A dozen middle school students from Showa Mura Junior High, Showa, Japan, along with four chaperones spent last week in the Upper Rogue. Students from Showa have been coming to the area for a number of years. This year’s event was organized by Terrie Rennick, a teacher at White Mountain Middle School.
Their visit included a civics lesson at the Eagle Point City Hall from the administrative team, which included Finance Director Melissa Owens, Public Works Director Robert Miller, Police Chief John Meeker and Executive Secretary and Administrative Assistant Dena Roberts.
Following information about the structure of Eagle Point’s government, Miller asked several questions about Showa. Eagle Point visitors learned Showa has a population of 7,500, there are three parks, and they play the same volleyball, soccer, baseball and tennis. Wrestling was not one of their sports. Five of the school’s top notch soccer players were members of the visiting team. They learned that through middle school (junior high) students must attend the school in their area. However, they can go elsewhere for high school. The difference between public and private schools in Japan were discussed. It seems private schools can specialize whereas that does not seem to be the case for the public schools.
Two members of the Showa Board of Education and a teacher were among those accompanying the students. Unlike District 9 where students and chaperones must pay their own way, all expenses are paid for the students and chaperones from Showa.
Events for the week included a jet boat trip, a tour of Butte Creek Mill, Harry and David and a visit to Crater Lake and to Science Works in Ashland. The group arrived on Aug. 3 and departed on Aug. 9. Ten local families acted as chaperones and housed the students. Among the chaperones were John and Ellen Payne and Dennis Quiring and his wife. Paynes became interested in an exchange program through their son who was an interpreter in Showa. John Payne is a retired District 9 social studies teacher. The Quirings organized the visitations for several years before he retired as principal of Eagle Point Junior High.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent