Faculty and Staff
Jie Moore (郭捷), Founder & Head of School – Jie received her B.S. in Biology from Beijing University, and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Washington. After graduate school, Jie worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington for six years during which she studied a variety of issues related to academic and social/emotional development among children and adolescents. Through her research, she began to think it might be beneficial to children in the United States if we could combine the best educational approaches and cultural perspectives of China and the United States. This early thought, coupled with a series of events in the last few years (such as having a child of her own and failing to find a satisfactory Mandarin immersion program in the East Bay area), triggered her decision to start Shu Ren.
Tony Moore, Founder & CFO – New Zealand, ACA and member of the New Zealand Society of Accountants. Tony’s role at Shu Ren is primarily finance and administration. He is currently President of Kiwi Consulting, Inc. providing financial and accounting consultation services to federal contractors and the construction industry.
Simon Clark, Assistant Head & PYP Coordinator – Simon Clark joined Shu Ren in August 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren Simon worked has worked at public and private international schools around the world, particularly in Mexico, Switzerland, North Carolina and the United Kingdom. Simon received a BA (hons) in Theology with Qualified Teacher Status from the University of York St John, United Kingdom. In his free time Simon enjoys eating foods from around the world, traveling internationally and exploring the Bay Area, as well as looking after his Bernese mountain dog, Sierra.
Denise Svenson, MYP Coordinator & Math/Science Coordinator - Denise Svenson joined Shu Ren in 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren Denise worked in public schools and public charter schools in Atlanta, Georgia. Denise received an MEd from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, a BS in Building Technology and a BArch from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Denise has taught for ten years and holds Georgia certifications in middle grades instruction in Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies and K-12 Special Education. Additionally, her certification has endorsements for Primary Reading and Teacher Support Specialist. Prior to teaching, Denise worked as an architect in Atlanta. In 2012, Denise was named as a Georgia state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Denise enjoys gardening and playing tennis.
Queena Zheng (郑晴岚), Chinese Classroom Teacher – Queena joined Shu Ren International School in 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren, she was a teacher at a bilingual preschool in San Francisco since 2007. She enjoys how teaching can turn a child to be more positive and knowledgeable. Queena earned a B.A. degree in both Liberal Studies and Chinese from San Francisco State University, and has also acquired a Child Development Site Supervisor permit. In her spare time, she likes shopping, watching movies and listening to music.
CoCo Cong (丛倩祯), Chinese Classroom Teacher .
Yi Que (阙宜), Chinese Classroom Teacher - Yi Que joined Shu Ren in October of 2012. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Yi Que worked at Shanghai United International School (an IB world school), Yew Chung International school, and Shanghai Musical Kindergarten in Shanghai, China. Yi Que has been working in Early Childhood Education for over twenty years. Yi Que received a B.A. from Shanghai East China Normal University, and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from the University of Sunderland. She is a specialist in Music in China, and has traveled with her students to Australia and the UK for music tour performances. She has also been an accreditation visitor of the NCCT (National Center for School Curriculum and Textbook Development) in China. Yi Que likes children. She enjoys playing music instruments at orchestras and students choirs.
Kai-Yao To (塗￼凯姚), Chinese Classroom Teacher – Kai’s passion is to teach young children Chinese language and culture. She enjoys integrating teaching Chinese language with stories, art (Chinese brush painting), calligraphy, and history. She has been teaching Chinese language and cultural classes in the East Bay area for more than 7 years. Before joining Shu Ren, Kai Yao was a kindergarten teacher in the Chinese Program at the Cornell School, Albany Unified School District, where she taught students with vastly different levels of Chinese knowledge. She also taught Chinese brush painting at East Bay Chinese School and Albany Berkeley Chinese School. Kai-Yao brings her talent as an accomplished artist to her methods of teaching Chinese. She has a Communication Arts Degree in Zhu-Shan School, Taiwan, and had worked as a Graphic Designer and Art Director in companies in Taiwan and in the U.S. She received a “Teaching Chinese as a Heritage Language” certificate from Cal East Bay University and has passed the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) in Mandarin Subjects.
Clair Ma, Chinese Classroom Teacher – Clair Ma joined Shu Ren in 2014 as the first grade Chinese teacher. Prior to working at Shu Ren, Clair was the primary Chinese and elementary teacher at a private Mandarin/English bilingual school situated in Berkeley where she taught for four years. She previously earned a M.A. degree in TESL education from the University of San Francisco. She also has previous experience with younger students at a long-established preschool in San Francisco. Prior to studying abroad here in the U.S, Clair earned a B.A degree in Journalism from Shih-Hsin University in Taiwan and worked for several years in television production. Right now, she is further broadening her educational and practical experience by studying for the elementary teacher credential at St.Mary’s college. Clair loves nature and children. She enjoys gardening and learning new things, and especially doing these things with her young family.
Natasha (Yinxia) Tao (陶银霞), Chinese Classroom Teacher – Natasha’s major in university was Teaching Chinese as a Second Language and she started teaching CSL when she was a student in university. Natasha also taught at an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia as a Chinese subject and CSL teacher and at an IB school in Jiangsu, China as a Classroom teacher and Primary Coordinator. Natasha thinks that all children are unique and we should adapt our teaching style for every child, so we can inspire kids to become life long learners. Natasha likes reading and swimming very much.
