Mary Margaret Mallat has been a part of the ASIJ community for over 20 years. She earned a BA in History from Bates College and an MA in Education from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She has worked as a high school social studies teacher in Lewiston, Maine, as a Dean of Students at Westbrook College in Portland, Maine and as the accounting graduate program coordinator at the NYU Stern School of Business. Since arriving in Tokyo in 1998, she has served the ASIJ community as the PTA President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mary Margaret began her work as ASIJ’s Director of Admissions in 2008 and has held the position for over a decade. She now joins the Advancement office as the Interim Director overseeing alumni relations, communications and fundraising. Mary Margaret and her husband David Deck have two sons who graduated from ASIJ in 2010 and 2013.
The Advancement Office is a bridge to the wider ASIJ community, providing students with increased access to authentic learning opportunities and connecting our many constituents with the true ASIJ experience. Internships and mentorships can be life-changing, real-world experiences for students and hearing accomplished alumni speakers on campus can be the spark of inspiration that sets a student's trajectory.
Advancement brings the student experience to life as we focus on purposeful communication and relationship building among key constituents, including parents, alumni, friends, neighbors and others in our community. We make the case for why financial support of ASIJ is critical to our school's long-term stability. Ensuring ASIJ is here for generations to come is perhaps the most important way to impact student learning—not just for today but for years to come.
"Where are you from?" can be an interesting question for third culture children. For many alumni, including our sons, talking about ASIJ comes the closest to conveying their true roots and sense of community. There is a palpable joy when they are with their friends from ASIJ, and that continues to this day.
Key elements of their current professions can be found in some of their earliest ASIJ experiences, and above all the school fostered in them a love of learning. ASIJ teachers honored their interests and affirmed their curiosity which lead to their careers in music and journalism. An appreciation for different perspectives and cultural nuance is absolutely central to their daily lives, as they study and explore other cultures and are drawn to friends from varied backgrounds and interests.
My family valued education in their own lives and admired educators who created lifelong opportunities for students. Dinnertime conversations often touched on the enterprise of education from varied perspectives: a student, a teacher, and a college administrator. I learned the value of each role in creating a quality experience for the student, and heard my parents talk about their wonderful colleagues who were educators.
They also celebrated the arrival of each new school year, bringing with it a fresh enthusiasm and renewed hope since each year was a new beginning, a fresh start for everyone. Those insights drew me to the inspiring work of education—filled with intelligent and enthusiastic colleagues—who are engaged in what I had come to know as our family business.