It’s no secret that we love our staff at Almond Acres Charter Academy. The dedication and care they bring each and every day make our school a special place to be. We’d like to introduce you to two leaders at AACA who help make our days great. Some of these faces may be familiar and some may be new–we think you’ll enjoy getting to know a little more about how they came to join our school and what inspires them. 

Profile picture of Jeff Cadwallader, Facilities Director for Almond Acres Charter Academy

Jeff Cadwallader, Facilities Director

How long have you worked at Almond Acres?

As of right now, this is my 2nd DAY at AACA.

When did you know you wanted to work in education?

I always enjoyed helping other students out during school. During college, I tutored my teammates in a variety of subjects. A few years after college I had no direction in my career path and had a long conversation with a close friend that had just completed her first year of teaching. After this conversation, I started researching what it would take to become a teacher. After my first year in the classroom I was hooked and knew this was going to be my life long career.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

My favorite teacher was Ms. Habas, my Probability and Statistics teacher during my senior year of high school. She made learning new concepts easy and fun. She is the reason I decided to get a math degree and I modeled many of my teaching practices after her.

How does your school’s mission and vision align with your personal values?

I believe that all students can learn and excel when given the opportunity and tools necessary to be successful. At Almond Acres, we teach the child, not the subject. We meet each individual student on their level and grow the whole child, heart, mind, body, and spirit.

What do you love most about your role?

Being new to the school, my role affords me the opportunity to see how the school runs from the ground up. A large part of my duties will be centered around the completion of our new school site and the transition from temporary sites into the new building.

What else would you like us to know about YOU?

For fun I like to go camping, golfing, and to the beach. I also enjoy spending much of my free time coaching my 3 children in a variety of sports.

Profile picture of Carrie Fiel, Curriculum Director for Almond Acres Charter Academy

Carrie Fiel, Curriculum Director 

How long have you worked at Almond Acres?

I found my home with Almond Acres in their second year which was 2013-14. I started as a 6th grade teacher and then moved to 1st grade.  After a few years in 1st grade I moved out of the classroom to work in curriculum with Amy Baker.  I have found my passion working with all things curriculum, instruction and assessment related. I have now been with AACA for 8 years and this year will be my 9th year!  I can say that I found my school home when I found AACA. 

When did you know you wanted to work in education?

I knew I wanted to work in education in 6th grade!  I had to create a lesson all about Jellyfish and teach my class. I fell in love with how excited others got about learning and I knew then I would be a teacher.  Funny, that I found my passion in middle school and I started my career in teaching as a middle school math and science teacher in Los Angeles. 

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

My favorite teacher was Kathy Turin. She was amazing because she knew exactly who you were as a person, your likes and dislikes, what made you excited and what bored you to tears. She made learning fun and accessible for all. 

How does AACA’s mission and vision align with your personal values?

My mission has always been to recognize and support the whole child and to meet every child where they are academically.  Being an active and participating member of society has been my end goal.  All of these align to Almond Acres Mission of growing great kids! Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. 

What do you love most about your role?

I love to see the curriculum that I have worked on come to life in the classroom and in student projects. I love to see them smiling while they learn.  

What else would you like us to know about YOU?

Ah! I spend all my free time teaching Aquafit at the Paso Robles Sports Club.  I love Aquafit and love teaching my classes at the Sports Club. Occasionally, you will also find me swimming laps too.  I just love aquatics ;0). I also love animals and you can find me taking care of our sheep and chickens.  I have two amazing and wonderful kiddos who are both now adults and going to college. 

About AACA

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. Open to all students from all communities, AACA is currently in a temporary Paso Robles location until our new purpose built building opens for the 2021-2022 school year. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids!