TFCC Member news


KIS International School in Bangkok is looking forward to welcoming their new Head of School, Paul Johnson, for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Paul’s passion for nurturing a safe and vibrant learning environment, combined with his experience and his personality makes him well suited to the international culture at KIS, which combines a strong sense of community with high academic standards.

Paul will be coming in from the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. He has also previously worked at international schools in Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Morocco and the USA and has over 20 years of experience in education leadership.

KIS interviewed Paul during his recent visit to the school.

  1.    What were your first impressions of KIS? Positive energy, friendliness, warmth – these are the immediate impressions I had of KIS. I spent time in all areas of the school and met a number of students, parents, and school staff. That first day sent me away with a good feeling about KIS in which I thought, “Oh wow! This school has really got their act together!”. I can’t say I was completely surprised after having had some sense of that already but it was comforting confirmation that the community was strong and that students and faculty were happy. When I met with the student council members, one elementary student exclaimed, “I love being here as much as my own home!” Parents I met with clearly loved the school. Teachers were engaging and students were learning. I felt like everyone is really working towards a common goal and that the school is student-centered. It is pretty easy to tell when schools are not focused on students and their experiences and, in my view, KIS delivered.
  1.    How do you feel the school matches your personality? My sense is that my calm and reflective approach and style is a match for KIS. Additionally, my sense of humor and my ability to empathize should fit well in the close-knit, family-friendly community here. The personal traits I mention have worked well for me in various schools in Morocco, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, and India. Working in all of these schools has emboldened me to keep a strong commitment to internationalism alongside strong respect for the host culture. Diversity brings out the best in everyone. Additionally, there is a part of my personality that drives me to achieve and this desire for continuous improvement is aligned with schools that have chosen a rigorous and holistic curriculum. This matches with what I see in KIS.
  1.    What do you look forward to about joining KIS?  Being the Head of School allows me to take KIS to a future where it is not only well respected within Thailand but also within the top international schools in the region. My experience in a variety of respected international schools and with the organizations that support schools like ours is extensive and wide-reaching and my commitment is to lead KIS in its journey of self-reflection and continuous improvement. I’m impressed with what KIS has to offer and all schools have the responsibility to continue their growth. This is an exciting process and I look forward to my leadership and partnership in it. It was evident to me that KIS is a school on the move and I am excited to be part of that and to lead efforts to make the experience for students, teachers, and families a great one. All of my previous schools have had a strong relationship with the IBO and so there is a comfort between the aims of KIS and the curriculum the school has chosen. I’m drawn to being part of a full IB continuum school.

KIS International School is an IB World School, offering the International Baccalaureate for children from 3- 18 years old. This academically rigorous and balanced curriculum consists of the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme and the IB Diploma.


KIS is a medium-sized school with a warm and caring atmosphere. The campus, located close to the centre of town, is green and spacious and has elaborate facilities. Our exceptional, vibrant and supportive teachers encourage our students’ love of learning. KIS graduates go to excellent universities around the world.


 KIS International School is licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education.  It is an active member of the International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT) and East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS).  KIS is authorised by the International Baccalaureate and is an accredited member of the Council of International Schools (CIS).



Linda Belonje

Director of Marketing and Development

KIS International School

02-2743444 ext 5100,

“What we’ve learned is that the physical and cultural distance between the software developers and the clients is best kept at minimum.” states Jukka Katajaharju, the Co-Founder and CTO of Codemate, who has been running the Asian operations of this software service house for almost ten years now. The company has started an active campaign to give Finnish companies operating in Southeast Asia a capability to develop software solutions in Southeast Asia with Finnish and local experts. “Codemate’s Bangkok office has been built to satisfy this exact demand.” says Katajaharju.

“We have been mainly serving customer companies in Finland from our sites in Oulu, Helsinki, Bangkok and Dhaka, but many of the best Finnish firms operate here close to our Asian offices. We started asking ourselves, why not cooperate with these brave firms, also in serving their Asian customers or in increasing their process efficiency.” Katajaharju explains.

Mr. Karri Kivelä, Executive Director of Thai-Finnish Chamber of Commerce points out that “Finland is one of the most innovating country when it comes to software development. Slush and the success of the many gaming companies are a proof of that. I have been contacted by many Finnish and international IT start ups and many of these companies are not only looking for financing and market entry services but also a local partner who knows the South East Asian markets and can provide local customer service for the prospective clients. Knowing Codemate for years now I can warmly recommend their partnership to any IT company targeting Southeast Asian or global markets!”

Codemate’s story began in 2007 in Oulu, after a couple of years of operating together with a local partner in Dhaka. “It became clear that we need to have full control over our developers in Asia to reach extremely high quality and opened our own office there, which was quite pioneering at the time.” Katajaharju looks back. “It’s quite paradoxical that we originally opened our Asian offices to serve Finnish clients with cost efficient software development and now we are also bringing Finnish developers to work in Asia!” Katajaharju exclaims.

Web systems, mobile applications and IoT solutions are the key domains where Codemate operates. “We can help in basically anything related to digitals services’ development, testing, localisation and maintenance.” Says Katajaharju.

Companies interested in discussing the cooperation possibilities in digital services, can contact Jukka Katajaharju by e-mail at . More information on Codemate is found at



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