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Alumni Spotlight

Maxwell Love '19

Maxwell Love’19 is a vibrant, well-rounded learner whose resume-to-date belies his youth. As a junior at Oakwood School, he recently completed a research summer internship at UCLA into the analysis and remediation of cytotoxicity of cigarette smoke in the lungs. He will submit his resulting research report to the nationally renowned Davidson Fellow Scholarship and the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Maxwell also testified to the San Jose City Council on a high schooler’s perspective of the vaping epidemic, assisting in the successful effort to pass legislation banning flavored e-cigarettes.


During the height of the pandemic, building on the 3-D courses he first took at ACDS then at ID Tech, Maxwell designed and printed child-friendly face mask extenders. He also designed and 3-D printed a novel GoPro cradle device in 2021 to assist a local Real Estate company in making time-lapse videos of ongoing construction projects.

Maxwell Love Mask Extender
Maxwell Love GoPro Cradle

Away from the classroom, Maxwell is a successful snowboarder and is currently ranked 19th in the nation in his age group in the boardercross and slalom events, and 23rd in giant slalom. During the last six years, he has won 12 gold medals, multiple other medals, qualified for the Nationals every year, and earned sponsorships from four companies: Academy Snowboards, Khuno Optics, Demon United, and Humanity Apparel.

Having played piano for eleven years, Maxwell took part in the San Francisco International Innovative Music Competition last October. He received a 3rd place award in the Advanced Piano category for ages 15 – 24. In addition, Maxwell has played guitar for seven years, and recently formed a rock band with friends, The Elementals, performing at local public events.

Being fluent in English and Mandarin, Maxwell gave back to his community in 2021, helping to teach classical piano to children aged 4-11 at a local Chinese school. He also assisted them with Chinese reading and writing activities and tutored them in Math and English assignments.

Maxwell says that his time at ACDS taught him to enjoy learning and credits Mrs. Johnson, his middle school science teacher, for instilling a passion for science. Field trips were memorable, and he especially enjoyed the 7th grade trip to Catalina. His advice to current ACDS students is that “success looks different for everybody. Don’t compare yourself to other people.” To prospective families Maxwell shares that “ACDS provides a friendly environment with a strong sense of community that gave me a quality foundation to pursue academics.”

His latest endeavor? Maxwell has just joined San Jose Council Member Matt Mahan’s campaign for mayor team, where he will help with statistical analysis.

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.