Studios and Staff

Spark Studio Students

Elyse Mackall

Sprout Guide

Elyse is a graduate from Acton Academy Placer where she developed her leadership skills and joy of working with children. She learned the importance and relevance of hands-on learning and applicable life experiences, in addition to the development of professional connections with fellow heroes and staff. This growth allowed Elyse to assume a leadership position in the yoga and mindfulness classes, as well as gain independent experience with childcare and childhood development.

Elyse’s growth also comes with several milestones and achievements. She spent a year training under the guidance of Rachel Ogden, our former Spark guide, followed by a position as the Lead Guide of the Sprouts Studio. In 2020, she also received her 95-Hour Children’s Yoga Teacher Training certification from Divine Light Yoga. Lastly, Elyse recently completed the Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Training Program, a program focused on the principles and practices of the Montessori Method. The method includes training with practical life skills, sensory development, language arts, mathematics, science, and Montessori theory with children between two and six years of age.

In Elyse’s free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, like hiking and backpacking. Memorable moments include rock climbing in Yosemite and Zion National Park. During the winter season she loves to ski and snowshoe. But overall, Elyse values spending quality time with family and friends.

Spark Studio Students

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.

Spark Studio Students

Riah Dunlap

Threshold Guide

Riah grew up in the foothills of Northern California and attended the Live Oak Waldorf School. In the fall of 2020, Riah was pursuing her elementary teaching credential when she connected to Acton Academy Placer. The rest, as they say, is history. In her free time, Riah enjoys movement, hiking and backpacking, traveling, and cuddling her two cats, Storm and Cleo. From her own life experiences, Riah has learned that challenges lead to growth and that the ability to overcome obstacles is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and our youth. She loves being a guide in the Threshold Studio!

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.


Kelly Goodwin

Head of Program

Kelly’s professional career path began in marketing, but when her husband Jason was deployed to Iraq she found herself compelled to find her real passion. She shifted trajectories and began working as a special education teacher specializing in students with Autism. Once Paige and Palmer (AKA her Two Peas) came along, she decided to stay home full time and focus on her family for the next 9 years.

Kelly resumed her teaching career with Folsom Cordova Unified School District where she was awarded teacher of the year. She has always been an advocate for her families and students, but found something seriously lacking in the traditional public school education model. Her own children seemed to be withering on the vine until, thankfully, she found Acton Placer. She watched as her children slowly began to light up and want to go to school again. Kelly noticed changes at home too. The Two Peas were transforming- taking on more responsibility and, best of all, they were becoming friends again. When the opportunity to join the team was presented, Kelly was elated to begin this next great adventure in her life and she feels fortunate to be a part of the greatest movement in education.

Kelsy Blyakherov

Co-founder / President

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 the President of the company not only means working with young heroes on campus but with the families, Heads of Programs, 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.

"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?"