Alumni Profiles

There is no better demonstration of a school’s value than its graduates. We see first hand the school’s impression on young people who communicate confidently and clearly, who are emerging leaders in many fields of work and study, and who see themselves as change agents in the world around them. Our immediate graduates regularly attend the high schools of their choice. Whether it is a local public high school, a study abroad program, a top tier boarding school, or another rigorous independent school, Presentation students are contributing and leading in meaningful ways wherever they are.

Many of our graduates are now young adults who have attended, or are presently attending competitive and excellent universities: from Tufts to UCLA, Stanford to Princeton, Sonoma State to Clemson, Cal Poly to Santa Clara. They are winemakers in New Zealand, brand developers in Sonoma, a fellow teacher at Presentation, coaches in schools, and writers for the New York Times. They each have this place, and this base of skills and values, to guide them.

Alumni Connections

For many, The Presentation School was home for 9 amazing years. As an alum we want you to be able to stay in touch with your classmates and to stay connected to what’s happening on the Presentation campus. Please include your email and mailing address to hear about upcoming alumni events and like our alumni Facebook page.


Graduates

Genaro Pamatz Genaro Pamatz, Class of 2014
Sonoma Academy

I joined The Presentation School when I was in 6th grade. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. At first, I would have never wanted to come to this school. My family and I believe that we made one of the best decisions going to this school. I made many great friends, met awesome teachers, and had fun classes.

This school taught me life lessons, prepared me for high school, and different ways to look at life. And in the end, this school has been one of the best experiences in my life. The great and fun memories will always stay with me.


Kirsten Couchman Kirsten Couchman, Class of 2012
Marin Academy

My experience as a student at Presentation was filled with many joyous, supportive and inclusive memories. From the ever encouraging and inspiring teachers to the fun, motivating peer group to the inclusive community, I always felt welcomed in every classroom, challenged academically, and excited for each new school day.

One of the most outstanding memories was participating in our middle school performance of Bye Bye Birdie. I made many lasting friendships through these experiences and have continued them through my time in high school.


Nina Sheridan Nina Sheridan, Class of 2010
Princeton University

I loved Presentation and was so happy to realize when I got to boarding school how well prepared I was academically for high school. What a great place to go to middle school -- I always felt challenged and never bored. Now I'm off to college - I'll be attending Princeton University where I plan to study economics and international relations.


Alexia Alexia Lema, Class of 2014
Sonoma Academy, '18
Boston College, '22

I am currently a Freshman at Boston College, where I am studying Finance and Business Analytics in the Carrol School of Management. I also a member of the women's soccer team at Boston College.

There are so many fond and favorite memories from my time at Presentation. Just to name a few: winning the basketball championship during my eighth-grade year, having a role in one of the school plays, being both on student council and a student ambassador. Mrs. Walthard!

Presentation taught me how to be a diligent and dedicated student who was curious about the world around me. Developing good study skills and strong values at a young age helped me not only in high school but now while starting college.

To all the eighth graders, I would tell them to be open and to work hard. Being open to new ideas or trying something new is extremely valuable, as I have had some of my most memorable and rewarding experiences by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I would also tell them to work hard and stay focused because putting in the work early will provide them with options for their future. Having options and getting to choose what you want is definitely worth the effort.


Jack Jack Greenberg, Class of 2012
Sonoma Academy, ‘16
Stanford, ‘20

I am a junior studying Economics at Stanford University. This summer I am conducting research at Stanford on the economic impact of the German invasion of France in World War Two. Some of my favorite memories of Presentation are the historical simulation games we played to learn about US Revolutionary history and Ancient Egyptian history. At Presentation, there was an emphasis on collaboration and understanding, two traits that make you a kinder and more productive person. These skills are required in every interpersonal and professional relationship. For current eighth graders, I would say enjoy your final year at this special school, and become as involved as you can! The year will fly by. Also, use your position as school leaders for positive change, and try to be the best person you can be; many people will be looking up to you this year.


