Local Gym Teacher Partners With Japanese Teacher


COWICHE, Wa - The one and only Pat Fitterer. The Washington State Hall of Famer guided many local high school basketball teams to championships. Although Fitterer is now retired from coaching he is still teaching physical education, in a slightly different capacity now, and he has a new friend.

He still commands respect, although they're a little younger these days, students at Marcus Whitman-Cowiche Elementary School love Fitterer and while he's never been a coach who's needed an assistant, he has one now.

Taka Chi, who is part of the Japanese exchange program with the Yakima School District, just happened to meet Fitterer from the Highland School District and the international chemistry between two common interest instructors clicked.

"We were on a tour together on Sunday," Fitterer said. "So, I talked to Taka Chi, he says he's a P.E. teacher, so I talked him into coming and teaching my class."

Taka Chi taught the kids at Marcus Whitman-Cowiche exercises that he teaches to his students in Japan.

"At Highland we always do everything in English and Spanish and they get a little bored, so now they get to learn how to say it in Japanese," Fitterer said. "Although I doubt they'll remember (it) or I will and they get the culture exchange, they get to see what the kids are doing in P.E. in Japan right now."

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