Montevallo students make cultural exchange to Japan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Special to the Reporter

Four Montevallo Middle School students left for Miyazaki, Japan on Friday, October 1 at 11:14 a.m. from the Birmingham International Airport.

According to Cindy Warner, public relations and community education supervisor for Shelby County Schools, the trip

was part of a cultural exchange program.

The students and adult chaperones arrived in Japan on Oct. 2 and returned to the United States on Oct. 7.

Those making the trip included seventh grader students Heather Lawley and Kaitlin Bitz and eighth grade students Tialeigh Stoudmiere and Emily Johnson.

Montevallo Middle School Assistant Principal Dr. Annie McClain accompanied the students, along with two grandparent chaperones, Tommie Lawley and Lula Kilgore.

The group’s itinerary included visiting a pottery school, a barbecue welcome party at a Japanese student’s house, attending a reception with the mayor of Miyazaki, visiting Miyazaki Middle School, sightseeing, and a farewell party.

According to Montevallo Middle School Principal Johnny McClain, the communities of Montevallo and Miyazaki, Japan have been involved in a cultural exchange program for the past 10 years through a program sponsored by the University of Montevallo and the City of Montevallo.

This year the program was expanded to include a middle school student exchange program.

The student exchange program was initiated last year after a visit from the Mayor of Miyazaki and other Japanese officials to Shelby County to discuss logistics with local school and city officials.

Five students and two adults from Miyazaki Junior High School visited Montevallo July 28 through Aug. 2.