Summer Summer Atwood, Class of 2011
Justin Siena, ‘15
Cal Poly, ‘19

I am currently going into my senior year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where I study Communications and Studio Art. I just returned from a year abroad where I spent the fall semester studying art and art history in Florence, Italy. I spent the spring semester studying creative writing and photography in Aix en Provence, France. (It was most definitely the best education-related decision I have personally made thus far and I encourage everyone to study abroad!) At the moment I am finishing up my summer internship with the San Francisco Opera’s Education Department, where I had the opportunity to develop marketing materials for the Education Department’s programs and assist in the preparation and implementation of events like the Ring Festival (in connection with their production of Wagner’s The Ring) and Cal Academy Teen Science Night. I am also continuing to work for a former Presentation School mom Linda Hamilton to assist in website design and development, product photography and description, and social media strategizing for her store and brand Nomad Chic.

I think I will always fondly remember one night on my 7th-grade class trip to Ashland, Oregon. It was October, the air was crisp, and we went to an evening production of Don Quixote at an open-air theatre. Though many of us spent the night rubbing our hands together and burrowing our noses into the warmth of scarves, the liveliness of the performance made it all worth it. I could look down at the glowing stage and then up at the glimmering night sky – what’s better than that?

Presentation taught me how to make both learning and working enjoyable. The teachers' enthusiasm for their subjects was infectious and I found myself wanting to find that same passion. Even though I’m not a big science person, Presentation taught me how to take interest in creating a science fair project and dissecting a chicken breast. I try to engage this same interest and enthusiasm in the work I do today. Advice is always tough because you kind of has to learn and experience things for yourself. One thing I would say to the eighth-grade class is don’t let fear limit you. I was very nervous about going to high school and I think my nerves and fears in my first year held me back a little bit from doing things I could enjoy – like joining the soccer team or taking an art class. I’m still working on subduing my fears, but if you can shrug it off and try new things little by little you will have so many more opportunities to discover what you enjoy. You can do it! Have no fear!


Elijah Elijah Lakritz, Class of 2016
Sonoma Academy, 20

I am a junior at Sonoma Academy, which is a great college preparatory school in Santa Rosa. I’m currently taking classes such as American History, Economics, and Mandarin. I have played varsity basketball since sophomore year, and it’s incredibly fun! I plan on traveling to a region in southern Chile and Argentina which is also known as “Patagonia” on a school backpacking trip. I’m very excited, as it will be with my other friends and classmates. We will be leaving in early April, and I will be gone for two weeks.

My favorite memory at Presentation is being in Mr. Kuschner’s class in sixth grade. He has always been a great teacher, mentor and friend to me throughout middle school. We would talk about life, sports and most importantly, the addictive video game we both play, Clash of Clans. Thank you to Mr. K for being the best I could’ve asked for!

The most important thing I learned academically at Presentation is how to build my work ethic. High school is a lot different than middle school, and Presentation definitely helped me prepare for that. Especially when the sixth, seventh and eighth grade rolled around, the homework required critical thinking, effort, and good time management. I use the skills I gained in middle to help manage and successfully do my homework in high school.

To the eighth grade class- congratulations on reaching eighth grade. Middle school is a complex, fun and confusing time that’s full of self-discovery and work. Put in as much hard work into your classes as you can. Right now, live up being the oldest and coolest kids on campus. High school is a whole new environment, so make sure you bring an open and humble attitude with a willingness to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, believe me, I do it a lot even as a Junior in high school. When you all decide which path you want to take for high school, make sure you come in asking as many questions that come to mind and always seek help when you need it. To me, that’s the best advice I can give you. No matter how hard you try, asking for help is not a bad thing. It helps you make connections with peers and opens your mind to new ideas.


Madden Madden Edwards, Class of 2018
Justin Siena, ‘22

I’m Madden Edwards and I’m currently going to Justin-Siena High School in Napa, CA. My plans after high school are to be a sports announcer or something in the similar job field. A fond memory I have from Presentation would have to be walking by Mr. K’s classroom every day and saying “hi” while passing by before he had the chance to say “hi” back. The most important thing I learned from the Presentation school would be to just be yourself, and not let anyone change you in any way. I’ve learned from The Presentation School that being myself is the best thing I can do to succeed through my school years. The biggest advice I would give to my fellow eighth graders would be to just stay on top of your work and don’t procrastinate!


Laura Laura Couchman, Class of 2016
Marin Academy, ‘20

I am currently a junior at Marin Academy. This past summer I attended a three-week marketing and customer communications program at Columbia University. I am currently playing water polo and lacrosse for my school. I am apart of our school's admission fellows, youth grants board, teachers assistant program, and I lead our Asian Student Organization. I am in the process of practicing for the ACT college entrance exam and am looking forward to going to college!

