At Acton Academy Waco, children are trusted with more than simply absorbing knowledge: They are entrusted with the responsibility and freedom to learn by themselves. Our Learner Driven Community puts children at the center of their learning, allowing them to create and maintain personal goals and relational covenants where “Learning to Do” and “Learning to Be” are even more important than “Learning to Know.”
Socratic Discussions and self paced challenges equip children to be independent lifelong learners.
We use the latest in educational technology in a purposeful, meaningful way, allowing students to learn at their own ability level and at their own pace.
Hands-on Quests for Science, Entrepreneurship and the Arts prepare children for Apprenticeships and real world challenges.
Children become empowered learners through a democratic environment in which they have choice and voice in the learning process.
Deep learning brings a special sense of joy, but embracing rigor is part of saying ‘yes’ to a Hero’s Journey. Mastery requires commitment, discipline and hard work towards a worthy goal.
Acton Academy Waco students learn together in a mixed age classroom, bringing the classic one-room school house into the modern age. Students learn to mentor and be mentored by one another. Our Guides (our term for teachers) are not lecturers, but act as facilitators of student growth.
Co-Founders and Directors
Travis and Kristina are both graduates of Texas A&M University and have been married for 11 years. Travis is a firm believer in "learning by doing" and has applied this throughout his own entrepreneurial journey. Today, Travis owns and operates a large scale real estate investment firm in Waco, TX. He has been recognized by the real estate industry for his successes on a national level. As a self-employed business owner, he sees the benefits of project based learning on a daily basis. Kristina, a former registered nurse and teacher, primarily stays at home with their children in recent years. She has also created efficient operating systems within the family's real estate company.
Travis and Kristina have two children, each of whom are following a unique journey of their own. They are licensed foster parents and have a heart for foster care around the world. Their oldest daughter is one of the heroes at Acton Academy Waco. In their spare time, they enjoy being outside, playing games, and traveling the world together.
Laura lived on both US coasts and in between as a child, then settled into Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Science. After being awarded the highly competitive Walter Wattles Fellowship at Lloyd’s of London, Laura worked in the aviation insurance industry in New York City. Deciding to follow her calling into the world of education, Laura returned to Nashville and earned her Master of Education at Peabody College. This led her to her work at the Oklahoma Arts Institute, creating fine arts education programs for teachers and talented high school students.
Laura married Jeff Sandefer and is the happy mother of Sam and Charlie and step-mother to Taite. It is the inspiration of these children that led Laura and Jeff to co-found Acton Academy.
Her greatest hero is her mother who was a Master Teacher. Her wisest mentor is her father who sent her off to college with two words of advice: "Be curious".
Jeff Sandefer lives a dual life as an entrepreneur and a Socratic Guide. As an entrepreneur, he founded his first company at age 16 and went on to found or co-found seven successful businesses.
As a Socratic teacher at the University of Texas, Jeff's students five times voted him the school's Outstanding Teacher and Businessweek named him one of the top Entrepeneurship professors in America. Jeff went on to co-found the Acton School of Business, an MBA program perennially ranked by the Princeton Review among the best in the nation. In 2012 The Economist honored him as one of the top fifteen Business School professors in the world.
Jeff is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, where he served for over twenty years on the school's governing committees. He was a longtime director of the Philanthropy Roundtable and National Review magazine and one of the youngest members ever elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.