Letter from Our Founder

Sharon Huang

Though I am Chinese, I was born in the United States and did not grow up speaking Mandarin. As an adult, I worked for Fortune 500 companies in global business roles that took me to Asia and Latin America. I can remember a time, traveling alone in China in the 1990s, when I entered a taxi and the driver began to speak to me in Mandarin. Unable to respond fluently, I was overcome with regret. I knew then that if I had children I would want them to be able to speak Mandarin and connect with their heritage.

After my twin sons were born, I launched a small pilot Mandarin immersion preschool program in the basement of my home in Maplewood, New Jersey in 2005. I had no idea if there were broad demand for this type of service, but at least my children would benefit from this initial experiment. Two years later, my husband Bill joined me full time. With his background in international business, he, too, knew how important it was to be fluent in another language.

As the program grew over the years, we were driven by our mission: to create the best immersion education possible—not just for our children but for others as well—in order to produce bilingual, flexible, and creative thinkers. This focus has led us to HudsonWay Immersion School as it exists today, a school with rigorous academic standards, very high levels of proficiency in a second language, and with data illustrating that our students’ superior cognitive development directly correlates to length of time in the program.

My sons graduated from the fifth grade at HWIS in 2015. They left the school with a solid foundation in the language and culture of China, and were academically well prepared to enter any top public or private school. If my husband and I have done nothing else for our children, we have at least given them this incredible gift.

The school would not be what it is without the support and feedback of our parent community, whom we thank for believing in our vision, entrusting their children to our care, and partnering with us on this unique journey. Our dream is that each parent will value this experience at HWIS as one that is transformational for each child and one that changes how he or she sees and navigates the world forever.


Sharon Huang,
Founder and CEO

Learn more about our leadership