2005-06 National Council

Froilan Vispo — Chair

I’m Froilan Vispo and I’m a 2nd year junior high and elementary school ALT in Kumamoto-ken. I enjoy coffee, dark chocolate and sashimi – but not all at once! My interests are travel, reading and karate. After degrees in biology and art history I lived in Toronto, Canada, and I’m now looking forward to the challenge of working towards a more robust and responsive AJET. I look forward to working with all of you this year.

Mike Silver — Vice Chair

My name is Michael Silver and I am from the United Kingdom. I am currently an ALT in Hyogo where I work in a senior high school. In the UK I also worked in secondary education and I have been enjoying exploring the differences between the two education systems.

Nathan Wawruck — Treasurer

Nathan Wawruck will be the AJET National Treasurer in 2005-2006. I am a second-year ALT in Fukuoka prefecture, and I teach at a junior high school and three elementary schools. I studied marketing and finance at the University of British Columbia before coming to Japan. I enjoy Japanese food and onsen.

Susan Elliott — Block 1 Representative, Activities Liaison

Before joining the JET Program in 2003, I studied Architecture and Women’s Studies at Wellesley College outside of Boston in the USA. I’m originally from Virginia, but my love of travel has brought me to 26 countries. I now live in Nishine-cho, Iwate-ken. My interests are travel, snowboarding, and scuba diving. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Kevin Meek — Block 2 Representative, Secretary

Hello. My name is Kevin Meek. I hail from Spanish Town, Jamaica, but currently claim a space in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture as home. By academic background is International Relations and, prior to joining the JET Programme, I was working with the United Nations Development Programme. I have also been a volunteer with AFS Intercultural Programmes for several years. Right now, life revolves around those really-interested-in-learning SHS students of English, taiko drumming and a never ending-quest to learn Japanese and make Japanese friends.

Darin McAnelly — Block 3 Representative, Guidebooks Liaison

Hello! I am originally from New Mexico, USA but now I live in Isesaki, Gunma-ken. I came to Japan after studying Linguistics and Italian at the University of Southern California. I am now in my first year as a Junior High School ALT. I love manju, spring in Japan, and my beautiful green roadbike, Arturo. I look forward to working with all of you this year.

Emi Louie-Nishikawa — Block 4 Representative, Marketing Liaison

Hello, my name is Emi Louie-Nishikawa. I am originally from the Albany, California, a city that is only one square-mile in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2003, I graduated from the neighboring University of California at Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Japanese Language, and a minor in City and Regional Planning. After graduating I worked at a community development nonprofit in Oakland to revitalize a primarily low-income and immigrant neighborhood. I am now serving my first year as a CIR at the International Relations Division of the Yokosuka City Hall in Kanagawa. I look forward to working with you over the next year as the incoming Block 4 Representative and Marketing Liaison to the AJET National Council and to serving the JET Programme and the JET community.

Jamie Huang — Block 5 Representative, External Communications Liaison

After receiving my Journalism and History of Science B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002, I enrolled in a university in Tokyo to study Japanese. I became a Toyama JET in 2003. After two years working as a SHS ALT, I will be working as the Oyabe City CIR for my third year on the JET Programme. I love to travel around Japan, meet new people, and snowboard. I hope to be able to talk to many of you in the near future

Jessica Elisberg — Block 6 Representative, Education Liaison

Hello, my name is Jessica Elisberg and I am the new Block 6 Representative for AJET. I am from the United States. In university I studied foreign languages, linguistics, and music at both Whitman College in America and the University of Otago in New Zealand. I joined the JET Programme in 2003 as a high school ALT in Kyoto Prefecture. I work with Higashi Uji High School’s English course and am very interested in education issues. Nice to meet you!

Alex Swallow — Block 7 Representative, Cultural Liaison

I graduated from the University of Cambridge in politics, and then spent a year of travel before coming on JET. I am in the lucky position of teaching at an international school in Ashiya. In Japan I am enjoying the opportunity to experience a new culture in areas as small as the way in which people do their shopping! I have an amateur but keen interest in sake, encouraged by living in Nishinomiya. I have both British and Australian citizenship, but have never been to Australia!

