Awards, High School

CAJ desires to develop the unique gifts and talents of each student.

  • As part of this process, we present a wide variety of awards to recognize and encourage the use of these talents.
  • These awards are presented on a variety of occasions throughout the year, including at graduation and during assemblies.
  • The following is a listing of significant awards presented to students in CAJ’s high school. In an attempt to be as equitable as possible, every effort is made to maintain a consistent selection process with numerous checks and balances including final validation by the Leadership Team for all awards. A decision not to present specific awards may be made in any given year based on the candidates available. Family members of students who are eligible for the awards are disqualified from participation in the selection process. When students share an award, the monetary amount is split among them.

Alvey Leadership Scholarship[edit]

  • This award was created in honor of a godly businessman and to honor high school seniors who exhibit similar characteristics in leadership. When Mr. Alvey was asked what leadership trait he thought was most important, he stated, "Humility."
  • Awarded to a senior who has consistently demonstrated the highest degree of leadership qualities over his/her high school career. Humble leadership is one of the defining traits that qualify an individual for this award. Awarded to a student who effectively uses her/his gifts to provide leadership in (and outside when applicable) of the CAJ community.
  • Nomination forms (including a description of the qualifications) are distributed by the HS principal to all seniors and staff. These nominations should include a reason for the nomination. The HS principal will convene a panel of teachers and administrators who will review the nominations and select one candidate and an alternate. Final selections will be approved by the Leadership Team.
  • Award is announced at graduation and includes a monetary gift of ¥100,000 provided by an anonymous donor.

Athlete of the Year Award (Female/Male)[edit]

  • Given to a male and female student who are voted by the coaches as the outstanding athletes of the year.
  • Students are eligible who were in at least 2 sports and who were all-stars, MVPs, or triple varsity letter winners. The athletic coordinator compiles a ballot of athletes who have: 1) lettered in 3 sports, 2) lettered in 2 sports and have received recognition as MVP, league all-star or Far East tournament all-star or equivalent.
  • Chosen by the Athletic Department; all high school coaches receive the ballot of compiled eligible athletes and are requested to list their top 3 choices in order (1st choice gets 3 points, 2nd choice gets 2 points., 3rd choice gets 1 point). Ballots are returned to somebody outside the Athletic Department to tally. After Leadership Team validation, the athletic coordinator prepares the award, which is then presented at the end of the year and includes an engraved plaque.

CAJ Honor Award[edit]

  • This award is the highest honor presented to an individual by the school and was first awarded in 1956 on June 13th at the first commencement of CAJ.
  • The award is presented to one member of the senior class who is respected as a leader and outstanding role model of what CAJ desires its students to become spiritually, academically, and socially. "This award is given annually for the senior student who in the estimation of the high school faculty and student body has exerted the best influence in the school throughout the entire academic year. Some qualities that are exemplified and looked for may be: interest in helping others, attitudes of genuine friendliness, a daily lifestyle which brings honor to the Lord, and faithfulness" (excerpt from Christian Academy in Japan 1950-1994 written by June Habbestad, New Life League, Tokyo, Japan, May 1994).
  • Nomination forms (including a description of the qualifications) are distributed by the HS principal to all seniors and staff. These nominations should include a reason for the nomination. The HS principal will convene a panel of teachers and administrators who will review the nominations and select one candidate and an alternate. Final selections will be approved by the Leadership Team.
  • The recipient is announced at graduation and will receive a monetary gift of ¥200,000, a gold medal with the school seal, and recognition on a plaque at CAJ.

Christian Discipleship Award[edit]

  • This award is presented to a student who has demonstrated and expressed a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, and who has been involved in discipling others within CAJ or the wider community, encouraging them in their faith journey and helping them move from where they are, toward where God desires them to be.
  • The recipient is recognized as a man or woman of God who has a heart for positively contributing to the lives of others.
  • The recipient should reflect the principles expressed in 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ”.
  • Nomination forms (including a description of the qualifications) are distributed by the HS principal to all seniors and made available to staff and selected community youth leaders. Nominations should include reasons for the nomination. Students can nominate others and are also welcome to self-nominate given their work could potentially not be known by peers or staff. A recommendation form from an adult overseer of the nominee’s core discipling involvement will then be sought from the nominee if they wish to be considered. The HS principal will convene a panel of teachers and administrators that will review the nominations and select one candidate and an alternate. The donor (or selected representative) will be advised of selections, with final approval then to be granted by the Leadership Team.
  • Award is announced at graduation and includes a monetary gift of ¥50,000, provided by Ron and Carolyn Hardy.

EARCOS Global Citizenship Award[edit]

  • The award is presented by the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) which is an organization of 100 member schools in East Asia.
  • This award is presented to a student who is conversant in at least two languages and who embraces the qualities of a global citizen. He/she is a proud representative of his/her nation while respectful of the diversity of other nations, has an open mind, is well informed, aware and empathetic, concerned and caring for others encouraging a sense of community and strongly committed to engagement and action to make the world a better place. The student is also able to interact and communicate effectively with people from all walks of life while having a sense of collective responsibility for all who inhabit the globe (excerpt from www.earcos.org). A heart for volunteerism and service are qualifications for this award.
  • Nominations are solicited from the high school staff, and a candidate is selected by a panel and validated by the Leadership Team. EARCOS will provide an engraved plaque with the student's name, which is presented at the high school spring concert.

Fitzgerald Career Athletic Awards[edit]

  • This award, instituted in 2001, recognizes one senior male athlete and one senior female athlete for the participation and positive impact that they have had on CAJ's athletic program. Previously called the Career Athletic Award, it was renamed in honor of the contribution to sports excellence made by Gene Fitzgerald, CAJ’s athletic director from 1966 to 1973 during the run of consecutive Far East basketball championships.
  • The recipients will have demonstrated excellence in their achievements in sports. They will be recognized for their consistent level of leadership as an athlete and for their quality contributions to CAJ athletics for their four years of high school. The recipients must earn at least four varsity letters in a single sport, or three varsity letters in their senior year, or an Athlete of the Year ballot, or four varsity letters overall.
  • The athletic coordinator compiles a list of all seniors who are eligible and uses a point system for the above requirements to determine the top three candidates (three female, three male) according to points. The athletic coordinator and high school principal select final candidates from the top three and present those names to the Leadership Team for validation.
  • The recipients (male and female) are presented a monetary award of ¥100,000.

Frederic Chopin Piano Award[edit]

  • The recipient for this award is selected by the Music Department for outstanding achievement in piano. The award is in honor of the great pianist and composer Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). "No great composer has devoted himself as exclusively to the piano as Chopin... Chopin is admired above all for his great originality in exploiting the piano. While his own playing style was famous for its subtlety and restraint, its exquisite delicacy in contrast with the spectacular feats of pianism then reigning in Paris, most of his works have a simple texture of accompanied melody. From this he derived endless variety, using wide-compass broken chords, the sustaining pedal and a combination of highly expressive melodies, some in inner voices" (excerpt from The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music).
  • The criteria for this award include outstanding ability and achievement as a pianist, contributions to the school music program, and demonstration of a cooperative spirit.
  • The recipient is awarded a certificate and pin at the high school spring concert and has his/her name engraved on a school plaque.

Fritz Kreisler Award for Strings[edit]

  • This award began in 1996 as a way to recognize exceptionally strong string players who also exhibit an attitude of servanthood.
  • The recipient must have a good technical background as well as a good tone production and musical phrasing ability and so be a worthy follower of Fritz Kreisler. The student should also exhibit servanthood by helping other students and teachers whenever necessary. Awards are only presented in years where there is an exceptional candidate. The awards are validated by the HS principal and the Leadership Team.
  • A certificate is presented at the final orchestra concert of the year.

