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Alumni Spotlight

Hunter McKown '15

Hunter McKown '15 attended ACDS from the four-year-old program through 7th grade but left early to pursue high-level ice hockey. His greatest accomplishment to-date was earning a spot on the US National Development Team, a two-year program in the United States Hockey League. Their team won the gold medal at the 5-Nations tournament in Sweden in 2019. Hunter's goal is to play professional hockey someday.

Hunter McKown

After finishing high school in the Midwest in just three years, Hunter earned a full-ride scholarship to play Division 1 hockey at Colorado College. In December, he is headed to Omaha, Nebraska, for 21 days for National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. Academically, Hunter is enjoying Colorado College's unique 13-week block system, where he takes one class at a time for 3 ½ weeks.

Hunter says that his years in ACDS' supportive environment has a lot to do with who he is today. He appreciates how his teachers really cared about their students and made learning practical and fun. At ACDS, he's made incredible friends and learned a lot about friendships and getting along with others. These lessons have been invaluable in getting along with his coaches and teammates.

Hunter has so many favorite ACDS traditions, such as sharing a meal at Thanksgiving Feast, running around the blacktop with friends as the parents carved Halloween pumpkins, trying to eat as many Sno-cones as possible at the year-end carnival, and snorkeling in Catalina Island.

He also has several favorite teachers: Mrs. Ray's sense of humor made him feel special, Mrs. Galante was upbeat and fun, and Mrs. Egli made reading fun. PE was a blast with Coach Wardner, but Speech and Debate class taught Hunter to enjoy public speaking. Hunter is incredibly grateful that Coach Wardner took a real interest in him by attending his games and continuing to support his hockey journey.

Hunter's advice to young alumni and current students is "to enjoy every moment of your time at ACDS. Be thankful for your teachers. Be willing to work at the things you love."

For prospective families, Hunter says, "you will not get an education like this anywhere else. The teachers are amazing and so supportive. There are so many wonderful traditions. You'll make incredible friends. You'll also get to try everything from being on stage to playing sports to going on incredible field trips."

ACDS is proud of our alumni and their accomplishments. Below are a few more alumni spotlights that show just a small sample of the exciting paths they forged after graduating from ACDS.  Please contact us to share your ACDS alumni story.

More Alumni Spotlights...

Margherita Bassi '12

Margherita Bassi '12, aka Titti Bassi, who also pens under MV Marguerite, has been busy since graduating ACDS in 2012. She is currently a freshman at Boston College, studying English Literature while also juggling being Varsity volleyball team captain and being a young adult fantasy/sci-fi author.

Maya Kaul '09

Maya Kaul '09 attended ACDS from the 4-year-olds program to 8th grade. She graduated from Pomona College in 2017 with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and went on to study Finnish teacher education and development at the University of Helsinki as a Fulbright Scholar. Maya is currently an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Predoctoral Fellow, William B. and Roberta V. Castetter Fellow, and Ph.D. student in Education Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education with an anticipated graduation in May 2023.

Jake Heindel

Jake Heindel, Class of 2008, was first bitten by the film bug during his iMovie elective in middle school at ACDS and has been making films since then. Jake's latest short documentary is entitled, aptly, Perspective, and it is no wonder that this film went on to win the one of the prestigious 2015 Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards.

Kristin Schroeder

Kristin Schroeder, MD, MPH, graduated from ACDS in 1993. Today, Dr. Schroeder is a Board Certified neuro-oncologist currently pioneering work with The Global Pathway, in partnership with Duke University, at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanze, Tanzania to improve access to chemotherapy and life-saving medications for pediatric cancer patients in Tanzania.

Bernie Zimmerman

Bernie Zimmerman '83 joined ACS as an inaugural ‘Country School of Almaden’ 4th grade student when the doors first opened in September 1982. Now the Clinical and Academic Director at Cherry Gulch, an award winning ranch-style therapeutic boarding school for boys, in Emmett, Idaho, Bernie credits his foundation at ACDS as a cornerstone of his academic journey and an influence on the standards set at Cherry Gulch. 

Early Childhood COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Jackson Bordelon '11 has always loved building things, and throughout his life he’s found ways to direct that love towards helping solve real world problems. As a freshman in high school, he participated in house-building trips to Tijuana, Mexico with his church, Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos. He’s currently preparing for his thirteenth trip to Mexico this summer. Jackson has sought out church leadership roles, first as a Caring Ministries Deacon and now as an Elder overseeing mission trips.