Once upon a time, there was a teacher whose passion was guiding children on their learning journeys. She thrilled in the day-to-day of young learners discovering their talents. She delighted when young minds pondered the marvels of life and the world around them. One day, she realized things had changed - she no longer fit the world of traditional education she had served tirelessly. Rather, she wanted something different for her students. She yearned for a place where learners were valued wherever they were on their journey, not judged for it...for a place that measured success by mastery not success by test scores...for a place where joyful learning inspired students to want to be lifelong learners...for a place that reflected the needs of the 21st century and cultivated the skills of global citizens.
And so, she opened the doors of Acton Academy Marietta.
Founder, Director, Learning Designer, Guide
Georgette always knew her calling was to work with children. With a Master of Science in Teaching degree from Fordham University, Georgette taught for almost two decades in public and private schools in New York, Maryland, Florida and Georgia. During her tenure in traditional education, she served in many leadership roles at a Cobb County elementary school, founded two non-profit foundations for her own children's schools, and was the architect and head of the English for Speakers of Other Languages program for a Fulton County elementary school. Georgette is a native New Yorker, but she and her husband have lived and raised their two children in Marietta for the past 20 years. She is thrilled that her Hero's Journey has led her to the launching of Acton Academy Marietta and considers herself to be one if its fortunate learners.
Learning Designer, Guide
Jamie is formally trained as an artist and an art educator. She's worked as an art teacher in both public and private schools. She's worked as a professional artist and for a season she was involved in relief and development work that took her all over southeast Asia. Now as a guide for Acton Academy Marietta, she enjoys working with the Adventurers to support their academic and creative pursuits and drops in with the Explorers for art once a week!
Amanda is mom to two sweet boys. She enjoys reading, traveling, and eating lots of good food! Amanda discovered Acton Academy Marietta after realizing she wanted a learning environment that would not stifle her boys' individual uniqueness, but, rather, would nurture it and let them explore who they want to be. While watching her son go to school, she realized our educational system could be reimagined and she wanted to be a part of that. She is excited about working with a team who is passionate about what they do and about bettering the lives of children. Amanda is Montessori certified and works with Acton's youngest learners to create a strong foundation for life-long learning.
Laura is co-founder and head of school of Acton Academy (Austin). Raised by a science teacher and minister, Laura lived on both coasts and in between as a child and then landed at Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Science.
After working in London and New York City in the aviation insurance business, Laura yearned to follow her heart into the world of teaching. She went back to Vanderbilt's renowned Peabody College and received her Master of Education. This led her to work in arts education at the Oklahoma Arts Institute. Laura later married Jeff Sandefer and has two sons and a stepdaughter. It is the inspiration of these children that led Laura and Jeff to cofound Acton Academy (Austin).
Her greatest hero is her beloved late mother, who was a master teacher as none other. Her wisest mentor is her father, who sent her off to college with two words of advice: "Be curious."
Jeff is an entrepreneur and a Socratic teacher. As an entrepreneur, he began by starting his first company at age 16 and most recently sold Sandefer Capital, an energy investment firm with several billion dollars in assets.
As a teacher, he co-founded the Acton School of Business, a school dedicated to America’s next generation of principled entrepreneurs and famous for its 100-hour work weeks. The Princeton Review has consistently ranked Acton’s teachers, students, and program among the best in the country. While at the University of Texas, Jeff’s students voted him the school’s Most Outstanding Teacher five times, and he was named by Businessweek as one of the top entrepreneurship professors in America. He also co-founded Acton Academy (Austin), where he is a middle school lead guide.
Jeff has been a longtime board member of National Review, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Harvard Business School and is one of the youngest members ever elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.