Nov. 12, 2019
Haruko Takamizawa, a junior high Junior teacher from Nagano, Japan, spent a month in Pinellas County as part of the City of Clearwater teacher exchange program. During her time here, Takamizawa visited and made presentations at Countryside High, Safety Harbor Middle, Carwise Middle, Palm Harbor University High, Bay Point Elementary Magnet, James B. Sanderlin and Northeast High schools.
“At all the schools, the students and teachers were very nice,” Takamizawa said. “And the students have so many options and can decide on the type of education they want.”
Clearwater and Nagano, Japan have been Sister Cities since 1959 when Mayor Kurashima of Nagano came to the United States. He was searching for a city with similar economic and community needs and wished to develop new friendships, ideas and business partnerships. The teacher exchange began in 1983 and currently, two Pinellas teachers spend one month in Nagano schools during the summer. A Nagano teacher is hosted here for one month each fall. The teacher and student exchanges have been the backbone of the Sister City program.