Florida JETAA
13Apr/16Off

Voting Open: 2016 Board Elections

Posted by admin

Voting for the 2016 Florida JETAA board elections is now open through April 26th at 11:55 pm. Any votes received after this date will not be counted.

Read candidate Bios here.

Click here to cast your vote!

The positions up for election this term are President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Information Officer. All terms are 2-year terms. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

VOTING ELIGIBILITY
JET Program alumni who are registered members of Florida JETAA are eligible to vote. Friends of JET are not eligible to cast a vote.

Your vote will be kept confidential. Only the current Florida JETAA webmaster, Lauren Sorondo, who is handling the elections this year will see your vote. We ask for personal information to verify that you are a JET alumni.

18Mar/16Off

2016 Elections – Nominations Open

Posted by President

NOMINATION PERIOD EXTENDED!

It's time for Florida JETAA elections! While the 2016 FL-JETAA elections will not be quite as much of a spectacle as the Washington ones, they are still pretty important!   If you are interesting in working more closely with FL-JETAA and helping our community grow, please consider running for a position.  Elections will be held during the first weeks of April, and a later email this month will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline.

You must be a JET alumni to vote, nominate, and run in our elections.

Nominating Yourself
If you'd like to run for a position, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested in by emailing our outgoing Webmaster, Lauren, at webmaster[@]floridajetaa.org. Send a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself, any related experience, and why you'd be a good candidate. Bios are due by March 30, 2016.

Nominating Others
Hey, what about that guy? You know, the one you think would be perfect for one of these positions? You can nominate them by emailing their name and nominating position to Lauren at webmaster[@]floridajetaa.org. Nominations of others must be received byMarch 24, 2016, to allow us time to contact the nominee. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

Open Positions
Here are the openings and a description of the opening positions:

President:

The President shall attend the JETAA USA yearly conference and report important information back to the Board of Directors and members, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, act as a tie breaker in the event that the Board is unable to reach a majority decision, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. The President will also work with the Secretary and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. This position carries a 2-year term.

Treasurer:

The Treasurer shall maintain the financial record of FL-JETAA, be responsible for preparing end of the fiscal year reports, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. This position carries a 2-year term.

Secretary:

The Secretary shall keep minutes during Board meetings and disseminate information to all Board of Directors, maintain FLJETAA documents, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. The Secretary will also collaborate with the President and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. Position carries a 2-year term.

Information Officer:

The Information Officer will collaborate with the Board of Directors, especially the Webmaster, and the JETAA community to maintain blog content and arrange for guest bloggers.  They will also work with the Secretary and President to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members.

Regional Representatives

There are also openings for regional representatives in Gainesville, Treasure Coast, and Tallahassee. These positions are appointed by the elected officers. Regional representatives act as a point of contact for Florida JETAA and the JET Coordinator at the consulate regarding events and recruiting in your area. Reps are encouraged to plan one event a year if there is interest in their area.  Please contact Bahia at president[@]floridajetaa.org or Lauren at webmaster[@]floridajetaa.org if you're interested in being a representative for these regions.

5May/15Off

2015 Election Results

Posted by President

Thank you to everyone who cast their vote! The election results are now in.

The positions that were up for election this term were Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

We'd like to welcome our new officers, Jennifer Hwang as Vice-President, Autumn Widdoes as Secretary, and Lauren Sorondo as Webmaster. We have no doubt they will do a wonderful job in the coming year.

We'd also like to thank our outgoing officers. Allan Mortdetsky did a wonderful job as Vice-President, assisting at multiple events with the consulate, representing Florida JETAA at the JETAA USA national and regional conferences, and reaching out to the JBA. Thank you for your hard work.

Adriana Jenkins, our Keys Region Rep, stepped in as interim Secretary when our last secretary moved. Thank you for doing such a stellar job filling in.

Last, but not least, thank you to our outgoing Webmaster, David Shaw, for everything you've done.

Over the course of the next month, the outgoing and incoming officers will transition, with the new officers fully taking on their responsibilities on June 1st.

Read on for the bios of our new officers.

