Hiroshima-ken ALT runs for post on National AJET

Attention all JETs! National AJET is currently holding elections for new block leaders to represent regions around Japan. There are three candidates campaigning to be the National AJET representative for Block 9, which includes Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi prefectures.

The three candidates are Jonathan Fisher of Hiroshima Prefecture, Erin McBride of Shimane Prefecture, and Kholofelo Nkoe of Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Votes can be cast now through Feb. 26. To vote, go to http://ajet.net/elections/. You’ll need to know your JET number to cast your vote (if you don’t know it, your supervisor should be able to look it up for you).

While you’re voting for Block 9 Rep, don’t forget to vote for your favorite candidate for Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer.

Wondering which Block 9 candidate to vote for? Each candidate had to submit a platform to run for the position. Here’s what they had to say:

Jonathan Fisher (Hiroshima Prefecture)

I am seeking the office of Block 9 Representative to National AJET Council. My objectives as your Representative will be guided, first, by my experience as a licensed public high school teacher in the United States, where I worked prior to joining the JET Program, and also by three general principles. 1. Local AJETs should receive greater support from National AJET. 2. AJET should support more opportunities for professional development in Japan. And 3. Block Representatives should be in closer, more regular communication with all of their constituent JET participants.

Some concrete changes that Block 9 voters can expect from me if I am elected include: at least monthly communications with every JET participant in the Block, close attention to the needs of prefectural AJET Chapters, assisted coordination between prefectural Chapters for events of all kinds, and the organization of inter-prefecture mini-seminars geared toward our professional development as educators.

Some current leadership positions I hold in Japan, include serving as moderator of the Hiroshima message board for CouchSurfing.org, coach and co-captain of the Hiroshima Spurs Ultimate Team, assistant coach and co-captain of the Kure Shipheads Touch Rugby Team, host of Kure City’s Annual American Thanksgiving Event, Hiroshima JET Mid-Year Conference Committee member and presenter, regular contributer to Hiroshima’s Wide Island View ezine, and volunteer proofreader for The Language Teacher, journal of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT). I am ready to lead Block 9 JET participants to the next level. Thanks for your vote.

Erin McBride (Shimane Prefecture)

My name is Emily McBride and I’m a third year JET in beautiful Shimane Prefecture. This year I am applying to be your new block representative to provide you with a network to further your JET experience, and to create a strong link between you, your area, National AJET and other regions.

Firstly, I love the JET experience and the great opportunity it provides! A part of that is using AJET as an important means of communication and networking between all areas in Japan. I want to ensure all of you in Block 9 will have access to the great support that AJET provides. I will work hard to keep you up to date and informed in matters that concern JETs in Block 9, as well as JETs nationally, and ensure your ideas and opinions are represented on a national scale. In this way, we can continue to improve JET relations and everyday situations.

Previously, I was the AJET President for the ShimaneAJET chapter, and led a dedicated team who provided JETs in Shimane with social opportunities, as well as chances to improve their working life. I have also been involved every year since my arrival, with orientation for new JETs, both in Tokyo and in Shimane. Also I have been involved with organising not only city-wide events, but also prefectural events. Drawing from my experiences, I will be able to effectively take a role as activities, communications or PR liaison. In addition, my background is in journalism and Japanese and so I am happy take on a role as publications or cultural liaison within AJET.

I have visited all five prefectures in our region and have experienced working in all levels of Japanese schooling, as well as adult classes. Consequently, I will be able to understand your individual situations more clearly.

I am a motivated, reliable, dedicated and positive individual who is looking forward to representing every member of Block 9. Please vote for me as your block representative!

Kholofelo Nkoe (Yamaguchi Prefecture)

My name is Kholofelo Nkoe and I am from South Africa. Currently I am working for JET and living in the Yamaguchi Prefecture. I have re-contracted with my BOE and will be staying here at least until the middle of 2011. Having said that I would appreciate the opportunity to run in these AJET elections as a block 9 representative for 2010/2011. Having read what the preferred requirements are for this position, I strongly feel that I am more than capable of succeeding in this challenging task.

I am highly motivated and always thinking out of the box for innovative ideas. As an art and media communications graduate, I believe that I have grown tremendously in the art of reaching out to people. If the opportunity arises that I be elected, I will strive that everyone in district 9 is current and updated with everything that is relevant and also make this district an interactive district.