The Northern York School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to allow a fifth international exchange student attend the school for the remainder of the 2012-1013 school year.

Mahamed Hemada, 15, of Cairo is in the United States for the American Year Abroad with the American Institute for Foreign Study.

Currently, he has been placed with an American family in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., but the placement is than ideal because he is finding it hard to be involved in after-school activities and the family is leaving soon for a month-long trip abroad, according to Glenda O'Regan, local organizer with AIFS.

Although Hemada is a Muslim, he is aware that Northern York is more than an hour away from the nearest mosque and that is not a problem for him, she added.

The issue came before the board because it's board policy not to allow more than four foreign-exchange students per year, high school principal Matt LaBuda said. There is plenty of room for Hemada in the high school in terms of enrollment, he added.

Hemada will begin at the school sometime next week. The new marking period begins Nov. 1.



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