The Blacktop Blog

Almaden Country Day School (ACDS) recently held its annual All School Student Exhibition & Talent Show (ASSETS) that provided students with the opportunity to showcase their creative sides via artwork, original projects, on-stage performance and more in front of peers, faculty and parents.

ASSETS is the brainchild of retired ACDS art teacher Sharon Wilkus and aligns with the school’s mission of combining the arts and sciences to help mold well-rounded students. This year’s two-day event once again gave talented and brave students a platform to express their creativity by playing music, singing, dancing, reciting poetry, putting on martial arts performances, performing magic tricks and much more.

The tremendous popularity of the event was further solidified by the willingness of dozens of students to voluntarily sign up to perform and present in front of large swaths of onlookers – an act that takes incredible courage at any age.

“ASSETS is another way that Almaden Country Day School fulfills its mission of discovering the gifts in every child,” said Head of School Olaf Jorgenson. “And not only did we witness the incredible range of talents among our students – from martial arts to music to magic and more – we also watched children take risks, make mistakes and give their all to the audience. If ever you have doubts about the future, watching the ASSETS talent show will restore your hope thanks to these amazing young people onstage.”

“The ASSETS art exhibit featured the creative talents of the children, but more than that it also showcased the extraordinary scope of imaginative, cooperative and student-led learning that emerges from the art curriculum in addition to the art-centered projects that happen in classrooms across the campus,” Jorgenson continued. “Art is truly integrated into learning at Almaden Country Day School and ASSETS gives us a glimpse of the central role that art plays at our school.”

Mrs. Nan Hunter founded ACDS 35 years ago, and she charged herself with creating a school and environment that understands and appreciates that children have a myriad of gifts and talents. Her original mission continues to this very day as evidenced by offering students two-dozen-plus electives while in middle school along with opportunities to learn languages, music, the latest technologies, art, drama, sports, sciences and more. ASSETS is just one way in which ACDS provides a platform for students to demonstrate the knowledge they have attained through hard work both inside and outside the classroom.

Just how powerful has ASSETS been for former students? ACDS alumni still perform together years after meeting each other in their third trimester music elective. Such is the power of ASSETS to allow students to express themselves creatively that they continue to do so well into the future.

The 2018 ASSETS art exhibition and talent show was such a big event that it took place in numerous areas on the ACDS campus, including the art room, auditorium, science rooms and organic garden just to name a few. These locations provided an appropriate backdrop for young students to utilize the arts to share their culture and passions in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment – all of which are hallmarks of an ACDS education.

Almaden Country Day School is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian private school in San Jose. Preschool, elementary and middle school programs are offered for students four years of age and up. Through the curriculum, athletics, clubs, activities, service learning and community events, Almaden Country Day School helps children reach their intellectual, social and personal potential.

If you, a family member or friend are interested in applying or setting up a tour of the campus, please contact the admissions office at, by calling 408-997-0424 or visiting