Vice-President

Jennifer Hwang

Originally from Southern California with an MA in Linguistics from San Jose State University, I was a JET in Shizuoka prefecture from 2008 to 2012. My first two years were spent as an ALT at a small, low academic level high school in rural Kawanehon-cho. I was later transferred to a high academic level high school in Yaizu City where over 90% of the students went on to universities. In my final year as an ALT, I was invited to transfer to the Prefrectural Education Center where I planned and facilitated several training workshops including Orientation for new JETs, Mid-Year Seminar for ALTs and JTEs, as well as mandatory refresher training for Japanese teachers only. I also helped piloted the Elementary School Foreign Language (ESFL) Program which was nationally institutionalized in 2011.

Since returning to the United States, I have taught English for Academic Purposes at Hillsborough Community College and am now an academic advisor for international students at INTO USF. In the past couple of years, I have declined recommendations to join the Florida JETAA board. However, now that I have become more familiar with Florida’s relationship with Japan--through attending Tampa’s Tsudoi and Natsumatsuri, participating in the 2013 JET PDO, volunteering with the Japan-America Society of Tampa Bay (JASTB), as well as meeting with the Deputy Consul General and attending the Networking Meeting for Sister City Representatives--I feel that I can make a productive contribution to our association as Vice-President. I am eager to support the President in bringing alumni across the state together as well as providing more support for JET at both the national and local level. I know that Japan holds a special place in all of hearts and I would love to help people maintain their relationship with the country.

Secretary

Autumn Widdoes

I was born and raised in Florida and currently call Tampa my hometown.  I've lived in Germany, Vietnam, England, and Japan.   I completed my BA at the Wilkes Honors College of FAU and my MA in Performance Studies at Tisch/NYU.   I spent 4 years on JET in Okinawa from 2010-2014, where I lived in both Ishigaki and Naha. While in Japan, I helped organize Tohoku relief efforts via the SHINSAI:  Theaters for Japan fundraiser and we raised more than 70000 yen in one afternoon of live performance presented in both English and Japanese.  I also founded a bilingual performance collective called TASK 沖縄 after teaching several performance/dance theater making classes at ひやみかち学校 culture school in Naha, Okinawa.  Since returning to Florida, I have been actively involved in the JETAA community in the Tampa Bay region, speaking at JET recruitment events at Eckerd College and helping organize the Tampa screening of LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story.  My long term goals are to promote Japanese performance/arts in the US and to bring more Japanese and Japan-related arts, film, and performance to the Tampa region.   I look forward to working with the JETAA communities throughout Florida to instill a sense of importance in maintaining our connection to Japan via JET.

Webmaster

Lauren Sorondo

Hello! My name is Lauren Sorondo, and I'm a Miami native. In September 2014, I returned from 2 years in Kumamoto with JET. Since then, I've been participated in FL JETAA events, such as the Bounenkai and the recent  film screening for the Taylor Anderson Story down in Miami. I've also stated hosting "Coffee 会話," a conversation circle in South Florida. While I don't have prior experience as a webmaster, I am passionate about JETAA and supporting the new and old alumni. In a state as large as Florida, I believe the best way is through communication of events. I hope to be able to continue improving the website that our previous officers have worked hard to create.  🙂

30Mar/15Off

2015 Florida JETAA Elections – Bios and Voting Information

Posted by President

VOTING IS CLOSED FOR 2015. NO FURTHER VOTES WILL BE COUNTED.

Thank you for voting and we will announce the winners shortly.

---

The positions up for election this term are Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

To cast your vote, visit this Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/gNwSHXM37h

Voting closes April 13th at 11:55 PM. Any votes received after this date will be discounted.

 

Vice-President

Allan Mortdetsky

Hello everyone in Florida JETAA. Allan here, your vice president. It's been great serving ya'll for the past year and change and I'd like to do it again if you'll have me. I've volunteered with the Consulate and represented JETAA at functions, researched and started projects for bringing events to Florida and trying to break the wall of the JBA, and represented Florida at the past regional and national conferences. I look forward to helping FLJETAA continue to grow. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Allan M.
Vice President Florida JETAA

Jennifer Hwang

Originally from Southern California with an MA in Linguistics from San Jose State University, I was a JET in Shizuoka prefecture from 2008 to 2012. My first two years were spent as an ALT at a small, low academic level high school in rural Kawanehon-cho. I was later transferred to a high academic level high school in Yaizu City where over 90% of the students went on to universities. In my final year as an ALT, I was invited to transfer to the Prefrectural Education Center where I planned and facilitated several training workshops including Orientation for new JETs, Mid-Year Seminar for ALTs and JTEs, as well as mandatory refresher training for Japanese teachers only. I also helped piloted the Elementary School Foreign Language (ESFL) Program which was nationally institutionalized in 2011.

