New school is first Phase I school in Japan
Story by MC3 Marissa Valentine and Greg Mitchell, Public Affairs Office
Photos by Marissa Valentine
It was “standing room only” in Ikego Elementary School’s cafeteria August 26 as more than 400 students, parents, teachers and staff witnessed the grand opening of the new state-of-the-art facility.
The new school, which officially opened its doors Tuesday, is the Department of Defense Education Activities (DoDEA) first Phase I school in Japan. Phase I is part of the DoDEA initiative to launch the 21st Century Teaching, Learning, and Leading (CTLL) program.
The CTLL program is designed to help students master the specific skills, content knowledge, expertise and literacies required for success in college, career and life in the 21st Century.
“Thank you everyone for coming today, this is very important for us here in Ikego,” said the ceremony’s keynote speaker and Fleet Activities Yokosuka Commanding Officer Capt. David T. Glenister. Glenister, Zushi city mayor Ryuichi Hirai, DoDEA Pacific director Dr. Linda Curtis and seven other construction and school officials cut the ceremonial ribbon heralding the new chapter in the story of the Ikego Housing Annex.
Glenister said he was honored to preside over the ceremony and excited to be a part of the opening of the new school, excitement that was shared by the Staff, faculty, parents and students.
“We got to open the new building today,” said Ikego Elementary School’s principal Dr. Jacqueline Ferguson who was also present on the stage for the ribbon cutting.
“It was amazing to watch the parents and the kids walk up from the street and look in awe and start taking pictures.”
Construction of the three-story school began in October of 2013 and was extensively supported by the government of Japan’s South Kanto Defense Bureau, said Naval Facilities Far East Commanding Officer, Capt. Michelle La Duca. La Duca added that the SKDB was instrumental in the determining the site of the building, as well as its readiness.
The new school features a number of specialized rooms for art, music and host nation studies in addition to technological features considered necessary in 21st century society said Ferguson.
“Ikego housing detachment is a wonderful place to live and now they have a permanent structure that can be the hub of community activity and we are really excited about that,” Ferguson said.
“I think this is a wonderful addition to this community,” she added.
Glenister said he was especially grateful to the people who built the school.
“Those who helped construct it, those who helped design it and had to work around problem after problem, and everything that goes into constructing a massive project of this size, we thank you all for your efforts.”