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Exchange Students Headed To Nashville From Ukraine, Thailand

By Alex Haglund

Two students will be coming to Nashville and going to school at Nashville Community High School during the upcoming school year through the PAX Academic Exchange Program.

Maksym Kuzhdin, 16, from Ukraine, is heading into the 11th grade.

Kuzhdin is member of the Youth Journalist League in Ukraine and is a multi-instrument musicians, playing trumpet, guitar, bas-balalaika, paino and drums.

He is the editor-in-chief of his school newspaper and hosts a program on the school radio channel.

Maksym will be hosted by Tom Speedie.

Saenrak Chunhavachira, 15, from Thailand is heading into the 10th grade.

Saenrak attended classes at an international school with students of 25 different nationalities, including Americans.

“It is very divergent and encourages students to learn and think out of the box for better alternatives and solutions,” Chunhavachira said.

Saenrak goes by “Jaja”, and plays golf and swims.

Chunhavachira will be hosted by Justin and Julie Jablonski.

While slots for students heading to Nashville are filled, Pax still has one opening for a student heading to Pinckneyville, and two openings for students headed to Okawville.

“People are very receptive to this,” said Rhonda Ruettiger, the local coordinator for PAX in this area, “if they know that the opportunity is out there.”

With the school year beginning soon, “this is happening, and it’s happening faster than I can follow it,” Ruettiger said. “I just appreciate everyone who has helped to get the word out.

For those who live in Pinckneyville or Okawville or who have family or friends who do who may be interested in being a host for an exchange student, Ruettiger can be reached at (618) 899-0395.

More information on PAX Academic Exchange can be found online at www.pax.org

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