Brad Augustine has spent the past 19 years in international schools in Bahrain, the Dominican Republic, Thailand and Vietnam, either as a high school English teacher or Assistant Principal. Brad has a BA in English from Sonoma State University, MA in Educational Administration from Michigan State University and a PhD in Educational Administration from Concordia University. Brad joined ASIJ's leadership team in 2020. He is originally from California, but currently has a cabin just below the Colorado border where he spends the summers.
At ASIJ, students are fortunate to have a range of avenues they can explore so they can become a part of a number of different communities. For some students, they might find community in sports or clubs. For other students, they might find community through arts programs, community service or student government. I think the role of the Associate Principal is to help improve opportunities for students to become a part of a community they are passionate about as well as work with students to develop new opportunities when they see ways for the school to expand and grow the communities that already exist. In the end, we want students to be connected to the ASIJ community in a variety of ways that go well beyond just their academic work.
The best question to ask an English teacher. I have taught high school English for 24 years, so I have many favorites. If I could teach any class, I would probably teach Shakespeare Studies. Many students approach Shakespeare from the wrong mindset. Yes, the language is hard because it is 400 years old and the English language has changed greatly over centuries. However, the stories are wonderfully complex and still reflect the range of human conditions and emotions. I always teach Shakespeare in class to ensure we all move forward together understanding the play. After a while, it becomes a bit of an unraveling of a mystery and students gradually understand the language more and more. At the end, they often have a great appreciation for the master storyteller Shakespeare was. In terms of a novel, though, my favorite book is still To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch represents the best of human dignity and kindness.
I have been fortunate to have done about 200 dives in some wonderful spots around the world, but my most memorable dive was here in Japan. The USS Emmons was a Navy destroyer that sank during World War II off the coast of Okinawa. It lies at about 45 meters deep which is a very deep dive without special training. Prior to that dive, I had not gone deeper than 35 meters, so it was a big challenge for me. It is a huge ship, over 100 meters long, so we did half of the ship on our first dive and the other half of the ship on a second dive. For safety reasons, we had only limited time on the bottom to examine the ship but seeing the gun turrets, the galley, sleeping quarters, etc. was amazing. I will probably never do a dive that deep again without more training, but I will never forget it.