Thanks to everyone who submitted an application for the 2019-2020 GAJET Committee. You can vote by clicking here. Voting will end by the end of Wednesday, June 12.
Ciara Lily Malone (Takasaki)
Running for: President and Seibu Rep
Happy Reiwa, Gunma! I’m Ciara from the UK, going into my third year as an Elementary School teacher in Yoshii-machi. I’m hoping to become your shiny, new President! I’ve had an incredible time being your Seibu Rep for the past year, getting to know as many of you as I could, and organising some pretty memorable events! (Thank you for all your support – it’s been an absolute blast). Our prefecture would be nothing without your participation and sense of community, which I hope to uphold during my time as P.
GAJET is an overwhelmingly active organisation, beyond anything I could have imagined before I arrived in Japan. My time as Seibu Rep has given me the opportunity to engage in many new aspects of country life, and expand my understanding of both Gunma and its residents. From kokeshi painting to camping, from fireworks to illuminations, I have spent this past year working my absolute hardest to bring our gigantic community closer. As President, I want to bring you even more events that bring us even closer together, as well as updating and expanding our online resources, and upholding the values of the cabbage patch.
I hope I can spend another year bringing you the best of the inaka!
Edward No (Takasaki)
Running for: President
Good morning and おはようございます, wonderful Gunma ALTs! My name is Edward No and I’m running for the position of GAJET president! I’m currently a Takasaki-shi ALT and am loving every minute of it. When I’m not teaching, you can find me doing calisthenics, going to church, or looking for delicious restaurants around Gunma. If I haven’t met you already, I’m looking forward to doing so at the next GAJET event!
What can I do for you:
Act as a resource for all your Gunma needs – whether you’re looking for a local Japanese-English exchange circle, just need someone to help you navigate making your first doctor’s appointment, or figure out how to send money home through furikomi – I’m here to help you out or find someone who can!
Plan and host community events for all Gunma ALTs – did you love GAJET events like Gunma Games, Canyons, I CAN, and many more? Look forward to loving these events again this year. With the combined efforts of the GAJET board and community, these events will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your year. Additionally, if you have great ideas for community events, we can make it happen! From planning to logistics to execution, I’m here to make your ideas a reality.
Passionate about community building
Deeply engaged with the Gunma ALT community
Take pride in overcoming challenges through collaboration
Enjoy supporting and empowering others
Optimistic with a Can-Do attitude
Thank you for your time and consideration! Have a great day!
Camilla Webber (Fujioka)
Running for: Vice President and Seibu Rep
When I heard I was placed on JET in Gunma prefecture, I knew that Gunma was famous for a few things: konnyaku, cabbage and strong women, to name a few. However, one thing I was not aware of, but learnt immediately on arriving here, is how warm, friendly and supportive the JET community is here.
Growing up in the countryside in the UK, I recognise that the community plays a different and far more important role here, compared to that in the city. As an active and very sociable person, I would love the opportunity to have direct participation and influence on keeping our community strong and well connected, by serving as either Vice President or Seibu Rep.
As VP, I would actively support the work of the President in ensuring the smooth operation of the many social events and activities that run throughout the year, which are so important for keeping our community interlinked. As Seibu Rep, I would adopt a more grass roots approach to running events specifically for the Seibu area. Running some familiar events that have run in the past, and hopefully introducing some new events that cater to the wealth of resources we have in Gunma, and to your desires as to what you would like to see from GAJET this year. In particular, I would like to implement more events over the winter period, when I feel we, as a community, need each other the most.
I think I am suitable for these positions because my favourite activity is having fun, so let’s have fun and enjoy!!!!! TANOSHIMIMASHOU!!!!!!!!!!
Alex Krause (Takasaki)
Running for: Secretary
I’m a soon-to-be third year ALT in Takasaki, and I was lucky to serve on GAJET as this past year’s secretary. I was inspired during my first year by the summer conference speaker, who encouraged us to make the most of our limited time on JET. When I thought about how I wanted to spend that time, I realized that what made me happiest was helping new ALTs and showing people Gunma’s endless gems. I made a personal vow that, during my remaining time here, I would do my best to give back to the loving community that had made this cabbage patch feel like home.
I would like to reapply for the position of secretary because I feel I served well in that capacity this past year. My strengths, which include strong organization, time management, and working well with others, allowed me to further GAGET’s goals of bringing people together and putting on great events for the community. I consistently performed my duties and enjoyed meeting many ALTs throughout Gunma from various events.
