In May 2006, Eric Kruger was a recent graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and was doing some soul searching on where to direct his passion. He recalled the great experience he had during a month long study abroad program in China that St. Olaf offered and decided he would pursue international teaching opportunities. His new life changing adventure began when he landed a teaching job in Shanghai, China
Johanna Huang was a young woman with a talent for mastering the English language that took her from Sichuan Province in western China to the city of Shanghai. In her first job after graduating from university, she managed teacher recruitment for a large English training school in Shanghai, recruiting English speakers literally from all over the world. And, that’s how Johanna and Eric’s two far different worlds intersected. She hired Eric for his first teaching job. They soon began dating and got married in 2009. Their daughter Claire, and son, Jackson, came along soon after.
As their personal life grew and prospered, so did their professional lives. Johanna and Eric both moved on from English training schools to the highly regarded international school system in Shanghai.
Eric found his calling as a teacher working at an International Baccalaureate World School for eight years teaching second grade. In a classroom filled with students from all over the world, he found that the most impactful learning came from the unique global experience each student brought to the classroom. Eric went onto pursue his Master of Education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia through a program specifically designed for international teachers.
Johanna became an administrator at one of the premier international schools in Shanghai. Her deep understanding of Chinese and Western cultures gave her an innate ability to act as a liaison with staff and helped build a strong and trusting culture among the faculty.
In 2014, Johanna and Eric returned to Minnesota with their two children. Eric currently teaches 3rd grade at Falcon Heights Elementary in Roseville, Minnesota and Johanna teaches Kindergarten at Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In January 2017, Eric and Johanna founded Pangaea International Education to help share their experience with hopeful international teachers by matching up excellent teaching candidates with highly respected Chinese schools.