Our administration is made up of passionate, experienced school leaders who understand the value of education and the importance of childhood.
- Olaf Jorgenson, Head of School
- Cecilia Robb, Head of School, Early Childhood & Elementary Education
- Jeremy Adams, Head of School, Middle School & Director of Learning Support
- Jennifer Glasser, Associate Head of School, Advancement
- Mary Beth Gay, Director of Technology Education
- Craig VonDemfange, Chief Financial Officer
- Greta Norager, Controller
- Jennifer Hull, Director of Annual Giving & Special Events
- Mary Jo Heindel, Director of Admissions & Outreach
- Cathy Shin, Director of Marketing Communications
- Buck Crockett, System Administrator
Dr. Olaf Jorgenson joined Almaden Country Day School in 2008. Before ACDS, Dr. Jorgenson served as Headmaster at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
After a decade working in public and international schools, Dr. Jorgenson received his doctorate in Educational leadership from Arizona State University. In 2010, he was selected as a Klingenstein Fellow by the Teachers College of Columbia University in New York, and was later selected to return as a Field Instructor for Columbia, mentoring new administrators across the western United States. In 2014, Dr. Jorgenson was appointed to the Klingenstein Advisory Council, the Center's board of directors, serving with five other school heads from prominent schools around the world along with members of the Klingenstein family.
An avid speaker and writer, Dr. Jorgenson presents annually at educational conferences, has written several books on school leadership and science education, publishes in professional journals and local media, and hosts web seminars and teaching forums. His most recent book is Doing Good Science in Middle School: A Practical STEM Guide. Yet he is equally at home interacting with students in the classroom at Almaden Country Day School where he teaches a philosophy elective in our Middle School.
"Almaden Country Day School is a safe and happy place to learn," says Dr. Jorgenson, whose own daughter attended the school for eight years and is now thriving in high school. "When children are stimulated, challenged, and loved at school, anything is possible! And this is what happens here every day. It's what I treasure most about ACDS."
In his free time, Dr. Jorgenson enjoys exercise, travel, and spending time with his family. He is currently working on a parenting book with renowned Bay Area family therapist, Sheri Glucoft Wong.
Cecilia Robb has been part of the ACDS community for more than 25 years. Mrs. Robb has encouraged dynamic learning programs, including the Socratic method of literature study, developed class Web sites and mentored new teachers. In 2005, she and her co-teacher, Mrs. Gay, helped make ACDS among the first schools in the state to feature a 1:1 laptop program. Mrs. Robb knows every facet of campus life, through her initial years as a fourth grade teacher, then as a versatile substitute when her children were young, and then back to the classroom where she taught fifth and sixth grade before moving into administration.
"One of the joys of working at ACDS is the community of teachers, parents and students. The teachers are my friends as well as my colleagues. Little in life is as rewarding as working for the success of individual children."
When not at school in the classrooms or with her dog Emma under her desk, Mrs. Robb might be out hiking or at home quilting or reading, or perhaps visiting with one of her three children, all ACDS alumni.
Jeremy Adams has worked in the field of education for more than 18 years. He brings a variety of experiences to ACDS ranging from being a park ranger in New York City to serving as an environmental educator in Honduras with the Peace Corps. Since moving to California in 2001, he has worked as a 3rd grade teacher and intermediate math teacher as well as supported student learning through roles such as bilingual resource teacher, math coach, and principal.
Mr. Adams has his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and has completed his Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at Santa Clara University. He holds a credential for teaching multiple subjects with authorizations for math and social science as well as an administrative services credential.
“I knew my children would have the opportunity to be happy and successful at ACDS the first time I visited the campus. This belief has only been reinforced with each passing year they attend ACDS.”
Mr. Adams is the father of two children who attend ACDS. He enjoys running, mountain biking, and camping.
Jennifer Glasser joined Almaden Country Day School in 2015. In addition to her work in advancement at ACDS, Ms. Glasser and her husband are members of the ACDS parent community, as their two sons attend the school.
Before joining ACDS, Ms. Glasser served as Middle School Director at Menlo School. As a division head, Ms. Glasser worked with senior administration to develop the school's strategic vision and capital campaign goals. Ms. Glasser also helped to develop the school's mission statement and values proposition. Prior to her move into administration at Menlo School, Ms. Glasser taught English, history and math for 16 years.
Ms. Glasser is excited to be a member of ACDS's welcoming community, in which the developmental and learning needs of each student are nurtured, and the joy of learning is cherished and celebrated. As a parent and an educator, she believes students need a learning environment in which they can safely take emotional and intellectual risks, cultivate growth mindsets and develop their own senses of self.
A native of the Bay Area and a graduate of Williams College, Ms. Glasser lives in San Jose with her family. In her free time, Ms. Glasser enjoys hiking, waterskiing, rooting for the San Francisco Giants, reading and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Gay has taught high school English, language arts, history and been a hands-on lab science specialist. She has a B.S. in English from West Chester State College and her M.A. from Purdue University in speech and interpersonal communication. Mrs. Gay earned a second graduate degree in educational computing at Teachers College of Columbia University, New York in 2012.
