April MS Teacher Feature

Rhonna Ly

This month’s Teacher Feature is Obama’s very own middle school Japanese teacher, Mrs. Keiko Rushlander. For the past nine years, Mrs. Rushlander has shared her skills and experience in the Japanese language and culture with the Obama students, teaching not only how to speak but also Bilingual folktales – a play performed in Japanese then retold in English.

Born and raised in Japan, she enjoys broadening the educational range in her classroom by bringing in guest presenters, who are participating in community events. Her aim is for the students to create friendships with these presenters, who are Japanese students.

Apart from teaching, she enjoys playing the violin. Her past performances have included playing with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and so many more artists. She said that if she wasn’t teaching Japanese she would have become a music teacher. Nevertheless, she stands by that the importance of learning a language “is the most important thing to have for a resume”.

Mrs.Rushlander has  three sons and one daughter and is proud to say, “My daughter is now working in Tokyo after three years of study abroad.”

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