Board of Directors

Board meetings are held online.  See the current meeting agenda for Zoom link details.

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

Almond Acres Charter Academy is seeking a new community Board member

Click for the role description and details on how to apply.

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.

Justin Perino

Vice President

justin@almondacres.com

When I was told about the teaching and education philosophy of Almond Acres Charter Academy, I couldn’t think of a better model for educating our children.  A system that strives to educate the whole child, prepare each student to succeed in their own way, both in the classroom and our community, is a model of education that inspires me to make Almond Acres great!

I am the General Manager of Operations for a large Central Coast Vineyard and Winery.  My job allows me to be involved with high level, strategic and corporate planning in addition to the day-to-day operations of a 1M case Winery and Bottling Operation.  In addition to my time dedicated to AACA, I serve on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences and I was the Past-Chair of the Paso Robles Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission.  I graduated from The University of Arizona and I’m also a Graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program, Class 44.

I enjoy tinkering on projects that involve physical work, gardening to think deeply and a good sweat at the gym to clear the mind.  Occasionally you can find me adventuring up a rugged 4×4 trail in my 1972 Land Cruiser rock crawler.

I find solitude and rejuvenation in the high Sierra’s with a good book.

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.

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.

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.  

Edward Surber

Board Member

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.

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!!

Minutes & Agendas

View documents from past Board of Directors meetings.

Minutes ArchiveAgenda Archive