Reiko Arimura ?11, M.Ed. ?20

Reiko Arimura

Class Year

’11, M.Ed. ’20

Current home

Kenosha, Wisconsin


English (Bachelor’s Degree), Education (Master’s Degree)

Current Position

Assistant Principal at the 21st Century Preparatory School in Racine, Wisconsin

At Carthage, Reiko Arimura ’11, M.Ed. ’20 received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, along with a Principal Licensure.

As the assistant principal of the 21st Century Preparatory School in Racine, Wis., Ms. Arimura serves as an educational leader and assists the principal in the planning, coordination, and directing of activities and programs related to the administration of both elementary and middle schools. She attributes where she is in her career today to her experience at Carthage.

“As I grow in my career, I find new ways to advocate for education for all students and families, regardless of background.”

Reiko Arimura, ’11, M.Ed. ’20

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“My career in education has taken me from the roles of paraprofessional and substitute teacher to assistant principal, and I am still continuing to grow. Every step of the way, my focus and passion has been helping students.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“The Master of Education Program curriculum and professors ignited my personal passion in my current role as an educational advocate. They presented real-life problems that schools across the country are facing today, but instead of being hopeless and defeated over the systems that preside, they gave me the tools necessary to attack the problems in a way that is logical and considers the intricacies of all aspects of public education.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“My studies showed me how to consider the world when approaching the complexities of education. Being an educator is so much more than lesson planning and grading. It is about being a champion of all students and tirelessly advocating for reform on a local and national level.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“When I decided to go into education, Carthage’s reputation as one of the strongest schools in the area for teacher preparation immediately attracted me. That, paired with the small class sizes, drew me to the College.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“As a member of Chi Omega, I gained valuable insight into career preparation and networking. Through women’s soccer, I learned self-discipline and fine-tuned my teamwork skills. I also met my husband at Carthage, and we have made a family and life together. I am what I am because of Carthage.”

What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?

“Carthage faculty are the impetus that got me where I am today. Their expertise and personal conviction of the necessity of education and creating strong teachers motivated my studies and desire to give back to the world. The fact that the same professors who nurtured me as a freshman undergraduate are still at Carthage and part of my professional circle has reaffirmed time and again that I made the right decision when selecting a college.

Professor Patricia Rieman has been one of my biggest champions. When I was an undergraduate, she was instrumental in inspiring and nurturing my pathway as an educator. She supported me every step of the way in my field and student-teaching placements. She walked me through how to apply for my first job. She took on the mantle of my graduate work, guiding me through my master’s thesis writing and defense. As a teacher, I always knew she would be there to listen and guide me. Now that I am an administrator, she mentors me through coaching teachers myself, while also guiding Carthage students in their placements.

“Other professors who were vital to my education include: Paul Zavada, Marilyn Ward, Annette Duncan, Jacqueline Easley, Karin Sconzert, Pamela Smiley, and Maria Carrig. They are instrumental in the impact I am making in the educational world today. Their words started the ripples that touched the lives of thousands of students that they will never meet. I could never express the gratitude that I hold for them.”

What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?

“Carthage’s mission is demonstrated through my life’s calling. I am always growing and evolving in my mission, but it will always revolve back to community building and trying to make the world a better place for everyone.”

What's your favorite Carthage memory?

“I met lifelong friends at Carthage. The camaraderie of freshman orientation, sorority rush season, sports, and student organizations set me up to be the best version of myself. Late nights painting the Kissing Rock with a group of girls, cold morning walks to Lentz Hall, and dinners in The Caf are lifelong memories that I will never forget. I also fell in love with my husband in the Hedberg Library.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“Be flexible. I never would have thought that my studies and career would have led me to where I am today. As a freshman, I was convinced I would teach high school English for the rest of my life and that I would never leave the classroom. As someone who found her passion in middle school-level education, I never thought I would leave that pathway. Then, I began my master’s program, thinking I would be a reading specialist. Upon completion of my initial master’s program, I then realized that I wanted to shift to leadership. Over a decade later, and I am applying to doctoral programs to further my career in education and policy. Be open to change.”

Are you a Carthage alum who is excelling in your field?