Lam Tsoi (蔡琳), Chinese Program Coordinator & Classroom Teacher - Lam Tsoi joined Shu Ren in December 2010 as a volunteer. Tsoi has been teaching in the after-school Chinese program and assisting in K-4 classes at Shu Ren since 2011. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Tsoi worked in a public high school in Hong Kong for 10 years teaching Chinese, Chinese History and Mandarin. Tsoi received a B.A. and a Master of Philosophy (Chinese Literature) degree from Hong Kong University. Tsoi holds Chinese and Mandarin teaching credential in Hong Kong and has also passed the California Single Subject Test – Chinese. Tsoi enjoys reading, travelling and eating.
Adrian Clark, English Classroom Teacher – Adrian joined Shu Ren in 2014. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Adrian worked in a public school in the United Kingdom, teaching 4th and 5th grade. Adrian’s first degree was BSc (hons) in Crime & Investigation from the University of Teesside, before deciding to pursue a career in teaching. In 2011, Adrian received his Postgraduate Certificate in Education along with Qualified Teacher Status from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. In his free time Adrian enjoys playing a range of sports including golf, tennis and soccer. As well as this, he is a keen visitor to the movies to see all the new releases.
Jeff Luna-Sparks, Music Teacher – Jeffrey Luna-Sparks joined Shu Ren in 2010. Previous to working at Shu Ren Jeff worked at many private and public schools throughout the U.S. Jeff received a B.S. in Humanities from Heritage University in Greenwood, Indiana; B.S. in Music Education with Instrumental Emphasis from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; M.M.Ed./Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names University in Oakland; and Level II Orff Certification at the San Francisco International Orff Conference in 2013; he holds two California Teacher Credentials: Music and General Classroom Pre-K to Adult. In addition Jeff is a Kodály Master Teacher and Mentor to other music teachers; given presentations on classroom management; music circle games and making your own puppets; he is past president of the Northern California Association of Kodály Educators; past president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Music Teacher’s Association; completed the IB Introductory Course in 2013; Director of Jingle Jamboree Music classes in his Albany Studio for children 6 months to 10 years of age and Director of Summer Kodály Elementary Music Camps in Albany; and was recently named the Elementary 4th & 5th Grade Choir Director of the Albany Unified School District. Jeff has directed more than 50 children’s musicals; had two choirs selected to perform at Disneyland; taught band and instrumental lessons on flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, baritone and percussion for 15 years and led his Fairfield Elementary School in receiving the California Distinguished Schools Award for Visual & Performing Arts. Jeff enjoys practicing Qigong and going on family outings with his husband of 25 years and his 14-year old son Miguel who is a Freshman at Albany High School.
Jiayi Han (韩佳逸), Art Teacher – Jiayi has been teaching Shu Ren’s art classes for Grade 1-6 since September 2013. She received a Master’s degree in Art Education in May 2014. She has loved art since she was 12. She really enjoys creating and teaching art. She has been teaching art for almost 7 years both in China and in the US. She has experience teaching diverse students by using different teaching methods and art styles. Her passion is to share the joy of art with her students.
Zhiling Xu (许志玲), Chinese Assistant Teacher – Zhiling Xu joined Shu Ren in 2010 as summer camp preschool head teacher. Zhiling earned a B.A. degree from South China Normal University and had been teaching in Guangzhou for 12 years. Zhiling has been an assistant teacher at prek3 and prek4 since 2011. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Zhiling has been teaching at Berkeley-Albany Chinese School and Keystone Chinese School in Albany for over 10 years. Zhiling has been taking courses in Early Childhood Education in the U.S. and she worked at UC Berkeley Family Resource Center with infant and preschool children for two years. She enjoys reading, swimming, and hiking.
Jia Ning Liu (刘佳宁), Chinese Assistant Teacher – Jianing Liu joined Shu Ren in August of 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Jianing worked as an intern at Albany Children Center. Jianing has taken ten Child Development classes at Merritt College. In addition, Jianing will soon receive her A.A Degree at Merritt College in Early Childhood Development. Jianing’s goal is to make sure each child enjoys learning in a safe and loving environment. Watching children learn, explore and grow is what Jianing enjoys best about teaching. Jianing enjoys traveling around the world, playing badminton, and chatting with friends.
Shanshan Xi (奚姗姗) , Chinese Assistant Teacher - Shanshan Xi joined Shu Ren in June of 2012. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Shanshan was a Chinese teacher at an elementary school in Wuhan, China, for nine years. After she moved to the U.S., Shanshan continued to teach Chinese in weekend schools. Shanshan received a BA in Chinese Linguistics and Literature from Hubei University. Currently, Shanshan is in the Early Childhood Education program at Contra Costa College, and will receive an AA degree in 2014. Shanshan holds a Preschool Assistant Teacher Certificate. Shanshan enjoys music, table tennis, and travel.
Lu Wang (王璐), Chinese Assistant Teacher - Lu Wang joined Shu Ren in February of 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Lu Wang worked in No.9 Public School in Beijing, China. Lu Wang has been in K-12 and middle school education for over five years. Lu Wang received her Master of Education with an optional teaching credential at Patten University, and she also has two B.A.s from the China Central Radio and TV University and Patten University. In addition, Lu Wang holds a Chinese Teaching Credential in Beijing. Lu Wang is interested in languages, literature, art, cultures and history. Lu Wang loves working with students and inspiring learning. Lu Wang strong believes that there is no better feeling than seeing one of your students finally “get it.”