Mathew Masters (Takasaki)
Running for: Treasurer
I studied Accounting and Economics all the way up until University where I changed my studies to computers but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good equation. I enjoy numbers and balancing them at the end so I’ll make sure things stay balanced. I was the Treasurer at Auckland Universities Pokémon Club as well which gives me at least a base line of knowledge. I hope that with this experience I can learn to cooperate with other people more professionally and manage myself better too. Also, some extra sparkles for my resume would be good. Thank you for your consideration.
Chris Sept (Maebashi)
Running for: Secretary and Chubu Rep
Salutations, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Chris Sept and I would be honored to serve you either as your Chubu representative or your Secretary.
I have been a member of this community for close to 3 years and have been enjoying the benefits of wonderful people, events, and connections and it is time I used a bit of my experience to give back to JETs both veteran and rookie.
A fastidious writer and lover of learning new things, I have often taken on the role in any given setting to be the one who either leads discussions or takes notes. Growing up, I had a mind that tended to wander, which I am assured aids in creative thinking. After coming to Japan, I have trained myself to remain grounded through asking questions and writing everything down. Plus, I have found that taking a genuine interest in what people have to say is the best way to build trust and work constructively with other people. Given that GAJET is all about working together for the benefit of the community, I am ready to lend my helping hand and any other applicable appendage.
Prior to coming to Japan, I worked in a tech company that handled the infrastructure and projects of several high-profile clients, handling assets in the tens of thousands. I understand the importance of strict deadlines, competent delegation and clear communication. I also used to work in radio as a voice-over artist and promotions coordinator. This gig trained my impressive vocal skills and gave me first-hand experience of running large-scale events and appeasing crowds. I have used these skills to great benefit in my school work and I would like to bring them to bear for the benefit of my fellow ALTs.
There are big shoes to fill in the coming year and I am eager to get started. I look forward to being your resource for all the fun events we have in store.
Alice Ridley (Fujioka)
Running for: Webmaster
I would love to be a part of the GAJET committee for 2019 – 2020 as a way to give back to a group who gave me so much in my first year! GAJETs hard work and effort has been a key part of why I’ve enjoyed this past year in the cabbage patch.
I would love to be able to rep you all as web master for the coming year! Through this position I want to ensure that the GAJET committee has effective web presence to inform you all lovely ALTs about what is happening here in Gunma. And working with the Editor to showcase the articles of what you’ve been up to.
In terms of experience I have I studied information systems and management in university. I would love to be able to web design skills and navigation optimization into practice. And to learn new things on the way. Previously I have built and managed a website for a youth organization (http://www.youthvoicecanterbury.org.nz/). I am a lover of a sleek and easily navigable website!
If you haven’t already met me before, hello! I am Alice Ridley a 23-year-old from Christchurch, New Zealand. I am passionate about communities and connecting people together. In my life in NZ I was an eager member of the social enterprise community and involved myself in changing making around youth policy and environment. Fun fact about me; I used to host a weekly sustainable living radio show on an alternative radio channel. In present day Japan I am currently volunteering for Peaceboat as on ground personnel and as the community editor for CONNECT magazine.
I am a reliable and motivated individual who loves crossing things off to do lists. Constantly trying to think of new ways of how we (GAJET committee) can do things better and what is needed by our “customers” aka you. If you choose me for web master 2019-2020 I hope to make you proud! Churrr.
Paige Adrian (Takasaki)
Running for: Editor and Webmaster
Howdy! My name’s Paige Adrian and I live in the Haruna area of Takasaki. I’m going into my second year as an ALT and can’t wait to dedicate more time to this beautiful place I get to call home.
I’m interested in running for the Editor or Webmaster position, since I’m constantly on my laptop while secretly making it look like I actually go outside. My time in Japan has been an absolute blast thanks to Gunma’s fantastic community spirit, which is why I want to join GAJET and keep the good vibes going! Although the fun events are a main focus, our internet resources can be just as important for JETs, which is why I’m eager to contribute both online and off.
As a jack-of-all-trades I have previous amateur experience in writing/editing, photography/videography, and graphic design/illustration. I’ve also been on top of tech ever since my first high school job, where I taught elementary schoolers how to make dinosaur PowerPoints at the library. If elected, I’m hoping to make our online presence even more comprehensive by increasing our website resources, making information accessible and inclusive, and creating connections by showcasing our Gunma adventures on social media!
Thanks a bunch for your consideration. Let’s share some great times this year and make it A E S T H E T I C !
