TJHSST Japanese Teacher Named 2019 Teacher of the Year by AATJ

News Release
December 05, 2019

Koji Otani, who teaches Japanese at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), has been named the 2019 K-12 Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ).  


Otani, who has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) since 1998, was recognized for quality and innovative teaching, service to the profession and to the community, participation in professional development activities, and advocacy for the program and Japanese language education. He began teaching in the Japanese immersion program at Floris Elementary School, then was named lead teacher.  In 2006, he joined the staff at TJHSST, where he teaches Japanese 1, 2, 3, Advanced Placement, and 5.

 
As a professional educator, Otani has been a member of the SAT Japanese Exam Development Committee, an instructor in the Virginia Governor’s Japanese Language Academy, an Advanced Placement (AP) reader for the AP Japanese and Culture exam, co-chair of the AP Japanese and Culture Development Committee, an advisor to the Japanese Language Education Advocacy and Resource Network, a judge and evaluator of George Washington University’s J-Live Talk speech contest, and a member of the Junior Japan Bowl Development Committee.


He has written articles and given lectures, presentations, and reports related to teaching the Japanese language.


Otani earned a master’s degree in K-5 education from the University of Florida and earned a K-12 Japanese education endorsement from the Virginia Department of Education in 2009.
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For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.