Your source for everything Monarch


Your source for everything Monarch


Your source for everything Monarch


Curiosity Leads Monarch Student to Japan

A place of history, just exploding with culture like kimono clothes and fans, that is what is so exciting about this program. It all started when the wrestling team came to the US from Tokyo Jitsugyo high school, located in south Tokyo, and did a tour of high schools in the area. To challenge Boulder High School wrestling team in 1963. But after that the two coaches thought that this was good experience for the Japanese and American athletes to meet, and since then there has been a continuous exchange between the two schools. It all started at Boulder High and then grew out so that it involved the other schools in Boulder Valley.

The island of Japan is where this lucky junior will be visiting for six weeks on a foreign exchange program. Kate O’Donnell is one of the lucky six that is traveling overseas. She was chosen to represent Monarch High School as a representative. When there she will be witnessing firsthand what life is like for a Japanese high schooler, where they go to school, where the Japanese students hang out, that’s what so special about this program that they not only get a chance to see what all tourists see, but also a chance to see what their home life is like. O’Donnell will be going from home to home to city to city, capturing all of the great virtues of Japan.

O’Donnell has been part of this program since her sophomore year when she went onto a couple of field trips with the program . Even though she was not able to host a Japanese student she has been very involved in the exchange program. O’Donnell went on as many field trips and events as she could. Being so involved helped her by giving her a chance to be eligible to travel to Japan.

O’Donnell will be traded between four host families. BVSD visitors might be staying with families that have sisters and brothers who go to school with them. The students don’t actually pick the host families, the high school over there does just like we pick the host families for the Japanese’s students coming here. The BVSD students don’t actually know who they will be staying with while where. While there she will be going to our sister school that is located in south Tokyo, this is the same school that sends us their students every other year. O’Donnell told me that she has been aware of this program since her freshman year.

She was first introduced to the idea of Japan and its culture when her aunt, being a Japanese woman, would have all kinds of Japanese artifacts such as fans and beautiful kimono clothes. Being too young to understand it she wasn’t as interested but once she got into middle school and a little older she read the books and watched the shows. Kate got more and more interested in this program.

Once in high school however she got introduced to a program from her freshmen year. Kate got an application and got all set and excited but alas they do not accept freshmen so Kate had to wait three long years, but Kate had already heard about the program and knew a little bit about it to stay interested and to jump on the next opportunity.

It was not all an easy road for Kate, she had obstacles to jump, like the commuting to Boulder High School to take Japanese language class in the morning and then racing back over here for her 3rd period, always a little late she said sheepishly. But all and all she is ‘truly engaged”.

Even though she took Japanese she is still not as fluent in Japanese as she would like to be. “The first thing they taught us was cheers and your face, so you can see I will be very well skilled in Japan,” Kate also learned to introduce herself.

“I mostly hope to pick up the language as I go.” Kate is varying excited to be going there but not as excited as her parents. They told her to take lots of pictures.

There is going to be two adults and 6 kids on this ten and a half hour flight. Even though they are going to different homes at the end of the day they will be traveling and touring together with the one or two adults. There are no parent chaperones in this program, only teachers that are with the program are going. The program is in, Bromfield, Sentries, Monarch, Boulder High, Fairview and Nederland. These are also the schools that the Japanese students will be visiting. Only two teachers from Monarch have been sent to japan as teacher chaperones and one of those luck teachers was Mr. DiCarlo. He went about three years ago with his wife.


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