As part of an ongoing strategy to invest in one of California’s largest and most successful PreK-12 practices and our overall position in the Northern California region, HMC Architects is proud to announce that Sherry Sajadpour, AIA, ALEP, has joined the firm as a principal-in-charge. Sherry is an experienced senior PreK-12 architect, thought leader, planner, and mentor who brings over 20 years of project management expertise and unique skillsets rooted in predesign, programming, and planning. Located in HMC’s San Jose office, Sherry will play a pivotal role in maintaining and continuing to establish lasting partnerships with our school district clients to create inclusive and equitable learning environments. Sherry is also the AIA Silicon Valley Women in Architecture committee chair.

Q: What is your educational background and specialty?

A: I received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran, Iran, and attained my architectural license in California. I specialize in programming and planning pre-design phases as an Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) through the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE).

Q: What does your new role at HMC entail, and what do you hope to accomplish?

A: As a Principal-in-Charge, I intend to establish lasting partnerships with our PreK-12 districts to create inclusive and equitable learning environments. I want to make a real difference in the lives of students and educators by designing inspiring and innovative spaces that challenge and support all learners.

Q: What major projects have you worked on that our PreK-12 clients would like to know about?

A: Some of my noteworthy projects include the Evergreen Valley College Language Arts Building in San Jose, California, the King City High School Agricultural Science and CTE Building in King City, California, the Mountainview Whisman School District Master Plan, Graham Middle School Performing Arts Center in Mountain View, California, and new elementary school campus in Sausalito to support the community’s unification goal of bringing together the two highly diverse communities of Sausalito and Marin City and provide equitable opportunities for students throughout the district.

Q: Tell us about your involvement with Women in Architecture.

A: I serve as chair of the AIA Silicon Valley Women in Architecture committee. I’m passionate about social equity, and I hope to continue raising awareness of equitable practices and their impact on our communities and the architecture field. Our committee has an annual theme that guides all our events throughout the year, and this year’s theme is “Elevating a Balanced Community.” Through our events and initiatives, we aim to inspire and empower women in architecture and work towards creating a more balanced and inclusive community.

PHOTO: Sherry and the AIA Silicon Valley Women in Architecture Committee at a recent strategic planning

Q: What is your mission, and how do you want to be remembered?

A: I aim to positively impact those around me, including my coworkers, colleagues, and emerging professionals. I want to inspire others to follow their passions and lead empathetically while breaking down traditional practice barriers. If nothing else, my experience has taught me that sometimes our career paths might not be linear, and we may have to take detours to discover our true passions. I want to be remembered as someone who made a difference in people’s lives and helped shape their future.

Q: What are your passions outside of architecture?

A: Gathering friends and family, finding new places for different outings, or curling up with a good book or movie. Ballroom dancing is on my bucket list. Most importantly, I love spending time with my sons and our adorable pup Bodhi.

Sherry and her labradoodle Bodhi.