Graduation Speaker (Adult)[edit]

  • The high school principal solicits nominations from the senior class. A list of candidates is validated by the Leadership Team, and the individual nominees are contacted to see if they are able to accept this honor that year and perform all the duties attached to it. The final list of eligible and willing candidates is presented to the senior class for a vote. Seniors select a first and second choice. After the results are tabulated, the high school principal contacts the students and the newly elected speaker with the results. The speaker is required to present a typed transcript of her or his speech well in advance of graduation (at least one week, two weeks preferred). If the high school principal is nominated, the votes will be tabulated by a third party.

Graduation Speaker (Student)[edit]

  • The class speaker is chosen by the senior class from members of the senior council. The speaker is required to present a typed transcript of her or his speech well in advance of graduation (at least one week, two weeks preferred).

Howard Blair Award[edit]

  • This award is given each year to one or two seniors who have demonstrated talent and dedication and excellence in literature.
  • This award was instituted when Howard Blair retired. Howard Blair was active as a teacher of English at CAJ for many years. "This award was first offered in 1981, when Mr. Blair left the classroom after 27 years of teaching English, Bible, and Latin at CAJ. He then became fully involved in the ministry of church growth in the Kurume Christ Church, where he had worked for many years" (excerpt from Christian Academy in Japan 1950-1994 written by June Habbestad, New Life League, Tokyo, Japan, May 1994).
  • This award is presented to a senior who is judged to have demonstrated academic excellence in English (especially in writing), including creativity and originality, and service to school and community. It is awarded to a senior who has consistently demonstrated talent, dedication, and excellence in the study of literature and who has maintained a high standard of communication in writing and speaking. The student is remarkable for developing skills and for presentation abilities. It comes with the stipulation that the student express a desire to continue to use his or her gifts in the area of communications and/or in the study of literature. It does not require that the winner plan to pursue a profession or even a major in literature, but the student should be able to articulate a vision for using communicative gifts and skills for the good of the community and as a means of personal expression, ministry, or service.
  • Given to one or two seniors for excellence in English. Nominated students are asked to complete an application, recipients are chosen by the English Department, and the recipients are validated by the Leadership Team.
  • The recipient receives a monetary gift of ¥100,000 which is presented at graduation.

Joan Johnston Senior Comprehensive Awards[edit]

  • Funded by an alumni of CAJ, Dr. Curtis Johnston, and his wife, Tami, the Joan Johnston Senior Comprehensive Awards honor Joan’s lifetime of service, many years of which have been dedicated to the care, instruction, and nurturing of CAJ students, staff, and parents. Joan’s life exemplifies what we desire to train our students to do: serve Japan and the world for Christ. Something Joan has done one class, one student, one conversation, sometimes one cookie, at a time.
  • These awards honor Joan’s lifetime of service, many years of which were dedicated to the care and nurturing of CAJ students, staff and parents. Joan’s life exemplified what we desire to train our students to do: serve Japan and the world for Christ. This was something she did one class, one student, one conversation, some-times one cookie, at a time. The awards are presented to seniors who have engaged in the senior comprehensive process in a manner that has made a lasting impact on their lives and the world around them. These awards are not necessarily selected based on the highest marks but by the passion and manner in which the students seek practical solutions to a significant problem.
  • The senior comprehensive advisors select candidates, and the recipients are validated by the Leadership Team.
  • Five awards of ¥20,000 each are presented at graduation.

John Philip Sousa Award for Band[edit]

  • The recipient of this award is chosen by the Music Department for outstanding achievement in instrumental music.
  • "The John Philip Sousa Award was first introduced in 1955 to honor outstanding dedication and superior musicianship in a high school band. It was created with the cooperation of Helen Sousa Albert and Priscilla Sousa, daughters of the famous composer and bandmaster, and has become the pinnacle of achievement for band students" (excerpt from p.2 of Student Music Awards, The Instrumentalist Publishing Company 2005). The award was instituted at CAJ in 1972 under the direction of Terry Clark, band director at the time.
  • This award goes to a senior in band who displays “outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music, for singular merit in loyalty and cooperation, and for displaying those high qualities that high school instrumental music requires.”
  • Generally, just one award is given and is only presented in years when there are outstanding candidates. However, in the case of a tie, two awards can be given. The recipient can be in either band five days a week or in band and choir. Nominations are reviewed by the Music Department and a recipient is validated by the Leadership Team.
  • The recipient receives a certificate and a pin before the final band concert of the year.

