Thai village has special connection to RTC



Meet Supunnee Pargul, an alumnus of the Early Childhood Education Program at RTC.  Michele Lesmeister and her husband Al met Supunnee while traveling in northern Thailand and wanted to find a way to help her dreams come true, so they sponsored her to come to the United States. After graduating from RTC, Supunnee earned her M.A. in International Community Development at Northwest University in Kirkland. She returned to Thailand and started a school in her home serving between 20 and 80 children.      

In 2016 she opened “Baan Kru Nee”, Teacher Nee’s School for Children in her province of Issan, one of the poorest regions in northern Thailand.  For these children, education is the pathway out of the cycle of poverty and the limitations of ethnic class. Schooling greatly reduces multiple risk factors including teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and street work.  Families who can afford it, send their children to larger towns and cities to be educated, but many children are left in the village schools which offer little in terms of educational opportunity. Supunnee’s school is opening doors for more children to access a quality education.  

Working with another Northwest University graduate, Danielle Neufeld, Supennee created a website,, which provides education opportunities that would not otherwise be available to children in Isaan. The group invests in education by providing a physical space for children to learn, and qualified teachers to teach and mentor. The after-school program for at-risk children utilizes ESL (English as a second language) curriculum and provides a computer lab to build reading, writing, and technological skills. To learn more, please visit:

Photo of RTC alumnus, Supunnee Pargul, helps one of her students tackle a craft project.

RTC alumnus, Supunnee Pargul, helps one of her students tackle a craft project.