Rachel is the mom of four energetic kids, ages 5, 4, 3, and 1 (all 15 months apart!) Embracing the chaos is one of her specialties. She enjoys painting, playing board games, soaking up sunshine, and getting her hands dirty. From the moment she was old enough to babysit, most of her jobs have been centered around children. She genuinely enjoys their company, their perspective, and watching their curiosity bloom. 
Rachel is a huge fan of “all things Acton.” She was especially drawn to this particular learning model because of it’s goal to create lifelong learners. She believes that if we want our children to love learning, we must have a safe environment where curiosity is consistently celebrated and encouraged. Rachel is passionate about nurturing the Eagles’ LOVE of learning! A crucial part of learning is our willingness to embrace failure. While she’s not afraid of setbacks, Rachel’s biggest challenge will be letting the Eagles feel disappointed. However, she knows the Eagles will build off of their failures and walk into adulthood ready to face any challenge.  Already Rachel has seen a beautiful transformation within her family thanks to the wisdom of Acton Academy. She’s excited to continue growing on her Hero’s Journey!



Michael is the Head of School at Acton Academy West End. He has always told people that he was going to work with students, he just didn’t know if that was going to be in a school or a church. He graduated from Christopher Newport University with a bachelors in History and was about to enter the teaching program at CNU when he felt called to full-time Youth Ministry. He later left youth ministry to join his wife in her growing photography business. It has now come full circle and Michael has returned to education and is excited to be a co-founder of Acton Academy West End as well as the head of school.
 He is excited for the self directed focus and pace of learning for Acton Learners. Michael still enjoys learning about history and loves living in Virginia where we are surrounded with our nation's history. He loves riding their Peloton bike and he just completed his first 10k. Michael enjoys meeting kids on their level and talking to them about what they like learning about. He knows great things are going to come out of Acton Academy West End and is excited for the journey! 

head of school


Whitney Hull is the Apprentice Guide for Acton Academy West End. She struggled through traditional school settings all her life, so she is very excited to be a part of this learner driven community! Her experience in childcare has shown her the unique genius that exists in every child and she is looking forward to witnessing how each hero discovers what they are passionate about and what they are capable of. Whitney loves to spend her evenings at local thrift stores, getting cozy with some yarn and knitting needles, painting, or learning more about her sewing machine! She looks forward to the growth that will occur within learners and herself in the studio!

Apprentice guide


check out these recommended resources


acton academy: disruptive education

GROWTH MINDSET Vs. Fixed mindset



imagine if we invented school today

Acton Academy: A Day in the life

TED: Do Schools kill creativity?

TED: Rethinking Education

TED: Teach for mastery- not test scores

TED: Grit- the power of passion and perseverance

TED: education post-covid

Acton academy Puts the kids in charge - interview with acton Founder, Laura Sandefer

How to educate your children - Jordan Peterson interview with acton Founder, Jeff Sandefer

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