The founding families of Wei Yu International Charter School include professionals in education, technology, finance, business, and law who recognize that the world is an interconnected environment and are passionate about creating an opportunity for our children to be fully prepared as global citizens in the 21st century.
Whitney is a tenured Reading instructor at West Valley College where she serves as Reading Department Chair, Academic Senate Representative, and Student Success Coordinator. She has a M.F.A in Film Production from Ohio University and a M.A. in English Composition with a Certificate in the Teaching of Post-Secondary Reading from San Francisco State University. Whitney is a Bay Area native who values and celebrates the diversity of the Silicon Valley. While Whitney and her husband are both monolingual English speakers, they want and value language education for their twin daughters because it promotes cognitive development and cultural awareness in addition to developing practical life skills.
Debbie is a manager at Deloitte Consulting. She currently supports eminence and marketing, and also has experience advising Fortune 500 companies on their customer experience strategies. Prior to Deloitte, she was part of the pilot team that launched Catchafire, an online skills-based service that matches professionals with meaningful pro bono experiences. She is passionate about finding innovative approaches to education that will prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly dynamic world. As a child who grew up in the U.S., she knows firsthand how hard it is to learn a second language, especially one as complex as Chinese, and believes immersion schools are a unique opportunity for children of all ethnicities to not only master another language, but also to improve general cognitive skills and expand their worldview. Debbie holds an MBA from Duke.
Jun is a manager of engineering in a semiconductor company and has over 17 years of experience working for different companies in China, Japan, and USA. He has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Shanghai JiaoTong University. He is a mainland-born Chinese who values traditional Chinese culture, language learning, and is especially passionate about early childhood language acquisition. He believes learning Chinese characters gives children’s brain a completely different type of training that brings tremendous benefit to children. He promotes bringing diverse cultures to children’s learning environment.
David grew up in Southern California and graduated with his BSEET before moving to Northern California to take a job with Applied Materials where he leads a technical commodities procurement team. Outside of Applied Materials, David volunteers as the Security and Medical Team Director at South Bay Church, a growing church with over 1,500 attendees in the heart of the Silicon Valley. David understands the value of multicultural and multilingual education. Along with his wife, Vivian, they seek to provide for their children an education that better prepares them to deal with the ever-growing Chinese presence in the marketplace and in everyday life in the United States and abroad.
Vivian was born in Hong Kong and moved to San Francisco when she was 11 years old. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A in Economics and received her MBA from Santa Clara University. Vivian is currently a Finance Director at Imagination Technologies overseeing the company’s US and overseas finance operations. Vivian has been a key advocate of her three children’s education through Chinese Immersion and is passionate about being a catalyst in this area. In her off time, she enjoys reading and hanging out with friends and family.
Sarah has over 18 years of experience in the field of accounting, corporate finance, planning, budgeting and restructuring in various types of industries. Through her career working in South East Asia and America, she recognizes the economic value and benefits in being multi-lingual especially in the Chinese language. She strongly believes in early childhood language acquisition through immersion in order to gain multi-lingual fluency. She holds a B Sc. from the University of Oregon-Eugene.
Dr. Zhiwei Gu is a Software Engineer at Google. He received a PhD in Signal and Information Processing from University of Science and Technology of China. He and his team have won several international awards, such as Wall Street Journal’s "2010 Asian Innovation Reader’s Choice Award" and Baidu’s “2011 Top Apps”. Zhiwei is passionate about multi-media technology and hopes to use his background to bring innovative ideas to the classroom.
Herbert is a registered patent attorney and has over eight years of intellectual property experience which includes drafting and filing patent applications, filing and prosecuting trademark applications, licensing IP assets, and managing trade secret matters. Prior to becoming an attorney, Herbert worked as a process engineer at Intel. Herbert graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in mechanical engineering. He also graduated from Santa Clara University with a Juris Doctor degree and a certificate in high technology law. Herbert is currently enrolled in Santa Clara University’s Graduate School of Engineering pursuing dual Masters degrees in electrical and computer engineering. Along with his wife, Kalila, they are committed to raising their daughters to be bilingual in English and Mandarin.
Letitia is passionate about multilingualism and language acquisition as well as progressive teaching philosophies that include a strong social-emotional component. Her experience living abroad in Europe and West Africa, while working closely with many different cultures during a professional tenure in the high-tech industry, strengthens her desire to advocate for diverse language and cultural awareness. She is a Board member of PAMP, the largest parents' group on the Peninsula and actively engaged with several environmental organizations working to secure a viable future for our children. Letitia holds a degree from Mount Holyoke College.
