Board of Directors

Board meetings are held in person.  See the current meeting agenda for location details.

Meetings are generally held on the 4th Thursday of each month with some exceptions.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is charged with the direction of Almond Acres and its solvency, making personnel, financial, curricular and other major decisions.

Samer Mohamed

President

samer@almondacres.com

I am proud to serve as a community Board member for Almond Acres Charter Academy. I believe in the strong collaborative partnership between the school, families, and the community. It is with strong collaboration that the school will not just survive but thrive. I enjoy giving back to the school that was the educational “home” for my son, who is now grown and gone beyond high school. I am honored to do whatever I can on this journey of “Growing Great Kids”.

As an executive with a large vertically integrated agriculture company, I endeavor to bring a business mindset to the oversight of the charter school; setting aligned goals, developing performance metrics, and milestones.  This is supported by the genuine desire to improve public education for all students regardless of their economic or social structure.

I am a very hands-on individual and I enjoy working on various projects, whether it be at my home in the yard with my son or tinkering on a car or two. You will often find me helping out with projects for the school as well.  

I enjoy spending time with friends and family and have a love for cars! I also enjoy traveling and exploring: both our nearby unique and beautiful sights as well as the amazing sights our world has to offer.

Edward Surber

Vice President

edward@almondacres.com

I have two children who attend AACA, Charlotte (10 years old) and Cody (6 years old). When our daughter was in pre-school we were exploring options other than the public education route because we felt there wasn’t the proper amount of family involvement with the education process and also we were not excited about putting our child through the “traditional” path of education. As we started exploring AACA we realized that this was the perfect path for our child. The approach to teaching young people to be the “best versions of themselves” and to become great citizens was in line with our parenting philosophy. The faculty, staff, parents, and students at AACA are amazing and I truly feel like we are part of an extended family that is helping our children be the best versions of themselves.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I earned this degree in 2002. I started out working for an engineering contracting firm in Bakersfield, CA designing automation and control systems for food & beverage and oil & gas manufacturing facilities. After nearly 2 years, I went to work for Paramount Farms (now Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds) as a Project Engineer working, again, on designing automation and control systems for various pistachio and almond processing and manufacturing lines. While at Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds (WP&A) I moved into various roles such as Reliability, Human Resources, Operations, Finance, Accounting, and Information Technology. I was with WP&A for about 14 years. From WP&A I moved into a President & CEO role for CherrCo, Inc., which is a Michigan based tart cherry cooperative. CherrCo is the largest tart cherry cooperative in North America involved in the sales of nearly 100 million pounds of tart cherry products around the world. I am still actively leading the CherrCo organization. Towards the end of 2018, I started an engineering and consulting company that services a plethora of business types across the country. The name of this company is The CnC Group, which was inspired by my two beautiful children, Charlotte (C) and Cody (C). My passion for everything I do professionally is centered around people, processes, and products.

Personally, I tend to gravitate towards anything that has to do with exploration, adventure, and the outdoors. I am a commercially rated pilot. I love riding anything with two wheels. I love to see new things whenever I can. I love hiking and just being outside. I would consider myself a “foodie”; I love to eat unique and good tasting foods. And I enjoy doing all these things with other people, especially my friends and family.

Most people will see me and describe me as having an outgoing personality who loves to engage and interact with others. But in order for me to maintain my extroverted self, I need my alone time to reflect, regroup, and recharge. I do this through a healthy balance of spirituality, self-reflection, exercising, discussion with close friends, listening to inspiring podcasts, self-guided meditation, and reading the occasional “motivational” book. I strive to always look at myself in the mirror constantly and constantly work to be a better version of myself; perhaps why I’m so strongly drawn to AACA.

Salvador Cota

Board Member

salvador@almondacres.com

I have three children and two nieces that have gone to AACA. I love the change I have seen in my children. They are excited to go to school every day and have demonstrated a greater passion for their education. The methods AACA uses to educate our children are top-notch.

I dedicated 12 years of my life to the United States Army. I am trained in the IT field and use my skills to improve AACA in any way I am able. 

I used to run incredible distances. Now I have shared my love for running with my children. They all participate in AACA’s Cross Country program.

I “sharpen my saw” by going to the park with my family and enjoying their presence.

Don Goldammer

Board Member

don@almondacres.com

My passion for AACA stems from the positive experience my family has had as students, volunteers, and staff at AACA. AACA is truly unique to education with its approach of educating the whole child. No two children are exactly the same, and they don’t all learn the same. Recognizing that and meeting each child where and how they will be most successful, brings learning to life and makes it exciting, not mundane. AACA makes learning exciting. I am proud to have been associated with AACA since day one and look forward to expanding its opportunities with our beautiful new campus in Paso Robles.

