Board & Advisors

The HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS) board and advisors provide governance and support to the Head of School to ensure that HWIS establishes a sound strategic plan and has the ability to carry it out. From time to time, the board will seek out additional advisors to provide different perspectives.

Sharon Huang

Founder & Board Member

Prior to founding HudsonWay Immersion School in February 2005, Sharon worked in the corporate world for 15+ years. She was employed at Nabisco in various domestic and international brand management positions and also held senior director positions at AirTouch Cellular and

Sharon received her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of California Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. She is an advisor to Asia Society’s CELIN (Chinese Early Language Immersion Network) organization and frequently presents at the annual National Chinese Language Conference. She is married and has twin 18-year-old sons who graduated from HWIS in 5th grade and continued with their Mandarin in weekend heritage programs, high school Chinese classes and at National Taiwan Normal University in the summer of 2019.

William Hicks

Co-Founder & Board Member

Chief Administrative Officer

William is Founder Sharon Huang's husband and has 20 years of corporate experience in the healthcare industry. He conducted business throughout Asia while at Baxter International and also lived in Taipei, Taiwan, and Ecuador as a child. His education includes a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Stanford University.

Mark Bandak

Investor & Board Member

Mark has close to a decade of global experience investing in the education sector, particularly PreK-12 for-profit schools. He co-founded Valian Ltd. in 2014 which completed investments such as GEMS Education, the largest K-12 school group, which was successfully exited to CVC Capital; Kindred Nurseries, a London-based early learning group; Britus Education, a MENA-based K-12 school platform; and HudsonWay Immersion School. In addition, Mark founded Sandbox & Co, an EdTech investment firm, which acquired the digital learning assets of Pearson plc, among others.

Prior to Valian, Mark was a partner at Investcorp and the Blackstone Group where he spent 13 years. He also worked at a family office and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Mark earned an MBA and BS in Engineering from Columbia University.

Dr. Eric Isselhardt


Eric has worked with HudsonWay Immersion School for nearly a decade consulting in areas on school culture and leadership and faculty development. Currently the CEO of the New England Science and Sailing Foundation, Eric combines his deep knowledge of education administration with his passion for sailing and science education. The mission is to empower students with a love of learning through ocean-based experiential programs that serve schools, teachers, and families. Eric has over 25 years of leadership experience in both non-profit and for-profit education venues.

He has taught elementary and university students, led independent and charter schools, led a large non-profit education services organization, and engaged in pedagogical reform and design—including leading a team to reinvent a small country’s elementary system. Eric holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Studies from the State University of New York at Albany, and a BA in Chinese Language and Philosophy from Bennington College.

Elizabeth Willaum


Elizabeth has worked in education for more than 40 years. During her career, she has been a teacher, trainer, curriculum coordinator, world languages supervisor, assistant superintendent and assistant professor. She taught in one of the first immersion education programs in New York City and came to New Jersey in 1988 to pioneer the first immersion program in the state.

She has an MA in Administration & Supervision/Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, PD-MA in Educational Administration from the College of New Rochelle, MS in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Long Island University, and BS in General Education from Lehman College. Elizabeth is certified in Educational Administration, Principal and Director/Supervisor in the states of NY and NJ. She was the director of HudsonWay Immersion School from 2014-2019

Dr. Dawn Eidelman


Dawn is an education entrepreneur and Chief Education Officer at the Shift Network, an organization whose mission is to empower individuals to work in benefiting humanity. For 16 years prior to this she was a co-founder of Mosaica Education, a leading global education organization that manages P-12 schools and provides educational services around the world to approximately 25,000 students. Her core work includes: • Charter Schools • Private Schools • Turnaround Consulting for Underperforming Schools • Online Courses and Virtual Schools • Curriculum Development and Licensing.