Studios and Staff

Spark Studio Students

Elyse Mackall

Sprout Guide

Elyse was born and raised in Jackson, California. By second grade, she knew traditional public school did not meet her academic needs. With the help of her parents, Elyse joined Mountain Oaks Charter School and immersed herself in a dynamic and diverse group of homeschoolers. As a collective, Elyse learned the importance and relevance of hands-on learning and real life experiences.

In her senior year, Elyse enrolled at Acton Academy Placer and further developed her leadership skills and joy of working with kids. She made strong connections with fellow heroes and staff which led her to lead yoga and mindfulness classes on campus. With her experience, Elyse connected with local families and nannied homeschool children for over two years. As a result, she gained independent experience with child care and child development.

Elyse graduated from Acton Academy Placer in 2019 and continued to host morning yoga and mindfulness classes for enrolled heroes. During this time, she received her “95-Hour Children’s Yoga Teacher Training” from Divine Light Yoga.

Elyse is currently enrolled in college and working towards her 200-hour yoga teacher certificate. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking. She has rock climbed in Yosemite and Zion National Parks. During the winter season, she loves skiing and snowshoeing. Elyse values spending quality time with family and friends.

Spark Studio Students

Rachel Ogden

Spark Guide

When asked as a child what Rachel wanted to be when she grew up the answer was always the same, a mom and a teacher.

Rachel started babysitting at age 10 and has been working with children ever since. She achieved her goal to become a teacher when she worked for Adventure Christian School for 10 years as an aide and teacher in the pre-school with a year in the TK program.

This is where she met Acton Placer founder Matt Beaudreau. Rachel loved Matt’s vision and dream of starting a school where kids could discover their potential and have the freedom to follow their passions. Rachel guides with the youngest of Heroes in the Spark Studio.

Outside of Acton, Rachel loves spending time with her husband and two teenagers. Her family has worked in youth ministry for 15+ years. They are also Foster parents providing emergency care and long term care. Rachel enjoys the beach, traveling, dancing, movies and spending time with loved ones.

Spark Studio Students

Riah Dunlap

Threshold Guide

Riah grew up in the foothills region of Northern California and attended the Live Oak Waldorf School until eighth grade. Her childhood was full of adventures and exploration of the natural world and she has a deep love of learning both in and out of the classroom. Over the last decade, Riah has spent time living in France, Oregon, Hawaii, and Mexico exploring everything from farming to surfing, writing, yoga, and community living.

Riah has always known she would join the world of education, it was just a matter of finding the right fit. She was pursuing her elementary teaching credential when she was connected to Acton Academy Placer and the rest, as they say, is history. She was beyond excited to learn that a school and a community like Acton Placer exist.

Nothing makes Riah happier and more excited for this world than to see young people discovering and going after what lights them up. She thinks cultivating a curiosity about the world leads to the discovery of our natural gifts and abilities and wholeheartedly believes in the genius of every child. Riah also believes that our most challenging moments and experiences lead to our greatest growth and that the opportunity to overcome obstacles and build resilience is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our youth.

Krysla Trask

Threshold Guide

Krysla Trask Joined the Acton Team in fall 2020. Before that she was working as an Art and Creative Movement teacher in Auburn California. Krysla loves fine arts and dance. In her free time, she can be found paddle boarding on Folsom Lake, hiking with friends, catching some waves or singing. She is passionate about working with Elementary age kids and helping every individual find their voice.

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!”

Spark Studio Students

Mark Pfeifer


Father, Husband, Brother, Son. Mark’s family is everything to him. Married to Anjela Pfeifer and has 2 boys (Mateo 4yr Ezekiel 2yrs). Enjoy everything sports and fitness related. CrossFit athlete for the past 10yrs, Collegiate wrestler. Passionate about giving back to the youth and providing them with as much opportunity to grow and find themselves as possible.

Launchpad Studio Students

Krista Pulsifer

Launchpad Guide

Stepping back in time a few (or twenty) short years, Krista moved to the big apple and had the privilege to experience big city living through the high life of artistic, and culinary (sometimes hot dogs from a cart) culture. She had the opportunity to study musical theater at a conservatory of the Arts for four years before taking the daring move across the Hudson River to New Jersey (no it is not the armpit of America although manhattans would highly disagree) where she was involved in planting a church.

After moving back from across the country Krista spent her days nannying for a couple who became like family as well as teaching and studying dance during the evenings. Four years later Krista met her husband, Jackson and became a mom to the first of four daughters, three of which attend Acton Placer. From then on she mom'd hard and became a peanut butter and jelly extraordinaire for eight solid years before she put away my messy bun and began adulting (sort of) at Acton Academy Placer. Krista adores these kiddos and says that this has been an amazing season of growth and connection for her family and herself.


Kelsy Blakherova


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.

Alyssa Huguley

Operations Coordinator

Alyssa hails from Metro-detroit Michigan. She is involved in a dynamic program called Praxis that helps young adults in their quest to "break the mold" professionally and develop the competitive edge that sets them apart in their careers. This career development bootcamp led me to Acton Academy which shares many of the same components and core beliefs in education that she was surrounded by growing up as a homeschooler.

She is excited to be a part of a community that respects the art of self-learning, ownership, freedom in learning and exploring individuals personal gifts. She's passionate about igniting the excitement in learning and helping others towards their goals. As a natural problem solver, She's always looking for ways to enhance the process and make it smoother. She's happy to get the opportunity to work alongside individuals who value each child's personal journey.

"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?"