Do you value family time over hours of homework?
We believe that home time is family time!
Both in and outside of school, children need time to play free,
time to be creative and curious,
time to pursue hobbies,
time to inspire others,
time for reflection...
time to be a kid.
WHY WE ARE STARTING AN ACTON ACADEMY
Kori and Michael Stack, founders of Acton Academy Kennebunkport, with their four children at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah; Summer 2019
For the past year and a half we have been homeschooling our children, which has been, and continues to be, a wonderful journey. We began homeschooling because we wanted to instill our values, give our children time to run and be free, to be outside, to experience and learn from the real world around them, and simply to spend time as a family.
What amazed us almost immediately was how creative our kids are and how much they can do on their own. It has proven to us, what is already known, that kids want to learn and do it very naturally if we take the risk and step back. We do more service to our kids acting as their mentors, guides, and coaches as opposed to spoon feeding them information that has no relevance. It feels risky to give up control, but we have seen that loosening the reins and allowing kids freedom is the only way to let them learn who they are and what they are capable of.
Our kids are growing up in an entrepreneurial household, so statistically have a higher chance of being entrepreneurs themselves. But, regardless if they are or not, we want them to be able to think on their own, come up with out of the box solutions to problems, and to have the confidence to go against the grain when it's appropriate to set a higher standard.
When we read about Acton Academy in the book 'Courage to Grow' by Laura Sandefer it encompassed so much of what we were trying to accomplish for our kids in our homeschool. Our reaction to Acton Academy was, "Could this be even better? Could this challenge our kids in an amazing way? And could this help not only our kids, but other like-minded families in our community?"
At that moment, we were so happy with our own homeschooling and by no means looking to start a school, but we could not ignore that the answer to these questions were an absolute 'YES'!
So we did what we typically do...jumped in with excitement, faith, and two feet!
If you share these thoughts,
then perhaps Acton Academy is right for your family.
OUR PROMISES TO YOUR CHILD
Acton Kennebunkport Co-founder
Acton Kennebunkport Co-founder
Kori grew up in Storrs, CT before attending Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA for her undergraduate studies.
After college Kori worked in technology consulting for six years at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte Consulting traveling to client sites around the country. While she was very successful and enjoyed what she did, Kori felt a pull towards education and helping children. She went back to school where she earned her Masters of Math Education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.
In Chicago, Kori taught High School math at Lane Tech College Prep for four years before starting a family and prioritizing her role as a mother. Starting an Acton Academy combines Kori's desire to do the best for her children, while also making a difference in other children's lives...truly bringing out her own inner genius.
Kori is happily married to Michael and together they have four energetic, happy children. The live in Kennebunkport, ME ten months of the year, but rent their house each summer in order to give their children the experience of living in different locations around the country. For the past four years they have spent summers in Oregon, Colorado, South Carolina, and California, with international being next on the list.
Kori and Michael have always been very intentional about the way they live their life and raise their children. They have worked very hard to live a simple, but rich life and are extremely grateful.
Michael grew up in Valparaiso, IN before attending Indiana University in Bloomington, IN for his undergraduate studies.
Michael's entrepreneurial spirit began at an early age when he started a lawn-mowing business, Mighty Mowers, at the age of 13. This company ran successfully for 6 years and was sold for profit during Michael's time in college where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Computer Information Systems.
After beginning his career in the corporate world at PricewaterhouseCoopers the pull of entrepreneurship lead him to a successful career in Real Estate.
Michael went on to follow an opportunity and purchase an existing business in the workers' compensation industry and is now an industry thought leader. He has won Best Blog for the past 7 years, is a national speaker, and founder of the Amaxx Workers' Comp Training Center.
He has brought innovation to the industry with a cutting-edge learning platform teaching workers' comp cost containment systems. Through an extensive curriculum, professionals can earn their Certified Master of Workers' Compensation designation.
Michael believes in the philosophy made famous by Zig Ziglar that "you can get everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want."
Acton Kennebunkport Lead Guide (ES)
Acton Outdoor Program Lead Guide
Kyle has lived in eight states, including California, Wisconsin, and Hawaii and attended the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee for his undergraduate studies.