Lucy is a proponent of providing positive childhood experiences and has volunteered as a mentor for both the Big Sister organization and the San Francisco based City of Dreams where many of her mentees come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Based on these experiences, she recognizes the need to provide children with the opportunity to obtain a progressive education that will enable them to succeed in the global economy. As an active member of various community groups, including her own daughters' public Mandarin immersion school, she helps foster relationships between parents and the local community. She holds degrees from Stanford University and USC.
Dr. Felicity Miao is one of the lead petitioners and heads the Wei Yu team of Founding Parents and volunteers. She brings to the Wei Yu team tremendous knowledge of the chartering process plus an extensive network of Mandarin immersion experts, charter school advocates, and educational consultants. She holds a BA in psychology from Stanford University and a PhD in psychology from the University of Virginia. Beyond her charter school knowledge, Felicity's expertise is in cultural similarities and differences in psychological well-being and has had her work published in top social psychology journals. Felicity grew up in Hong Kong learning English at school and Chinese at home in order to fulfill her parent’s dream of growing up bilingual. She has the same dream for her sons and firmly believes that immersion is the best approach for achieving bilingualism and biliteracy. Felicity speaks and writes Cantonese, English, and Mandarin fluently.
Kalila is a government attorney for Santa Clara County. She interacts with the public and legal community on a daily basis. Previously, Ms. Patty served as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County. She is a veteran of 23 felony and misdemeanor trials. In her previous career, Ms. Patty was a program manager at North Carolina Prevention Partners, a non-profit aimed at increasing preventive health care benefits for state residents. She has written and edited grants and organized fundraisers, benefits, and annual meetings. Kalila holds a BSPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Santa Clara University. She brings over ten years of advocacy experience and over 7 years of legal experience. Her passion is serving the community and raising her children to be well-educated with a multicultural perspective that will prepare them for the diverse world.
Arcelia is a Mechanical Engineer with over 10 years of experience in Design, Manufacturing and Operations working for diverse industries in 3 countries. She has held leadership positions managing multi-disciplinary teams to bring products to life, from initial concept to execution. During her career, she has realized the value of speaking Mandarin and the advantage that Mandarin speakers have now and will have in the future. She is passionate about early childhood language acquisition and hopes that her young daughter, who speaks Spanish at home, Mandarin at school, and English with her peers, can maintain the level of multi-lingual proficiency throughout her elementary school years into adult life. Arcelia holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Mexico and a MS degree in Manufacturing Systems from the University of Nottingham in the UK.
Hien is currently a Information Security Analyst at San Jose State University where he leads a team that maintains the highest standard of technology access.. Prior to his role at San Jose State University, he worked as the Director of Information Systems at AchieveKids, a group of schools that delivers special education, mental health, and family support services for students with emotional and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, disruptive behavior, anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorder. Because of his experience working with people from a wide range of backgrounds and capabilities, he understands the importance of providing options to fit the varying educational needs of children. Hien is an avid soccer player and cyclist and is hoping to pick-up Mandarin from his bilingual daughter. He earned his M.B.A from the University of Maryland.
Born and raised in Malaysia as a 2nd generation Chinese, Bee-Bee knows firsthand the benefits of growing up in a multilingual and multicultural country. She attended Mandarin immersion elementary school, Malay secondary school, and English university and is fluent in three languages. As bilingual education is not as widespread in the US, she hopes that her dedication to opening a Mandarin immersion public charter school will provide additional opportunities for children to gain fluency in multiple languages. She has been a mentor for high school girls interested in pursuing engineering and science careers, a board member of a non-profit helping at-risk high school kids,. and the Director of Operation and Marketing of Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association (HYSTA)—a leading Chinese organization for professionals in Silicon Valley. Bee-Bee owns her own investment firm and holds a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oklahoma State University and MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Florence is currently employed at San Francisco State University as an Executive Assistant to the Dean, a position she has held for over ten years. She is also an alumna of SFSU, holding a degree in International Relations and a degree in Asian American Studies. Florence has always been interested and involved in building better communication and relationships between people who speak different languages (especially Mandarin Chinese). She has been active in student groups, serving as Co-Chair of the Asian Student Union at SFSU for two years. She also volunteers for various community groups, including San Francisco Suicide Prevention, the SF AIDS Foundation and the Chinese Historical Society of America. Coming from an immigrant background and working at a university has reinforced Florence’s belief that giving children the opportunity to attend a language immersion school gives them an enormous advantage in today’s rapidly globalizing world.