2007-08 National Council

Michael Shu — Chair

I was born in the United States and grew up in New York and San Francisco, but my family is from Taiwan, which makes for a lot of mistaken identity in Japan! Next year I will be a 3rd Year ALT in Hyogo Prefecture. My spare time is spent on snowboarding, music, and traveling. My favorite things about Japan: cherry blossoms, hot drinks in vending machines, Fall weather, and my students! Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!

Jennifer C. Park — Vice Chair

I’m from Los Angeles and currently an ALT in Takasaki, Gunma. I studied Communications and Asian American Studies at USC then did everything from cocktail serving to working at E3, Anime Expo, and Miller events. However, I spent most of my time working at a non-profit political organization and a domestic violence shelter, then later, in student affairs at USC and UCLA. I’ve lived in Seoul and Amsterdam but am still undecided about where I’ll live next.

Stephen Legg — Treasurer

Aloha! Welcome to Japan! I am a 2nd year ALT from Hawaii who now lives in the beautiful town of Ikaho, which is located in the mountains of Gunma Ken. Prior to coming to Japan I spent my time surfing the beaches back home, but now, living in Gunma, I have discovered a passion for snowboarding and hiking. I am looking forward to being your Treasurer for the year. Enjoy Japan!

Sarah Lineker — CIR Representative, Communcations Liaison

Hi everyone! I’m a 3rd year CIR in Okazaki City in Aichi Prefecture. I’m originally from Portland, Victoria, Australia. I love movies and music and I am a huge cricket fan. I also enjoy travelling whenever I get the chance. This is my second year on the AJET National Council and I’m looking forward to having another productive year.

Russell Aquino — Block 1 Rep, Guidebooks & Information Management Liaison

Canadian (eh?) originally from Vancouver, currently working as an elementary and junior high school ALT in Aomori-ken. My hobbies include cooking, skiing, and learning languages. My background is in linguistics, and I have a keen interest in issues related to language education and conservation. JET has been an incredible experience so far, and I hope to contribute my skills to continue and improve this experience for my peers and future members of the JET community.

April Morley — Block 2 Rep, Corporate Liaison

Hello, I’m April and originally from Sydney, Australia. At present I live in a rural town called Toyoma in Miyagi prefecture. Our area is famous for strawberries, beef tongue and rice. I’ve never eaten them together before so if you have a recipe please send it to me! This year I’ll be representing block 2 which includes: Fukushima, Miyagi, Niigata and Yamagata however I’m looking forward to strengthening the communication between all prefectures. If you have any concerns or questions, please email me!

Audrey Tavares — Block 3 Rep, Publications Liaison

Hi everyone! I’m a first year ALT living in the roof top of Japan ? Nagano-ken. Originally from India, I grew up in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and am now a Canuck from Toronto, Canada. My interests include meeting diverse groups of people and learning languages (you can see why JET works for me!). I’m delighted to be part of the AJET council this year. If you have any concerns or issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Yoroshiku!

Sarah Ryer — Block 4 Rep, Activities Liaison

Hello everyone! Welcome to Japan! You are in for an incredible experience I assure you! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sarah Ryer. I am going into my second year as an ALT in beautiful Shizuoka-ken and I am originally from Seattle Washington. I am the AJET Block 4 Representative which covers the Chiba, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Tokyo, and Yamanashi prefectures. If you have been placed in any of these prefectures and ever need anything please drop me an email! In my free time I like to travel, hike, ride my bike, read, do community service, and take ballet class! I look forward to working with you all this year.

Kent Morien — Block 5 Rep, Marketing Liaison

Greetings! I am a 1st year SHS ALT living in Gifu Prefecture. I graduated last year from Arizona State University but origionally called Minnesota my home. I love traveling, photography, music, ramen, bi-ru, cooking, sports, matsuris, onsens and occasionally Japanese. A special thanks to everyone who supports AJET, and I look forward to representing the Block 5 area next year. Please come to me with any questions or concerns.