Elizabeth Tracey — Block 8 Representative, Information Resources Liaison

I graduated with honours in English Language from the University of Edinburgh, and joined the JET Programme in 2003. I live in the far west of Tokushima-ken, and am involved with the local Awa Odori-ren, and tennis club. I also like touch rugby and snowboarding. I’m looking forward to working with you all during the coming year.

Steve Woerner — Block 9 Representative, Internal Communications Liaison

Nice to meet you! My name is Steve Woerner, and I’m from California in the United States. Currently I’m working as a third year CIR in Nichinan Town of Tottori Prefecture. As of next August, I will be working in the same town as a fourth year elementary school ALT. The majority of my work now is teaching at junior high and elementary schools. I also volunteer my time to teach night classes in English conversation, interpretation, and swing dancing. In my free time I enjoy traveling and studying Korean.
This is the start of my third year on the AJET National council. I am happy that I will have the opportunity to represent the Chugoku region as Block 9 Representative again this year. Thank you.

Timothy Reeve-Newson — Block 10 Representative, Corporate Liaison

Good afternoon. My name is Timothy Reeve-Newson and I am one of the Corporate Liaisons. I am from Toronto, Canada. I graduated from the University of Toronto with honours in economics and sociology and joined the JET Programme in August 2004. Now I live and teach high school in the city made famous by Hanawa’s song, S-A-G-A, Saga! I enjoy playing sports, making mochi, and trying to speak Japanese. Nice to meet you.

Christian Tsuji — Block 11 Representative, Corporate Liaison

Greetings!! my Name is Christian Tsuji and I am a Japanese American born in Kyoto and raised in Los Angeles California. I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and a double major in Japanese Literature and Language. I also successfully graduated Japanese High School in California so I can read, write and speak Japanese very fluently. On my free time I enjoy playing basketball along with surfing and golfing. I also enjoy the outdoors and the exploration of Kyushu. My interest in AJET comes from my ideas and changes that hopefully I can implement in the future to better JETs’ lives. I enjoy working with lots of people and open to any questions and opinions. Thanks and let the challenges begin!

Mia Simring — CIR/SEA Representative

After graduating with honors in East Asian Studies from Brown University, I returned to my hometown in New York City, where I spent a year working as a legal assistant. I came to Japan in July 2004 to be a CIR in Shitara, a small mountain town in the northeastern corner of Aichi Prefecture. I’ve been so inspired by the local produce, that (despite my city roots) I have made a little tomato and herb “farm” on my veranda! Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Yih Seung-hoon — Interpreter

I am a 2nd-year ALT in Yonago, Tottori, and I am teaching Korean in 3 high schools in the area. I come from Korea and I went to universities in Korea and Japan where I studied literature and anthropology. I like studying about different cultures and I have traveled in many other Asian countries. This is my fourth year in Japan and I am very eager to learn more about Japanese culture as well as introducing my own. Thank you.

Sunil Pai — Webmaster

Graduating from Queen’s University in Canada with a degree in computer science, the obvious next step was to go to Japan to teach English. I’m going into my third year on the JET Programme as an ALT in Aomori-ken and my second year as webmaster for National AJET. This year we have a two man team with great aspirations towards how the website can be improved to be a better resource for you. If you have suggestions, we want to hear them. Yoroshiku!

David Thomas — Webmaster

I graduated from Victoria University with honours in psychology and taught there for two years. After that, I studied computer science at Massey University and went on to work successfully in database and web design. My interests include music (guitar, sitar and flute) and philosophy (eastern). I now live in a small mountain village called Teramae in Hyogo-ken. I am a Junior High and Elementary school ALT. I am 29 years old. I love Japan. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Maggie Ross — AJET Across Japan Editor

Hello, everyone! I’m Maggie Ross, a first-year ALT currently living in Yamaguchi Prefecture and originally from Portland, Oregon, USA. As a student in Walla Walla, Washington, I edited my college newspaper and I’m happy to put my journalism skills back to work again. If you ever want to contribute an article to AJET Across Japan, let me know!

Alina Stubbs — Publications Advertising Editor

As a business graduate from Trent University in Canada with future plans to go and complete an MBA after the JET experience, I will bring some great knowledge and experience working with corporations to this year’s AJET Corporate Team. Best of luck to you all for an unforgettable year ahead!