Alumni Spotlight

Megan Cronan '05

Megan Cronan 8th Grade

Megan Cronan ’05 attended ACDS from the 4-year-old program through 8th grade. After attending Presentation High School, she graduated from Santa Clara University in 2013 with a degree in civil engineering.  She is a Professional Engineer (PE) and received the American Public Works Emerging Leader Award. Megan currently works as a senior civil engineer for HMH, a land development and engineering company in San Jose.  Megan was the project civil engineer on the Westfield Valley Fair mall expansion. She was recently selected as the project manager for the VTA Phase II Bart Extension, which includes, among other things, four stations and a five mile tunnel.

Megan’s favorite ACDS tradition was the Fund Run (which she thought for years was called the "Fun Run"), initially because she loved running with her big buddy, and then later with her little buddy. Running eventually turned into a lifelong love for her.

She also loved the middle school dances but will never forget having to be lured out of the bathroom by a teacher during the Halloween dance because she was terrified of the clown who stood at the entrance.

Megan will always appreciate the relationship that she forged with Mrs. SooHoo, her fourth-grade teacher, who was fun, encouraging, and supportive throughout her time at ACDS. When mentoring new engineers, Megan thinks about how Mrs. Soohoo gave her the self-esteem and self-understanding to properly represent herself and her career accomplishments. Drama also played a big role in her development. Megan says that as a shy student, being in Mrs. Curtis's plays every year helped her develop her public speaking skills and learn how to be collaborative and take risks.
 
Her advice to current ACDS students is to take advantage of all of the opportunities available and to try different electives because you may discover something new to like, or a hidden skill. She encourages prospective parents to send their students to ACDS. Megan says that she has fond memories and was well-prepared for high school.

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.