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Our Team

Our team of talented, dedicated ACDS educators work as a team to provide a safe, nurturing, educational, and fun Summer Camp program. Our Camp Director, Melinda Hammond, leads the Summer Camp and can be reached at

Summer Camp Director

Melinda Hammond

Melinda Hammond


For Melinda, teaching young children truly brings her joy, and every year has been rewarding and fulfilling with lots of learning for both her students and her. One is never too old or too young to learn, and even the littlest ones have something to teach us.

Melinda made a career change from engineering to education after her two children started school. She wanted to be actively involved in their education, and volunteered to teach art and music as a docent at their elementary school. That is how she found her new calling as a teacher, and went back to school to get her teaching qualifications for early childhood education.

Melinda finds it a privilege to teach at ACDS but more importantly, a school that shares her beliefs and viewpoints when it comes to educating and helping a child grow. Also, as a fellow resident in Almaden, she feels it is an incredible opportunity to be able to give back to her own community.

Fun fact: Melinda loves to draw and cook, especially spicy food. The spicier the better!

Summer Camp Assistant Director

Paul Justiniano

Paul Justinano


Paul, or Mr. J to the kids, has great enthusiasm and passion for the almost magical realm of Science. Teaching young minds about the complex systems that make up our world is his great love.

For the past seven summers, Paul has been enjoying the overnight summer camp life. He has since taught Outdoor Science, Board Games, Legos, and his favorite activity, Archery. To him, summer is a time to relax, unwind, and reflect on the importance of a continuous state of play. Life is too short not to be enjoying the world!

In 2004, Paul's "claim to fame" is that he once held the title, “Philippines National Champion of the Pokemon Trading Card Game.” He still casually plays and would welcome any challengers. He also volunteers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium every other Saturday as the world sometimes needs stewards to speak for it.

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's just not.” -The Onceler

Camp Leaders by Session

Board Games and Pokeman (Entering Grades 1 - 5)

Paul Justiniano

Paul Justinano


The early elementary science specialist has a knack for board games as well as a panache for Pokemon cards. He loves it! Games have always been an essential part of learning. Mr. Justiniano believes that it is through games that children are able to problem solve without the pressures of academics.