The Norman Transcript


November 5, 2013

Japanese exchange teachers visit NPS

NORMAN — Japanese exchange teachers visited several Norman Public Schools this week, including Jefferson, McKinley and Reagan elementaries and Whittier Middle School.

Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc. annually sends NPS teachers to Japan and arranges for Japanese educators to visit NPS to inspire education, collaboration and innovation. Hitachi has sponsored the program since 1994.

Jeannie Green LaCroix, Hitachi corporate affairs representative, said the program is a big commitment for Hitachi, but it is important to the corporation because of the educational and cultural growth it fosters.

“We tend to accept and like each other the more we know about each other,” LaCroix said.

This year, fifth-grade teacher Naoko Kemmotsu and curriculum coordinator Tamaki Tashiro came from Odawara City, Japan, to observe American schools in Oklahoma.

NPS teachers Yasmin Merchant, who teaches third grade at McKinley; Jennifer Toperzer, who is an instructional coach at Jefferson; and Cindy Castell, who teaches gifted and talented at Whittier, traveled to Japan last year. Merchant said during her experience in Japan, she visited six schools.

“I expected to see a lot of structure and learn how to integrate culture into the classroom,” Merchant said.

While visiting NPS schools, Japanese exchange teachers experienced Oklahoma culture as well as Native American history and classroom visits. McKinley Elementary sang “Oklahoma” for the exchange teachers, as well as arranged a Native American dance performance, and presented them with a dream catcher.

Merchant said she would encourage other teachers to participate in the program.

“It really let me see education on the global scale. How some of our struggles and victories are the same for all teachers no matter where we are,” Merchant said.

Katherine Parker


Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014