2009-10 National Council

Chair – Jennifer C. Park

I’m a 4th-year ALT from California now living in Takasaki, Gunma and this is my 3rd year on the National AJET Council. You may spot me in Tokyo at conferences and random events, but if you can’t wait for a sighting and need to contact me (for any reason), I encourage you to do so. Thank you.

Vice-Chair – Joseph Schott

Hello! I’m currently a third year ALT living in the beautiful town of Kamigori in Hyogo prefecture. I’m originally from the state of Ohio in the USA, and I like to spend my time traveling and endlessly drilling kanji. I also hold a deep interest in ultimate Frisbee and photography. During the 2009-2010 term I’ll be working diligently as vice-chair, so don’t hesitate to ask me about anything!

Treasurer – Martin Nash

Hi! I’m an ALT originally from the Seattle area, and am now living in a small village in the mountains of southern Nara prefecture. Before coming to Japan I spent five years studying at the University of Washington and working in a variety of jobs including, but not limited to, barista, construction worker, programmer, tutor and (my personal favorite) cow milker. When I’m not working you can find me training karate, hiking or riding my motorcycle.

Block One – Alisa Tobin

Hi everyone! I am a third year CIR from Olympia, Washington State, now living in Hachinohe, Aomori. At University I majored in East Asian Studies and minored in Music and Japanese. In Japan I enjoy trying everything and anything that Japanese cuisine has to offer, participating in local festivals (Aomori prefecture has some of the best) and singing it up at Karaoke. Please feel free to email me with any questions, and wishing you a great year!

Block Two – Kaleb Uri-Ke

Kia ora! I’m a 2nd year CIR from Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. I came to Japan to further my Japanese studies and deepen my knowledge of Japan, all while spreading the good word of…….New Zealand :) One of my goals for this year is to travel to the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
Feel free to mail me if you have any questions!

Block Three – Andrew Heffernan

Hello all, and welcome to Japan. My home away from home is Gunma, a mountainous prefecture west of Tokyo. I have traveled worldwide and enjoy experiencing foreign culture and ideals. I have always had a strong desire to live abroad and learn a foreign language, which might explain why I’m a JET. I aim to make the most of my time on the JET program and wish you the best of luck during your time on JET

Block Four – Vicki McCann

Hi! I`m a second-year ALT living and surfing along the breathtaking Izu Peninsula. Originally from Toronto, I have a background in corporate sales and marketing and before coming to Japan worked for a rapidly growing software company for 3 and a half years. I love rock `n roll, dance clubs, and studying Japanese! I am pumped to represent Block 4. Please reach out to me for any help!

Block Five – Sara Continenza

Hello! My name is Sara Continenza, and I am a second year ALT in Toyama Prefecture. I am from Cleveland, Ohio, in the US, but I have been to 24 countries in this world. I love traveling, exploring new cultures, and helping people more than anything. For example, I studied in France for a summer, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa, for two years. As in all my travels and wordly adventures, I am loving my experience both working and playing here in Japan! Please contact me with any questions, ideas…whatever! I would love to hear from you

Block Six – Brandon Kramer

I’m originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia (USA), but now I call the small mountain town of Sasayama my home. I’m a 4th year ALT in Hyogo, and love working with my students as well as exploring Japan. I enjoy travel, knock-knock jokes, and cycling. If you have any questions about AJET or wild boars (my town’s specialty), please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Block Seven – Kathryn Kovacs

I’m a 3rd year high school ALT originally from Great Falls, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. I currently live in Takatori, a small town in Nara Prefecture. I enjoy traveling, hitting the gym, planning events with Nara AJET and collecting as much useless “Hello Kitty” paraphernalia as possible.

Block Eight – Daniel Patterson

Salut! I’m a third year ALT teaching in Takamatsu city in Kagawa prefecture the land of udon! I’ve spent the previous two years as the prefectural chair for Kagawa and I am looking forward working as the block representative for Shikoku. I come from New Brunswick, Canada where we like to put maple syrup on snow. In my spare time I am planning events, playing the harp, going to the gym and eating curry rice!

Block Nine – Carolyn Ideus

Greetings Everyone! I’m a second term Block 9 (Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi prefectures) representative. I have been living in Masuda, Shimane-Ken as an ALT for Masuda High School since 2007. I am originally from Nebraska, U.S.A. During my spare time I run, play the saxophone, read, box and study Japanese. Please contact me if you have questions.

Block Ten – Jesse Welty

Howdy! I’m a 4th year ALT living in the rice fields of beautiful Saga-ken. Before JET, I majored in French and Global Studies at Hendrix College in America’s “Natural State,” Arkansas. I love skiing and exploring mountains and forests. Other passions include making stuff (like delicious food), drooling over electronic gadgets, and making my students groan at my terrible Japanese-English puns. I will talk to you about almost anything, but I’m especially here to help you navigate the weird and wonderful world of Japan, so don’t hesitate to contact me.

Block Eleven – Suzanne Lee Ogata

Hello! I’m a 4th year ALT in Kumamoto Prefecture. Originally, I came from Indiana, in the U.S.A,. which is mostly famous for car racing and corn fields. Here in Japan I enjoy all kinds of dance, cooking, and also exploring our local coasts and calderas. Whatever you love, I encourage you to practice those passions in your new home! Email us at AJET National Council anytime!

CIR Representative – Vanessa Abel

Konnichiwa!!! I was raised in London, UK and placed in a little countryside town as a CIR in the lovely Mie Prefecture two years ago. I love Japan, especially the food and Karaoke, so if you need someone to sing the night away with, or want to take me out for some sushi (or talk about JET/CIR related stuff – hehe), do get in touch! I would love to hear from you! Yoroshiku Onegaishima-su!!! (^_^)

SEA Representative – Christine Wegner

Hi! Originally from the Northeast United States, I am now in my second year a Basketball SEA in Nagasaki City. When I am not coaching high school or playing basketball with the local teachers’ team, I am absorbing as much of the beautiful Japanese culture as I can. This includes learning about traditional Japanese sports such as Judo and Sumo, but also enjoying the local people, food and festivals all over Japan.

Translator / Interpreter – Adam Tsai

My name is Adam Tsai and I’m a 2nd year CIR in Chiba City. I came from Toronto, Canada and enjoy travelling, studying languages, snowboarding and watching/playing Taiko. I would like to pursue a professional career in translation or interpretation after my time here on JET so I’m very happy to have been selected as the AJET translator/interpreter. Yoroshiku!

Peer Support Group National Coordinator – Emily Collins

Hello everyone. I’m Em from the U.K. I am currently enjoying life as an ALT on Yoron Island in the south of Japan. When I’m not busy being a teacher/diplomat/climbing frame I go kayaking. This year I’m National Coordinator for AJET PSG. If you need to find an English speaking doctor, have had a bad day and want to chat, or you just want to talk in English, give AJET PSG a call, every night 8pm to 7am, all year around.

Webmaster – Goran Seletkovic

I’m an ALT living in Kobe in the Hyogo prefecture. Originally I’m from Croatia but I was raised in rural Western Australia and I have a background in IT. I love sports so I try to get in on any club activities I can get away with. Exploring and losing myself in Japan is also something I try to do any chance I get. To discover Japan, I suggest you lose yourself first.

Webmaster – Kevin Mitchell

Greetings! My name is Kevin Mitchell and I’m an ALT living in Chitose, Hokkaido. I come from Missouri, USA and I’m just starting my 3rd year on the JET programme. In the USA, I worked for over 10 years in the movie theater business; four of them as a General Manager of megaplexes. In addition to AJET, I’m also the webmaster for HAJET and Smile Kids Japan.