A real force for positive change at ACDS, in 2005 Mrs. Gay helped drive the implementation of the 1:1 laptop program in the Middle School, and leads the integration of technology across the curriculum in all grade levels at ACS today. She is always looking for ways to engage students and teachers in using technology to create and collaborate.
“I love being in a work environment where we live what we believe; that belief governs our frame of reference and our motivation.”
The mother of two grown daughters, Mrs. Gay and her husband of 33 years live in Monte Sereno, where she enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking and playing with their red miniature poodle, Teddy.
Craig VonDemfange joins Almaden Country Day School from a largely start-up-focused world, having worked and consulted with over 40 different start-up companies in his vast finance and accounting career. He also consulted for a South Bay private school, which gave him a taste of the environment. "It got stuck in my mind that if the opportunity ever arose for me to work at a school again, I would jump at the chance."
Craig is a Bay Area native who grew up in the East Bay before heading south to attend San Jose State University where he obtained his degree in Economics. He and his family now live in Willow Glen and when not at ACDS, he enjoys spending time on the golf course, at the hockey rink or playing soccer with his two daughters at the park. Craig's daughters also attend ACDS.
"ACDS continues to foster the family-like environment that I found fulfilling in start ups, with smart passionate people working hard to achieve a mission. I am very proud to be on the ACDS team."
Greta Norager joined Almaden Country Day School in 2015 and brings more than 30 years of non-profit tax, accounting and audit experience.
"I am excited to join Almaden Country Day School and am enjoying everyone on staff here. It is such a pleasant place to work and an enjoyable change from over 35 years in the corporate world."
A native of the Bay Area, Greta lives in Morgan Hill and enjoys camping, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Ms. Hull is passionate about serving the community through her work with young people, the arts and non-profit organizations. This work led her to her role at ACDS in fundraising and development in 2012. Her expertise in non-profit management, corporate philanthropy and community relations come from her leadership roles at Children’s Musical Theater of San Jose (CMT), Yahoo! and the San Jose Mercury News.
“As a mother of two students at ACDS, and as an alumna myself, I believe in the benefits of an ACDS education. The parent community’s warm support, the staff’s dedication, and everyone’s united passion to educate the whole child inspires me to help develop our school’s financial future.”
Mrs. Heindel brings her experience as an ACDS parent, school volunteer, Parent Service Auxiliary president, and Board of Trustees member into her role in admissions at the school. Mrs. Heindel has a degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has worked in a variety of capacities including writer, editor, account and sales representative and caterer.
Watching her two children grow and blossom because of their experiences at ACDS has made her a passionate advocate of educating children in a developmentally appropriate, safe, welcoming environment with plenty of challenge and opportunities.
“I feel blessed to be working at ACDS because I get to witness the joy and happiness of children who are curious, engaged, active learners. Plus, I get to be part of this great school community even though my children have already graduated from ACDS!”
Mrs. Heindel lives in Almaden Valley with her family. She enjoys cooking, fine dining, hiking, skiing, swimming and reading.
Ms. Shin hails from the biotech/life sciences industry in Silicon Valley and brings her wide range of experience in the communications field to Almaden Country Day School. Notably she has experience in social media, advertising, website development, media relations, and branding.
She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and attended the MFA program at Mills College for poetry and creative non-fiction. She has taught reading skills in summer reading programs and has served as editor for literary journals. Ms. Shin loves to read, cook, do yoga, and travel with her family.
She and her husband have two boys at ACDS. "As a parent, I appreciate ACDS for its culture of cherishing childhood and its whole child, developmental education philosophy. As the director of marketing communications for this school, I am proud to share what ACDS is all about to our families and communities."
Mr. Crockett is a behind-the-scenes tech guru for ACDS and collaborates with the administration team to keep the computers humming, the network at full capacity, and the computer lab on the cutting edge.
Mr. Crockett has a M.A. in Teacher Leadership from Western State Colorado University. He has a diverse background in education and technology. He has worked in both urban and rural settings. While spending a year teaching in a Yupic village in rural Alaska, he realized how critical technology infrastructure is for supporting student learning. It was there he first began to work on improving technology literacy in schools, which led to his transition into System Administration and his position at ACDS. His background in education and leadership allows him to better support both students and staff in their utilization and implementation of technology in the classroom.
"Many schools have legacy infrastructure and computer science is not part of the curriculum. At ACDS, student creativity is encouraged and some students are writing code for 3D printers, which is really cool and is an example of our students leveraging the power of technology. I am excited to support this ideal the best I can in my IT role at ACDS."
In addition to a passion for education and technology, in his free time Mr. Crockett enjoys various outdoor pursuits such as kayaking, road biking, fly fishing, and yoga.