T.K. Stone students on way to Japan

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Assistant Principal Elmore also making the trip

By Kelly Cantrall

Writing papers about school break experiences has become something of a cliche, but two students at T.K. Stone Middle School will have to share their fall break story with the entire school.


Dirk Meinhart and Clayton Elmore, students at T.K. Stone Middle School, are spending a week in Koori-machi, Japan, with members of Elizabethtown City Council. City council members are visiting Elizabethtown’s sister city as a way to continue and strengthen a relationship shared since 1992, while the students, who are paying for the trip themselves, will attend Jo-Ho Chugakko Junior High and learn about a new culture.

“It’s just to share our culture and our government, and to show and compare and contrast,” Clayton said.

T.K. Stone Assistant Principal Thad Elmore, who is Clayton’s father, is making the trip as well. The group left Saturday.

The two students were selected because of their good grades and leadership skills.

“My first thought was ‘wow, this is pretty interesting,’” Dirk said. “This is kind of an honor that they chose me.”

The boys will stay with families in the area. They will participate in sports and give a presentation to students in Koori-machi about themselves and Elizabethtown, Kentucky and the United States.

They also will give a presentation about their trip to the T.K. Stone student body when they return.

Elmore said the trip will give the boys real-world experience, which they can share with fellow students.

“It’s a big commitment from these kids, to give up their fall break,” Elmore said.

Elmore said kids can be more open-minded when it comes to experiencing cultural differences, and he’s pleased at their opportunity to see an alternate way of life up close.

“It’s all a part of appreciating the differences,” he said.

Dirk said he had someone tell him that, in a way, he would be representing the entire nation during his visit to Japan. He said that gave him a new perspective on the trip.

“That kind of put a little pressure on me, I felt,” he said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.