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The name Starfish (short for Starfish Education) is inspired by the short story "The Star Thrower" by Loren Eisley, which speaks about profound change.


Change often begins with small, close-to-home actions, and everyone can start with themselves. This is akin to Starfish Education, which strives to bring about change in Thai education. We are ready to be another solution that helps create valuable and meaningful learning experiences for children.


Starfish Education was founded in March 2005 under the name Starfish Education Foundation. We have continually evolved through collaborations with various organizations and diverse programs, focusing on quality education through meaningful educational innovations led by Dr. Nanthaporn Janchalia Seributra.

Starfish Education is funded through donations from the Starfish Education Trust, based in Singapore. The Trust is part of the Firetree Group, led by Francesco Caruso.


Originally, this funding was supported by Dr. Richard Paul "Dick" Haugland, a change-maker, scientist, and successful entrepreneur.


Starfish Education has a strong presence in Asia. We work continuously to create the most meaningful learning experiences through Firetree Philanthropy, ensuring that our learning tools can be shared with education projects in other Asian countries appropriately.


In everything we do, we carry on the legacy of Dr. Richard and emphasize the importance of the generosity he developed over the years, along with Francesco Caruso, long-time friends and colleagues, and Dr. Prae, who designed the Starfish curriculum and programs together.



Dr. Richard P. Haugland was a scientist, inventor, and social philanthropist who dedicated himself to helping numerous people through projects and organizations across Asia, including Nepal, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India, and Thailand. He founded Molecular Probes with his wife, Dr. Rosaria Haugland, a company that developed highly efficient fluorescent dyes used in laboratories worldwide (Alexa Fluor).


In 2003, he decided to sell the company and transferred a substantial amount of assets to the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, continuously increasing the value of assets until his passing in October 2016. The Firetree Group carries on the spirit of the foundation today.


Everyone who knew Dr. Richard speaks of him as an intelligent and kind-hearted individual who could connect with children from diverse linguistic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. He loved teaching and developing curricula, excelling greatly in this area.


Over the years, he traveled across Asia with Francesco Caruso, from Bangladesh to the Philippines, North Vietnam, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Thailand. Until his passing in 2004, Dr. Richard lived at the Starfish Country Home School Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


At Starfish, Dr. Richard played a significant role in developing curricula and activities to enhance children's skills, ensuring that children receive the highest quality education from various projects through innovative and unique multimedia teaching methods in mathematics, English ("Thai-English"), and Thai language. It had a significant positive impact on pre-adolescent and primary school children.


Although Dr. Richard has passed away, his work and vision continue through the Firetree organization to provide quality education to children across Asia.


Starfish Country Home School Foundation was initially established in March 2005 and has expanded and evolved continuously in gathering various entities and projects focusing on innovative education quality. In 2023, it officially changed its name to "Starfish Education Foundation."


The Starfish Country Home School opened in May 2006 under the foundation's license and currently operates under the name "Starfish School."


Starfish Education Foundation Social Enterprise Company Limited was established in 2018 to promote the organization's social activities.

Our entire mission is supported by the Starfish Education Trust based in Singapore.

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Our Team


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