Limited Enrollment for 2020/2021
Acton Academy Pittsburgh
helps 1st-6th grade students discover and grow their unique strengths
because the world needs them.
Watch Our School Introduction Video!
Meet Ronnie Esposito
and find out how to develop passion in education.
School, as we know it, was designed in 1893
Our school was born different. Acton Academy is one of the newest and most innovative (and downright coolest) school designs in the world. Each Acton school was founded by parents who believe there is a better way to educate their children and help other like-minded families in their community.
What is Acton Academy?
What exactly is the difference between Acton Academy and other schools?
Watch This Short Award Winning Documentary About Acton Academy
Are you frustrated with the old, traditional educational model that teaches students to spit out facts and pass state-mandated tests?
Our promise to your child
We believe each of our students will find a passion – something they love and have a gift to do – finding and pursuing this gift we call the Hero’s Journey. Our mission is to equip our students with the skills and tools they will need to find and pursue their life’s purpose.
If you’d like to learn more about our story,
get a FREE copy of the book Courage to Grow
See Why So Many Parents Just Like You
Choose Acton Academy!
Who We Are
Ronnie and Meghan Esposito
These words hit me so hard. What should my wife and I do with our kids’ education after this year? We have three children, the oldest in a startup Montessori program which wasn’t going to be moving forward after the year ended. We were so confused.
We love the Montessori style education but we didn’t have a program close enough to enroll. I kept listening to this podcast to see if David would reference the school where his kids were enrolled. It was called Acton Academy and it sounded like the most perfect school for our children.
I went home that evening, started to research, and fell in love immediately. We had two choices. Find an Acton Academy in our area or create one. There wasn’t one anywhere, which left us with only one option. I immediately reached out to Maureen.
Starting a school was her dream and the format Acton offered was what she had been referring to since we had met her. It was time to get to work.
We believe every child is a hero. The challenge is creating a platform that allows them to discover their true calling in life. We are thrilled to be able to offer this type of education to our children and other children in the community.
I became a teacher to do just that, but after nearly twenty years in traditional and nontraditional educational settings, I realized that some didn’t or couldn’t fit into the acceptable system and that bothered me. Surely there was a better way…
When I became a mom, finding a great school became a bigger priority. But, I thought that my dream school was just a dream because no one just opens a school, right?
Then, I met Ronnie, Meghan and others who were searching as well. We knew Acton Academy was the right place for our children, but there wasn’t one anywhere close to us. So, we had to create one. Opening Acton Academy Pittsburgh means that dreams do come true…
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. It is the inspiration of these children that led 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”.
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 Entrepeneurship 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.
I grew up in Canton, Ohio and attended the University of Dayton for my undergraduate degree. From there, I embarked on a career in Learning and Development/Campus Recruiting at PNC, which brought me to the Pittsburgh area.
After graduating from Carlow University and obtaining the Pennsylvania Teaching Certification, I taught 6th grade Language Arts at Butler Middle School. Most recently, I worked in the mental health field, teaching coping skills to youth who have had trauma. On the side, I teach English to children in China.
One quote that sums up my teaching philosophy is from Fred Rogers: “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
Need To Know MORE About What Acton Academy Can Do For Your child?
At Acton Academy, we call our classrooms "Studios" because students are learning through movement, exploration, and hands-on activities. Find out how our learning design can help your child reach their full potential.
At Acton Academy we lay the foundation for the joy of learning as we encourage our young heroes to find their life’s calling and tap into their unique genius. Our well-balanced educational experience ignites curiosity, creativity, and the ability to ask good questions.
Here Are A Few FAQs We Get A Lot:
Acton Academy Pittsburgh offers grades 1-6 (ages 6-12).
We start Late August and close early June.
We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy, but we are not a Montessori school. In addition to Montessori methods, we use the latest interactive technologies, hands on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions.
While we expose children to the importance of mindful spirituality and stress the historical importance of Christianity to the development of Western Civilization, we do not promote any one religion.
We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey.
Someone who can research questions, follow instructions, solve problems—admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock without asking an adult for help — participate in discussions, and strive for mastery.
We are not trained to serve children with serious learning disabilities but have been able to serve young heroes with dyslexia if they receive special training and believe that many minor learning disabilities are commonly misdiagnosed.
We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose, in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey.
Running Partners are classmates who meet together regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable for meeting those goals. Running Partners encourage and inspire each other by asking good questions, listening and providing affirmation.
We believe that children learn best when working with those younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to individualized curriculum, all ages of students work together in multi-age groups within each studio (Elementary, Middle, and launchpad (HS)).
At Acton Academy Pittsburgh we believe in learning to be and learning to do and an important part of this is encouraging kids to take responsibility for their own behavior and hold those around them to a high standard. When something isn’t working, we want our students to work together to solve the problem, not look for an adult to solve it for them. This creates a sense of independence and confidence that will serve them well in all areas of life.
Yes the school is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools and we are also a Pennsylvania Licensed Private Academic School.
At Acton Academy Pittsburgh, we believe in the power of balance. Using the incredible, self-paced eLearning tools now available, we are able to provide the rigor needed for learning math, vocabulary, spelling and grammar in about 90 minutes each day, while freeing up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based learning. The two are highly complementary.