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Alumni Spotlight

Markus Foote '07

Markus Foote '07 graduated from ACDS in 2007 after attending from Jr. K through 8th grade.  He then attended Archbishop Mitty High School and graduated in 2011.  Markus earned a BS in biomedical engineering from the University of Utah in 2015 and went on to complete a MS in biomedical engineering from the University of Utah in 2019. Markus is currently a PhD candidate and graduate research assistant at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah.  He is expecting to complete his PhD in biomedical engineering in 2020. 

"He says, “My recent research has been very exciting. I recently deployed an improved algorithm for use by JPL for detection of methane plumes from an airborne instrument, AVIRIS-NG. This research has just been accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. This work is very dependent on high performance computing, so I’m very grateful to be at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, where I have access to some of the latest high-performance computing technologies to use in my research.”

Markus FooteMarkus also completed an internship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in over the summer "to collaborate with researchers there from methane detection.  I'm also currently working with clinical staff at Huntsman Cancer Institute on a new project in radiation oncology to characterize and improve the radiation therapy delivery, especially with the proton therapy addition that is due for completion in late 2020."

Markus’ interests include water polo, and he is currently the Treasurer of the University of Utah Mend’s Water Polo Club team.  He is also a member of the University of Utah Club Swim and Dive team.  Markus tells us that “Both of these teams are a great way for me to reliably get out of the office.”

In terms of his ACDS experience, Markus tells us “The Thanksgiving Feast was always enjoyable. It’s nice getting a day to focus on eating instead of classwork.” He also says that, “The grade plays that Sherry Curtis directed were also very fun. Participation both on- and off-stage was a great beginning for my continuing involvement in both acting and technical theatre through high school.”

Markus enjoyed both his 7th grade Catalina Trip and 8th grade tip to Washington, D. C. He tells us that  his favorite parts of the include “the Night Hike with ‘experiments’ about night-vision and sparks of light from life-savers mints, and the night snorkel when we saw bioluminescence in the ocean water.”  On the D.C. trip, he remembers that they traveled on his birthday and his mom, former ACDS teacher Mrs. Dianne Foote, surprised him by hiding surprise gifts and chocolate in his luggage. Markus tells us that “Visiting both of these iconic places in class trips was very fun.”

When asked how ACDS has had an impact on his career, Markus tells us that I really enjoyed participating in the Lego Robotics Program. This program gave me an early experience in programming and understanding electromechanical systems. Now I just work with programming for systems that are more expensive and more dangerous.” He goes on to say that, “I’m also thankful for how much technology was embraced in the classroom, especially in middle school. I remember using (early) iMovie to produce various movies for class projects, which I think improved both my communication and team-work skills. These are both very valuable in my graduate work.”

Markus tells us that some of the most significant relationships he had at ACDS were with Mr. Steve Hayden and Mrs. Nan Hunter.  Mr. Hayden taught a time-management elective, and Markus tells us one thing stuck with him.   He explains, I especially remember the object lesson of filling a glass jar with big rocks, then pebbles, then sand, then water – the other way around won’t fit everything, and good organization starts with the big items first.” Regarding Mrs. Hunter, he tells us that “Nan was always friendly and welcoming at school-wide assemblies, and singing the many (and many patriotic) songs at assemblies with classmates helped shape my personal ideals.”

Markus’ advice to current students is to “involve yourselves in as many groups and friend groups as you can,” and what he would say to a prospective family isI treasure the math and science knowledge that I earned at ACS and it was especially rewarding in high school and all my current successes are built on it. I also fondly remember all the extra-curricular activities at ACS, like chess club and the basketball team. The involvement and atmosphere in the classroom during my time at ACS was really well complemented by the activities outside the classroom.

Markus Foote and FamilyMr. Dave Foote, Markus '07, Andrew '11, Kristen '05 and Mrs. Dianne Foote in Paris

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.