Mr. Kelly Moeur- Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon
Mr. Kelly Moeur was born in 1951, graduating from the local high school and attending Occidental College, majoring in Economics. Several months before graduation, Mr. Moeur discovered his friend had decided to become an English teacher in Japan, sparking his interest. After applying, he was accepted and entered into a 15-month contract to teach English in Japan along with his friend.
Upon graduation, Mr. Moeur began working at the Foreign Language Center as an English teacher. The Center had relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, allowing him to begin working as an English teacher for the Foreign Service Training Institute. After his contract with the Center was over, Mr. Moeur began working as an English teacher at Seisen University, where he was employed for approximately 2 years.
Mr. Moeur returned to Tempe, Arizona in 1979, furthering his education in Japanese at Arizona State University for a year. In 1980, Mr. Moeur returned to Japan as a training instructor for Japan International Cooperation Agency, which he maintained for two years, returning to Tempe in 1982. He began his career in the U.S. in real estate development until he was offered a position at Arizona State University as a Japanese teacher in 1988. Currently, most of his teaching is at Mesa Community College, only teaching occasionally at Arizona State University.
In 1989, discussions of creating a Japanese language school in order to attract more Japanese companies to the area was developed in Phoenix. As a teacher of Japanese, Mr. Moeur decided to participate in this effort, contributing greatly to the establishment of Arizona Gakuen. Due to his background as an educator and his extensive knowledge of the Japanese language Mr. Moeur was appointed Principal of Arizona Gakuen, a post he serves to this day. In addition to providing education fulfilling the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Arizona Gakuen currently provides Japanese as a Second Language courses as well.
In addition to his work as an educator of the Japanese language, Mr. Moeur contributes to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and the United States, mainly through the promotion of Japanese culture in Arizona. He has contributed greatly to the Arizona Matsuri since its inception, serving as a committee member. Mr. Moeur also has served as President of the Phoenix Japan America Society and the Arizona Association of Teachers of Japanese, in addition to actively participating in the Japan Business Association of Arizona.