Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Shaler Area High School Japanese teacher semifinalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

The Tribune-Review writes about Steven Balsomico, a Shaler Area High School Japanese teacher, who has been named a semifinalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.
He has facilitated cultural experiences such as assisting the Japanese Honor Society in cooking authentic monthly meals, coordinating Japanese film nights and organizing sushi fundraisers during lunch periods that expose students to a different culture’s cuisine. Classroom activities have included a traditional tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy and Shogi, a Japanese chess game.

He has hosted native Japanese assistant teachers through the Laurasian Institution’s Language Education Assistance Program and brought Japanese students to Shaler Area in a cultural exchange through the “KAKEHASHI Project – The Bridge for Tomorrow.” Two years ago, Shaler Area students participated in the Laurasian Institution’s New Perspectives: Japan program, which involved touring Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as staying with host families. Shaler Area students are slated to travel to Japan with the program this summer.

“Teaching at Shaler and teaching Japanese, especially, has really driven home the point of just how important it is that we connect with each other, both on a personal connection and on a global connection,” he said.
As an addendum, seven of the 15 finalists in last week's Pittsburgh High School Japanese Speech Contest were from Shaler.

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