Little Feet

Our Philosophy

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and Care Provider

What's the Hurry?

Young children are in a critical period of spoken language development from birth to age six. Most adult conversational language is in place by the age of six. Children naturally strive to learn language in their own environment during this critical  development stage. Exposure to sounds and tones in a second language would benefit children immensely in brain development and sets the stage for future learning opportunities. Chinese is unique with having four tones for each syllable with up to four meanings. Many adult learners struggle to master these tones, but young children can easily absorb and learn the intonation. Starting your child early will help “train” their ears in order to build the foundation for future language development.

At Philadelphia Chinese Academy, we firmly believe in effortless and fun bilingual education for children. This is why we start our weekend program with babies and after school programs with kindergartners! Kids before the age of six are eager linguistic geniuses and the sooner they start, the easier language learning will become. The launch of our preschool in 2020 will stay true to our philosophy. With our group of highly qualified native Mandarin Chinese educators and a set of specially designed teaching curriculum, learning will be fun, dynamic and effective.  

Our Staff

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Lauren Fixter

Head of School

Lauren  has been teaching in the Montessori classroom since 2011. Throughout her career, Lauren has also kept her hand in instructing and tutoring students in traditional classroom settings. With her significant Montessori background plus her considerable understanding of traditional classroom settings, Lauren is a valuable resource for the PCA community. Lauren received her Bachelor's of Science in Elementary and Special Education from St Joseph's University. She earned her Master's degree in Education from Chestnut Hill College with an American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood credential. Lauren  holds an AMS Infant and Toddler Credential from West Side Montessori in New York City and she currently serves as an adjunct instructor for the Montessori program at Chestnut Hill College. 

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Peggy Liu

Co-Founder, Language Education Director

In her role with PCA, Peggy designs our curriculum and leads our teachers on providing engaging as well as age appropriate interactions with our students. Peggy is mom to Amelia. She grew up in China and received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese Linguistics and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. She moved to New York with her husband and received her dual Master’s Degree in TESOL and Teaching Chinese a Foreign Language from New York University. Currently, Peggy is pursuing her PhD in Chinese immersion education for children at the University of Pennsylvania. Peggy taught at various Mandarin immersion schools in Boston and New York prior to working on her doctorate degree. As a firm believer of language immersion education, Peggy puts a lot of effort into developing engaging language lessons where students not only learn Mandarin, but also math, science, social studies, arts and music. Peggy loves playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her family. 

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Qixuan Liu

Chinese Language Teacher

In her role, Qixuan leads our theme-based afternoon language program spanning cooking, art, music and dance, STEM, and calligraphy. Qixuan also supports our early childhood program throughout the day. Qixuan holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication (M.S.Ed) from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A in Teaching Chinese as a second language to Foreigners in Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). Qixuan grew up in Tianjin, a city of traditional Chinese folk arts where she learned to play the Erhu (a traditional Chinese two-string fiddle) at the age of 6. Qixuan’s passion for Chinese teaching and being an intercultural communicator originated from her learning experience in BLCU where a large number of international students from various countries comes together to study Chinese and Chinese culture. Qixuan was also a teaching assistant in the Chinese Language Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Qixuan loves playing badminton, music, hiking, and traveling.

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Dale You

Co-Founder, Assistant Montessori Toddler Teacher

In her role with PCA, Dale ensures that the school runs well and our students have a beautiful as well as nurturing environment to learn. Dale is mom to Ollie and Evie. Dale’s own parents nurtured her cultural and language ties to China after immigrating to Boston when she was 10 years old. She graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. Before she discovered her passion for language education of children, Dale worked for decades in finance and real estate all over the world with multinational corporations including Morgan Stanley and Tishman Speyer and managed over $5 billion of capital for institutional investors worldwide. In her role as a senior finance executive, Dale saw firsthand the value that understanding Chinese culture and language brings to her professional and personal life. In 2014, when her first child was born, Dale combed the Philadelphia area for a place where her own children can receive Mandarin language instruction. Frustrated at the lack of quality programming, she decided to launch Philadelphia Chinese Academy in 2018 with co-founder Peggy Liu.  Dale is pursuing both her Infant Toddler as well as her Early Childhood Montessori certificates. She loves cooking soups, marinades, rubs and sauces!

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Violet Zhang

Music Teacher

Violet is our music teacher and she develops original Mandarin children's songs and dance activities for our school. She plays the piano, fluent, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Violet grew up in China and completed her bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, one of the top conservatories in China. She started her life long passion for music when she was only 2 years old with her mother and then began her formal music training on the piano when she was 4 years old. Violet's mother is a primary school teacher in China who loves guiding young minds and is an inspiration to Violet's professional life. Violet received her Master's Degree in Music Education from Temple University's Boyer School of Music and Dance. Violet's teaching philosophy is that music and movement are effective mediums for children to acquire new language as well as develop their overall cognitive abilities. Violet loves cooking and photography.

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Hong Zhou

Lead Teacher, Montessori Education Director

Hong is the lead Montessori teacher for our early childhood program.  Hong holds a Master’s degree in Sciences of Education from the University Lumiere Lyon-II in France and her B.A. in French Language and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University in China. Additionally, Hong holds a Montessori Certification is from Chestnut Hill College. She is a Pennsylvania State Certified teacher and is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Chaozhou dialects) and French. Hong has been working with young children since she was in college in Shanghai, then in Lyon. A Montessorian and a devoted mother of two Montessori graduates, Hong has been a classroom teacher since 2008. She taught at Bala House Montessori School as a lead teacher for 6 years prior to joining PCA. Hong loves gardening, biking, camping, hiking, traveling, and house-cleaning and organizing.      

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Mia Zhou

Music Therapist

Mia is a music therapist who plays the piano, guitar, Chinese zither, and ukulele. Mia grew up in China and is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Shanghainese. After she completed her bachelor’s degree in China, she got her master’s degree in Music Therapy at Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Her passion for music began as a child where Ms. Mia started her journey taking piano lessons at the age of four. She comes to us with rich experience working with young children and believes that each child is unique and therefore their education should be also. Ms. Mia will be working with our children in a warm and supportive environment to explore themselves in a variety of musical experiences. Ms. Mia loves watching movies, reading, traveling, collecting stamps and postcrossing.