Studios and Staff

Spark Studio Students

Katie Murray

Spark Guide

Katie came to Acton after spending over a year at Merryhill Private Preschool in Rocklin as the PreK 2 Lead Teacher. She began working with children at a young age and grew to love the process of helping them grow.

In 2011 and 2012 she continued her experience abroad in both Japan and Germany, living on American military bases and teaching the elementary age children that lived there. This is where her passion began to flourish. While working at the Child Development Center on campus, she graduated with her B.A. in Child Development with a minor in Counseling from California State University, Sacramento in 2015.

While attending CSUS, she studied and worked with Qualitative Researcher and Developmentalist Dr. Lynda Stone as her videographer. She personally helped Dr. Stone collect the data for the articles she was writing, exploring children’s cognitive development. In 2013 she also began to work at the after school program that Dr. Stone had created, which was based on similar beliefs and ideologies as the Acton model.

She has experience in working with groups of children that vary in age, collaborating together on a project-based learning system, with the instructors acting as a guide. It was this experience, coupled with her experience working as a Teaching Assistant in 2015 for Dr. Stone that really set her passion in the right direction. After graduation, it was all about finding the right fit for Katie and she has found her home here at Acton.

While Katie is not in the studio, she enjoys going on adventures! She and her daughter can be seen hiking, kayaking, bike riding, camping, dancing, and doing yoga! Katie loves to travel and plans to take her daughter to see the world with her.

Spark Studio Students

Deana Geiger

Threshold Guide

Deana has been passionate about working with children since she was a child herself, providing childcare to families in the bay area throughout high school and college.

After graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in Social Work, she moved to Sacramento and began providing behavior therapy to children with Autism. She has also acquired several years of experience working in public schools as a one-on-one instructional assistant to children with special needs.

During her time working in the school environment, she realized her dream of becoming a teacher. Somewhere in the midst of her journey to earning a Master’s degree in Education and teaching credential, she found herself intrigued by the idea of allowing children to take charge of their own education.

She began pursuing the minds of exceptional educational leaders and divergent thinkers, including Sir Ken Robinson, Maria Montessori, and Acton’s own Matt Beaudreau. She now asserts that children are capable of directing their own learning and that every child is a genius who carries the potential to change the world if given the chance.

Outside of Acton, Deana is a wife and also a mom to three boys. She is passionate about environmentalism, human rights, and standing up against the exploitation of animals.

Robyn Bart

Reading Guide

Robyn Bart is a certified Barton tutor, specializing in improving basic reading skills in children and children with dyslexia. Robyn graduated from Fresno State University with a degree in liberal studies with the intention of pursuing a career in teaching. However, the desire to raise her children as a stay-at-home mother prevailed.

During the time period when her children were in elementary school Robyn took the opportunity to volunteer and served as a VAPA instructor and assist with classroom reading programs. Robyn’s desire to take on a greater role of tutoring children in reading occurred when her youngest child was found to be dyslexic.

She was confident there was a better path to improve the reading skills of dyslexic children and discovered the Barton system.

Robyn has been tutoring students utilizing the Barton system for eight years and finds great satisfaction helping those who struggle with reading. The student’s success also brings her great joy, “seeing the proverbial reading light turn on and the confidence build is the most amazing thing ever!”


Kelsy Blakherova

Head of Program & CEO

Kelsy has been working for Acton Academy since the Fall of 2014. Acton Academy and the Hero's Journey is something that she believes every child and adult should have the opportunity to be a part of.

Being Head of Program not only means working with young heroes on campus but with the families and Guides of the heroes, as well.

Kelsy also has experience working in multi-age classrooms with highly individualizing curricula and enjoys the challenge of meeting the needs of each child. Working with blended studios and helping foster relationships makes the day to day exciting. Witnessing the growth of the children keeps her passionate about her work.

She worked at the San Francisco Schoolhouse for several years and in the summer months, she worked at Live Oak Elementary as the Lead K-1 Summer School Teacher, also located in the Bay Area.

Kelsy attended San Francisco State University for her college years, obtaining her B.A in Liberal Studies- with an Elementary Teaching Emphasis. Outside of the studio, you may find Kelsy living the awesome life of a wife and mama. She enjoys traveling, running and camping.

Alexandria Bazan

Social Media and Marketing Director

Aly comes to us from a small town in southwest Michigan through a program called Praxis. This program is created for college-age, young professionals who have a competitive edge over their peers as they have a higher work drive and a stronger passion to do what it takes to succeed. Praxis holds many similarities to Acton in that participants learn through doing and carve their path towards their success. During her time here she will work to drive up our social media by creating and distributing our content.

She is passionate about the arts, music, and creativity and strives to use those qualities to create content that stands out from the rest. Having previously been employed at a library, she was elated at the opportunity to continue to work in an environment that stresses the importance of education while also being able to interact with children.

"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?"