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Seeking a 21st century education for their children, Laura and Jeff Sandefer jumped off the track of conventional school and designed a new model for learning. They created Acton Academy as a better school where learning is made practical and meaningful, and where students begin a lifelong Hero’s Journey to discover their true potential. 

Using the Socratic method, elements of the Montessori approach and state-of-the-art online instruction, Acton guides students toward independence and self-motivation, helping them find the courage to grow into the person they were meant to be.


Created by Caring



As time went on other educators licensed their own Acton Academies and less than a decade from the seven founding students’ first Socratic discussion; Acton has spread around the world. Today, the Acton Academy network assesses best practices and shares knowledge in real time making it one of the biggest education global forums in the world.

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Head of School
Ira Cantú

Head of School Ira Cantú

I simply fell in love with the model once I understood how it prepares children early on to deal with the challenges that accompany us throughout the rest of our adult lives.

I am a traditional and alternative educator. Experienced Montessori, Waldorf and Socratic guide. I'm fortunate to have collaborated with institutions large and small, either with traditional or alternative approaches. And in many ways I've seen it all. My long and passionate relationship with education began at the American Institute of Monterrey, which for 10 years represented a more formative experience than my university career itself. Later on, I discovered Montessori pedagogy, working in various positions both as a guide and later as director at Colegio Montessori Sierra Madre. Discovering this pedagogy led me to a completely different conception of "the child," as Maria Montessori refers to the young. That was the beginning of a new light in my professional journey. A brief encounter with Waldorf pedagogy in my experience at Casa del Río (now Aldea Escuela Bosque) added a new layer of understanding of what being a young person entails and the possibilities that adults have at their disposal to intentionally accompany and enrich the journey of each girl and boy around us. At the end of 2018, I discovered Acton Academy through an unexpected phone call. Everything I heard about this method from the other end of the line made me more curious. Learners made public exhibitions instead of taking exams. They got community awarded badges as proof of knowledge. Their guides answered questions from students with further Socratic questions. I saw education becoming a set of challenges with clear expectations in an ideal setting and with the relevant tools at hand. A child fully empowered to discover the most relevant aspect of our human existence, our relationship to the world and its challenges. In the spring of 2019, I attended a week of immersion in Acton Academy Guatemala, and my love and respect for Acton Academy has only solidified. I am blessed to discover daily in each of the boys and girls, the guides, and the parents a unique person navigating their personal path. Acton Academy MTY is a beautiful community and meet up place for restless families who sincerely question their children's formative experiences in those early precious years.

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2019 - Current


Head of School & Owner
Jun 2019 - Present
2016 - 2019


Early Childhood Director
Jun 2016 - Jun 2019


Waldorf Apprentice Guide
Jun 2015 - Jun 2016


English Department Coordinator
Jun 2012 - Mar 2015

Lower Elementary English Guide
Jun 2010 - Jun 2012


i-PAL Coach
Jun 2007 - Jun 2010

5th Grade Teacher
Sep 2000 - Jun 2007
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Wonder Studio Guide
Sandy Cavazos

Acton allows children to develop their social connections and personal skills through life experiences. Responding to their interests and following their rhythm is key to providing a nurturing and safe environment.

While studying for my bachelor’s degree in Economics I discovered the Montessori method. After I graduated I pursued this interest which later became my life-long passion. I became an early childhood Montessori Guide, then studied Constructivism, and most recently obtained a Reggio Emilia facilitator certificate.

Wonder Studio Guide Sandy Cavazos
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Spark Studio Guide Mariela Olivares

Spark Studio Guide
Mariela Olivares

Callings present themselves with the power of changing the path of one’s life. One day I received a phone call and accepted the invitation to visit Acton on a significant day: the exhibition.

I was marveled as I witnessed a group of independent children, focused on their projects, and capable of leading their parents through the event all by themselves.

I was a medical student planning to become a pediatrician when I discovered the Montessori method while looking for a school for my oldest daughter, Victoria. My life changed right then. My family and I were living in Mexico City when I became an early childhood Montessori Guide and additionally decided to study Pedagogy. 


Observing the development of the Spark students is a privilege that gives me a profound sense of purpose.

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Discovery Studio Guide
Ale Rodríguez

Montessori and the Socratic method are the perfect match to equip children with the tools to face the day-to-day challenges that life presents them. I’m impressed by how energetic and happy they arrive at Acton every morning.

Discovery Studio Guide Ale Rodríguez

I have a bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology with postgraduate studies in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. My understanding of the Montessori method comes from first-hand experience as I attended a Montessori school from early childhood until I graduated from middle school. Acton allows me to fulfill my two passions, At Acton I’m an accomplice of the learning experiences children undergo and the sense of self each of them are discovering.

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Acton Academy MTY is the only school in México that holds an international accreditation from the International Association of Learner Driven Schools (IALDS), an accrediting institution recognized by the Department of Education of the State of Texas. 

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IALDS Accredited Acton Academy Mty
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Courage to Grow:
How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down

Courage to Grow is the Sandefer family’s personal quest for their own children’s education and happiness. Their story also contains a path for other parents who want to give their children the freedom to take ownership of their own education and to start their own school. The treasure at the end is much larger than Laura ever expected—a quickly growing network of dedicated, curious young people and parents who are not afraid to set them free.

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Courage To Grow Book

We encourage prospective families to read the book and get acquainted further with the Acton approach to learning. It's a very exciting and telling read you won't regret.

Acton Academy turns the educational process into an adventure that channels the natural energy and curiosity of students.

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