Judy Amos Distinguished Service Award[edit]

  • This award is presented to a senior in recognition of outstanding service to the school and community. A life of service sets her or him apart.
  • This award was established in June 2005 to honor Judy Amos who began working at CAJ in 1968. She worked as a part-time teacher, board member, board secretary, board vice-chair, and board chair up until June 2005. "She is gracious, dedicated, self-sacrificing and unswervingly devoted to the purpose and principles on which this school is founded" (excerpt from Calvin Johnston's dedication script from the 2005 graduation).
  • Nomination forms (including a description of the qualifications) are distributed by the HS principal to all seniors and staff. These nominations should include a reason for the nomination. The HS principal will convene a panel of teachers and administrators who will review the nominations and select one candidate and an alternate. Final selections will be approved by the Leadership Team.
  • The recipient receives a monetary gift of ¥100,000 at graduation.

Habbestad Fine Arts Award[edit]

  • The award was first offered in 1994, when June Habbestad was to retire after 37 years, and is in recognition of her many years as CAJ's Fine Arts Coordinator, Drama Coordinator and director of many plays.
  • The award is given to one or two graduating students who has/have made an outstanding contribution in the Fine Arts (drama, speech, music, and the visual arts, including video). Students are nominated by staff and other high school students.
  • Students must demonstrate depth of dedication to one particular area or a breadth of involvement in several.
  • The award does not require that the winner pursue a profession or a major in the arts, but the student should be able to articulate a vision for using artistic gifts and skills for the good of the community and as a means of personal expression, ministry or service.
  • The nominees are required to fill out an application on which they will list fine arts activities they have been involved in at CAJ, any awards they've received in a fine arts area anywhere, and compose a short answer on the role arts will play in their future.
  • The committee, made up of three teaching staff members, one junior girl, and one junior boy, reviews the applications and makes a final decision, which is validated by the Leadership Team.
  • Recipients recieve a monetary gift of ¥100,000 at graduation.

Kidron Valley Scholastic Excellence Award[edit]

  • This award, first given in 2006, honors dedicated missionary work done specifically here in Japan.
  • The Kidron Valley Award is funded by a donor who desires to assist missionary kids, or MKs, with the costs of going to college. This is the only award we present that is restricted to MKs and is given to the MK with the highest GPA after the Essenburg awards are determined.
  • The high school principal, in cooperation with the registrar, presents a candidate and documentation to the Leadership Team for validation.
  • The recipient receives a monetary gift of ¥100,000 at graduation.

Knights Roll of Honor[edit]

  • Each year, CAJ recognizes outstanding academic achievement with this award for all senior students who have been on the honor roll for his or her entire high school career. This award is primarily based on the first 7 semesters but does include projected information from the final semester as well. If students were missing from CAJ for a semester or a year, then a comparable situation is determined from the other school when possible. If a student missed the honor roll one semester an exception may be made depending on the circumstances and the overall GPA.
  • The high school principal, in cooperation with the registrar, presents all candidates and documents to the Leadership Team for validation.
  • Seniors on the Knights Roll of Honor will be recognized at the graduation ceremony.

