Our Story

My wife and I own a farmhouse in Alva, FL and we have been homeschooling our son and daughter for the last 2 years. Our dream is to be able to teach our heroes to learn and to love to learn, something that we both feel is entirely missing from today's education system. Once we saw how broken the system was, I thought to myself how can we fix this system? I want our heroes to have a great education, but I also want other children to have the opportunity to explore their own minds and find the geniuses they were meant to be. I had no idea where to start until I stumbled across a video of Jeff Sandefer speaking with Dr. Peterson. Their conversation about education was amazing and exactly what I was looking for, so I looked for the closest Acton Academy to my home. To my dismay there were no Acton's nearby and so I started looking into how to open my own Acton.

It was at this point that I came home and told my wife that we were going to open our own school and call it Acton Academy Alva. Luckily, I have a very supporting wife who said "OKAY! How are we going to do that?" One thing that I have noticed and come to love is the interaction that our heroes have with all the animals on our farm. Whether it's feeding chickens or cleaning up after horses or moving the cows from one pasture to the other, our two heroes love to interact with the animals. I believe that this is something which is truly missing in today's world and especially in South Florida. I believe that our societies were stronger when we got our bread from the baker down the street, and the milk man brought the milk to the front door and the butcher is where we got our meats. We all knew where most of the products we consumed came from and most people in that same community would go to the same school with the same teacher. It was in this spirit that my wife and I started the family farm to produce our own food and share it with our local community. Now we hope to further that dream by the local school.

Jorge Bello
Owner and Head of School

Acton Academy Alva

Acton Academy Alva is located at 22101 Luckey Lee Ln, Alva Fl 33920.

Our Team

Jorge Bello

Owner and Head of School

I am a lifelong learner as I studied to be a marine biologist and found work in the forensic sciences. The forensic sciences are constantly evolving and as such I spend roughly 10 hours per week learning new court rules or new methods in the field. I also love to read and typically will read between 1 and 2 books per week. I currently manage the crime laboratory for Broward Sheriff's Office while also running an accounting firm, a small-scale family farm, instructing scuba diving and preparing to launch Acton Academy Alva.

Mara Bello

Owner and Guide of School

I love nature and studied Environmental Science and ended up teaching science in both Charter schools and Private schools. I quickly realized the many things I did not like about the education system but stayed in the education system as a teacher from 2009 through 2021. Covid19 was honestly a blessing to my family because it finally forced me to reinvent myself and take the leap of faith to homeschool my son and daughter. I have learned a lot from these past 3 years. I enjoy listening to audio books and working on myself because I feel I am a work in progress and l have a growth mindset. One of my favorite books is See You At The Top written by Zig Ziglar. I don't see failure or setbacks in a negative way. I see them as opportunities to grow. I have for the most part a very optimistic view on life and really try to surround myself with positive images, books, movies, and people. The question "who am I" is not the easiest to answer as I am so many things yet not one single thing can define me; however, the best title I have ever received was that of being a mother, yet it is also the hardest.

Living on a farm is a blessing and one that I hope to share with other heroes. I think that the farm presents a great learning opportunity for everyone but especially for the coming generations which have less and less exposure to farm life.

Our Advisors

Jeff Sandefer

Co-Founder - Acton Academy

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

Co-Founder - Acton Academy

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."

Our Promises

We promise through Socratic guiding and experiential learning to encourage each member of our community to:

  • 1

    Begin a Hero’s Journey,

  • 2

    Discover precious gifts and a commitment to mastery.

  • 3

    Become a curious, independent, life-long learner.

  • 4

    Embrace the forging of a strong character.

  • 5

    Cherish the arts, the physical world, and the mysteries of life.

  • 6

    Treasure economic, political, and religious freedom.

Acton School Guide

Our Beliefs

We believe clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits forge character, and character determines destiny.

  • 1

    We believe each person has a gift that can change the world in a profound way;

  • 2

    We believe in learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be.

  • 3

    We believe in a closely connected family of life-long learners.

  • 4

    We believe in economic, political, and religious freedom.

Acton School Guide

Our Economic Model

We believe self-directed, peer-to-peer learner-driven communities built by our young Heroes will deliver transformational learning at a cost all parents can afford.