Our Executive Director, Bob Bourgault, is fondly known by our AACA students as Mr. B. His mission is to help every learner discover the best version of themselves. Mr. B shares his gifts with the Almond Acres community — especially its students — in hopes that the children will share their best version of themselves right back to the family and community in which they live..
Mr. B feels that when children believe in themselves they have confidence. This confidence translates into students being their most happy and successful selves. Students who are confident can recognize the beauty in almost anything — even old pieces of wood (another passion of Mr. B’s). Mr. B feels very strongly about the importance of kids being who they are.
“Almond Acres Charter Academy is designed and dedicated to the true meaning of education. The word ‘educate’ originates from the Latin word ‘educare’ which means to nurture and draw out the learner, not to fill him/her up. We help students become the very best version of themselves by inciting a passion and desire to learn. Project-based learning, service learning, and meaningful educational experiences within our community are the keys to unlocking outstanding learning and student success.”Bob Bourgault
Another word Mr. B uses to describe students and their best selves is efficacy. When kids believe in who they are — they have the power and confidence to have a positive impact on their own life and the lives of others.
As for parents, the role of educating and influencing young minds is always in use. Parents are coaches, motivators, teachers and support systems for their children. In fact, the word educate and parent come from the same Latin root word…educare. It means to draw out, to nurture. Not to push in or fill up.
Almond Acres parents are among Mr. B’s biggest fans
“There are two things that stand out to me about AACA that makes them different from traditional education. First, they emphasize the importance of growing great kids that eventually turn into great citizens. One of the ways they do this is to teach them how to problem solve by finding the next right thing they can do. Mr. B. shared a story with me of a former student who observed her AACA classmates walking away from a fight at the high school. He believed they made that good choice because they had the philosophies of finding the next right thing ingrained in them.
The second thing they do that is different from traditional education is they find how each student is smart and encourage them in that direction. That is an out-of-the-box way to think about education and I know my son will benefit from his teachers working with him in that way.”
“Our son has learned so much about his personal learning style and what makes him a unique learner and he can communicate that to EVERYONE at AACA because every year every student creates their kite; a visual representation of their individual strengths and weaknesses in heart, mind, body, and soul. In short, AACA actively engages each child in their own learning process. AACA imbues a love of learning in their students. They are not just being taught how to succeed in the classroom but how to succeed in life and as members of their community.”
Our AACA student alums also found guidance from Mr. B to be truly inspiring. When asked what, as a middle schooler, they found most rewarding about their time at Almond Acres we received replies like:
“All the leadership talks with Mr. B. “
“You will find yourself and make friends that last a lifetime.”
“AACA is a great place to slow down and learn about yourself. There are lots of day-to-day skills you learn that even adults have trouble with.”
Mr. B helps Almond Acres students focus on the cooperative, not the competitive. Top down, every faculty member and administrative staffer helps each individual child recognize simple principles that help them maintain who they are. Mr. B has a genuine desire to help, and alongside his team, Mr. B honors kids for who they are.
“The recipe to growing great kids is simple. First, we affirm. The strengths and struggles of each student are unique to them. We acknowledge and recognize this in each learner. Secondly, we stretch. We guide students through the process of identifying opportunities for growth and set goals that are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-based). Finally, we celebrate the awakening of creativityStudent achievements are regularly commemorated during our daily Shared Start assembly.”
About Almond Acres
Almond Acres is relocating to Paso Robles. 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 in all communities, the school is currently located in San Miguel and moving to Paso Robles for the 2021-22 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!