Down East and Far East In The Middle

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We’re everywhere! Who, you ask? Middle level advocates, that’s who! We have many wonderful middle level experts right in Maine. Many of them post here on the Bright Futures blog. We have great conversations with our regional and national  colleagues from NELMS, AMLE, and NASSP as well. Recently I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of middle level educators in Japan, and guess what? They have the very same burning interests and challenges we contend with in our middle grades an ocean and a continent away!

Meeting new colleagues from away is great fun, and connecting them with colleagues here in Maine is the best. So allow me to introduce Trent Citrano, Principal of the middle school and high school at St. Maur International School in Yokohama. Established in 1872, it is the oldest international school in Japan. Interestingly, although it’s steeped in tradition, like Maine, St. Maur’s faculty is looking to implement some of the newest. most progressive middle level ideas to meet the needs of their students while preparing them for the future where everything is connected, personalized, and constantly changing.

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Trent is passionate about connecting students, staff, parents and community in order to create the best possible learning environment for his students. He hopes that – by coupling a wide-variety of extra-curricular activities, caring support systems, and engaging best practices – Saint Maur students will excel and develop into balanced, lifelong learners. Trent also likes good food, so I really enjoyed meeting him. I had the BEST ramen ever in their school cafeteria! I wonder if there are any Maine school cafeterias serving ramen?

Trent is also a blogger. Here’s his blog http://www.coetail.com/citranot/. IT has a great name…Something to Munch On, In Your mind and On Your Plate. So check it out. Tell him you’re from Down East and that Chris says “domo arigato gozaimasu”!

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