(Playacommunity) The news of an International School coming to Coronado has been creating quite a stir around Panama’s Pacific beach neighborhoods. It’s pending arrival is testament to the fact that the Coronado area is growing and about to change dramatically.
For decades Coronado has been the weekend getaway for wealthy Panamanians. Recent real estate developments, however, have seen more retired foreigners making full-time homes in the area. Furthermore, new commercial developments make the area more self sufficient for people wanting less shopping trips to the city. Add an International School to this mix and we are certain to see the demographics of Coronado make yet another change. John Hamati, advisor to Coronado es Vida also hopes that the International School will attract more Panamanian families wanting to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
While the Coronado area has many attractive qualities, families with school age children still find their options limited when looking for a place to live close to the beach. With a strongly backed English Immersion International School opening in the area, Coronado could see a younger population moving in.
Fredrick Gornell, director of the soon to come International School in Coronado says, “our plan is a long term one”. Realizing the initial demand will be small, the school is ready to go the distance, by starting with Pre-K to Elementary facilities. Secondary programs will be added on demand. With Gornell at the helm, the school has a good chance for success. No stranger to educational institutes, Gornell founded the Oxford School in Panama City, which was also an English Immersion institute. He got the school accredited before selling it to retire. Finding himself deeply driven by the desire to educate, Gornell has decided to spend his retirement years furthering quality education in Panama with the International School.
The school intends to attract teachers from Canada. “As we will be an immersion program, teachers will not need to know Spanish”, says Gornell. While the school already has a staff lined up and ready to start work, they are always looking for more candidates. “College graduates from teaching colleges or with teaching experience.” Interested people should contact Frederick Gornell.
School enrollments open in January 2011, “once we have broken ground”. Doors plan to open the same year. The facilities will include a swimming pool, sports field and a coliseum for plays and ceremonies. Students will also benefit from Hotel Coronado’s recreational facilities, such as the equestrian club, golf course and tennis courts.