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Staff Profiles: Kaanwarin (Pat) Polanunt

Kaanwarin (Pat) Polanunt

School Director

I joined St. Andrews International School Bangkok in September 2014 as School Director to oversee the development of the Thai curriculum, to promote Thai cultural values within the school community, and to liaise with many other educational institutes and the government offices.

Regarding my educational background, I have a doctorate degree in Educational Management, Leadership and Policies from Chulalongkorn University, a master’s degree in English as a Second Language from the University of North Texas in the USA, an additional master’s degree in Educational Administration from Chulalongkorn University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English at the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. I attended the Teacher Education programme at California State University Dominguez Hill and earned a professional clear multiple subject teaching credentials with ESL authorisation. I acquired an additional certificate of cross cultural language and academic development from the State of California, USA.

As for my work experience, before joining St. Andrews, I was the Thai Headmistress – Director at Bangkok Patana School, which I worked there for 12 years. I had led the development of the Thai programme and the professional development of Thai teachers. Apart from overseeing the Thai programme, I made contributions to support many other educational programmes for a number of years, including being a co-chair of Professional Development and Thai Curriculum Committee of the International Schools Association Thailand (ISAT), taking part in the development of Thai language and culture training course for expatriate teachers, which was required by the Teachers’ Council of Thailand, as well as providing the training to Thai teachers to deliver this course at their schools.

I also took part in leading the development of Thai curriculum standards for international schools as supported by the Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC) of the Ministry of Education and have been an external assessor of the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA) where I have joined overseas teams to visit and assess the quality of international schools in order for them to become accredited.

Prior to the educational work in Thailand I had been an ESL teacher for two years in Boston, Massachusetts before joinging the TEACH for America (TFA), as one of the 500 first-year corps members in 1990; the TFA is an American non-profit organisation whose mission is to eliminate educational inequity by recruiting high-achieving recent college graduates and professionals to teach for at least two years in urban and rural communities throughout the United States.

Being trained and placed by the TFA at Compton Unified School District, I became a class teacher and had taught students from Grade 2 to Grade 5 at Martin Luther King Elementary School for 12 years.

Outside the school life, I enjoy travelling to rural areas and overseas, connecting with people from various social and professional backgrounds as much as spending time in meditation retreats.

St. Andrews is a warm, welcoming and supportive workplace for me and I am delighted to be a part of the St. Andrews community. It has been a great opportunity for me to join the Thai team to guide and support the students to develop their learning experiences in Thai and to enhance their learning capacities to reach their full potential through several enriching Thai cultural activities.