Sacramento Campus

A 21st Century Education program made for today's generation.

Childhood should be about the discovery of self. We are a place where kids are free to be kids while learning how to be kind, passionate, and powerful individuals capable of changing the world. By utilizing the latest technology and educational methods, we help empower our heroes to be their greatest self every day.


Childhood should be about the discovery of self. We are a place where kids are free to be kids while learning how to be kind, passionate, and powerful individuals capable of changing the world. By utilizing the latest technology and educational methods, 
we help empower our heroes to be their greatest self every day.


The Call to Adventure comes knocking on the young hero’s door, and their interest is sparked to life. Here, the hero’s love of learning is nurtured and inspired, exploring their days with a strong sense of independence and taking in the value of what it means 
to be kind.

Spark studio is typically tailored to ages 5 - 7 years old.


The hero accepts their journey and crosses the threshold from the ordinary world into the special world. The pursuit of growth becomes tangible with challenging yet attainable goals. Heroes will begin to come into their own, stretching their abilities, learning to lead, communicate and collaborate with others, and building the relationships they’ll need on their journey.

Threshold studio is typically tailored to ages 7 - 11 years.


The hero begins to uncover the skill sets and qualities that set them apart. All that they have learned so far- the experiential joy of learning, the value of kindness, communication, setting and achieving goals- all of it combines to challenge our hero to the next level in their journey: Not just getting the job done, but getting it done in excellence.

Discovery studio is typically tailored to ages 11 - 14 years.


Our hero has faced many challenges up to this point and has come out on the other side. Now comes one of their biggest challenges yet: high school. 
As the hero prepares for the end of their journey and the beginning of the next one- whatever that may be- their final and most imperative quest ensues: Finding a calling that will change the world.Launchpad studio is typically tailored to ages 14 - 18 years.

Childhood should be about the discovery of self. We are a place where kids are free to be kids while learning how to be kind, passionate, and powerful individuals capable of changing the world. By utilizing the latest technology and educational methods, we help empower our heroes to be their greatest self every day.

What makes us different


Our environment creates
a strong sense of self. Heroes have the freedom to set goals that challenge them as individuals in both academics and passion projects. 
They have the ability to work in any way that enables them to be the most productive toward their goals. Each and every person is treated as an individual, on their own unique journey.

Critical Thinking

It is not our job to teach young heroes WHAT 
to think, but rather HOW to think for themselves.By utilizing the Socratic method, Heroes are challenged to listen to
 and question different ideasbig and small, hear from people of a different position, investigate the ideas further andformulate their own intelligent conclusions.

Growth Mindset

Our Heroes strive 
for greatness and they’re hungry to improve in any way that they can physically, emotionally, academically, etc. 
We harbor a culture where we believe everyone is capable of achieving all 
of their goals. With such a strong community of support, commitment,discipline, and hard work, these qualities become things our young heroes are proud to take on.


Every individual is a genius. But what kind of genius- that’s what we help them discover. Heroeshave more opportunities here than anywhere else to discover what they’re good at, what they’re passionate about, how they can develop, and how they can use those specialties to their advantage.

Entrepreneur Mindset

An entrepreneur knows what they want out of life and they’re not afraid to go out and get it. Students learn how to think like an entrepreneur by building their small businesses and seeing first-hand the true benefits of value creation. This enables them to be well-equipped for the workforce or even establish a true business of their own.

At Acton Academy, we believe that learning to do, learning to be, and learning to learn are more important than memorization alone – learning to know.

Our Team

Amanda Mercer

Spark Guide

Amanda is local to the area and grew up in Granite Bay, at a time when there were sprawling fields of tall grasses, towering oaks, and crawdad inhabited ravines. Her childhood days were spent frolicking these woods, catching handfuls of frogs, climbing trees, running lemonade stands, and casting the neighborhood children in the plays she wrote.

As she grew older, she became the neighborhood babysitter and then a full time nanny, an experience that greatly impacted the trajectory of her life. Her observations of young children and her own sense of curiosity led her down a path of discovery and she explored different educational systems. She found Waldorf Education and fell in love with this alternative form of education that preserved childhood, nurtured the natural sense of wonder and curiosity within children, while utilizing the arts to strengthen the creative process necessary for children to discover their own gifts and fulfill their destiny.

Amanda attended a two year full time Waldorf teaching training program at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks. She then joined the Live Oak Waldorf School Community in Meadow Vista, California. Amanda held positions where she worked with children from infancy through early adolescence. Her curiosity was sparked again when she discovered Acton Academy and she is excited to bring her Waldorf background to create a learner driven environment in the Spark Studio this year. Amanda truly believes that each child has their own unique gift to offer the world.

Amanda is an artist, a yogi, a trail runner and a perpetual learner. She joins Acton Academy with her two daughters, Camille and Ambrose. As a family they love to cook together, create art, wander the woods, and swim in the river near their home in Auburn, California.

Elana Linker

Spark Guide

Elana is an Apple Hill local who has immersed herself in all kinds of work with children to gain an understanding of how they learn, develop, and explore. She has always been interested in being a "teacher" since she was 7 years old and has been working with children at the young age of 12. She began her career as a nature camp counselor in Coloma, volunteering every summer for 8 years, earning her the camp name of Chickadee because of her extensive song library. Any opportunity to work with children, Elana took. She has worked with all age groups, ranging from 8 weeks old to 15 years old. Elana has worked in an all-abilities preschool teaching sign language, has traveled to Europe to run a summer camp, and led a before/after school program in a public school. She has also been an infant, toddler, and preschool teacher at separate times throughout and after college.

