Head of School
Archway's Head of School, Bruce Shoup, brings with him decades of experience in education that span five states and three foreign countries. Beginning in 1976 as a 4th grade teacher in Beirut, Lebanon, Bruce set foot on a journey that shaped his voice and leadership skills as an educator and administrator. He is both a strategic thinker and a devoted supporter of the school's community, encouraging and fostering healthy dialogue that includes everyone, supporting a safe, empathic, and joyful school environment, accepting and promoting innovation and experimentation, and leading the school community in articulating and living its vision and mission. Bruce holds a B.A. from John Carroll University and M.Ed. from Antioch University, as well as continuing education units from Harvard University and the University of Washington.
Ms. Beth has taught a wide variety of subjects and grade levels, including 1st - 4th grades, science, performing arts, language and cultural studies, and much more. Beth worked at Windrush School for 11 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Spanish from Middlebury College and has completed various graduate work courses at San Francisco State University.
Eric has a variety of sports and physical education experiences having worked with youth groups such as Saint Vincent's School for Boys in San Rafael and privately organized basketball programs in the East Bay. He is a national champion and All-American rugby player and has toured the world with the USA national rugby team. He has also worked with a national firm in screening opportunities for aspiring student athletes. Eric grew up in Lafayette and is a graduate of UC Berkeley in American Studies. In addition to teaching P.E. classes, Eric also teaches a class in technology and oversees Archway's after school sports program.
Laurie Polster is a nationally exhibiting inter-disciplinary visual artist and vocalist/composer whose art classes are challenging and fun, stretching students' imagination, creativity, and critical thinking. A teaching artist, arts education consultant, and published author for two decades, Ms. Laurie has been an adjunct professor at Mills College and California College of the Arts, an art specialist at Head-Royce and East Bay French American School, a teaching artist in several Berkeley Unified elementary schools, an arts integration coach in two Oakland Unified schools, and a consultant for nonprofits including SFMOMA. Ms. Laurie received her B.F.A., cum laude, in visual art from the University of Michigan, her M.F.A in visual arts from the Massachusetts College of Art, and her M.F.A. in electronic music and recording arts from Mills College.
Mr. Ryan came to Archway first as a substitute teacher and is now Archway’s 5th grade teacher and resident Renaissance man. He brings experience as a 5th grade teacher at St. Paul's along with extensive coaching and sports development interests. Fifth graders can expect an active, energetic learning environment with Mr. Ryan at the helm. His degree in rhetoric from UC Berkeley was achieved while a student athlete: Mr. Ryan played football for Cal and is a two-time all-American rugby player. He also has coached sports at several schools, including Bentley, where he is currently assistant head basketball coach.
Upper Campus Coordinator/Head's Assistant
Ms. Angela is Archway School's Upper Campus Coordinator and all-around knowledge base and resource for the entire Archway community. Born in Taiwan, Ms. Angela moved to the United States with her family when she was 5, and grew up in Northern Virginia. She has studied violin performance at James Madison University, the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and Mills College. As a longtime violin and piano teacher, Ms. Angela discovered her love of working with students and was thrilled to find herself at Archway School. At Archway, she has been fortunate to play violin with the Archway Music Crew at graduation, learn how to knit in an Upper Campus elective class, and ride her bike to work with some students from West Oakland to the Berkeley campus.
Director of Admissions and Development
Previously Michelle was the Director of Financial Aid and Assistant Director of Admissions at Saint Mark's School (SMS) for over 12 years. In addition, she has been Director of Summer Camps at SMS and Marin Horizons School. Her multi-tasking experience in all these areas are a rare combination that will benefit Archway School's admissions goals. Michelle has been associated with the Bay Area Director of Admissions (BADA) group and the National Association of Independent School (NAIS) Financial Aid Workshops, A Better Chance, and BASIC Fund and Guardsmen scholarship organizations.
6th - 8th Grade History
Mollie Mowat joined our Middle School humanities team in 2010. Having more than a decade of experience teaching history in independent schools and a warm, engaging spirit with both her students and her colleagues, Ms. Mollie was a natural fit for Archway. Her classroom comes alive with theatrical extensions of the curricula, such as an Iron Chef course during world studies in China and an annual Poetry Slam. Besides being a certified paralegal, Ms. Mollie holds a B.A. in psychology, a single-subject credential in social studies, and a M.A. in urban education from Holy Names University in Oakland.
5th - 8th Grade Science
Mr. Nick, Archway's middle school science teacher, has a wide variety of experiences and interests inside and outside the school. He strives to teach with the curious middle schooler in mind, keeping his classrooms buzzing with hands-on science that foster both creativity and achievement. A multi-genre performer of guitar music, a composer, and a published writer, Mr. Nick also practices martial and meditative arts and describes himself as a tea fanatic. He received his B.S. in mathematical biology from Harvey Mudd College.
6th - 8th Grade English
Ms. Pamela has been with us since 1996, and before her present position as the middle school English teacher, taught both third and sixth grades. Known for making literature come alive in her classroom, English students create projects like hobbit holes, marionette puppets, and masks to supplement their reading. Highlights of the year are Book Talks and our annual Poetry Night, which provide opportunities for Ms. Pamela’s students to share their work with the school community.
6th - 8th Grade Math
Ms. Becky, Archway's middle school math teacher, has many years of teaching experience along with lots of interests outside the classroom. She has been a vice principal, a volunteer with Native Americans in Montana, and a mentor to students across the family and economic spectrum. At Archway, you will find Ms. Becky's students thinking way outside the math book. Ms. Becky earned a B.S. in applied physics from Xavier University in Cincinnati and an M.A. in education curriculum and instruction from Sacramento State University.