Since returning to the United States, I have taught English for Academic Purposes at Hillsborough Community College and am now an academic advisor for international students at INTO USF. In the past couple of years, I have declined recommendations to join the Florida JETAA board. However, now that I have become more familiar with Florida’s relationship with Japan--through attending Tampa’s Tsudoi and Natsumatsuri, participating in the 2013 JET PDO, volunteering with the Japan-America Society of Tampa Bay (JASTB), as well as meeting with the Deputy Consul General and attending the Networking Meeting for Sister City Representatives--I feel that I can make a productive contribution to our association as Vice-President. I am eager to support the President in bringing alumni across the state together as well as providing more support for JET at both the national and local level. I know that Japan holds a special place in all of hearts and I would love to help people maintain their relationship with the country.

Secretary

Autumn Widdoes

I was born and raised in Florida and currently call Tampa my hometown.  I've lived in Germany, Vietnam, England, and Japan.   I completed my BA at the Wilkes Honors College of FAU and my MA in Performance Studies at Tisch/NYU.   I spent 4 years on JET in Okinawa from 2010-2014, where I lived in both Ishigaki and Naha. While in Japan, I helped organize Tohoku relief efforts via the SHINSAI:  Theaters for Japan fundraiser and we raised more than 70000 yen in one afternoon of live performance presented in both English and Japanese.  I also founded a bilingual performance collective called TASK 沖縄 after teaching several performance/dance theater making classes at ひやみかち学校 culture school in Naha, Okinawa.  Since returning to Florida, I have been actively involved in the JETAA community in the Tampa Bay region, speaking at JET recruitment events at Eckerd College and helping organize the Tampa screening of LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story.  My long term goals are to promote Japanese performance/arts in the US and to bring more Japanese and Japan-related arts, film, and performance to the Tampa region.   I look forward to working with the JETAA communities throughout Florida to instill a sense of importance in maintaining our connection to Japan via JET.

Webmaster

Lauren Sorondo

Hello! My name is Lauren Sorondo, and I'm a Miami native. In September 2014, I returned from 2 years in Kumamoto with JET. Since then, I've been participated in FL JETAA events, such as the Bounenkai and the recent  film screening for the Taylor Anderson Story down in Miami. I've also stated hosting "Coffee 会話," a conversation circle in South Florida. While I don't have prior experience as a webmaster, I am passionate about JETAA and supporting the new and old alumni. In a state as large as Florida, I believe the best way is through communication of events. I hope to be able to continue improving the website that our previous officers have worked hard to create.  🙂

 

To cast your vote, visit this Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/gNwSHXM37h

Voting closes April 13th at 11:55 PM. Any votes received after this date will be discounted.

17Feb/15Off

2015 Country Representative Elections

Posted by President

ANNOUNCEMENT: Country Representative Elections

The term for serving JETAA USA as a CR is one year and is determined by a vote of all chapters. There are three CR positions to be voted on for 2015-16. The requirements for candidacy can also be found in Article IX (pg 6) of the JETAA USA Bylaws available via the link or on our website (www.jetaausa.com >> About JETAA >> Bylaws).
All candidates must submit a platform by March 5 (Thursday), 2015 in order to be considered. 
These can be submitted to Jessyca Livingston, Elections Officer, as an email attachment. 
Any incomplete, falsified or late platforms will not be considered.
A platform consists of 4 total pieces. These items are also outlined and available on the CR Elections webpage of our JETAA USA website. All platform items will be posted to the public JETAA USA website as that will be the online resource used to present this year's candidates:
  1. a written platform- this should not exceed two written pages; examples are on the jetaausa.com website (About JETAA >> Current Country Reps >> select any of the current CR's landing pages)
  2. a headshot of the candidate
  3. the Chapter Endorsement form- this should be filled out by chapter officers for the chapter where the candidate served as an officer
  4. the Financial Endorsement form- this should be filled out by chapter officers from the chapter that the candidate is currently a member of
**Please send a Microsoft Word version of your platform since I have to cut/ paste the information onto the website! PDFs are completely fine for the Endorsement forms. (FYI- both Endorsement forms require signatures of chapter officers.)
In preparation to become a CR or to help you decide whether or not to run, I recommend reading the JETAA USA Bylaws and the CR Job Description. This will help you understand what responsibilities you can expect to take on as CR and how the organization functions as a whole. Of course, any of the current CRs would be more than happy to discuss the position with you as well!
 
