One of the aims of the Regional Prefectural Advisor (RPA) system is to create a more efficient support network for JETs in Gifu Prefecture. Acting as their region's peer support, RPAs conduct regular check-ins on their fellow JETs, help create resources for them, and lead workshops at orientations and conferences. They also help their respective regions build a collaborative community of JETs.
Nicole is a third-year ALT from the American Southwest, currently working at a senior high school in beautiful Takayama. Before coming to Japan, she worked as a musician and teacher in the USA. She enjoys talking with and learning from students and is always looking for ways to improve English classes. She spends her time outside of school playing music, reading, and going on pilgrimages around Japan. She loves classical music, Japanese history, and Hida area.
Jordan is a 4th year JET from Canada. He lives in the small village of Hongou surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Hida. As with many Canadians, he has a passion for ice hockey, something that he has continued to play even in Japan. Besides the occasional outings to explore the countryside on his motorcycle, he likes to relax at home in his retro game room.
Chevaughn is a third year JET from Jamaica, living in the High Mountains (Takayama) of Hida and yes, he likes reggae music. Other than his dedication towards his students, he also plans to be an aikido master within next 2 years. He enjoys anything that has to do with being outdoors, which includes: hiking, chasing waterfalls and swimming in random rivers. So, if you’re interested in going on epic adventures through the inaka (countryside) of Japan please feel free to hit him up for any advice or suggestions.
Clinton-Khile Brägger is a half-Swiss, half-American boy from Los Angeles. He graduated from the Film and Television program at University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in film production and directing. Now he is putting his film skills to use on his YouTube channels, where he chronicles his life in Japan, as well as makes tourism content for Mizunami City. Upon arriving in Japan, Clint quickly found a passion for Kyudo — a traditional form of Japanese long-bow archery — and has recently passed his second level skills test. Clint’s dream after JET is to open a Swiss fondue and raclette restaurant in the heart of Nagoya, and continue working on his film passion projects in his free time.
Lindsay Lamp is the newest member of the Tono RPA team She is from St. Louis, Missouri, home of Budweiser, Fitz's, Imo's Pizza, Ted Drewe's, toasted ravioli... probably some non-food things, too. She majored in Psychology at Truman State University, and minored in Asian Studies. Before she came to Japan, she was working (and far more often, playing) as a behavioral therapist for children with autism. Lindsay moved to Japan in August of 2019, so she is currently a first year JET. She lives in Mizunami (same as Clint), and teaches at three different junior high schools in the area. She usually cooks or plays video games, and she also loves hiking, music, watering her plants, and wandering around Nagoya. She looks forward to getting to know everyone, so please feel free to contact her.
Logan is an Irish-American third year municipal ALT from Wrentham, Massachusetts (just off Boston’s front yard). With a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and two-year’s experience pointing out turtles and swans for grade schoolers at a wildlife sanctuary, he made the courageous leap to teaching English in Japan. He lives just shy of the northernmost tip of Toki, where he likes to play Pokemon Go when the weather is nice. With the hub of the city being a thirty-minute walk away, he often hits the town for beef bowls at Sukiya or butter soy fries at Hamazushi. In any given week, you can find him chilling with Clint and Lindsay (see other Tono RPAs), making music and videos, or battling claw machines in Nagoya.
Andy Kirk Vern Lee
Kirk is from the land north of the country in the west with fifty states. He likes big cities and of course ended up in Gifu. Despite that he has adapted and has found some appreciation for the beauty and charm of the countryside thanks to his trusty friend, his bicycle. He hasn’t had the chance to explore Seino too much, but hopes to do so more in the future. He is excited and is looking forward to helping other JETs as an RPA.
Vanessa Ann Liwag
Vanessa is a 2nd year ALT currently living in Ogaki City (Seino Region), and she is from the bustling city of Manila, Philippines. She has a fondness for food, travelling, taking pictures, watching dog videos online, and of course, rice! Contrary to popular belief that all Filipinos are great singers, Vanessa is NOT. Instead, she will happily cheer you on if you ever go to a Karaoke with her! When she’s not thinking about exercising, trying to make halo-halo world famous, and playing Christmas music all year round, you will find her exploring her city and planning future trips. She is looking forward to meeting you all and is excited for the great year ahead!