At 16, Kyle started a band with his friends in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Over the next two years, they toured around the country and played major venues and festivals like Summerfest, Disneyland, and Chicago’s Elbow Room. After high school, Kyle joined the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Machinist’s Mate and served aboard the USS Louisville (SSN 724), completing over two years of nuclear training and a successful WESTPAC tour. After his military service, he returned to Wisconsin, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics.
Kyle is happily married to his wife Anna, who is pursuing her DMD at UNE’s College of Dental Medicine. They enjoy time with their pets and are voracious readers. A lifelong adventurer, Kyle has crossed both the Equator and the International Date Line in a submarine, trekked for 21 days in the Quetico-Superior country, and visited all 50 states.
The pursuit of learning for learning’s sake has helped Kyle to foster a well-lived life. He believes that enlightened education, diversity, and travel are the premier ways to expand the mind and that self-betterment is a never-ending practice. His Mission Statement is to create and share positivity and humor in all his relationships; to be honest with himself and others, spreading kindness and listening with sincerity to all who would ask.
The first time Ashley carried everything she needed to survive on her back was on a student-led volunteer adventure, providing veterinary field medicine to rural communities in the Pacific Northwest. She has since lived her dreams of hiking in Asia- escaping Hong Kong via a train, two buses, and a boat to successfully solo navigate to 塔門. She has reinforced her self-assertion that the human body, through comradery, is capable of more than we can imagine, by completing a Tough Mudder on a mountain in Canada.
She considers it an incredible privilege to have been raised in the woods and waters of Maine, despite always having an insatiable desire to explore beyond. She has resided everywhere from California to multiple boroughs of New York City. Recent explorations include the 100 Mile Wilderness and uninhabited Casco Bay Islands with her beloved canine companion, Gilbert.
Ashley believes that knowledge is power and new experiences are key to optimal functioning of the computer in our cranium. She strives to always give meaning to her words through action, alleviate tension with a smile, and share her strong affinity for planet Earth with all.
BENJAMIN LE HAY
Acton Outdoor Program Guide
Benjamin (Mr. Ben)
grew up in the small Coastal Maine community of Freeport, ME
before attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME for his
Ben started in career as a fashion and showroom assistant in college while studying in Italy at Università di Bologna's joint program with Brown University. After college he began a career in news media and publishing as a freelance journalist and editor focusing on luxury lifestyle, travel, entertainment and celebrity journalist, fashion and design. He contributed to such publications and media brands as BlackBook, Huffington Post, DOCUMENT, New York Times, Lifetime and A+E Networks, Refinery29, and most notably, served as the “Shindigger” columnist for the New York Observer.
After a time also working as a celebrity and wardrobe stylist, Benjamin transitioned into public relations when he served as a press attaché (U.S. PR manager) of Tourism and Culture for the American market on behalf of France’s Foreign Ministry. He then served as a director of several large PR & Marketing agencies and foundations before he launched his own boutique media and marketing consultancy after ten years in the business.
Eventually, Benjamin missed Maine's easy access to nature and slower, healthier pace as well as the ability to actually have the time to do all the recreational activities he enjoys. So he moved back to Maine where he has continued to consult for PR and marketing clients.
In between client work, Benjamin has worked extensively as a Pre-K-12 substitute teacher and childcare provider in both public and private places of learning in Maine. He sees immense value in supporting the intellectual curiosity and development of society’s greatest assets: our youth. For the past two seasons, he has coached at Sugarloaf Resort’s Perfect Turn Ski School and a Junior High School Heart & Sole team, in addition to volunteering in Brunswick Schools.
Benjamin lives with his partner, Ben, and helps co-parent their two daughters, Kora and Stella. He suffers from wanderlust, is an expert alpine skier, and is fluent in French and Italian. Benjamin currently sits on the boards of three nonprofits: Portland, ME’s TEMPOart, Surf Point Foundation in York, and Seeds of Independence. He serves on Freeport’s Winslow Park Commission and as a Bowdoin Alumni Fund Class Agent. He feels very much at home in Maine, France, Italy or Brooklyn, NY.
Acton Academy Advisor & Co-founder
Acton Academy Advisor & Co-founder
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 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.