Les Johnston Biblical Perspective Award[edit]

  • This award is presented to a student who has shown exceptional ability to apply a biblical perspective across disciplines and issues. This student will not only have mastered the academic skills involved, but also have made a personal commitment to embracing a Christian worldview.
  • Funded by an alumni of CAJ, Dr. Curtis Johnston, and his wife, Tami, the Les Johnston Biblical Perspective Award honors Les's many years of dedicated service to the mission field in Japan and to Christian Academy in Japan.
  • Nomination forms (including a description of the qualifications) are distributed by the HS principal to all seniors and staff. These nominations should include a reason for the nomination. The HS principal will convene a panel of teachers and administrators that will review the nominations and select one candidate and an alternate. Final selections will be approved by the Leadership Team.
  • Award is announced at graduation and includes a monetary gift of ¥100,000.

Louis B. Armstrong Award for Jazz[edit]

This award is presented to a student for recognition of outstanding musicianship in the area of jazz music.

  • "Louis Armstrong was the epitome of jazz as a trumpeter, a singer, and a band leader. His imaginative, simple style led the way for others and changed the course of jazz. His phenomenal skill dazzled audiences around the world. Lucille Armstrong, his wife in later years, described his love for people. "Louis's greatest personality traits were humility and generosity... He just loved people, and he always tried to understand them too... He was compassionate, generous, and understanding with everyone... He was loved, not only for his style, but as a person as well." The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award was introduced in 1974 with the approval of his widow, Lucille Armstrong, to honor outstanding jazz students" (taken from p.6 of Student Music Award, The Instrumentalist Publishing Company 2005).
  • For outstanding achievement by an instrumentalist in the field of jazz, as demonstrated through superior musicianship and individual creativity. This award will be presented to a senior who has demonstrated “outstanding achievements in the field of jazz as demonstrated through superior musicianship, character and individual creativity.” Other factors include attitude, punctuality, dependability, and a willingness to learn.
  • Nominations are reviewed by the Music Department faculty, and a candidate is presented to the Leadership Team for validation. Generally, just one award is given. However, in the case of a tie, two awards can be given. The recipient must be a member of Jazz Band.
  • The student receives a certificate and a pin at the Spring Parade of Bands concert and has their name engraved on the school plaque.

Martin Essenburg Academic Achievement Award[edit]

  • This award is presented to recognize outstanding academic achievement (specifically honoring the valedictorian and salutatorian).
  • From the early days of CAJ's history, Martin Essenburg had a significant impact on the school, notably in the pursuit of academic excellence. His influence, over sixteen years of faithful service, is honored in two awards, one for the valedictorian and one for the salutatorian.
  • These awards are presented to seniors who have shown consistent and sustained achievement in their grades throughout their CAJ high school career, graduating with the top two cumulative grade point averages in their class.
  • The high school principal, in cooperation with the registrar, presents two candidates to the Leadership Team for validation.
  • The recipients are honored at graduation and they each (valedictorian and salutatorian) receive a monetary award of ¥100,000.

Martie Tarter Choral Award[edit]

  • The Martie Tarter Choral Award was established to honor her long and significant contribution to the choral art at CAJ. The award is given in recognition of merit, ability and achievement as a singer and a leader, a high degree of dedication, loyalty and cooperation, and outstanding contributions to the success of the vocal music program.
  • The Director of Choral Activities in consultation with the Music Department faculty make the selection.
  • The recipients receive a certificate and have their names engraved on the school plaque.

National Honor Society[edit]

  • CAJ is an affiliate of the National Honor Society (NHS), a US organization which is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Members of NHS are students dedicated to scholarship, service, leadership, and high moral character.
  • High school students in grades 10, 11, and 12 are eligible for membership in the CAJ chapter of NHS by meeting the following criteria: cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above and sufficient participation in leadership, service, and community activities. After first semester grades have been posted, students who meet the grade point average criterion are invited to fill out a form (due in mid-April) enumerating their participation in various activities. A faculty council consisting of five high school teachers is convened in the fourth week of April by the NHS advisor to review the forms and recommend students for membership in NHS. The high school principal and NHS advisor are observers of the process and do not participate in the voting.
  • New inductees are notified by mail after the meeting of the faculty council and welcomed into NHS publicly during a chapel or assembly in mid-May. NHS members receive a certificate and their membership is noted on their transcript.

