Exchange programs
ALT - Assistant Language Teacher Program
Matsudaira JaymiAn important element of the Sister City relationship is the ongoing presence of an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) selected by the Edmonds Sister City Commission and hired by the Hekinan Board of Education for a 2-year term. The ALT assists the Japanese language teachers in five of the Hekinan middle schools and in many ways is Edmonds' unofficial "ambassador" to Hekinan. We are currently accepting applications for a new ALT to start in September 2016. Application Packet

Jaymi Matsudaira is our current ALT in Hekinan, Japan. Jaymi was selected by a panel of three Sister City Commissioners and recommended to the Hekinan Board of Education to fill the position of Assistant Language Teacher. Jaymi is a graduate of the University of Washington with a major in Japanese Linguistics.


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Edmonds students travel to Hekinan
The Commission selected 8 students to travel to Hekinan for the 2015 student exchange program. The students, accompanied by two adult chaperones, spent two weeks exploring Japan, learning about the culture and living the lifestyle through home stays. You can experience the student's adventures in Japan through postings on our Facebook page. If you're insterested in how you, or someone you know, can enjoy a unique cultural immersion in Japan, contact the Commission. To be eligible and considered for the student exchange program, a student must be between the ages of 14 and 18 by July 2016 and submit all necessary student application materials. Edmonds residency is not a requirement to participate. The 2016 chaperone application process is CLOSED. The 2016 student application process is open and the deadline to apply has been extended to March 23, 2016 - click here for a 2016 application packet.

2015 Hekinan delHekinan students travel to Edmonds

Fifteen Hekinan students and their two chaperones visited Edmonds in early August 2015. Host families enjoyed a rewarding experience by opening their homes to visiting students and their chaperones. If you are interested in being a host family, volunteering, or participating in planned events during the 2016 student exchange visit, please contact the Commission.

Host family opportunities
The Commission is always looking for great host families to accommodate our annual student exchange and the adult exchanges that take place during special anniversary years. Host families play a very important role in our exchange program and enable us to continue this 25+ year tradition. If you and your family would like to experience this cross-cultural interaction please let us know by contacting the Commission. For a host family application, please click here.

Adult Exchange
2015 HAD2015 Hekinan Delegation Celebrates Edmonds' 125th Anniversary
A delegation of five Hekinan dignitaries traveled to Edmonds to help celebrate the City's 125th Anniversary. They presented the City with a lovely art piece by Hekinan Council Chair Mr. Tsubamoto along with a flag. There was also a wonderful Taiko performance by Emiko Takahashi, Chair of the Hekinan Sister City Association, and three of her students who were here with the Hekinan student delegation; Haruhi Ishihara, Toru Ogushi and Mirei Sakakibara. Sakakibara.
2013 Marked the 25th Anniversary of the Edmonds-Hekinan, Japan, Sister City Relationship 
As part of the 25th Anniversary of our Sister City relationship, the Mayor and the City of Edmonds hosted a Hekinan Delegation of officials and citizens from October 29 to November 4, 2013. Mayor Earling, Chamber of Commerce President Ron Clyborne, Edmonds Community College President Dr. Jean Hernandez, and Swedish/Edmonds Chief Executive David Jaffe led the welcome for the many events planned for the delegation. This year's itinerary included:

Cultural Fair ~ Wednesday, October 30th from 10 am - 3 pm at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Avenue North. This free event included performances by Hekinan visitors, Olympic Ballet Theatre, photography display of Hekinan photographer Kiyotaka Sugiura, along with activities in origami, small hand crafted gifts, kimono dressing, and information on Japanese culture. The Cultural Fair was made possible through a grant from 
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Halloween Celebration ~ Edmonds citizens were able to visit with our Hekinan friends during the Chamber's Halloween trick-or-treat event in downtown Edmonds. Our visitors were in costume celebrating Halloween in downtown Edmonds from 5 - 7 pm on Thursday, October 31st.

Edmonds Day ~ Friday, November 1st between 3:45 - 5:00 pm our Hekinan guests toured downtown Edmonds for shopping, sightseeing, and visiting.

If you would like more information on how you can participate in and help host future Sister City events, please contact the Commission.

To Honor the 25th Anniversary, Mayor Dave Earling led a 27-member delegation of Edmonds representatives to Hekinan in early April. You can see the many photos and links to reports of the week on the Sister City Facebook Page (you do not need to join Facebook to see the pictures and read about the trip). The Mayor's Update on Edmonds for Spring 2013 featured an overview of the week.

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Sister City Sponsors


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Donate to the Sister City Commission

The Edmonds Sister City Commission funds a portion of its cultural, education, and civic events through the generous donations of community members. Please consider helping us ensure the continued success of our Sister City relationships by donating below. Even the smallest contributions have a significant impact!  Thanks!

Donations to the Edmonds Sister City Commission can be tax-deductible. The Commission works to expend contributions for public purposes. Please refer to IRS Publication 526 for additional information and speak with your accountant.


Sister City Contact

Meeting Schedule
The Commission meets the fourth Monday of every month at 7 pm at the Frances Anderson Center, Room 113, 700 Main Street, Edmonds. Meetings subject to change. 

Commission Members
Patrick Sweeney
Pamela Erickson (Chair)
Marlene Friend (Secretary)
Rita Ikeda
Iyoko Okano
Michele Fellows (Vice Chair)
Karyn Heinekin

Commission Student Rep

City Staff
Dave Earling, Mayor email

Carolyn LaFave, Executive Assistant to the Mayor

Sister City Commission

Current Openings


Office of the Mayor
425.771.0247 (phone)

425.771.0252 (fax)