Faculty and Staff

School Leadership

Jie Moore (郭捷), Founder & President – 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.

Trisha Ma, Admissions Director –

Yi Que, Early Years Director - 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.

Simon Clark, 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.

Rong Ji, Office Admin -Rong Ji joined Shu Ren in August of 2013.  Previous to working at Shu Ren, Rong worked in McKinsey & Company in Shanghai, Merrill Lynch Global Equity Research in New York, and Ericssion in China. Rong received a M.B.A. from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, and a B.S. from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in Beijing.  Rong is a candidate in a certificate program in Teaching Chinese as a Heritage/Foreign Language in UC Berkeley.  Rong enjoys hiking and Kun opera, and loves Spanish language and culture.

Nathan Pope, Head of School - Nathan Pope joined Shu Ren in August of 2011.  Previous to working at Shu Ren, Nathan worked in public and private international schools in Atlanta, Georgia and in Shanghai, China.  Nathan has been in K-12 Education for over ten years.  Nathan received a M.A. from Clayton State University, a PGCE from the University of Sunderland, and a B.A. from the College of Charleston.  Nathan holds teaching credentials in both California and Georgia.  In addition, Nathan is an IB site visitor, workshop leader, and consultant.  Nathan enjoys skiing, tennis and international travel.  Nathan is responsible for the day to day leadership of Shu Ren International School.  Nathan is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and also speaks conversant German and Italian.


Classroom Teachers

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.

Patricia Pope
(孙侨), Chinese Classroom Teacher & Chinese Language Coordinator - Patricia Pope (孙侨) studied Elementary Education at Qingdao University in Shandong, China. After completing her Bachelor of Education at Qingdao University, she began teaching Chinese and Math at a private international school in Qingdao. After her first year of teaching she also began teaching English and became the English Department Coordinator at her school. She went on teach at Shanghai United International School, an IB World School, where she taught as a PYP teacher. She has also worked at Shanghai Rego International School where she taught the English National Curriculum as a classroom teacher. For the last two years she has been a Chinese teacher at Imagine Wesley International Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In all, she has been teaching the PYP for over ten years. She is a bilingual, bicultural educator. Patricia also has a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from the University of Sunderland in the United Kingdom. She enjoys all arts, particularly singing and dancing.

Zhiling Xu (许志玲), Chinese Classroom 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.

Lam Tsoi (蔡琳),  Chinese  Classroom Teacher & Librarian- 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.

Denise Svenson Classroom Teacher & 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.

Ashley Zhou Chinese Classroom Teacher -Yuan Zhou (Ashley) joined Shu Ren in August of 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Yuan Zhou worked at United Nations related IB international school in Bangkok Thailand. Yuan Zhou has been in primary and middle school teacher for 13 years. Yuan Zhou received a M.A. ( Teaching Chinese as a foreign language) from Assumption university of Thailand, a Diploma from AnHui Normal Univercity of China. Yuan Zhou has participated some IB workshops and become PYP and MYP teacher for 3 years. Yuan  Zhou enjoys playing piano, Chinese lute, Chinese calligraphy, reading, travel and dance.


Subject Specialist Teachers:

Jeff Luna-Sparks, Music Teacher – Jeffrey Luna-Sparks joined Shu Ren in 2010.  Previous to working at Shu Ren Jeff worked at Archway School in Oakland for 3 years, Crestmont School in Richmond for 3 years, B. Gale Elementary in Fairfield for 10 years, Frederick Christian Academy in Frederick, Maryland for 3 years, 15 Bay Area Preschools for 14 years, Adult American Sign Language Teacher at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana for 2 years and Counselor for the Deaf for 5 years at Indiana Vocational Technical College in Indianapolis, Indiana.  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.


Assistant Teachers:

Jia Ning Liu, Chinese Assistant Teacher - Jianing Liu joined Shu Ren in August of 2013. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Jianing worked as an intern atAlbanyChildrenCenter. Jianing has taken ten Child Development classes at Merritt College. In addition, Jianing will soon receive my A.A Degree atMerrittCollegein 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.

Yoyo Huang, Chinese Assistant Teacher – Yoyo Huang join ShuRen School in April of 2010. Pervious to working at ShuRen. Yoyo worked in Albany Children’ s Center and Albany public school of after school program for 4 years. Yoyo has taken Early Childhood Education in the U.S. Yoyo enjoys music, watch movie, and dancing.

Shanshan Xi, Chinese Assistant Teacher – Shanshan Xi joined Shu Ren in June of 2012. Previous to working at Shu Ren, Shanshan had been a Chinese teacher at an elementary school in Wuhan, China, for nine years. After she moved to the U.S.A., Shanshan continued to teach Chinese in weekend schools sponsored by American-Chinese. Shanshan received a BA in Chinese Linguistics and Literature from Hubei University. Currently, Shanshan has been in the Early Childhood Education program at Contra Costa College, and is going to get an AA degree in 2014. Shanshan holds a Preschool Assistant Teacher Certificate. Shanshan enjoys music, table tennis, and travel.

Lu Wang, 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 is in process of completing her Master of Education Program with an optional teaching credential at Patten University, and she also has two B.A. from the China Central Radio and TV University and Patten University. In addition, Lu Wang holds 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 “gets it.”