Born in Hong Kong, our founder was the first generation to be born outside of a farming village in China and attend university. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 with little knowledge of English and no Mandarin. He eventually could speak four languages – English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish. After starting as an investment banker in New York in the early 2000s, he moved to Hong Kong to be a private equity investor at one of the largest global private equity firms, during which he worked extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and China. As Head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Development at a former state-owned enterprise in China, he helped restructure and turnaround an auto distribution company spanning across 15 provinces, which has now become one of the world’s largest. He was integral in hiring and training staff, of which some became C-level executives. At the age of 30, he founded his own asset management company, and the hedge fund he managed was nominated for best new Asian hedge fund of the year. Subsequently, he worked in London, United Kingdom, as a portfolio manager for one of the largest US hedge funds at the time. Thereafter, he moved to Singapore to assume senior roles at a family office before retiring to dedicate full time to education, community service and raising his own children.
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Throughout his career, he has trained many junior professionals to become senior executives. He has hired and selected managers and entrepreneurs of a broad age range from around the world whom he believed would succeed in building flourishing enterprises. When these managers faced adversity, he would work alongside them and provide counseling. The recipe to success from personally witnessing and working with countless real life examples of successes and failures for over almost 20 years is something no research can teach.
He currently sits on the board of hedge funds and private equity funds, is an adviser to technology start-ups in the United States and continues to be an active global investor across industries.
Our founder graduated with great distinction from the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business with a Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School with dual concentrations in Finance and Management, accompanied by a Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Chinese History and Literature and International Studies. In the late 1990s, he studied at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. He plays an integral role in selecting 1 to 2 elite secondary school students per year from Singapore to attend the Huntsman Program.
Our Curriculum Director
Our Curriculum Director is the spouse of our founder. She has worked and taught for almost a decade in international schools around the world including Singapore American School, the American School in London, Taipei American School, and others in Hong Kong under the International Baccalaureate system. While she specializes in advanced mathematics and physics, she has spent considerable amount of time tutoring young children as young as Kindergarten age across multiple subjects. She also wrote college recommendations and counselled her secondary school students in university selection and career development after graduation.
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Prior to becoming an educator, she was an engineer and held leadership positions in Product Development and Business Development at Cisco Systems and Oracle in California. During her career in these multinational corporations, she volunteered in various non-profit educational-related organizations.
She holds a Bachelor of Science from California Institute of Technology with a double major in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science as well as a Master in Business Administration from Harvard University.
Our Curriculum Advisor
Having lived and worked in New York, London, Saõ Paulo, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, our Advisor brings with her 20+ years of international experience that spans innovation strategy, executive coaching, brand management, and investment banking. As someone who speaks 6 languages – Chinese, Malay, French, Japanese, Spanish, and English, she has seen the true value that language competencies, cultural adaptability and well-roundedness has brought to her life and career.
Singapore is special to her because of the tremendous growth opportunities she experienced during her time here as an ASEAN Scholar. She is an alumnus of Raffles Junior College and Tanjong Katong Girls’ School (“TKGS”), as well as of the award-winning Singapore Youth Choir (now the SYC Ensemble). Passionate about coaching and empowering young Singaporeans to realize their fullest potential in a global scale, she has also been an MBA Admissions Coach for the past 4 years.
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Aside from having built an impressive global career, she has always been a music virtuoso. She obtained her Licentiate of the Trinity College of London (“LTCL”) in Piano Performance, and within 2 years of studying voice, she passed the ABRSM Grade 8 examination. She joined the Singapore Youth Choir at 13. Despite being one of the youngest members in the history of the choir, she quickly became a leading soprano within 2 years of joining, and was section leader when the choir participated in the Grand Finals of the Estonian Choral Competition in 1994. She was also Chairperson and Student Conductor for the award-winning TKGS Choir and Band Leader and Trombone Section Leader of TKGS Symphonic Band.
She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania on an accelerated track with an undergraduate and master’s degree from the Wharton School as well as a degree from its College of Arts & Sciences, all within 5 years. She was 1 of the 15 students out of a total of 450 to matriculate directly into the MBA program at Wharton. She also obtained her fourth Ivy League degree, an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College.
At home, she is loving the challenge of bringing up a trilingual and well-rounded toddler as an epitome of Little Sage’s mission of preparing her child to become future- and global-ready.
Our Principal (Lichi Branch)
Our Principal is a local Singaporean who got her calling in education and switched her career path after five years in the sales sector. She holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education with Ngee Ann Polytechnic – RTRC. After 13 years as a teacher, curriculum specialist and Principal, she ventured into business to build her dream preschool that embodies the systems and structures that have worked well in a global context that would be embraced and tailored into our local context, Singapore.
The journey of entrepreneurship and corporate leadership have taught her many valuable lessons and deepened her belief that education is beyond the four walls and academic excellence. She is an explorer and an avid reader who keeps herself abreast of the changing economy. She is passionate about children’s learning and physiological developments. Her desire is to prepare children to be functioning leaders in their adulthood. She is constantly mindful to embrace humanity and a global citizenship mentality in her approach to life.
Her mission statement, “the hand that holds the young – holds tomorrow”, motivates her to invest in preschool education and has kept her going despite challenges and obstacles she faces to improve the education system in Singapore.
Our Principal (Pemimpin Branch)
Our Principal is a local Singaporean who holds a diploma in pre-school Education cum Leadership from Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts. Her passion in early childhood education drives her to continue working with young children for more than 30 years. During her span in the preschool service, she was nominated and participated in Overseas Learning Experiences programme cum Supporting the Development of Social-Emotional Competence in Children Workshop in Auckland (New Zealand). She also visited Beijing for exposure to the versatile Chinese language organised by Beijing Shifan University.
Being a passionate educator, she believes in a Chinese Proverb saying, “天生我才必有用” (“Heaven has endowed me with talents for eventual use.”) Everyone is good at something. When we search hard enough, we will discover that talent and be very good at it. Every child is special, unique and learn in different ways. Recognizing his/her learning style and responding to his/her strength and ability, the child will learn at his/her best at his/her own pace and achieve success. She also believes in the first two lines of Three Character Classic “人之初 性本善” which means “Man at birth is fundamentally good in nature.” So instilling positive moral values in young children is beyond doubt. They learn to forgive and forget, to care and embrace positive moral values, and develop moral fortitude to make the right choices in their lives ahead.
Our Vice Principal
Our Vice Principal is a local Singaporean who holds a Diploma in Preschool Education – Leadership by RTRC Asia and Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts. Having been in the Early Childhood industry for over 13 years, she has assumed roles in franchising, marketing, curriculum development and teaching.
She is grateful for having had the opportunity to experience life in California, USA, for about 3 years, volunteering in a children’s church ministry and participated in Child Development Observation Classes conducted by City College of San Francisco. Through this enriching experience, she truly embraces the well-known African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” after witnessing how different people in a community can convene to contribute in their own ways to help children have positive learning experiences and grow in a safe and healthy environment.