Block System

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4-block System; 2019-present

Starting in 2009, Akita Prefecture initiated the block system. This system is designed to create a better local support system concerning work, Japanese Culture, and January re-contracting decisions. Officially, there are block meetings (ブロック会議) sponsored by the International Affairs Division each January.

Block Division

Four-Block System (2019-present)

Block Municipals Map
North (県北) FujisatoHappōKamikoaniKazunoKitaakitaKosakaMitaneNoshiroŌdate 4-block System; 2019-present
Capital (秋田) Akita CityGojōmeHachirogataIkawaKatagamiOgaŌgata
Yuri (由利) YurihonjōNikaho
South (県南) SembokuDaisenHigashinaruseMisatoUgoYokoteYuzawa

Three-block System (2012-2019)

Block Municipals Map
North (県北) FujisatoHappōKamikoaniKazunoKitaakitaKosakaMitaneNoshiroŌdate 3-block System; 2012-2019
Central (中央) Akita CityGojōmeHachirogataIkawaKatagamiOgaŌgataSemboku
South (県南) DaisenHigashinaruseMisatoNikahoUgoYokoteYurihonjōYuzawa

Four-block (Split Central) System (2009-2012)

Block Municipals Map
North (県北) FujisatoHappōKamikoaniKazunoKitaakitaKosakaMitaneNoshiroŌdate 4-block (Split Central) System; 2009-2012
North Chūō (北中央) Akita City (split) • GojōmeHachirogataIkawaKatagamiOgaŌgata
South Chūō (南中央) Akita City (split) • YurihonjōNikaho
South (県南) SembokuDaisenHigashinaruseMisatoUgoYokoteYuzawa

Block Leadership

Block PA System (April 2019~)

Current Block PA Leadership

The April 2024- April 2025 Block Leadership, consisting of Block PAs (BPAs) and Block Assistants (BAs) is as following.

Block Name Location JET Year
North Julia Wheelehan (BPA) Kazuno 3
Lydia Stuker (BA) Noshiro 2
William Heins (BA) Odate 2
Capital Mikalia Morris (BPA) Katagami 4
Lynn Marcus (BA) Katagami 3
Tiffany Karolewics (BA) Oga 2
Yuri Allysa Elliot (BPA) Nikaho 3
Tom Smith(BA) Yurihonjo 3
South Charlie Van Bourgondien (BPA) Semboku 3
Charles (Tom) Thomas (BA) Yokote 2
Jonathan Schuiteman (BA) Daisen 3

Both BPAs and BAs play key roles in fostering communities in their respective blocks by planning social events and working together on the January block meetings. The main distinction between the two roles is that Block Assistants are not under the jurisdiction of the International Affairs Division and do not have additional PA responsibilities. They both serve as the go-to person for JETs in their respective blocks to turn to regard local questions and concerns and represent their blocks in Akita JET leadership.

Previous Block Leadership

Block PA System (April 2019 - April 2024)

Year North Block Capital Block Yuri Block South Block
Block PA Assistant(s) Block PA Assistant(s) Block PA Assistant(s) Block PA Assistant(s)
2023-2024 Vanessa Limenyande Glenn (Noel) Darby, Olivia Peacock Maitseo Bakwena Mikalia Morris Aiya Perrine Gabrielle Gibb Faumuina Charlie Van Bourgondien Andrew Stewart, Nick Bush
2022-2023 June Kim Glenn (Noel) Darby Majesty Zander Erica White, Cassandra Collins Christopher Scrafford Suriya Ratnam Ethan Ingram, Melany Yuin
2021-2022 Jody Frye June Kim Stephanie Daugherty Mei Peraza Catherine Johnson Christopher Scrafford Caitlin Wilcox Amanda Lockwood, Ethan Ingram
2020-2021 Aaron Kern Glenn Timoney, Jody Frye Allison Roberts David Kelly, Mrin Elliott Peter Bond
2019-2020 Glenn Timoney Stephanie Daugherty, Robert Stevenson Katherine Smith, Alexis Baker Colin Reineberg Caitlin Wilcox, Jillian Ocampo

Block Leader System (2009-2019)

As of April 2019, this system has been deprecated. The Akita JET Program has since enacted the Block PA System, where the Block Leader role has effectively been modified into the Block Assistant role. The delineation between Block PAs and Block Assistants is defined above.

Block Leaders are people willing to share local information with all new incoming ALTs. In some cases, sempai ALTs or supervisors are unable to do so (for various reasons). In these cases, the block leader is a person you can contact about local information such as where to buy stuff for your apartment, find interesting places, or show you a good place to meet locals. Your Block Leader keeps in contact with the PAs to provide feedback and help with outreach and support.

The Block Leaders coordinate our official January block meetings. In some cases, Block Leaders also coordinate with sempai JETs in organizing smaller local block meetings in August and March/April. Also, Block Leaders attend Akita orientation to welcome new JETs and give presentations concerning work and life in Akita.

It is important to note that, because they are only elected by the community, Block Leaders are not trained or expected to give counseling of any kind. If you require any form of mediation, consultation, help with work-related issues or any problems that you find difficult to deal with by yourself, please contact your Prefectural Advisors. If you want counseling, please contact your CO or Prefectural Advisors for information on finding a counselor. You may also consult the counseling page on this wiki for more counseling information.

As of 2017, block leaders are expected to host a number of social events each year. These are to promote inter-JET relationships, and help keep people involved and active in the JET community. Every year each block will also host one event which specifically caters to JETs from all of Akita's Block.

As of April 1st, 2019, the Block Leader position will be renamed Block Assistant.

Three-block System (2012-2019)

Block Leaders
Year North Block Central Block South Block
2018-2019 Domonique Owens Ken-Hou Yee Kaixin Chin Amber Shamma Catherine Johnson Marissa Lightfoot
2017-2018 Aaron Kern Tristan Hill Didy Huang David Wilson Chloe Doole Liam Fahy
2016-2017 Michelle Berent Hannah Phillips Cari Johnson Rebecca Bamlett Jackie Jean-Francois Danie Manos
2015-2016 Andrew May Colin Flinn Dorene Yamaguchi Alex Childs Chey Parlato Sasha Ryan
2014-2015 Sean Corrigan David Ranzini Connie Look Jeffrey Lowther
2013-2014 Jon Stimmer Kenneth Grant Russell Kabir Kinza Cooper
2012-2013 Melissa Noad Shane Sargeant Ali Shirazee KK Miller Zikon Leung

Four-block System (2009-2012)

Block Leaders
Year North Block North Chuo Block South Chuo Block South Block
2011-2012 Melissa Noad Anne Smith Rachelle Hamonic Ashley Hinkleman Paul Yoo Jonathan Hui Jim Messner Nikki Zywina
2010-2011 Alicia Miller James Jones Delmer Lopez Mark Dawson Michael Culler Patrick Costello
2009-2010 Michael Nakashima Jesse Kerstetter Maureen McCarthy - Tina Schoolman Melissa Dawe

Block Meetings

Held in mid January, these one day conferences provide a forum for exchanging teaching ideas, tips to survive and thrive in winter, and are also a great way to reconnect with local JETs after the holidays. The PAs also use this opportunity to talk to the JET community about the recontracting decision (unless the recontracting deadline has already passed).

See also

Block Meetings
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024