2011 Award Recipients
Ms. Masumi Reade
Japanese Language Category
Japanese Language Teacher
The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas
Since 1993, Ms. Masumi Reade has been a teacher of Japanese at The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas – Conroe Independent School District where she stared the course. Starting with just 19 students in an introductory elective class, her program now requires two full time positions. At The Woodlands High School, five classes are offered to approximately 100 students ranging from Level I to Level V (AP). A second instructor offers Japanese in a new school – The Woodlands College Park High School.
Since 1995 Masumi has taken her students to Japan every summer through exchange programs she established with Inage High School in Chiba, Ino Shogyo High School in Kochi, and Ritsumeikan High School in Kyoto. In addition her school hosts twenty students from Inage High School every August, 15-20 students from Ritsumeikan High School every other March and students from Ino Shogyo High School and Hirakata Tsuda High School in Osaka have also been regular visitors.
In June 2007, Masumi’s students participated in the Yosakoi Soran Dance Festival in Sapporo. Learning the Yosakoi Soran Dance has since become an important regular activity of Masumi’s Japanese Club at The Woodlands High School. Her club receives invitations to perform the dance such as: for certain events at The Woodlands High School, at Houston’s Japan Festival, The Children’s Festival in The Woodlands, the International Winter on Waterway Festival in The Woodlands and foreign language and culture days held in local schools. Masumi believes her dance group offers her a chance to expose Japanese culture to people in her community and a chance to showcase her students who are studying Japanese.
Masumi’s students regularly participate in Texas’s Japanese Language Speech Contest, and have won the top 3-4 places every year since 1997.
Her students have also competed in The Japan Bowl (a quiz bowl about Japanese language and culture) since a regional competition began in Texas in 1998. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, her students won in the Regional’s in Level II and IV which allowed them to participate in the national competition in Washington D.C and in n 2004 her Level II students came away with first place in the National Japan Bowl. In 2006 the Texas regional competition was discontinued allowing her students to participate directly in the national competition. In 2009 Level III students won the third place and Level IV students won the fifth place nationally.
Masumi is a founding member of JTAT (Japanese Teachers Association of Texas), serving as its president for the first three years, then secretary for the following three years. Currently she is serving as treasurer for JTAT.
Masumi participated in the National Working Group, a joint project of Association of Teachers of Japanese (ATJ) and NCJLT in an effort to determine National Standards for Japanese. She also served on NCJLT Board as editor for their newsletter/magazine Oshirase from 1998 to 2000. She has served as a board member of ATJ from 2007 to 2009.
In 2005 she was the recipient of NCJLT’s Teacher of the Year Award.
Masumi always had a strong interest in developing an AP level course and exam for Japanese and was therefore delighted when she was given the opportunity to serve as AP Japanese Culture and Language Task Force in 2004-2005. She continued on as an AP Japanese Development Committee member until 2008.
Masumi continues her contribution by giving various workshops for teachers of AP Japanese and as a reader of the AP exam after it started in 2007. She has been an instructor for AP Summer Institute offered at Rice University, Houston, TX, Bellevue School District in WA, and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. She has also given One Day Workshops for AP Japanese at the AP National Conferences held in Seattle and Washington, D.C. In addition, she taught an online course for advanced level Japanese teachers in the fall semester of 2009 through JOINT (Japanese Online Instructional Network for Teachers).
In 2010 she presented a paper on “Shadowing Project” at the International Conference on Japanese Language Education (ICJLE) at National Chengchui University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Masumi graduated from Sophia University, Tokyo, with BA in linguistics. It was during her year in Australia as a Rotary exchange student that she first started thinking about becoming a Japanese teacher.
She is excited that the grant from the Elgin Heinz award will enable her to secure performances of Japanese musicians/performers at her school and in The Woodlands. She would like to once again take advantage of the opportunity to showcase Japan in her community, furthering understanding, friendship and interest.
Mr. John M. Frank
Social Studies Teacher
Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Indiana
Mr. John Frank is a social studies teacher at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana where he has taught Advanced Placement United States History, World History, and Geography since 1987. Previously, he taught for ten years at two other Indianapolis area schools, Roncalli High School and Greenwood Middle School.
Mr. Frank’s first academic contacts with Japan began during his undergraduate years at Indiana University. He studied about East Asia under the instruction of Dr. Philip West, focusing on the subject of the Cold War in East Asia. Since the 1970’s he has enthusiastically taught about Japan and East Asia in high school and middle school classrooms.
In 1992 Mr. Frank participated in a six-week Fulbright-Hays study tour to Japan, led by Earlham College Professor Charles Yates. During that tour he initiated exchanges between two Japanese transplant auto parts manufacturers and his own Indiana community and school. Additionally during the study-tour, he wrote a series of educational columns about Japan for his local newspaper and finished the tour with a hike to the summit of Mt. Fuji.
Throughout the 1990s Mr. Frank assisted the growth of his school’s Japanese language program and established in his community a conversational English language class for employees of a local Japanese business. He also served on the board of the Learning and Teaching about Japan Program, a State-funded initiative to introduce and support Japanese language instruction in Indiana schools. During these years his family hosted a year-long a JALEX language assistant assigned to his high school and a troupe of Japanese koto performers.
In 2002, three years after attending the first National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminar for teachers offered in Indiana, he participated in the first summer teacher Study Tour to Japan and Korea, sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center of Indiana University. For six subsequent summers, Mr. Frank was “Curriculum Consultant” for that center’s study tours to Japan/Korea or China. In this position he administratively supported Dr. Anne Prescott and others tour leaders. Also, he assisted 130 teachers from several Midwestern and Southern states develop and implement classroom lesson plans and community outreach activities, based upon their study tour experiences. For the 2010 Study Tour to China, in addition to a serving as curriculum consultant, he was the study tour leader, successfully directing twenty teachers, faculty expert Dr. Richard Bohr, and a graduate student assistant through a twenty-day tour of China. Also during these same years, Mr. Frank acted as the K-12 outreach curriculum consultant for Indiana University’s East Asian Studies Center, evaluating East Asian literature seminar teacher lessons, developing curriculum materials for the Center’s semi-annual K-12 East Asian Connection newsletter, and assisted NCTA Teaching about Asia seminar leaders with their participant’s curriculum implementation plans.
On his own, John Frank has traveled throughout Japan on several occasions, walking a section of the historic Nakasendo Highway in Nagano Prefecture and studied topics of academic interest in Hokkaido and Kyushu. He hopes to one day return to Shikoku and complete the 88 Temple Pilgrimage. In addition to his travels in Japan, he has also toured China and Korea on several occasions and completed trips to the Philippines and Vietnam.
Mr. Frank takes particular satisfaction in the fact that a number of his former students have gone on to university study and professions associated with Japan. Currently, his former students include a high school Japanese language teacher, a member of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), and several former pupils currently enrolled in university programs related to the study of Japan and Japanese language.