In 1980 Peter and Sue Ektrakul opened Panda Kindergarten in their home and opened their hearts to what the Lord would do with their act of obedience. Starting an English-teaching school with a sound education program rooted in the principles of the Christian faith was a dream long planted in Sue’s heart when she was studying early childhood education in America. Knowing the power and beauty of God’s love in their own lives, they wanted to share that with the people of Nonthaburi. And so the vision was to establish a school so respected for its program and care for its students that it would open doors to create lasting relationships with families to share the Gospel.
Because of their respective international university schoolings, Peter and Sue were privileged to have connections with many people in the United States and Canada. From those relationships, they were able to bring in native English speakers who worked or volunteered as teachers during this early time. When the Thai Ministry of Education announced a bilingual school program initiative, the Ektrakuls wisely saw opportunity for their dream to grow into something more.
In 1997 Panda Kindergarten officially expanded and changed into Global English School (GES), also known as Satit Christian Wittaya. At its inception Glen and Joy Ronald, education graduates and close friends of the Ektrakuls, moved from Canada to provide administrative assistance to build a firm foundation for the school. The Ektrakuls and Ronalds had an excellent working relationship, and their hard work enabled the school to grow exponentially in just the first three years. Though the Ronalds have since returned to Canada, they are still prayer warriors and a sounding board for GES – they have also seen nieces and nephews come teach here!
GES continues to collaborate with long-term staff, welcome new teachers, expand into new buildings and watch students grow up and move on to universities. What a journey we have been on! It has been quite the experience of God watering and nurturing this seed of a dream into something that blooms anew with each school year.