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RCEF invests long-term in Rural Education Innovators who are rooted in the communities of the children they serve and who share RCEF's values and philosophy of student-centered, community-based education. In our decade of experience promoting education innovation, we have seen how it requires supportive external and internal conditions and is a long and challenging process. RCEF looks for Rural Education Innovators who have strong intrinsic motivation, reflective dispositions, and a commitment to understanding rural children's needs.

Sun Huimiao (2007-present)


Hailing from Yongji County in Shanxi Province, Sun has been a rural kindergarten and elementary school teacher for over 20 years. In 2005, Sun founded a private school, Guan Ai School, in Houjiazhuang village in Yongji. While at Guan Ai (2005-2010), she worked with RCEF to experiment with place-based, student-centered curriculum and teaching methods. From 2011 to 2012, she studied social development and and civil society at the Yunnan Institute of Development. Since 2013, Sun has been actively developing and teaching courses in numerous schools and community centers in Yongji.

Sun Huiguo (2007-present)

Sun Huiguo is from Yongji, Shanxi province and has taught in rural kindergartens and elementary schools for over 10 years. In collaboration with RCEF, Sun first started implementing student-centered teaching methods in 2008. Since then, she has gradually developed her own teaching philosophy: students should combine what they learn in classrooms with their everyday lives. She has taught Life Skills, Service Learning classes, Integrated Practice classes, and weekend story activities in many different schools and village community centers. 

Wang Yanzhen (2007-present)


Wang Yanzhen is from Yongji, Shanxi Province. She started off as an assistant teacher at a local village school. She later started teaching experimenting reading courses in the villages’ elementary schools, and she became a supporter of the Education Improvement Organisation in her own village. Her goals in teaching are to help students better understand themselves and their environments, express themselves, and pursue their dreams, while also developing empathy and helping those in need.

Yao Caimei (2007-present)


Yao Caimei is from Yongji, Shanxi Province. Since graduating from high school, Yao has taught in local village elementary schools for over a decade. As a child, Yao loved reading in her spare time, and when she grew up, becoming a Chinese teacher seemed a natural choice. Yao attended RCEF’s training from 2006 to 2010. She now teaches experimental reading courses in several schools in Yongji, and advocates for the importance of reading. She hopes that through reading, village children will have a happy and colorful childhood.

Geng Ping (2016-present)


Geng Ping is from Yongji, Shanxi. She used to be a substitute teacher in rural schools. She is now a storytelling mother. She got to learn RCEF’s missions from 2006 to 2009. She has been keeping reading stories to her kid for 6 years. Since Oct 2015, she started a weekend storytelling class with Sun Huiguo. She joined RCEF’s Yongji team since Apr 2016 and has been studying and growing ever since. Now she teaches reading curriculum for first-grade elementary students in Bilingual School and Renyang Village School.

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