Elana graduated from Chico State in 2015 with a Child Development Degree and a minor in Psychology. It was after college that she found her true passion for Montessori philosophy. Before arriving at Acton, Elana spent six years in a public Montessori school as a Teaching Assistant, with the first year earning her Montessori Credential for ages 3-6. Her passion was reignited after learning about Acton and its philosophy. 2023-2024 is the first year Elana has held her own studio space with her first-ever learners!

Outside of Acton, Elana enjoys spending time in nature along the river with friends, camping, learning to garden, and taking road trips with her partner and their two dogs, Henry and Chico.

Chara Hubbard

Threshold Guide

Chara was raised in Sacramento, California. She attended Rio Americano High school and went on to graduate from Sacramento State University where she played volleyball and earned a degree in Early Childhood Education. During her college years, Chara spent time tutoring children at a local women and children’s shelter and thrived on knowing she was making a difference in the lives of young people. Chara has been blessed with two beautiful children (Hanna 9yr Marshall 7yr) and is bound and determined to raise children who are happy, kind, self-reliant, and resilient. After realizing that the public education system was not the right fit for her children, Chara enrolled her children in Acton Academy and was so passionate about their experience that she decided to continue on her hero’s journey as part of the Acton team!

When not at Acton, you can find Chara paddle boarding, gardening, and keeping active with her family.

Andrew Garewal

Discovery Guide

Andrew has come to Acton Academy after spending the past three years at Leroy Greene Academy in Natomas as a teacher in the Entrepreneurship Pathway. There he created a variety of innovative programs focused on student engagement and design thinking. In partnering with local entrepreneurs, he provided students the opportunity to explore startup culture and support the launch of their own ventures.

Andrew spent 15 years in sales and marketing within corporate and small-business environments. Given his professional experience, he provided a much needed business and entrepreneurial perspective to traditional education. Having shown to be an innovative educator, Andrew was recruited to a pilot program offered at the University of the Pacific with the goal of disrupting the traditional model of education through entrepreneurship. Andrew will be graduating in the Spring of 2021 with his Master’s in Educational Entrepreneurship.

Andrew brings his love of creativity to the studios at Acton in a myriad of ways. His expertise in technology and design have aided in the launching of a 3D Print and Tech Labs. He enjoys guiding heroes through exploration of art, engineering and creative design.

Outside of the studio, Andrew participates in a variety of art, design and start-up competitions. He enjoys coaching high school baseball and is eager to grow the sports programs within Acton Academy.

Nate Turton

Discovery Guide

Before coming to Acton, Nate was a 17-year veteran teacher in a traditional classroom, teaching grades 3-12. While he found great success while teaching junior high science, he is excited to explore education more thoroughly and found that Acton guides the whole learner and that it's about more than just the basics. He's excited to be a part of the Acton family and is looks forward to helping guide young heroes in their journeys to becoming incredible, well-rounded people.

Cade Nichols

Launchpad Guide

Cade is a self-described "life-long learner" who has spent his career building and collaborating in the software development community. Growing up in Santa Clarita, California, he has had a knack for teaching and communicating ideas since he was very young. He was a math tutor in high school, and in college he worked as a professional tutor for subjects ranging from calculus to English composition.

Fueled by curiosity, Cade moved to the Bay Area and immersed himself in the boom-or-bust world of tech startups. He made connections at developer conferences and hackathons while nurturing a love for collaboration and building things. He became the Lead Instructor of a coding boot camp, teaching web development to adults of all ages.

Eventually, after becoming disillusioned with his job as a work-from-home programmer, Cade was urged by friends and family to consider a role at Acton Academy. His unconventional experience was perfect for an unconventional institution such as Acton. Cade hopes to share his love for learning and to guide young heroes on their journey towards success in the professional world.

Cade received his bachelor's in computer science from Trident University. In his free time, he enjoys cooking curries, baking bread, making music, surfing snow, and hiking and camping with his partner and two dogs.


Katie Murray

Head of Program

Katie came to Acton Placer at its inception in July 2017 after graduating from CSUS with a B.A. in Child and Human Development with a concentration in Cognitive Development. While attending CSUS, she studied and worked with Qualitative Researcher and Developmentalist Dr. Lynda Stone as her videographer. She helped Dr. Stone collect data for the articles she wrote about 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 philosophies 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 towards wanting to change how we educate young heroes. After graduation, it was all about finding the right fit for Katie.

After spending a year teaching in a traditional school, Katie knew there had to be something better out there that she could be a part of. She heard about Acton through a Ted Talk and pursued a career from there and has now found her home at Acton.

Katie started as the Threshold Guide in Roseville for four years, moved to the Lincoln campus to start the Sparks Studio, and is now the Head of the Program at the Sacramento campus to offer support to the families and Guides. Her greatest desire is for the Acton model to spread throughout the Placer/Sacramento area, freeing heroes from the restraints and limitations that are currently their options for education, and allowing young people to be the geniuses they are.

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.

Contact the Sacramento Campus

Join our community of lifelong learners and start your journey with us today. Fill out the contact form to learn more about our programs and how we can support your family's education.

You can also reach us at (916) 472-6572.

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