The North Bend Eagle



Thailand native finds NBC friendly

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 12/18/19

Ratha Aunchananun may not be a familiar name to many North Bend Central students, but they do know Emmy. The exchange student is at NBC for the 2019-2020 school year and says it has been a good experience.


ExchangeEmmy Aunchananum and her U.S. ‘mom,’ Shirley Johnson, pose before their Christmas tree. Emmy is a native of Thailand.

“Everyone is very nice, teachers, friends,” Emmy said. “I feel very comfortable when I’m in school. They give me many opportunity to do basketball, volleyball and a lot of things.”

A native of Bangkok, Thailand, the 16-year-old goes by Emmy, a nickname her mother gave her after hearing of the Emmy Awards.

Emmy came to United States to find and experience new things. as well as improve her English. She is living with Kragh and Shirley Johnson, NBC freshman Abby Johnson and Louis Johnson, a 2019 NBC graduate, at their home west of Prague.

She has had many new experiences since she came, like Halloween, camping and Christmas.

Emmy has always gone to an all-girls Catholic school so she knows of Christmas, but being a Buddhist, her family did not celebrate Christmas at home. This year will be different with the Johnson family. She has helped decorate their house and took part in some of the community events.

At Halloween, a holiday she described as ‘fancy,’ she helped FFA pass out hot dogs at the auditorium so she got to see all the children in costumes.

They attended Santa’s visit in Prague last weekend and Emmy wore a snowman outfit and rode on a fire truck. She has also gone for combine and airplane rides, something she had never done back home.

At NBC Emmy is taking nutrition, American history, pre-calculus, anatomy and physiology, chorus and English 9. Her favorite class is chorus, a class she never had the opportunity to take at home.

When Emmy returns to Thailand she will have another year of school before graduating. She said that in Thailand after their sophomore year students have to make a choice as to which areas to concentrate in, math and science, math and English, or English and new language (French or Chinese). Emmy has taken the math and science path.

“She is very good in math,” Johnson said. “Pre-calc is easy for her.


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