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JERRY MINTZ – INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION

Jerry Mintz is the Founder and Director of the Alternative Education Resource Organization. He was the first executive director of the National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools (NCACS), and was a founding member of the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC).

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JANA PAPPAS – OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

Jana Pappas received her Liberal Studies Bachelor Degree in 1998, then her teaching credential and Masters in Education in 2000. She was a former classroom teacher, leader of teacher education courses, tutor of students with language processing differences, and a homeschooler. Now, she is excited to be joining the Education Revolution by offering Acton Academy in her community.

CLARK ALDRICH – EDUCATIONAL SIMULATIONS

Clark Aldrich has been called a ‘guru’ by Fortune Magazine and a ‘maverick’ by CNN. He and his work in educational media have been featured in hundreds of sources, including CBS, ABC, The New York Times, USA Today, ESPN, AP, Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNET, Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, and U.S. News and World Report. He has been quoted by President Obama and invited to speak at the Koch brothers’ annual education summit.

MATT BARNES – THE EDUCATION GAME

Matt Barnes is the Co-Founder and Parent Coach at The Education Game. Over 25 years, he has led hospital departments, distributed $500m in philanthropy, run an education reform nonprofit, served on nine educational boards from university to pre-K, and now coaches parents on navigating the education system. His aim is to help every parent grow kids who are curious, competent, life-long learners.

SAMANTHA JANSKY – MINDFULNESS AND THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Samantha Jansky joined Acton Academy as a Socratic guide in 2012, just a few years after its inception. Leading the Elementary school for 4 years, Samantha created systems that further empowered young heroes in a truly learner-driven environment. She then moved on to specializing in Learning Design Creation (curriculum) and wrote and published the entire Elementary School Learning Design used by the worldwide Acton network of over 100 schools.

ANNE OLDEROG – CULTIVATING CHILDREN’S UNIQUE CREATIVE MINDS

For this episode, our host, Shannon Falkenstein, speaks with Anne Olderog, an Acton Founder who has an impressive wealth of knowledge on education. She is also a Partner at Vivaldi, leading projects on growth/innovation strategy, positioning, and brand architecture. She works with education companies such as Blackboard or McGraw-Hill to ensure that today and tomorrow’s learners get the very best that education can offer.

BLAKE BOLES – UNSCHOOLING AND COLLEGE

Blake Boles is an Experiential Educator who has organized big trips for teenagers through his company Unschool Adventures since 2008. He is a California native and a frequent traveler, hiker, and biker.

ESTHER WOJCICKI – HOW TO RAISE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

Esther Wojcicki is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. What do these three accomplishments have in common? They are the result of TRICK, Esther’s secret to raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. Simple lessons, but the results are radical. Esther Wojcicki is a leading American educator and journalist.

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 and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. She is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the educational curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show

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.
He owns a summer camp called Camp Huawni and has started and grown multiple companies, including Apex Fun Run (with Scott Donell), Affair Recovery, and Grow My Camp.

LENORE SKENAZY – FREE-RANGE KIDS

After her newspaper column “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” created a media firestorm, Lenore got the nickname “America’s Worst Mom.” She went on to write Free-Range Kids, the book-turned-movement. Second Edition coming in June!

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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