A remarkable American woman arrived in Thailand in 1962 as a member of the first contingent of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers. She was assigned to the Northeast area of the country to work with Thai teachers. That valuable experience reinforced Rose Marie Wanchupela’s passion for teaching, and today she is the executive director of Rose Marie Academy (RMA). Located in Nonthaburi, the school offers educational opportunities to students who seek an innovative, personalized, and individualized approach to classroom studies.
Mrs. Wanchupela’s compassion springs from a strong set of values. To put it simply, she appreciates honesty, responsibility, civility, and a respect for Thai culture and traditions from those around her.
A graduate of Syracuse University in New York State, she started her educational career by teaching at teacher colleges in Songkhla and Korat in Thailand and later helped Bangkok University establish its first English Department. She later taught at the International School Bangkok for eleven years.
In the early 1990s, Mrs. Wanchupela opened a nursery school in the Muang Thong Thani area. The school expanded steadily and by 1998, a full schedule of classes for older children was offered. In that same year, a full four-year high school program in cooperation with Keystone National High School in Pennsylvania, USA, became available, leading to a high school diploma for those who had successfully completed the American curriculum course at Rose Marie Academy.
Mrs. Wanchupela is passionate in helping society. She hashad decades of active involvement in various charity projects before establishing the Rose Marie Academy Foundation. To name a few, she was a volunteer for two-year Peace Corps service in Songkla and Korat, which provided her a perfect outlet to further her knowledge and skills in education. She had long been an active member of Soroptimist International (Dusit) and had devoted her time to support its various charity projects related to the advancement of human rights, education, and the status of women in Thailand.
As a co-chair of American Chamber of Commerce’s SME Committee in 2008-2009, Mrs. Wanchupela, along with AMCHAM and her loyal friends, raised funds to support the building and equipping of a library and the purchasing of library books for the Namolwittayakarn School in Kalasin province. Support for the school is on-going.
Mrs. Wanchupela also has been interested in natural dyes and helped found an organisation which brought international experts to Kasetsart University to teach women from upcountry Thailand to make and use dyes from natural sources in textiles. They borrowed and photographed old textiles from around the world and distributed photos to Thai weavers who now incorporate the colors and designs into their own work. She had become committed to helping the weavers in Thailand’s Northeast villages enriching their lives.
Mrs. Wanchupela established the Rose Marie Academy Foundation as a center for collaborations in order to continue serving education and the well-being of all age groups. She believes that savvy investors will see the potential of good education for ages, as she does.