One of my favorite Presentation signature events is the Invention Convention. Being able to be creative and see through an invention was such a fun experience as a fifth grader!

Learning how to present and be comfortable in front of a crowd is one of the best skills that I have learned from Presentation. I have been able to use this skill both in and out of school and it is an important skill that Presentation really values.

If I could give advice to Presentation 8th graders it would be to keep an open mind and not be afraid to try new things in high school. It can be intimidating at sometimes, but it’s worth trying new things!


Ava Ava Rognlien, Class of 2015
Sonoma High, ‘19

I am currently a senior at Sonoma Valley High School, and I am beginning the process of applying to colleges!

A strong memory of The Presentation School is the eighth-grade service project I did because it introduced me to my love for service, empowerment, and feminism. I projected a movie called Finding Kind, which discussed how to combat girl on girl bullying. Accomplishing this project was extremely fulfilling, and I am so grateful I got the support I had from Presentation to accomplish anything I set my mind to. At the Presentation School, I learned how important it is to follow your passions, no matter what they might be, and I really had a chance to explore my creativity, which I think has shaped me into the person I am today. Coming from Presentation I felt super prepared to conquer my school work!

My advice to current eighth graders would be to live now. You only get one chance to be young and experience high school, so explore different parts of yourself. Try different passions, even if no one else is doing it. Have fun, and try not to take yourself so seriously. You only get to be young once, so don't choose to live with regrets!


Kiki Couchman

Currently, I am a junior at Stanford University. I am studying Human Biology with a focus on economic/environmentally sustainable food systems. This summer I worked at an internship in Shanghai focusing on creating a curriculum for schools about healthy eating for our human and environmental health. This quarter I am headed to Madrid through a Stanford study abroad program. It is a cultural immersion, so I will be staying with a host family and have signed a language pledge to only speak Spanish.

I look back on my time at The Presentation School with many fond memories. Seventh grade was a very memorable year for me! I loved Mrs. Carroll and our trip to Ashland, Oregon!

Mrs. Carroll was the most formative teacher for improving my study habits. I learned how to be an attentive and efficient notetaker. Presentation prepared me to take responsibility for my success in the classroom and keep up daily with my schoolwork. I also remember weekly vocabulary tests that greatly improved my writing and speaking eloquence.

My advice is to keep an open mind about everything. You will be surprised how much you can learn from just talking to the people around you. There is also a lot of pressure to be involved in extracurriculars, etc and I do think that is super important - but be genuine about what you choose to do. Engage in your community whether that means reaching out to new friends or classmates, talking with teachers outside the classroom, or participating in an extracurricular. It is also so important to find things you enjoy outside the classroom! Explore and be genuine about what you choose to engage with!


Kelsey Kelsey Minigan, Class of 2006
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, ‘16

I graduated from UCSB in 2014 and went on to work for the San Francisco Giants (2014) and Yelp (2015). I have now been with Sonoma Brands for 2.5 years and love being back in Sonoma.

My favorite memory from Presentation School is from eighth-grade when my class decided the best way to solve our problem of having too many flies in the classroom was to run around with large black trash bags and try to catch all the flies. We ran in circles for about 10 minutes before realizing we hadn’t caught a single fly.

Presentation taught me from an early age how to prioritize time and balance several projects at once - super useful both in finishing school and also in “adulting.” Advice for the current eighth-grade class: Set lofty goals – you can always achieve more than you think you can! And don’t take yourself too seriously ;)


Nell Sheridan

I am currently a senior at Sonoma Academy and am one of four students who is completing a global citizenship concentration there. Part of this meant studying abroad in Bali Indonesia at the Green School my sophomore year, an international high school focused on sustainability. This year I am also serving as captain of the tennis team and co-student body president.

Presentation taught me a lot about leadership and responsibility. The student council there was the first leadership role I ever had and ever since then, I couldn’t stop! I expect to major in graphic design in college. In fact, last summer I took courses at RISD and SCAD.

My advice to current 8th graders would be to tour lots of high schools to see what choices are out there and to take advantage of everything that high school has to offer. Try new things and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way - or make your own opportunities.