Luke Wevers — Block 6 Rep, Advertising Liaison

I came to Japan, like many of you, fresh out of college. I had only a very basic understanding of the culture and even less of the language. I knew from the start that leaving “big city,” New Zealand to move to small town Japan would be a big challenge. But I developed some great friendships with both fellow JET’s and Nihon-jin and these have helped me find my place in Japan.

Josephine Audigier — Block 7 Rep, Cultural Liaison

Hajimemashite! I’m Josy, Nara Kencho’s British CIR and the new AJET Representative for Osaka, Mie, Wakayama and Nara. Altogether I have lived in Kansai for over two years in differing situations; unable to understand what was going on around me as a volunteer English teacher, studying, partying and traveling as a student and now loving every second as a JET. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or worries. Yoroshiku-ne (^^)

Andrew Cockburn — Block 8 Rep, PA Liaison

I’m Andrew Cockburn, 24, and just finishing my first year on JET as a CIR. Before JET, I studied Japanese and Management at Leeds University and spent 6 months travelling around Australia. I currently live in Takamatsu, Kagawa, on the smallest of Japan’s 4 main islands, Shikoku. Takamatsu suits me well because as well as living in a medium-sized city, the countryside and the beach are but a cycle-ride away.

David Newbold — Block 9 Rep, Non-Native English Speaker Liaison

Hello everyone! I am the Block 9 (Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi Prefectures) National AJET Representative. I am from the beautiful state of Kentucky, USA, but now I’m living in Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. I love outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and playing ultimate frisbee (long walks on the beach are nice too). If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at

Sean Boileau — Block 10 Rep, Guidebooks & Information Management Liaison – Japanese

My name is Sean Boileau and originally come from The Province of New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada; I am currently working as a Coordinator for International Relations in rural Oita Prefecture. Finishing up my first year on the JET programme, I am looking forward to starting my second year not only in my town but also as a block representative for northern Kyushu.

Martha MacKinnon — Block 11 Rep, Education Liaison

Konnichiwa. I’m a third year, Canadian ALT in sunny, Southern, Kagoshima. Before becoming an ALT, I was a junior high school teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba, so I feel right at home at the junior high schools here in Japan. This year, I’m representing Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa. If you’re from that area, send your questions and concerns my way. I’d love to help you out. Kampai (cheers) to another great year on JET!

Christian Tsuji — Translator/Interpreter

Hello! Welcome to Japan! I am the translator and interpreter for the 2007-2008 AJET National Council. I come from the beautiful state of California, and currently reside in Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture. I am a 4th year ALT and enjoy surfing, traveling Japan and dipping into hot Onsens after a long day. I was born in Kyoto, a magnificent place rich of culture and history. I consider myself a complete bilingual, understanding the cultural differences and even the smallest Japanese customs out there. This will be my second year on the National Council, so if you have any questions about Japan, please don’t hesitate to ask! Have a wonderful time in Japan!

Cheryl Sharland — Peer Support Group Coordinator

Hiya and welcome! As an ALT, I teach high school students how to speak with an Aussie accent. After school, they teach me the abacus in a room that overlooks the world’s longest suspension bridge! I hope that you have similarly awesome experiences here; surpassing everything you have ever encountered or imagined. However, if you ever have a bad day, need a doctor at 2am or just want to chat in English, feel free to give PSG a call!

Ryan Williams — SEA Representative

Hi everyone! I am a first year SEA coaching field hockey in beautiful Tottori-ken. Hockey is my passion and I have played for 23 years. I come from Queensland, Australia and graduated with a degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Queensland. When I am not playing hockey, I enjoy exploring all the things Japan has to offer with my wife Katie.

Martyn Jones — Webmaster

Croeso! I’m originally from Wales, the UK, where I worked for 4 years at an interactive design agency making games, 3D animations, interactive national lottery scratch cards, websites and educational software. As an ALT in Kumamoto-ken, I teach at elementary, junior-high and adult conversation schools. To counter the time I spend hunched at the desk, I can also be found practicing yoga, salsa, shorinji kempo and offering my photography services to local NGOs and charities.