Learn more about our story in this TEDx talk by our founder, Jake Thompson

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Watch the TEDx talk.

Our Story

As parents of four young children, we believe strongly that each came to earth with unique gifts and passions that would be theirs to cherish. We believe our role as parents is to inspire and equip them to reach the potential that is already within them, by inspiring them to embark on what we call a Hero's Journey.

These principles reverberate through history as men and women, heroes, have given all in the pursuit of individual liberty. This belief is what drew us to Acton Academy, a place where children were deeply respected, discovering how they uniquely contributed to the world, rather than how they can become just like everybody else.

We continue to learn so much on this journey, but we do know we want our children to be prepared for a meaningful life, with 21st-century skills that focus on learning to "Do" and to "Be" while embracing lifelong learning.

Heroes Academy has been a blessing in our lives. We are thrilled to have our children in a place where they are flourishing and growing, and we hope you find the same.

Jake and Alissa Thompson
Heroes Academy Co-Founders

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Our Team

Jake Thompson
Co-Founder and Head of School

Jake grew up in Eagle, Idaho. After returning home from a service mission in Italy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he decided to attend Brigham Young University. While there, Jake started his financial education and services company, which was the start of his life as an entrepreneur.

Over the last eight years his financial education and services company has grown nationwide and attracts thousands of customers each year. He is best known for his #1 best-selling book on money and wealth that sells over 15,000 copies each year.

Things shifted for Jake when his oldest daughter, Adri, began to struggle emotionally in traditional school. Concerned about the education and future of his children, he believes that his experiences have led him to his calling at the crossroads of education and entrepreneurship, as the founder of Heroes Academy, the first Acton Academy in the Northwest.

Jake graduated from the Acton School of Business and Entrepreneurship. He is married to Alissa Thompson, and they have 4 children.

Jeff Sandefer
Advisor and Acton Academy Co-Founder

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.

Laura Sandefer
Advisor and Acton Academy 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."

"The thought of a learning environment that incorporates active learning, includes all the senses, and emphasizes a pursuit personalized to your individual gifts, sounds amazing. What kid doesn't deserve that?"

We promise your child will:

  • Begin a journey of adventure, challenge, and transformation - A Hero's Journey.
  • Learn to be a curious, independent, lifelong learner.
  • Develop a deep respect for economic, political and religious freedoms.
  • Cherish the arts, wonders of the physical world and the mysteries of life on Earth.
  • Discover his or her most precious gifts and learn to use them to solve difficult problems.

Hi, I'm Jake Thompson. 👋

I'm Head of School at Heroes Academy

We are now enrolling:
PreK through 12th grade.

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