For the past ten years, middle school exchange students from Showa, Japan have visited Jackson County. This year on August 7, they stopped at the Eagle Point School District for a brief reception and gift exchange. Teacher Terrie Rennick of the Educational Service District’s STEPS program, transported guests and chaperones by school bus to district headquarters for the event.
Annaliza Hoppes, with son Jacob and daughter Chrisanne, and neighbor
Sadie Rice comprised local families present who’ve hosted guests for
six days. Hoppes said this is her third year housing the students, and
she loves it. Teenager Rice said she has been both host and guest,
having gone to Japan in 2006.
Eagle Point’s new Superintendent,
Cynda Rickert, exchanged cordial greetings with the group’s
superintendent, Yasuo Tsunoda. In her welcoming remarks, Rickert told
the visitors she’d once traveled to Japan on a Fulbright scholarship
program, and hoped to return someday.
interpreter, Tsunoda said although he works as school superintendent,
he zealously pursues photography as a hobby. He presented Rickert with
several photographs of the lush countryside that surrounds his home. He
then gave her a hand-made paper-tole art composition, along with an
ornate sun-umbrella, and a metal wind-chime.
fielded questions, and explained the symbolism of the Eagle logo on
souvenir t-shirts she and receptionist Gayle Parlette distributed to
the visitors. Rickert also asked what Oregon attraction they’d most
want to see. Their second choice-Crater Lake. And their unanimous first
choice? Eagle Point’s covered bridge. There are no covered bridges in
Japan, their interpreter explained. This is quite a novelty for them.
That’s the backdrop for the group pictures they will take home to show
By F. C. Blake
of the Independent