OUR TEAM.

 
 
Usanovic Family Oct 2017-59.jpg

AZRA USANOVIC - HEAD OF SCHOOL

I always knew my daughter Reyah would do just fine in the public system. The question for me was, is “just fine” what I wanted for her? I was in search of a truly inspiring and transformational educational option, that would allow her to gain real-world skills and guide her in developing the character traits she would need to one day change the world. The day I discovered Acton Academy, time stopped. It was everything I was looking for, and more. Since there wasn’t an Acton Academy in our area, I decided to apply to open one myself. Acton Academy has received over 10,000 applications from parents like me and being chosen to open one is no small feat. The process is lengthy and rigorous. With only just over 100 parents being given the right to call themselves Acton Academy owners, I was selected as one of the few with the qualities required to successfully open and run this transformational school. I am honoured and excited to bring this innovative model of learning to Waterloo Region, to help prepare even more of our children to become the innovators and change-makers our region is so well known for.

With a background in children’s mental health working for many years at both Peel Children’s Centre in Mississauga and CAMH in Toronto, and most recently working at the John F. Wood Centre at the University of Guelph, I come to Acton with 15 years of experience working behind the scenes to improve the lives of children and youth, and support entrepreneurship and innovation. I have also run a highly successful photography business, Revel Photography, for the last 11 years and plan to bring the art of photography to the Acton Academy Eagles in the near future.


TBD - MONTESSORI STUDIO GUIDE

We are currently in the process of recruiting for a dynamic, creative and highly motivated Montessori certified Guide. We are accepting applications from qualified individuals who are looking to make a positive difference in the lives of the children and families we serve. We welcome the opportunity to meet with applicants who are dedicated to providing an extremely high quality of education and who see children as highly capable, inherently good and deserving of respect.

Ideal candidates will have the ability to inspire and motivate children to do their best and will have a knack for connecting with them in a deep and authentic way.

Candidates with at least two years of experience working in a Casa aged classroom will be considered.

Most importantly, the selected candidate will believe that your child has genius within and will guide them along their hero’s journey to help them find their calling, which will one day change the world.

You can find the full job posting on our Careers page.


img-6847_2_orig.jpg

TBD - ELEMENTARY STUDIO GUIDE

Our Elementary Studio Guide will be prepared to inspire the next generation to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. We are accepting applications from qualified individuals with a deep curiosity about life, a lifelong love of learning, a deep respect for children and what they are capable of, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The selected guide will have proven excellence in guiding others, whether in or out of a school environment, and have Montessori, project-based, and/or experimental learning experience.

Ideal candidates will have the ability to inspire and motivate children to do their best and will have a knack for connecting with them in a deep and authentic way.

Most importantly, the selected candidate will believe that your child has genius within and will guide them along their hero’s journey to help them find their calling, which will one day change the world.

You can find the full job posting on our Careers page.


rawImage.jpg

JEFF SANDEFER - ADVISOR

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.

Jeff and his wife Laura successfully co-founded Acton Academy and continue to be involved in both the school in Austin as well as mentoring new owners starting their own Acton learning communities across the globe.


 
 
bookmonger-podcast-laura-sandefer-1.jpg

LAURA SANDEFER - ADVISOR

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”.

Laura is also an acclaimed author and we highly recommend that you read her booked Courage to Grow: How Acton Academy turns learning upside down.

 

We will be growing our team organically as we add a Middle School Studio and High School Studio. When hiring, job postings can be found on our Career Page.