Established in 2003 with just our Xi Hu branch in the city centre of Fuzhou, York English has developed into a recognised and respected organisation. Our education ethos is much more than a few gimmicky games. We believe in student led activities, making learning fun but with maximum output for each student. And with 9 schools and over 4500 students in Fuzhou, with 3 branches in Shenzhen, 2 branches in Xiamen and 1 in Changle, our growth is a testament to our passion for providing good quality English education and hiring the best international teachers. Meet the team who started it all, and those that have joined along the way!
MEET THE TEAM
Jason ZhangDirector of the Board
Hello, my name’s Jason. I set up York English with a vision of bringing Western standards of education to Fuzhou and beyond, to create a better way for Chinese people to learn English, after living in Canada and seeing the education system there.
Hello, I’m Belinda. I’ve been at York English since our very first class and have watched thousands of teachers help Chinese children learn English, including my own daughter, Grace.
CODY KLASSENVice President
Hi, I’m Cody! For the past 9 years, I have been fortunate enough to be at York, learning and developing new skills. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my wife and two sons, reading, playing chess, and hiking. A fun fact that about me is that in 2003 I was a minor celebrity in Fuzhou due to my frequent appearances on TV!
Gemma FayRegional Manager
I’m Gemma and I’m from the UK. I’m the Regional Manager of Fuzhou & Changle and I have been at York since 2013. In my spare time, I enjoy exercising, browsing Taobao and watching any cooking based reality TV shows. I’m also stuck in the nineties in that I’m obsessed with the Spice Girls and Harry Potter.
THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
Tom GantContent & Curriculum Developer
Hello there. I’m Tom and I’m a Content and Curriculum Developer at York English. I’m from the UK and have been working at York for almost 10 years. I enjoy teaching phonics, growing vegetables in my garden and drinking tea. Anything middle-aged people enjoy, really. A fun fact about myself? I love running and once ran more than 100km in one race!
Candy ChenEducation Director
Hi, I’m Candy and I work in the Education Department in our Head Office as the Education Director. I am responsible for all of the teaching assistants department, which includes monitoring the TACs of different branches, setting Teaching Assistant’s job roles, and conducting training.
Adam GrayContent & Curriculum Developer
At York I’ve been a teacher, Senior Teacher and AC in the 3 and a half years I’ve been here. My role now involves keeping our teaching & training at the cutting edge of ESL, making sure our teachers are well equipped to deliver the best classes. I’ve taught in many different countries to many types of people. I enjoy playing football, sport, and reading. Fun fact is I once met Hugh Grant!
Sunny WangTAC Manager
Hello, my name is Sunny. I am the Teaching Assistant Coordinator (TAC) Manager here at York English. I work within the Education Department to ensure quality is upheld and consistent among our branches, as well as writing training systems for our TACs. I really enjoy cooking, going to coffee shops, and spending time with my husband.
Jamie ZengTeaching Research Leader
Hello! My name is Jamie, and my job role is Teaching Research Leader in the Education Department. I mainly help with the development of our York Online platform, and translating our courses’ contents for parents to help students study at home. I enjoy learning new languages, being fluent in English and Spanish as well as my native Mandarin, as well as basic Japanese. I enjoy travelling and spending time with my dogs.
Rita ZhangGraphic Designer
Hi, I’m Rita, I’m the resident Graphic Designer here at York English. My role includes designing the materials for our curriculum. I am from Fuzhou and have been at York for just over a year. In my spare time I enjoy watching soap dramas and eating very spicy food!
Sophie FangTeaching & Research Specialist
Hello, I’m Sophie. I’m originally from Hunan Province and now work in Fuzhou ensuring we are up-to-date with the latest teaching practices. In my spare time, I enjoy doing yoga, singing and reading.
Katrina ZhengHead TAC
Hello, I’m Katrina. I have been at York English for 5 years, as a Teaching Assistant, Teaching Assistant Coordinator (TAC), and now as Head TAC. My role is to ensure a coordinated effort and shared good practice between all our TACs across the branches. In my spare time I enjoy climbing.
Richard XuTeaching & Research Specialist
Hi, I’m Richard. I work within the Education Department to quality control our curriculum and design. I am originally from Hubei Province, and in my spare time, I enjoy playing video games and reading.
HR & THE RECRUITMENT TEAM
MIKE TAYLORRECRUITMENT MANAGER
Hi, I’m Mike. I’m from the UK and I’ve been working at York for about 6 years now since I started as a teacher back in 2012. As well as being passionate about finding amazing teachers to join our team, I also like photography, walking and sometimes cycling (when the weather’s good). I also used to live next door to a member of Chumbawamba.
CASSIE WIDDERSSOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Hey, I’m Cassie from North Wales. I’ve been at York since 2016, and I am primarily responsible for our overall online strategy, growing our online community on all our social media channels, web design and content creation. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, photography and travelling. I’m also an Instagram addict and a native Welsh speaker.
ROB HARTNELLVIDEO PRODUCER
Hi, I’m Rob from New Zealand. I’ve worked for York a total of 2 years (once as a teacher and currently as York’s video content producer). In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym, making music, and trying new foods. An interesting fact about myself is that I have a false front tooth, which was knocked out during a cricket game. Yes, it hurt and sure, I’ll take out my false tooth if you ask.
LYDIA HEFOREIGN AFFAIRS MANAGER
Hi, I’m Lydia, I am from Fuzhou and have been at York for over 3 years. My current role is to ensure all visas and documents are processed correctly for our foreign staff, to ensure full, legal working status for the duration of your time here with us. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling and getting massages! I have a 4-year-old daughter who attends York’s Doodletown class at our Da Ru branch.
BARBARA LIANGHR ASSISTANT
Hi, my name is Barbara! My job is to collect material to help our future teachers apply successfully for their Chinese visa, and to ensure the process leads to full working permits for all our teachers. I also help teachers with their personal affairs such as airport picks ups and accommodation arrangements. I am from Fuzhou and in my spare time I enjoy calligraphy and drawing. An interesting fact about me is that I am very, very short!
Joy HuangHR ASSISTANT
Hi, I’m Joy, and I’m the HR Assistant here at York English. My role is to help with the visa process and answer any questions on your upcoming life in China. I also ensure teachers arrival is smooth with airport picks ups and that your apartments are ready for you. I am from Putian, just outside of Fuzhou, and in my spare time I enjoy reading novels, particularly romance novels in both English and Chinese.