Jared (Judas) Hoffman
Judas is an Australian CIR from Melbourne. He is outgoing and loves to hang with friends. He has lived in Spain and has taught English in Madrid and Spanish in Melbourne - languages are a big passion. Apart from Spanish and Japanese, he has had several flings including Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and Dutch, his father’s native tongue, and wants to become fluent in them when he has the opportunity and time. He likes politics, reading, cooking, yoga and music. Always down for banter or a deep convo (known as “a D and M” in Australian).
Alicia LaPoint (Chuno RPA in September 2020)
Alicia is a fourth year ALT working in Gifu city with a bachelor’s in Linguistics. Before living in Japan, she lived in New York, USA and worked in the capital (Fun fact: It’s Albany!). Even living in Japan, she still maintains her favorite activities: hiking, karaoke, telling people she’s not from New York City, and maintaining her coffee addiction. She’s always looking for excuses to go out for coffee, so if you have any qualms or just want to sit down for a cup of coffee (or tea!), call her up!
Shirin Lee is a second year high school ALT in Gifu City and she is from Belfast, Northern Ireland (and no not everyone is a leprechaun). She has studied English Language Teaching and Linguistics, and has taught English to students from different language proficiencies. She may seem quiet at first but once you get to know her, she is actually a Mad Hatter. Shirin has too many hobbies but she particularly likes singing, playing music, bouldering, reading and cooking. When Shirin moved to Japan, she did everything wrong and made a lot of mistakes; if you think you have done something embarrassing, she probably did something worse.
Hannah is from the lovely Washington State, USA. She currently works at Gifu Shotoku Gakuen High School in Gifu City. Outside of work, she can be seen walking around Gifu or Nagoya, reading, or feeding her slight obsession with Pokémon (mostly the last one). Feel free to come to her with any questions. She is looking forward to working with everyone.
Sebastian is a 2nd year JET, from Washington State, USA. He has a degree in Psychology and Political Science and spent close to a year in Brazil on a research program in university. He lived in Mongolia for 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer before becoming an ALT in Kitagata Town in Gifu Prefecture. Sebastian’s hobbies include photography, videography, and long scooter rides through the mountains. He is no stranger to moving abroad, learning a new language, and being the odd one out so please feel free to contact Sebastian if you have questions, need a wall to bounce ideas off of, or just want to go out and take some pictures with someone.
Dear Gifu JETs,
According to the World Health Organization, there have been 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan as of February 20. This number do)es not include the 621 cases in the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is currently docked at the Port of Yokohama. (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200220-sitrep-31-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=dfd11d24_2)
As you may have known, persons with weaker or compromised immune systems are likely to contract this virus. These include the elderly, infants and those with underlying health conditions, just to name a few. Individuals who are currently taking immunosuppressive medications like steroids for asthma and other diseases are also vulnerable.
That being said, panicking will not solve anything but health education, proper nutrition, coughing etiquette and urgent medical attention will. To prevent the spread of this virus and other contagious diseases, we are advising everyone to:
1. Regularly wash your hands vigorously.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Strictly adhere to coughing etiquette by covering your nose and mouth when coughing, NOT with your hands but with a handkerchief, mask, tissue or even the sleeve of your shirt.
4. Live a healthier life by eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of water and engaging in physical activities.
5. Be accountable and responsible by consulting a healthcare professional immediately when you get cold-like symptoms and fever.**
** Please refer to this material created by the Gifu International Center (GIC) about COVID-19. It also has the contact details of various Public Health Consultation Centers around Gifu Prefecture (https://www.gic.or.jp/en/2020/02/information-about-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.html). For translation services, please call GIC at 058-263-8066. They are open during business hours on Monday-Friday (excluding national holidays) from 09:30-16:30.
As usual, please do not hesitate to keep in touch with your supervisors, RPAs and yours truly for any concerns.
Thank you very much and stay safe!
Gelo Pascual, BSN, RN (^_^)
Second Skills Development Conference
Gifu City - More than 50 JET ALTs across Gifu gathered at the Prefectural Library on Friday, January 24, for the Second Skills Development Conference.
Aside from the dedicated sessions for Municipal ALTs and Senior High School ALTs, this year's SDC 2 featured three ALT presentations on Reducing Translation in the Classroom, Self-Advocacy in the Workplace and Sharing Culture to Students.
In addition, a special forum on Leaving Logistics and Life After JET was also organized for departing ALTs. Those who are staying for another year joined a session which featured RPA-run booths about Health and Wellness, Traveling, Taxes and Visas and Connecting with the Community.
our website just got a makeover
Inspired by the beauty of our home prefecture, Gelo decided to give this website a much fresher look by sprucing it up with photos that he took across Gifu using his trusty old smartphone.
