2023 Resipiant

Margaret O’Connell
Evanston Township High School (Evanston, IL),Teacher and Exchange Coordinator, Japanese     


I am so honored to have been selected for the JLSF Scholarship!
I would like to thank two of my mentor teachers, Michael Van Krey and Satsutani Shingo, for supporting me throughout this process.
As a non-native teacher of Japanese, I am always striving to incorporate more authentic materials and engaging content into my curriculum.
Through the generous support of the Aurora Foundation, I will travel to Japan in the summer to research the history and lived experiences
of the Ainu in Hokkaido, Zainichi Koreans in Tokyo, and the Ryukyu/Luchu in Okinawa. Traveling will allow me not only the necessary language refresher to sustain my own proficiency but will also give me the opportunity to take pictures and videos, collect authentic sources for reading materials or assessments, and bring home a wealth of knowledge to share with my students.


Margaret O'Connell is a Japanese teacher at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) in Evanston, Illinois.
She began her study of Japanese during her own time as a student at ETHS.
After falling in love with the culture on a high school exchange trip at age 16, she continued to pursue her studies.
Margaret spent one year of college in Tokyo at International Christian University and two years after college teaching English in a public high
school in Chiba through the Wisconsin-Chiba program.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Lawrence University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University
with endorsements in Japanese as well as English Language Arts and English as a Second Language.
She will use her scholarship to study marginalized communities in Japan in order to enrich her curriculum for a diverse group of high school
learners of the Japanese language. As an officer of the Illinois Association of Teachers of Japanese (IATJ), Margaret plans to share her findings
with her fellow officers and member teachers of the IATJ through webinars, conferences, and newsletters.