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4/27/2012 1:01:00 PM
Valley Catholic students attend international forum
Valley Catholic photos
Valley Catholic students pose in Kyoto last year.
Valley Catholic photos
Valley Catholic students pose in Kyoto last year.
The Valley Catholic class of 2012.
The Valley Catholic class of 2012.

In February 2011, shortly before Japan’s catastrophic earthquake, four Valley Catholic students led by Tommy Manning, Valley Catholic’s history department chairman, represented the United States at the Inaugural International Student Forum, a week-long, 25-school forum on peace and international understanding at Ritsumeikan Uji High School in Kyoto. Each school presented a paper on one of the conference’s sub-themes; Valley Catholic's was nuclear disarmament. The forum concluded with a visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park.

This February, Manning returned to the forum with three Valley students. Valley was one of two schools from the United States; others came from England, China, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.  
The 2012 conference’s main theme was “Social Responsibility in the 21st Century: Perspectives from Developing and Developed Countries.” Sub-themes included “Energy: Evaluating the Tradeoffs: Nuclear Energy and 21st Century Energy Policy”; “Progress: Do We Learn from History? The idea of Progress in the 21st Century”; “Oceans: Commons or Property? Sustainable Ocean Use in the 21st Century”; “Multiculturalism: Cultural Tensions and Demographic Change: The Future of Multiculturalism in the 21st Century”: and “Cities: Inclusive or Exclusive Development? The Future of the Metropolis in the 21st Century.” Valley’s students presented a paper on the last of these.

This year’s forum also served as a commemoration of the worldwide support Japan received after its March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, natural disasters that highlighted the necessity of international cooperation based on the understanding that we all share a fragile and precious planet.

The conference included a career night that addressed the question, “What skills and attitudes should today’s high-school students cultivate to prepare for university and 21st-century careers?” Among the panelists were the director for Small Business Policy of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; the president and CEO of Sopogy, also a member of the US-Japan Council; a professor from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies; the deputy head priest of Shunkoin Temple, also a member of the US-Japan Leadership Program; the founder and CEO of J-seed Ventures; and the senior research scientist of Japan’s International Research Center for Agricultural Studies.
Students also visited Kobe, where they investigated the rebuilding efforts that city undertook after its earthquake of 1995. Valley Catholic students gained and contributed to an understanding of important issues — and had a wonderful time.

Valley Catholic's graduation is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9 in the Valiants’ Gym. Elizabeth Shew is valedictorian, Lavanya Sridharan salutatorian.

Here are the graduates: Juan Aleman, Anthony Alfieri, Alexa Baggenstos, Rebecca Baglai, Madelyn Bernard, Alexander Bernards, John Boileau, Jasmine Bush, Patrick Casale, Reachana Chan, Jung-Ping Chien, Erin Coffman, Shawna Cook, Anna Corazza, Alyssa Dale, Autumn Davis, Breanne Davis, Carmel Davis, Mitchell DeSantis, Danika Douglas, Katrina Espey, Garrett Fabris, Rachel Feldhaus, Katie Ford, Connor Garcia, Audrey Gard, Bryan Gardner, Genie Genetiano, Jade Grenland, Scott Griffen, Callum Hamilton, Sarah Healy, Mollie Henkelman, Daniel Hernandez, Molly Hoffman, Andrew Holstrom, Kyle Horgan, Xingcheng Jiang, Kelsey Keeler, Mary Margaret Kelly, Victoria Kemper, Min Soo(Arthur) Kim, Leah Klaas, Nicholas Konen, Nicole Kopka, Katherine Kraemer, Yura Kweon, Allison Lambert, Alexander Larrabee, Jihoon Lee, Meerae Lee, Dylan LeMay, Catherine Lo, Kelsey Luyten, Aidan McLeod, Aryana Motahari, Jackson Neff, Jake Olsen, Gregory Ong, Audrey Osswald, Veronnica Pham, Connor Picken, Stephen Pierce Jr, Michael Prier, Jana Purcell, Juan-Pablo Rivera, Jason Sage, Maddison Schumacher, Elizabeth Shew, Jared Smith, Lavanya Sridharan, Ben Stager, Amanda Stevens, Mariah Stokes, Evan Tait, Madeleine Tomich, Luke VanderZanden, Alexander Vennes, Monica Vinson, Shawna Vrvilo, Benjamin Withycombe, Henry Wong

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