her husband, playing with her cat Mika, reading, cooking, hiking and riding horses. She also likes to write and has been a journalist at international equestrian events such as the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and 2010 World Equestrian Games and remotely for 2020 Tokyo covering the Para-equestrian sport.