BETHEL — Jiranan Jintasataporn, known to her Telstar friends as Pin, liked attending school so much in Western Maine that she decided to take another year, then graduate with the Class of 2013.

Not only did she enjoy attending Dirigo High School as a foreign exchange student last year, but both she and her family thought a second year would help her even more with her mastery of English.

And also, she loves her host family.

“I wanted to be with this family again,” she said of Scott and Jamie Dennett of Dixfield. “I really love them. They are like my second family.”

Pin, 18, from Thailand, hopes to become a chef or go into business. She is attending Telstar Regional High School as a tuition student and looks forward to putting on the robe for the graduation is June.

“My parents have a hardware store. I’m not sure whether I want to go to college in the United States or in Thailand,” she said.

She likes the snow and learned to ski last year. “It’s really fun,” she said.

She sometimes cooks Thai food for her host family and wants to learn to cook American food. Already she has learned how to make a Maine favorite – whoopie pies. Her host family has taken her to Washington, D.C., Acadia, Rangeley and taught her to kayak, and she has traveled to New York and Boston with a group of other foreign students attending school in Maine.

“If I know a lot of English, I can get a better job,” she said.

She said her classes at Telstar are longer than they were at Dirigo. Her favorite subject is precalculus, which she said is a lot easier than English.

Cooking, however, remains her favorite outside activity.

“I like to try new things. If I have leftovers, I like to put them together for something new,” she said.

Pin won’t be the only foreign student attending Telstar graduation this year.

Yae Reem Lee, a senior at Telstar from South Korea, is also attending the school for the second year and is a tuition student. She wasn’t available to be interviewed because she was at an interview for Cornell University.

For Pin, this second academic year in Western Maine is proving to be the right step – her English is very good, and she is more confident.


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