Co-founder and Chief Encourager for Acton Academy

About Laura Sandefer


Laura Sandefer is an author and the co-founder of Acton Academy, a school whose learner-driven model is spreading across the globe with over 130 locations in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, Malaysia and more, and in 2019 is celebrating 10 years of letting children take learning into their owns hands.

Acton Academy bases their model of learning on the Hero’s Journey: a story pattern common in ancient myths and modern day adventures in which a hero goes on an adventure, wins a victory and comes home transformed. Children at Acton Academy know why they are being challenged to learn — they are on their own Hero’s Journey to find their passion in life.

Acton Academy and Sandefer have been featured in the Austin American Statesman, Inc., Forbes, National Review, Huffington Post and more. Sandefer has a bachelor of arts and masters of education degrees from Vanderbilt University. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children and three dogs.


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Be Family

 Our children have all grown and flown.  Over the last 15 months as an empty… Read More

Recent Press

Jeff Sandefer – Acton Academy Co-Founder

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 Entrepreneurship 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.

Travis Adams – My First Sale

Travis Adams is the Chief Executive Officer of MyFirstSale and lives in Tyler, Texas. Travis has a passion for igniting the creativity and uniqueness inside of kids.

Jessica Lahey – The Gift of Failure

Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Over twenty years, she’s  taught every grade from sixth to twelfth in both public and private  schools. She writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, Vermont Public Radio, The Washington Post and the New York Times.

The learning revolution.

Acton Academy

Acton Academy is a one-room schoolhouse for the 21st century with over 140 locations around the world. Joy and rigor merge  through our personalized state-of-the-art technology and real world apprenticeships, collaborative real world projects and Socratic discussions. Our young people are driven to find their inner gifts and use them to make the world better.

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Network Affiliates

We are a network of passionate, principled entrepreneurs driven by a singular mission and the promise to guide young people to realize their full potential and live exceptional lives. Do you feel an urgency to give your children the very best learning opportunity? Maybe you are the next Acton Academy owner!

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The Start of the Journey

Courage to Grow

Get the first chapter of the inspiring story of Acton Academy, a micro-school on the cutting edge of disruptive education.


Courage to Grow is the intimate origin story of Acton Academy, one of today’s most innovative schools with a model quickly spreading around the globe. If you have ever wondered if there are more powerful ways for young people to learn, step aboard for a behind the scenes tour of how Acton Academy unlocks the genius in every child, while embracing personal accountability and forging young characters. However, this is not a how-to book. Nor is it a book about educational theory. It is a fast-paced tale of courageous families, transformed by what young people can accomplish when armed with the right inspiration, questions and tools. Like all good tales, there is a surprise ending, a final bit of magic about parenting and life you won’t want to miss.