FIRST Skill Development Conference
Gifu City - 97 Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs) from all over Gifu gathered at the Prefectural Library in Gifu City for the annual Skills Development Conference I on Friday, October 18, 2019. Jointly organized by the Gifu Prefectural Board of Education and the International Division of the Gifu Prefectural Government, the six-hour event was highlighted by the presence of a guest speaker from Tokyo's Council of Local Authorities and International Relations (CLAIR).
Mr. Pierce Langdon, a CLAIR Program Coordinator and a former Tokyo JET ALT, delivered a well-received presentation on Communicating Expectations between ALTs and JTEs. Through a series of interactive activities and group discussions, ALTs and JTEs shared how they could improve their relationship to achieve synergy during team teaching.
This year's SDC also included sessions on the curriculum reform, materials fair, JTE and ALT cultural differences, presentation contest for Senior High School ALTs, group discussion for JTEs and an activities workshop for Municipal JTEs and ALTs.
Our 2019-2020 team of Regional Prefectural Advisers is ready to serve Gifu JETs!
From left to right (* denotes a new RPA ) :
Standing - Daniel B.* (Seino), Colby D. (Hida), Kamala C.* (Hida), Gaelle L. (Gifu), Julia T.* (Gifu), Hannah W.* (Gifu)
Kneeling - Cedric O. (Seino), Chevaughn W.* (Hida), Clinton B.* (Tono)
Not Pictured: Logan M.* (Tono)
Now for some words from our fresh RPAs:
I'm a third-year CIR working at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Ogaki, a prefecture-run graduate school for new media art. I was born and raised in Oregon State in the USA. After coming to Japan, I got into martial arts in an attempt to stay active. Lately, I've been practicing Kenjutsu and Kali (if you want to know more about those, let me know). I've also gotten into dozens if not hundreds of bowls of ramen. I can show you some good ramen joints, but I'm always looking for recommendations. I hope I can contribute to making your time in Seino fulfilling and enjoyable." - Daniel B.
"Hello" I'm Kamala, a lover of languages, cultures and travel. I'm a Jamaican but I'm becoming a citizen of the world through travel. I love motivating people to chase their dreams! I want to become a gym enthusiast and I believe ice-cream is a food for every season. Find me online: Polyglots & Itinerants to know more." - Kamala C.
"Hey everyone! My name is Julia Taylor. I am a special education teacher from Toronto, Canada who somehow (fortunately) ended up as an ALT in Gifu City. My hobbies include writing, cooking and riding my bike around Gifu to gape at mountains and cultural sites. I periodically host low key potluck dinner parties because I like the company and maintaining the illusion that my apartment is clean, so feel free to drop by for Canadian Thanksgiving, pancake nights or just to play cards. I understand how overwhelming working and living in a new country is (I’m still figuring out things too!), so please do not hesitate to ask me any questions about Gifu and I will do my best to help you! I am excited to meet the incoming JETs- let’s have a great year together! :) " - Julia T.
"Hello! My name is Hannah Wehrer and I'm from the lovely Washington State, USA. I currently work at Gifu Shotoku Gakuen High School in Gifu City. Outside of work you can usually find me walking around Gifu or Nagoya, reading, or feeding my slight obsession with Pokémon (mostly the last one). Although this is only my first year on JET feel free to come to me with any questions and I'm looking forward to working with you all!" - Hannah W.
"Chevaughn Whyte is a 2nd year JET from Jamaica, living in the High Mountains (Takayama) of Hida and yes, he likes reggae music. Other than his dedication towards his students, he also plans to be an aikido master within next 2 years. He enjoys anything that has to do with being outdoors, which includes: hiking, chasing waterfalls and swimming in random rivers. So, if you’re interested in going on epic adventures through the inaka (countryside) of Japan please feel free to hit him up for any advice or suggestions." - Chevaughn W.
"My full first name is Clinton-Khile, but if you call me that, you’ll end up sounding like my mom when she’s angry, and no one wants that. I come from the mysterious land of Los Angeles, California, just north of downtown in a place aptly named “The Valley” – and yes, in case you were wondering who to thank for the incredibly charming “Valley-Girl” accent, you can take your praise to my people.
I graduated from UCLA’s school of film and television where I learned all about how to struggle to make money. I came to teach in Japan because I know that most of the film work in the world revolves around LA, and having been born in LA, raised in LA, and will probably die in LA, I figured maybe a little time away might be nice.