Platforms can be submitted electronically to: 
jessyca.livingston@gmail.com
 
23Jan/15Off

2015 Florida JETAA Elections

Posted by President

We are pleased to announce the 2015 elections for officer positions. The positions up for election are Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. All positions carry 2-year terms. To learn more about the positions, please click here.

If you are interesting in working more closely with FLJETAA and helping to grow our community, please consider running for a position.  Elections will be held during late-February and another email will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline. To avoid conflicts of interest, the current president, Bahia, who is not running this term will be collecting the nominations and handling the elections.

Nominating Yourself

To run, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested by emailing president@floridajetaa.org with a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself and why you'd be a good candidate. Bios are due by February, 15th, 2015 (EXTENDED).

Nominating Others

If you know who someone who would be perfect for a position you may nominate them by emailing their name and the position for which you are nominating them to president@floridajetaa.org. Nominations of others must be received by February 10th, 2015 (EXTENDED), to allow us time to contact the nominee to find out if they will accept the nomination and get their bios by February 10th. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

If you have any further questions about elections, please send them to president@floridajetaa.org.

To run for a position and to vote you must be a JET alumni. Friends of JET are not eligible to vote or run for a position.

25Apr/12Off

Elections 2012 Announcement

Posted by President

Sorry for the delay in election announcements.  This year, none of our positions were contested.  Due to this, the Board of Directors discussed and agreed to the continued appointment of our current officers.

We still have openings for regions reps and our newslettter editor/information officer.  If you're interested in getting involved, please send me an email at floridajetaa [at] gmail.com.  Region reps are positions that are a great way to get involved and learn what the board does, without needing to invest too much of your time.  These positions are essential to keeping the community connected over the expanse of Florida.  Openings: Pensacola, Ft Meyers (currently served by the Tampa Region Rep), and Gainesville.

To contact any of the reps or officers please visit: http://www.floridajetaa.org/about/

Elected Officers:

President - Bahia Simons-Lane

I am a transplanted JET alum originally from Washington, DC.  I was a JET in Gunma prefecture from 2005 – 2007, where I taught at an all girls’ high school deep in the mountains.  I held the position of ALT Advisor for the Gunma Board of Education from 2007 – 2008 and planned the prefectural Mid-Year Seminar for JET/non-JET ALTs and JTEs, provided support for Gunma JETs and worked closely with the Prefectural Advisor (JET CIR), and taught at a variety of special needs schools that otherwise would not have a native English speaking teacher (including the blind school, deaf school, physically/mentally handicapped schools, and hospital schools).  I am currently pursuing an MS in International and Intercultural Education at FIU.

Florida JETAA faces some unique challenges in becoming a vibrant alumni association; primarily that Florida is a large state and our alumni are very spread out, yet there are relatively few alumni for the state size. To face this challenge, I would like to increase involvement in our virtual community by using our website, Yahoo Groups list server, and Facebook.  I will provide as much support as possible to regional representatives across Florida in planning regular events.  I will get JETAA involved in related groups and associations that support Japanese language and culture.  I will make sure the two hubs of JET alumni in Miami and Tampa are regularly communicating and supporting each others activities as much as the distance provides.   JETAA is a great way to provide information about professional and social opportunities to members of the community, from job openings inside and outside of Florida, to social opportunities, to opportunities for being cultural ambassadors, so I hope to see more alumni getting involved.

Treasurer -  Gerard Batista

I was a JET in Yamaguchi from 2002 - 2005.  I live in Tampa and have been involved in Florida JETAA for many years.

