Alumni include Winston Churchill and six other British prime ministers; the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru; and monarchs like King Hussein of Jordan. The school has educated a long list of renowned business and sports figures, artists, actors and so on. Besides the Bangkok campus in Don Mueang district, the UK-based Harrow has overseas campuses in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The BigChilli is pleased to present an interview with Bangkok Headmaster Jon Standen, whose wife Suzie is Harrow Bangkok Ambassador.
“We have been in Bangkok 22 years and here in Don Mueang district for 16 years. We were the first of the branded British schools in Thailand. There are more and more international schools opening in Bangkok all the time, but none can match Harrow’s history of excellence, which extends to this Bangkok campus.
“How my wife Suzie and I got here is a good story. I was previously headmaster at Plymouth College, an independent school in the southwest of England. The college is particularly famous for swimming and aquatics. Suzie was originally an accountant there, and also did a lot of work at the college helping our physician and working with the parents. I was headmaster at Plymouth for just under four years, and gained a lot of experience and recognition there for my work.
“Suzie and I came to Southeast Asia to recruit foreign students to study and board at the school. One day I got the idea that when it came time to move another step up the career ladder to a bigger school, maybe we should look for a school in Southeast Asia rather than in England. Suzie thought about it and said ‘yes.’ She likes travelling and she loves this part of the world as much as I do.
“We agreed that when a position at the right school in this region became available we would apply. When Harrow International School Bangkok announced an opening we went for it, and here we are. There were a number of applicants. We were interviewed initially at Harrow in London and the final interviews were conducted here. This was in early 2018; 10 months later, in January 2019, we came to Bangkok.”