Ryosuke Suzuki began his career as a public school teacher in Washington State where he taught Japanese language and world history for six years. Ryosuke received his BA in Secondary Education with teaching endorsements in ESL, history, Japanese, and social studies from Whitworth University. He received his MA in Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia. Ryosuke joined ASIJ in 2010 as a high school Japanese teacher as well as a cross country and track coach. He became ASIJ’s inaugural Director of Strategic Partnerships in 2020, and he now works with all four divisions to bring learning partnerships into ASIJ. Ryosuke and his wife Sara, who comes from Indiana, have twin daughters who will join ASIJ soon.
There are seven domains of learning partnerships we aim to develop and sustain: Academic Institutions, Corporates, Nonprofits, Locals, Public Sectors, Service Providers, and Startups. Through these partnerships, students will use time, space, and people within and beyond our classroom walls to solve real-world problems. Great learning through partnerships has already been happening thanks to the efforts of individual teachers and our Japan Center. The Japan Center already has established many school partnerships and experiences to deepen understanding of Japanese culture. With this new strategic partnership work we will embrace and build on the great partnerships that already exist as well as seek to establish new partnerships to go beyond traditional classroom learning experiences. Though we are just getting started, there is so much potential in our community and in Japan for our students to have truly transformational learning experiences through these community partnerships.
Curriculum related collaborations as well as community service projects have already been developed with various local community groups. They are providing opportunities for our students to be part of the collaborative effort to make a difference and give back to our local community. Another early success is receiving support for the program from various stakeholders within and outside of ASIJ. Many people who share the same excitement and aspiration for the future of ASIJ have come forward to develop learning partnerships with us to provide new learning opportunities for our students.
Running has been a big part of my life since the third grade of elementary school. I ran both cross country and track in college, and I continued to run competitively until the age of 30. I fell in love with running because of its pure pursuit of achieving one's best performance. You run against other competitors, but ultimately it’s a battle against your own limits both physically and mentally. I was a 400m runner, so there is something special about being and sprinting on the track. As much as I enjoy the scenery on my runs in different trails, I also love “getting lost” on my runs—just keeping running without thinking about where to go, what’s around, how fast or how far I’m running. It’s a great meditation that could take place anywhere for me.