Chapter Officer Elections

Link to vote will be emailed to members on Friday, October 16th.

If you do not receive an email, please check your junk mail folder.

2021 Officer elections, October 16-31: Kyoto chapter officer profiles and a request for candidates
From this Friday until the end of the month, we will be holding our chapter election for the 2021 Kyoto chapter officers. The statements from our current officer slate are below. If you would like to join us, please send a statement of interest to with “Joining the officer team” in the subject, and we will contact you for more information. We can use more officers to help with all positions, so if you are interested in getting involved in supporting the language teaching community in the Kyoto area, please get in touch.

We are currently looking for a Co-treasurer to join our team. The Co-treasurer helps to keep finances in order on event days by collecting fees and reimbursing money to invited presenters and officers. The Co-treasurer also helps with budget planning and monitoring the monthly financial report, as well as general chapters duties to help organize events for our members. Please contact with “Co-treasurer position” in the subject to request more information or to apply.

President: Thomas Amundrud (Continuing)
Statement: I have served as a Kyoto chapter officer since 2008 and as Kyoto chapter president since 2017. In that time, we have furthered our mission to serve all foreign language teachers in the Kyoto area with a diverse and representative officer team. We have also adapted to our current challenge under the continuing COVID-19 crisis to provide professional development online. In 2021, I look forward to working more with our great officer team to collaborate with other professional development organizations, helping JALT and our chapter continue adapting to the challenges we face, and improving language teaching in our area.

Programming Chair: Gretchen Clark (Continuing)
Statement: As I head into my third year as Programming Chair for the chapter, I’m extremely proud of how our chapter has handled the effects of COVID on chapter activities. Not only have we successfully held four online chapter meetings on topics from Story Listening to how to bring social justice issues into the classroom, we have made these informal Zoom meetings accessible to all kinds of members/presenters, from secondary to university level, from newbie to veteran. We are meeting as a chapter more than ever and keeping a sense of community at the forefront of our chapter activities, which is important as we continue to ride the waves of change that COVID has brought. I am looking forward to continuing in this position in 2021 where I, along with the entire committee, will continue our efforts to reflect on the needs of our diverse membership and make Kyoto JALT a source for professional development for all.

Programming Co-chair: Chelanna White (Continuing)
Statement: In my first year as co-chair of programming, I helped launch our monthly Community Spotlight event, an informal online event highlighting Kyoto JALT members and their research interests. I have also facilitated a partnership between JALT and the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education, which I hope will be fruitful for both organizations for many years to come. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the officer team to plan events that highlight the diversity of English teaching in Kyoto and Japan, whether Covid-19 requires that these events be held online or safely in person.

Facilities Chair: Yoshimi Ochiai (Continuing)
Statement: Over the past two years, I have served as the Facilities Chair. I work behind the scenes and organize events as a backseat player. My job is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 situation, but I will be able to serve as the Facilities Chair again when we resume face-to-face events.

Treasurer: Martin Hawkes (Continuing)
Statement: I have been a chapter officer for around ten years and involved in treasury for most of the past four years. In that time, we have looked to use our funds to hold stimulating events for our members and to support other events in the Kansai area. With uncertain times ahead, I aim to ensure the chapter finances remain in good order through 2021 and beyond.

Membership Chair: Ben Thanyawatpokin (Continuing)
Statement: I have been a member of JALT since 2015 and this will be my second year serving as an officer in Kyoto JALT. In my first year, I dutifully kept up with membership numbers and made sure there were no serious discrepancies with Kyoto JALT membership data. In the coming year, I hope to continue working with my fellow officers and members-at-large to provide the best possible events, workshops, and activities for all members. There will be many challenges, but I believe my contribution will aid in overcoming them and ultimately improving the field of language teaching in Kyoto.

Publicity Chair: Donny Sparrow (Continuing)
Statement: I have been a member of JALT for three years now and for the last year and a half I have been serving as the Publicity Chair. I have continued to make sure that the monthly newsletter has been of high quality and made sure that the membership is informed of what is going on in the chapter and JALT at large. With the advent of online events online publicity has become a much larger part of my job. I have expanded our activities on Facebook and Twitter, and will continue to reach out to our members to hear what they think so as to inform our actions in the coming year.

Publicity Co-chair/Webmaster: John Syquia (Continuing)
Statement: As Kyoto JALT Webmaster I relaunched Kyoto JALT’s website in 2019 to improve ease of access for our members. The website now is one of several ways that both members and non-members can get information about our chapter events. In the coming year I plan to focus on adding additional functions to the website and, as always, keeping it updated in a timely manner.

Outreach Chair: Christina Coslian (Incoming from 2020)
Statement: I have just joined JALT as the newly appointed Outreach chair and I am looking forward to helping create this position as an established part of the chapter. I believe that globalized learning is increasing as various educational pedagogies develop throughout the world. Therefore, focusing on inclusivity and outreach is key to supporting language teachers across Kyoto and the greater Kansai area as we develop the language education programs across the country. I look forward to collaborating with other groups and setting up networking events for our chapter in the future.