Vice-President - Erika Washburn

I grew up in Norway and was raised with a great appreciation and interest for other countries and cultures. At an early age, I was introduced to Japanese culture and the interest stuck with me through adolescence. After moving to the US, completing my undergrad in International Studies, and working in the corporate world for a few years, I learned of JET and jumped on the opportunity! My husband and I moved to Oita city on Kyushu. I taught English and culture classes for Oita Commercial High School and loved it! Both my husband and I participated in culture and language exchange events with my school and the local community. We were also active members of AJET and joined our fellow JETs in the various trips, events and fund raising opportunities. We moved back to Tampa in 2010 (I now work for AACSB International and my husband is a music teacher), but we continue to keep Japanese traditions  in our daily lives, and JETAA is a great help at keeping the culture fresh!

I have served as your FL JETAA Vice President since 2011 and will enjoy continuing in this role. My duties and responsibilities have included advertising for JET in the Tampa area, recruiting for JET at USF, collaborating with other local Japanese groups, hosting the JET Welcome Home Party, organizing JETAA get-togethers, as well as serving on the planning committee for the Tampa Natsumatsuri.  I would be honored to continue serving in this capacity for our great group of FL JETs!

Secretary - Alison Youngblood

I was an ALT from 2004 to 2006 in Hidaka-shi, Saitama-ken.   Like all JETs, my time in Japan was incredibly influential.  When I started the program, I imagined that it would be a gap year between university and law school.  However, it actually helped me to discover my passion for teaching, and I decided to change gears professionally to become an English teacher.  It has been six years and counting since I left Japan, and I still keep in touch and travel with some locals and fellow JETs from my host city so continuing to work with the Board feels like a natural step.

During this past year as Secretary, I have worked closely with the President to revise the bylaws in order to achieve tax free status in the state of Florida.  I have also hosted JET information sessions in Central Florida to recruit new applicants, volunteered at events hosted by the Japanese community, and worked with the Regional Representative to organize local events.  However, I still see areas in which I can expand my involvement with the organization.

I hope to continue to work with the Board to find new ways to reach out to the returning JET community.  I think we can take steps to develop a connection between FLJETAA and current JETs representing Florida through the new JETAA website.  I hope to encourage fellow alumni to contribute blogs about their life after JET.  I would also like to see current JETs blogging about their experiences in real time.  By developing this link between current JETs and the JETAA, we will have a good chance of increasing our active membership.  In addition to increasing our active membership, I think it is important as Secretary to keep more detailed records involving the activities of FLJETAA and local chapters to see how our chapter is growing and changing.  Finally, as a member of the Board, I think staying active locally is one of my most important roles.  Since our membership is spread out over the state, it is crucial for local chapters and regions to develop a strong JETAA network.  After all, JET is about people and personal connections.  All in all, I hope to continue working as Secretary in the next term to further develop the connections between JET alumni and the Japanese community in the state of Florida.

Webmaster - Abigail MacBain

I participated with JET straight out of college. I was a prefectural ALT in a base high school, and throughout the year I also visited two other high schools and one special needs school. For my second year as a JET, I was treasurer for Aomori AJET and the moderator for the Traveling JETs Special Interest Group. Some of my favorite memories from JET include traveling (especially throughout Tohoku and Hokkaido), working with my students, and driving along rural country roads. After JET, I went to McMaster University in Ontario to get my MA in Religious Studies, majoring in East Asian Religions. After that, I was a JET application processor at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC for a few months before coming down to Florida to become the new JET Coordinator in May, 2009. I am also the webmaster for the Florida chapter of the JET Alumni Association.

Newsletter Editor/Information Officer - Position Open

This position works with the president and secretary to reports back to the chapter the annual chapter achievements and works with the webmaster to create and source blog content. Contact floridajetaa [at] gmail.com for more info.

Region Reps:

Pensacola - Rise (Interim)

Tallahasee - Melissa

Jacksonville - Lisa

Gainesville - Open

Orlando - Tom

Tampa - John

Treasure Coast - Erin

Ft. Meyers - Tampa Rep (Interim)

South Florida - Wendy

Keys - Adriana

   
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