Parents around the world are reinventing education by opening Acton Academies. Are you ready to join the revolution?

Shannon Baldwin (Head of School) and her family.

When our oldest son was approaching school age, my husband, Patrick, and I spent a lot of time talking about the type of school we’d like him to attend. Patrick, creative and intelligent, had always hated school and never felt successful there. We dreamt of a school where our child’s creativity would not be stifled, where he could delve deeply into subjects he felt passionate about and where he would learn, not just to memorize facts or take tests, but to love learning. We fantasized about a school that taught character and life-skills rather than simply academia. Wouldn’t it be great, we thought, if he could come out of school with some idea of how to function in the world?

When Jeff Johns (now co-founder and Board Chairman at Acton Academy Alburquerque) invited me to hear about Acton, I called Patrick immediately afterward and told him, “You know that school we dreamt of, the one that didn’t exist? Jeff wants us to start that school here!” There was never a question in my mind – this was it! Acton is a place where kids learn, not just to be students, but to be exceptional people: curious, resourceful, independent, kind and determined. The fact that creativity and ingenuity needn’t be sacrificed for academic rigor, or vice versa, is one of the most appealing things about the model. Acton is designed to develop the whole person: head, hands, and heart – learning to know, learning to do, and learning to be. Let the journey begin!

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Jeff Johns (Founder and Board Chairman) and his family.

Doing well in the traditional school setting is one thing, but I didn’t really get energized about learning until my MBA program. It was then that I experienced what it was like to work with others who wanted to be a part of something greater.

The professors expected much from us, and we were rewarded for our ingenuity. Jeff Sandefer, founder of Acton Academy, was one of those professors and he became a mentor for me. So when he mentioned to me one day about this new school he and his wife Laura were developing, I instinctively knew I wanted this for my own kids. It wasn’t until I visited his pilot program in Austin, TX that I became fully convinced.

The students had a totally different demeanor than at a typical school. They were busy, engaged, and fully in charge of their own learning and their own community.

While planning and building Acton ABQ, I’ve interacted with over a dozen other amazing and visionary leaders who are launching Acton Academy schools from California to Kuala Lumpur. We all share a common belief that our students are capable of much more than most people ever expect of them and that given the opportunity to find their own Hero’s Journey, they will engage in incredible ways and change the world.

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I have seen so much development in our son, just in the last few months - not just academically, but in the way he responds to adults and even his younger brother.  He is also more prone to figure things out on his own rather than coming to me or his mom for everything. We love Acton and love what we are seeing in our son!
Patrick B. — Parent
Our promises to your child

He or she will:

  • Begin a Hero’s Journey.
  • Learn to be a curious, independent, lifelong learner.
  • Develop a deep respect for economic, political and religious freedoms.
  • Cherish the arts, wonders of the physical world and the mysteries of life on Earth.
  • Discover his or her most precious gifts and learn to use them to solve difficult problems.
Our beliefs
  • We believe each child has a gift that can change the world in a profound way.
  • We believe in a closely connected family of lifelong learners.
  • We believe in learning by knowing, learning by doing and learning by being.
  • We believe in economic, religious, and political freedom.


Embracing rigor is part of saying ‘yes’ to a Hero’s Journey. Deep learning brings a special sense of joy, but the mastery required for a Hero’s Journey goes even further, requiring commitment, discipline and hard work towards a worthy goal.

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