Kitty Houchen (Kanra)
Running for: Editor
Kia Ora, or ‘hello’ in Kiwi. I’m Kitty. I’m a first-year Junior High school JET from New Zealand, living in Kanra-machi (I know, I hadn’t heard of it either). Despite the trepidation I felt when I received my placement, I’ve had an amazing time over the past year exploring Gunma. I’ve particularly enjoyed participating in an array of GAJET events, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the community I now call home.
I come from a film and theatre background, and spent my time before JET screenwriting and designing shows for the Hamilton Operatic Society. It’s been exciting to see the growth of the GAJET website this past year, showcasing some amazing events happening all over our lovely prefecture. As an aspiring member of GAJET, I would strive to continue the great work of our current editor, and present even more quality content from all of you in our community.
Gunma is an incredibly diverse prefecture with so much to offer. From Oze to Ueno-mura, there is an unbelievable amount of things to do. So much so, that it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going on. To help discover the best cherry blossom spots, restaurants, festivals, and fun, I want to use the GAJET website as a platform to host the knowledge of our community for everyone.
Valerie Landers (Tomioka)
Running for: Seibu Rep
Hello again!!!! After having an absolute blast serving on the 2018-2019 GAJET committee as Vice President, I’m ready and hype for Round 2! In the upcoming year I hope to serve as a representative for the Seibu region. This year’s reps have done a spectacular job, going above and beyond to provide a variety of top-notch activities for Seibu et al, and I’m excited to follow in their footsteps. They’ve raised the bar, so let’s reach it and more!
This will be my fourth year living and working in Tomioka. A good portion of these first three years has been spent adventuring around Gunma, getting to know some of its best spots. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s introducing others to the Gunma goodness surrounding us! As a regional representative I will organize hikes, movie nights, food trips and field trips, so we can get to know the Seibu region and our JET family better. My aim is to create opportunities for Gunma JETs to make and grow connections that will help them find success and joy in their Gunma life.
When it comes to building up our fantastic Gunma JET community, my mottos are “The more the merrier” and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If Gunma’s awesome activities are made more accessible, more can join in the fun! As in this past year, as a regional representative I will work to make Gunma more accessible to fellow JETs in language and transportation, so that we can enjoy the best of Gunma!
Galayna (Linka) Wade (Higashiagatsuma-machi)
Running for: Tone/Agatsuma Rep
Hello! I’m Linka, a (soon to be) 2nd year elementary ALT in Higashiagatsuma-machi. I live with my very patient fiancé Nick in the middle of a rice paddy. I love photography, hiking, traveling, and finding every flavor of soft cream possible.
In my year of living in the Agatsuma region, I’ve fallen in love with the area and our community here. I want to be able to share that love with incoming JETs and help to bring those in the Tone/Agatsuma region closer together (even though we’re usually pretty far apart). I have spent almost every weekend in the past year out exploring glorious Gunma; from festivals to hiking to flowers to onsen. I know I can come up with some great ways to share those experiences with everyone in this region. The Tone/Agatsuma region is a beautiful and under-visited area. One of my goals if I were to be elected as representative would be to bring more Gunma JETs here to experience what the region has to offer.
Above all, I have passion for this area and for the Gunma JET community. I want to help support our community and bring us all closer together. Thank you!
Aidan Koch (Kiryu)
Running for: Tobu Rep
I am interested in GAJET because of its ability to bring people from all over Gunma together. Community is very important to me, and I want to make a warm and welcoming one for all Gunma ALTs, present and future. Cultivating a strong community here will make us all feel at home, and we could all use that in some way or another. After all, we are all here together as foreigners.
I have extensive experience throughout Boy Scouts, University Student Government, and Fraternity Operations that I know will make me an invaluable member of the GAJET team. I planned and executed an Eagle Scout Project in 2014, helmed my Residence Hall Council as President, planning activities that brought residents of the hall together to enjoy each other’s company, and I held multiple E-Boare Positions within my Fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, where I swear through many different event from committee meetings to Senior Sendoffs and Alumni Gatherings. These experiences have taught me a lot about what it takes to make an event go well, and I am eager to bring my knowledge into GAJET.
If I should be privileged enough to become the Tobu Representative, I will do everything in my power to make Tobu and Gunma as a whole as welcoming as I can. Gunma has become my home, and I want it to be all of yours as well.
Good luck to all the candidates. We are looking forward to GAJET’s continued success in the 2019-2020 contract year!