Who We Are

As a learner-driven school that prioritizes hands-on learning over textbooks and quizzes, Acton Academy Amarillo helps parents empower their children to become the bright, curious, passionate leaders they’re born to be.

Children Deserve the Best Learning Environment Possible

Children can change the world when given a safe, engaging place to learn and grow. Unfortunately, the traditional education system forces children to regurgitate facts and cram for tests they don’t see the value of. As a result, children often become disengaged and fail to develop the life skills they need to take on the world with confidence.

At Acton Academy Amarillo, we know that children grow best in a space where they can learn at their own pace, work with others, and truly understand the world around them. That’s why we partner with families to help young people find their calling and make a difference.

Using studios instead of classrooms, engaging activities instead of pop quizzes, and teamwork instead of memorization, we help children challenge themselves while learning the essential skills they need to progress in life. When you enroll your child in our learner-driven school, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re providing them with the opportunities they need for the best future possible.

Click the button below to reach out to our team now, and we’ll work together to determine whether Acton Academy Amarillo is the right choice for your child.

Discover the 10 Biggest Struggles Children Face in Traditional Schools

What We Do

We Help Parents:

  • Get more from education than traditional schools or homeschooling can offer

  • Stop worrying about their child becoming stressed or losing interest in school

  • Help their child learn real-world skills through hands-on projects

  • Introduce their child to a small school where they can get individualized encouragement

  • Watch their child learn to be kind, build lasting friendships, and understand the importance of integrity

  • Feel confident in their child’s future knowing they have found their life’s calling and want to make a difference

So They Can Help Their Children:

  • Blossom into a curious, independent, lifelong learner

  • Stop feeling anxious and overwhelmed about tests, quizzes, and homework

  • Discover their gifts and learn to use them to solve complex problems

  • Feel excited to go to school instead of nervous, bored, or lonely

  • Develop a deep respect for the arts, economics, politics, and different cultures

  • Start their path to a fulfilling life on their own Hero’s Journey

Discover the 10 Biggest Struggles Children Face in Traditional Schools

We’re Parents,

Just Like You

We are Michael and Hannah Haning! When our two sons, Jack and James, started approaching school age, we faced the overwhelming decision of where to send them. We were worried that they would be so focused on passing tests that they wouldn’t learn what really matters: how to be a good person, work with others, and live a life you can be proud of. Neither public schools nor homeschooling felt like the right solution.

In 2019, we saw a TEDx Talk with Acton Academy founder Jeff Sandefer. We realized there was a better way to help children prepare for life outside of school. We knew that Acton was something we had to be a part of, for the sake of our sons and every kid in Amarillo.

We opened Acton Academy in 2020 with a few brave families and are thrilled to see how it has continued to grow. We truly believe every child has a unique calling, and we hope that through Acton Academy Amarillo, children and families in our community are forever changed.

Discover the 10 Biggest Struggles Children Face in Traditional Schools

We Believe:

  • Each person has a gift that can change the world in a profound way.

  • Clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits forge character, and character determines destiny.

  • We should learn to learn, learn to do, and learn to be.

  • Children thrive in a closely connected family of lifelong learners.

  • Everyone deserves economic, political, and religious freedom.

Meet Our Team

Michael Haning

Executive Director

Michael has an MBA from Texas Tech University and a passion for business and entrepreneurship. He currently serves as the CEO of DISCO, inc., an industrial service company that his grandfather founded in 1968. Having started multiple businesses over the years and having a great team at DISCO, allows him to simultaneously build Acton Academy Amarillo.

Ashley Reeves

Elementary School Guide

Ashley was born and raised in Canyon, Texas. After receiving a degree in Elementary Education, she spent five years teaching 1st grade.

Reading Courage to Grow and scouring the web for Acton videos sparked a new desire for learning and leading young minds. Her favorite part of the day is watching young heroes do things the world finds impossible: holding peers accountable, asking tough questions, making SMART goals, creating systems, and finding joy in their school day!

Outside of Acton, Ashley enjoys spending her time working out and coaching at her family's gym, cooking new foods, exploring the outdoors, and soaking up family time.

Alison Braaten

Middle School Guide

Alison’s passion for life-long learning is why she was so excited to join Acton Academy.

In the last three years, she returned to college to pursue a professional certificate and acquired a yoga teaching certification for adults, children, and youth. She read regularly about philosophy, art and architecture, the natural world, travel, and woodworking.

Alison’s family is currently hosting a high school exchange student to learn more about their culture. All of this has prepared her to lead curious minds on any journey they wish to explore! Acton Academy is teaching her that the humble stay curious and the curious stay humble. In her words, “It’s an honor to be entrusted to Guide our Middle School Tribe.”

Karsen Boyett

Creative Arts & SPARK Guide

Karsen was born and raised in Amarillo, graduating from Amarillo High School in 2021. In addition to serving as the creative arts and PE guide, she works as a Commissioned Artist, specializing in pet portraits, and as a private art teacher. In her spare time, Karsen likes spending time with friends, buying house plants, CrossFit, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Luke & Erin Finch

Alan & Marie Bean

Colby & Felica Monroe

Michael & Hannah Haning

Meet Our Advisors

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. These children are what inspired 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."

3 Ways to Help Your Child Learn, Grow, & Soar


Request More Information

Book a call to let us know you’re interested, and we’ll start the application process! We accept new learners at the beginning of each 6-week session, so reach out now to determine whether your kid could find their place at Acton Academy Amarillo.


Enroll Your


Once we’ve completed your studio interview and accepted your child, they’ll start their journey of self-discovery by mastering their core subjects, developing their character, and discovering their calling.


Watch Your Child Achieve Their Full Potential

Book a call to let us know you’re interested, and we’ll start the application process! We accept new learners at the beginning of each 6-week session, so reach out now to determine whether your kid could find their place at Acton Academy Amarillo.

How Much Could Your Child Achieve with the Right Education?

Your child’s future is too important to trust their lives to a 150-year-old, outdated educational system and hope for the best. With Acton Academy Amarillo, you can feel confident that you’re providing your child with the environment, resources, and skills necessary to become a world-changer and live the best life possible.

Acton Academy Amarillo admits students of any race, color, national origin and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school; it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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