PTA Awards[edit]

  • These department-specific awards are presented to seniors for outstanding scholarship. Each award honors an especially capable senior who shows special promise in a given department.
  • All PTA awards are presented to students who exhibit:
    • A deep understanding and appreciation of the specific subject.
    • A mature proficiency in the use of the "tools" of the subject (writing, computing, discussing, reading, composing, creating).
    • The ability and willingness to contribute to the learning of others in the class through their own contributions to the subject (being helpful, asking challenging questions, sharing profound or thought-provoking insights and ideals).
    • The ability and/or potential to do useful independent study in the subject.
  • The process will be monitored by the HS principal. Department chairs ask for nominations from HS teachers in their department for seniors who they feel match the criteria. Teachers in the particular department who have not directly taught these students should abstain from the nomination/voting process, but are encouraged to be part of the discussion. Immediate family members of seniors should not participate in the selection process for any awards. Nominations are then discussed and voted on. A first selection and an alternate student is then submitted to the HS principal who may (1) return to the teachers for additional input and discussion or (2) present the department's choice to the Leadership Team for validation. Students are only eligible to win one department award. If no qualified candidate is available in a department that year, the award will not be presented. In some cases where the department is unable to select between two equally and highly qualified candidates, the award may be shared between the two. The PTA service award is presented to a student nominated and voted on by teachers and senior students.
  • Students are provided a monetary award by the PTA of ¥20,000 at graduation.
  • Awards are given for the following departments:
    • Art
    • Bible
    • Computer
    • English
    • World Language
    • Vocational Arts
    • Math
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Science
    • Service
    • Social Studies
  • Awards are not necessarily given each year.

Quincy Jones Musicianship Award[edit]

In his long musical career, Quincy Jones has done it all as a composer, arranger, performer, producer and teacher.  Every music program has a student who shares this boundless energy and musical versatility. Starting in SY 2012-2013, this is given to a student for contributions and creativity in multiple areas of music.

Samuel Public Speaking Scholarship[edit]

  • This award, instituted in 2005, is named after someone honored as a dynamic and exceptionally well-prepared preacher who was also a mentor for others. It should also be noted that the talents of the biblical Samuel included ministry, speaking, and teaching.
  • The recipient will be a student who effectively uses his/her speaking talents in multiple areas in the CAJ community (and off campus as appropriate). This award is given to the senior who has demonstrated the highest degree of competence in public speaking. This could be in the areas of speaking at the school chapel services, speaking at Hi-BA rallies, and competence on the school debate team, and might include other forms of expression.
  • Nomination forms (including a description of the qualifications) are distributed by the HS principal to all seniors and staff. These nominations should include a reason for the nomination. The HS principal will convene a panel of teachers and administrators who will review the nominations and select one candidate and an alternate. Final selections will be approved by the Leadership Team.
  • The recipient will receive a monetary award of ¥100,000 at graduation.

Senior Athletic Awards[edit]

  • The Senior Athletic Award is given to any senior athlete who has lettered four times in one sport or who has lettered in three sports during the senior year. Information regarding participation is compiled by the athletic coordinator; no voting is necessary for this award.

Senior Music Awards[edit]

  • The Senior Music Award was instituted in 2009 and is given to seniors who have made significant contributions to the music program through sustained enrollment in one or more performing groups over their high school careers.
  • The award requires enrollment in seven semesters of band or choir, or a minimum of three years in Jazz Band, orchestra, Chamber Singers or Handbell Ensemble and participation during senior year. Students who have been away for a maximum of one school year are still eligible if they have been enrolled in a similar organization or pursued lessons during that time. The Music Department Chair and Registrar compile the list of candidates for this award.
  • Students are presented with a certificate at the last concert of the school year.

Special Awards[edit]

  • Special awards selected by the Leadership Team are sometimes presented to individuals to honor specific contributions not recognized in other awards. Staff members may nominate individuals for these awards by contacting the high school principal. Awards are not presented every year.

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