Board

John Mattis:

[bio here]

Malin Roghelia

[bio here]

Peter Vantine

[bio here]

Rusty Zarse

Rusty has worked professionally as a software consultant, educator, presenter,  mentor and technology entrepreneur delivering bleeding edge mobile and web software solutions and leading world-class, agile software development teams.  In 2009, his son entered traditional elementary school and faced many of the cultural, social and academic challenges that education reform advocates cite today.  Rusty homeschooled his son, for several years, before enrolling him in progressive, hybrid, alternative education.  This amazing experience fueled a genuine passion for education and he's thrilled to be apart of the Acton Academy implementation.  Rusty will lead the organization in the adoption of technology and provide guidance and support to students and staff as they find the right balance and toolset for our nature-centric community.  

Rusty also teaches yoga, to young and old alike, and cherishes the importance of mindfulness in life.  Rusty feels that balance is not an either or equation but attention to the whole person in all aspect of life.

Acton (Austin) Founders

Founded in Austin, TX in 2008, Acton Academy has demonstrated exceptional results using principles and values calibrated with our advancing, modern world.  Our school is an extension of that innovation and a proud member of the Acton Academy community.  

Laura Sandefer: Advisor & Co-Founder of the Acton Academy

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: Advisor & Co-Founder of the Acton Academy

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 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. 

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.