In Japan, I live in Mizunami, but I work a couple towns over at Tajimi Kita High. My favorite things to do here are roaming around Nagoya (with Logan), practicing Kyudo, and chilling in my apartment.
I hope Logan and I make the dream team that we think we will, but only time will tell! Either way, we’re lookin’ forward to it!
Peace!" - Clinton B.
"Logan McCarthy is a second year municipal JET in Toki City. He's from Wrentham, Massachusetts (just off Boston's front yard). Backed with two years experience pointing out turtles and swans for little children at a wildlife sanctuary, he made the courageous leap to teaching English in Japan. He likes to walk around, make music, dine, and waste money at claw machines in Nagoya (which acts as a stellar replacement for Boston). He is also a “konbini connoisseur”. When it's not a city day, he and friends like to hike for waterfalls in the pretty mountains of Nagano.” - Logan M.
With the start of the new Japanese fiscal/educational year, we say farewell to our 2018-2019 Regional Prefectural Advisers. Thank you for all of the support you've given to Gifu JETs!
Pictured from left to right: Sam L., Nicole P., Emmy F., Harly L. (kneeling), Nicholas J., Sammy E. (kneeling), Michael P.
Words From Our Departing RPA Team:
"I have enjoyed my two years as RPA. The SDC feedback was a personal highlight. Thank you everyone." - Sam L.
"I've enjoyed working on the RPA team this past year and have learned a lot from the experience. Thanks for everything!" - Nicole P.
"Thank you for everything this year! Gifu region was the best!" - Emmy F.
"Hey Tono Peeps. As the emperor and seasons change, so do the RPAs. Though our time together was brief--or possibly non-existent--I shall remember you all fondly, and think of you all as the chillest of ALTs I've had the pleasure of working with. And so with that, I take my leave as your RPA, and return to the mountains of Chuno, where I shall live my remaining days as Mino's last JET ALT." - Harly L.
"Good day to all you Gifuans. It has been my true pleasure serving as your RPA this past year. This summer I will be moving on to more urban pastures (Tokyo), but I will always cherish green and glorious Gifu. I hope to return often to my second home, and to meet all of you again. I wish you all the best in current and future endeavors! Ganbatte kudasai!" - Nicholas J.
"Hi everyone, I can't believe two years have passed already! I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Kengisho and loved living in Gifu City. I have made some great friends and priceless memories since coming to Japan. Thank you to everyone who made my time as part of the JET programme such a wonderful experience." - Sammy E.
"They say everything that has a beginning, has an end (except, erm, a circle and The Simpsons and that awkward bowing you do when you don't know how to wrap up a Japanese conversation with your principal). And so, my time as the Seino RPA must also come to a close.
If I have been remotely useful at any point, or passed on even the tiniest piece of information that has proven helpful, well, now I can happily fade away, knowing I have passed on all I know, sort of like Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, but with less living in isolation in a swamp. Well, summer was a little bit like that.
Whether you have four months left on JET (argh) or four years, I hope you all enjoy your time in Japan to the fullest. If you're ever having any trouble here, just remember: I was accidentally using hand soap as shower gel for my first two years, and if I can overcome that, then you can overcome anything.
Good luck to everyone in the future!
(Really, I should have realised, given how foamy and light it was...)" - Michael P.
As many of you may already have seen in the news, much of California, U.S.A. is currently on fire. Due to winds, dry climate, lack of water and many other factors, large patches of California have burned. Entire cities have been decimated, leaving thousands of California residents homeless.
We in Gifu have many JET participants hailing from California. Emily, current ALT at Gifu High School, has family working in the Paradise, California Board of Education. Paradise is one of the towns that has been completely destroyed by the flames. Using this connection, Emily invites you to have your students write letters of encouragement, sympathy, etc. to those who have lost so much in the California wildfires.
You can find the letter from Emily detailing more information below. The deadline for getting your students' letters to Emily is December 8th. Let's show California some love from our Gifu students!
Applications are now open for the December testing date of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. You have to sign up by September 26th, so don't miss this deadline! Click here to go to the sign-up page.
For those taking level N1, N2, or N3, you are eligible to receive your testing fee back from CLAIR upon passing the test. Look for details on CLAIR's website. Please note that this year the grant covers levels N1 and N2 as well! Don't pass up your chance to get some money!
Be sure to check out what's new on our Gifu JET webpage!
More information and resources are still to come, so stay tuned! And remember, if there's anything you'd like to see posted on this page please don't hesitate to let a member of your PA/RPA team know. Cheers!