I am a US Army and CA National Guard veteran.  Currently, I’m a sales manager at Lowes Home Improvement in Paso Robles.  Prior to my current position, I was a business owner for 15 years.

Katrina Mohamed

Board Member

katrina@almondacres.com

I believe wholeheartedly in school choice and am passionate about supporting such options.  Serving AACA affords me the ability to give of my time and share my many years of experience with charter schools.

I have been fortunate enough to spend my adult life serving students through various vehicles of public school options.  Currently, I serve as Vice President with K12, Inc. where I support 13 charter schools throughout the state of California.   Since starting with K12 in 2002, I have worked in various capacities which include instructional design, curriculum development, staff enrichment, legislative analysis, and fiscal management.   Prior to this role, I was a classroom teacher in both special education and general education settings, a categorical program director, and a site administrator.  With over twenty years of charter school experience, I am honored to be able to support AACA in charter school development, operations, growth and expansion; instructional leadership & academic achievement; and legislative updates and guidance.

I love to be in the mountains enjoying all of the beautiful gifts of nature.  When possible, I enjoy traveling to new places and playing tennis.

Being a mom to my children and a second mom to others truly fills my soul.  One of my favorite pastimes is to teach, play, and nurture young minds.  

Abby Stoltzfus

Board Member

abby@almondacres.com

I love the sense of family I feel within the AACA community. For the past seven years of supporting each other through ups and downs, personally and educationally, this is one of the main reasons our family calls AACA home.

I went to school to be a counselor. Then life took me down another path, and I have been a hairstylist for the last 18 years in two different states. I love my job!  Looking back over my career, my favorite parts of my working day are creatively designing, being inspired by beauty, and listening to people’s life stories. I may be a therapist after all! 😉 I think I kind of get the best of all worlds!

Summer is my favorite time of year where our family loves to experience the great outdoors! From tent camping to road tripping, to hiking, boating, swimming, creek walking, and kayaking.  We love land and water–from ocean to mountains and everywhere in between. Personally, I love to play beach volleyball, walk my golden retrievers, workout, and watch Major League Baseball. My kids play soccer, volleyball, and baseball. I’m their biggest fan!

Can I just say Brene Brown is food for my soul! Her books inspire me to be the best version of myself!  AND a glass of wine at sunset isn’t bad either!!

Xavier Villa

Board Member

xavier@almondacres.com

I was a very shy kid in my early youth but things turned around for me when I joined 4-H. I participated in 4-H for 8 years and greatly attribute this club to helping develop me as a well-rounded individual. 4-H focuses on building the youth’s mind, heart, health, and service to the community.  Unfortunately, this focus is mostly lost in today’s public school system, where instead, a simple copy and paste approach to learning is instituted. This approach would not have helped me break out of my shell and gain confidence in my communication and leadership abilities. Fortunately, all is not lost. I was thrilled to learn from Director Mr. Bourgault that, “at Almond Acres our mission is to grow great kids!” I deeply resonate with the pillars of Almond Acres and love that they are embedded into the education at every level. The children are our future and great kids foster a great community. I am proud to serve and be a part of the Almond Acres Charter Academy family where the youth’s overall well-being is our top priority!

I graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. My family and I own and manage a bamboo farm and nursery called, Paso Bamboo. We install live bamboo plants to provide privacy screening from neighbors or anything unsightly. We provide educational tours on bamboo growing, maintenance, and harvesting. I also buy older homes and remodel them to a comfortable living standard to then be rented out in San Miguel. It has been a great pleasure getting to know the community through both of these ventures and this area has become a place I call home and not just somewhere I live.

Soccer is the sport I love to play. My passion for soccer is also shared with my wife and we participate in our local co-ed indoor soccer leagues. I enjoy working with my hands both at the farm and in construction. Going on a hike to explore national parks is always a treat and cherish the view at the top after climbing through the day.

I enjoy quiet prayer, reflection, and meditation in my bamboo groves to help refresh the mind and maintain grounding. Spending time outdoors in nature is one of my favorite ways to unwind. I also find reading a good book and playing the saxophone to help ease the mind and warm the soul. Laughter is the best medicine, and I would say I am happiest when I am surrounded by loving family and friends.

Diane Ward

Board Member

diane@almondacres.com

Info coming soon!

Info coming soon!

Info coming soon!

Info coming soon!

Minutes & Agendas

View documents from past Board of Directors meetings.