In August 2013, Celi and her partner left international teaching to start their own community school in Phuket, Thailand named Gecko (Green, Education, Community, Kids, Outdoors). The school grew quickly, becoming renowned for it’s quality education with a strong emphasis on mathematics and literacy, meaningful links with the community, and encouraging the children to follow their passions.
Three years later the decision was made to further develop the Education and Community features of Gecko. As a result Gecko on the Move was established with the aim of teaching mathematics using manipulatives in under privileged schools and communities through out the world. Since July 2019, Celi is the sole founder remaining and runs the charity with the assistance of volunteers.
Celi Harper completed her Bachelor of Teaching degree in Queensland, Australia in 1991. For the past 28 years she has taught in public and international schools in Australia, England, France, Italy, Tanzania, China and Thailand. During her teaching career she has taught all primary years as a classroom teacher and has specialised in ICT, Art, Literacy, Global Education and Library. Celi shows a commitment to remaining up-to-date with new developments, a strong interest in educational issues and a keen desire to pass on knowledge. Throughout her teaching career Celi has attended a great deal of in-service and training which have helped her to continuously grow and better meet the needs of the children in her care.
Celi values community service as a way of uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work towards a common goal. From an early age her parents taught her the value of helping others less fortunate than herself through Lions International. This continued into her adulthood where she worked with Sudanese refugees in Australia, taught in a rural village in Ghana, fed the homeless in Australia, worked with local communities in Tanzania, set up a charity to educate boys in Ghana and to pay the tuition fees of a Kenyan lady to complete her teaching degree, was photographer for the Tag Rugby Trust in Uganda, Zambia and India, assisted at the Soi Dog foundation, fundraised for Sichuan Quake Relief, assisted in sports activities in quake relief zones and led a group of children to Taiji, Japan to monitor the slaughter of dolphins for the Dolphin Project.
Celi admires people with integrity and believes utmost in being principled and standing up for what you believe in. Her hobbies include travelling, meeting locals, photography, mindfulness, yoga, swimming and cooking.
Countries the founders have taught and volunteered in