Meet the guides

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

Deana Greiger

Adventure Guide

Deana has been passionate about working with children since she was a child herself, providing childcare to families in the bay area throughout high school and college.

After graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in Social Work, she moved to Sacramento and began providing behavior therapy to children with Autism. She has also acquired several years of experience working in public schools as a one-on-one instructional assistant to children with special needs.

During her time working in the school environment, she realized her dream of becoming a teacher. Somewhere in the midst of her journey to earning a Master’s degree in Education and teaching credential, she found herself intrigued by the idea of allowing children to take charge of their own education.

She began pursuing the minds of exceptional educational leaders and divergent thinkers, including Sir Ken Robinson, Maria Montessori, and Acton’s own Matt Beaudreau. She now asserts that children are capable of directing their own learning and that every child is a genius who carries the potential to change the world if given the chance.

Outside of Acton, Deana is a wife and also a mom to three boys. She is passionate about environmentalism, human rights, and standing up against the exploitation of animals.

Alexis Dress

Adventure Guide

Alexis was born and raised in the California Bay Area. By the early age of 9 she discovered her passion for teaching and caring for children and began taking many odd jobs working with children including a teacher's aid all the way through high school.

She went on to study child psychology and child development at UC Davis and received her Masters in Child Development from Portland State University. As part of her studies, she traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy to observe the culture of the world-famous schools there. As a result, her teaching philosophy is deeply rooted in the emergent curriculum.

Today Alexis has over 15 years of teaching experience that includes several different schools in a broad range of ages, and even founding and operating the Mill Valley Preschool for five years. After her second son was born, she and her family moved to Rocklin and she decided to become a parent coach and parent educator.

Alexis believes that every child has their own unique style of learning and loves watching a student’s excitement about the world around them and encouraging them to follow their curiosity to ignite their love of learning. Finding Acton felt like the learning environment she had been searching for.

A wife and mom to four boys, her hobbies include laundry, dishes, yoga, meditation, listening to podcasts, being outdoors and DIY projects.

Spark Studio Students

Katie Fuller

Threshold Guide

Katie came to Acton after spending over a year at Merryhill Private Preschool in Rocklin as the PreK 2 Lead Teacher. She began working with children at a young age and grew to love the process of helping them grow.

In 2011 and 2012 she continued her experience abroad in both Japan and Germany, living on American military bases and teaching the elementary age children that lived there. This is where her passion began to flourish. While working at the Child Development Center on campus, she graduated with her B.A. in Child Development with a minor in Counseling from California State University, Sacramento in 2015.

While attending CSUS, she studied and worked with Qualitative Researcher and Developmentalist Dr. Lynda Stone as her videographer. She personally helped Dr. Stone collect the data for the articles she was writing, exploring 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 beliefs and ideologies 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 in the right direction. After graduation, it was all about finding the right fit for Katie and she has found her home here at Acton.

While Katie is not in the studio, she enjoys going on adventures! She and her daughter can be seen hiking, kayaking, bike riding, camping, dancing, and doing yoga! Katie loves to travel and plans to take her daughter to see the world with her.

Spark Studio Students

Kyle Houston

Discovery Guide

Kyle grew up the oldest of three children, in pursuit of knowledge since he was very small. As an adolescent, he would entertain his younger siblings with invented games and stories, later using his talent for entertainment to become involved in musical theater and drama. At the height of his middle school years, he played the eponymous hero in a summer CMT production of Peter Pan. In high school, singing and acting gave way to more introspective outlets—creative writing, painting, and performance poetry.

His college years were dedicated to studying early childhood development and education. During this time, Kyle coached gymnastics and motor skill development at The Little Gym of San Jose. For 12 years, he acted as Program Director and head of curriculum. Under his guidance, his students would learn to be confident, competent movers no matter their talent or skill level

He relocated to Rocklin with his wife and son during the Summer of 2017, eager to help build the future of education here at Acton Academy. He brings with him the philosophy that all students—no matter their age or circumstance—have genius within them. With patience and exposure, that genius can be realized.

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.


Operations

Matt Beaudreau

Founder and CEO

Matt is a long-time educator, having worked as a teacher, administrator, and athletic director in public and private schools at the K-12 level. He has also been involved in higher education as a corporate trainer, consultant, guest lecturer, and keynote speaker for schools including Stanford, Sacramento State, and William Jessup University, among others.

After being featured at TEDx Santa Cruz in 2015, he quickly became a highly sought after keynote speaker for companies such as Honeywell, Gray TV, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Jack Henry Group. Once Matt discovered the power of the Hero’s Journey that Acton Academy offered, he was compelled by a vision of bringing that type of community to the Placer County area. Acton Academy Placer will open its doors in the Fall of 2017 to a thriving tribe of heroes that will find their calling, and change the world.

Kelsy Blyakherova

Head of Program

Kelsy comes to us from Acton Academy Wausau, (Wisconsin.) She entered as the Lead Guide beginning in the Fall of 2014. Acton Academy and the Hero's Journey is something that she believes every child should have the opportunity to be a part of, this revolution in education is SO inspiring.

Before taking the role in Wisconsin, Kelsy 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 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 and witnessing the growth of the children keeps her passionate about her work.

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 of two young girls. She enjoys traveling, hiking, 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.

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!”

Alexandra Houston

Operational Guide

In Greek, the meaning of the name Alexandra is defender of mankind, and she has embraced the role by supporting her community through all of her passions.

Alexandra and her husband Kyle moved up to Placer County in the summer of 2017 to be a part of the education revolution with their son and cat, Rwanda

As soon as Corbin was born, she began questioning if they wanted him to have the traditional educational path. It only took a year for Acton Academy to be introduced into their lives, and a second for Alexandra to agree to the move.

During her school days, she felt most comfortable in the theater, math, photo lab, art room or outside playing any sport and she applied those passions to the work she’s done with children by coaching sports, doing theater, and babysitting.

In 2010 she took the opportunity to travel to Thailand and brought home the skill of Traditional Thai Massage. Her goal is to be the World Champion Massage Therapist by the year 2022, if not sooner, also to live a lifestyle that lowers her family’s carbon footprint.

Alexandra loves travel, backpacking, crafting old into new, cooking with her husband by her side and practicing Spanish with her so

"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?"

Our promises to your child

They will:

  • Begin a Hero's Journey
  • Learn to be a curious, independent, lifelong learner.
  • Develop a deep respect for economic, political and religious freedoms.
  • Cherish the arts, wonders of the physical world and the mysteries of life on Earth.
  • Discover his or her most precious gifts and learn to use them to solve difficult problems.
  • Understand the importance of strong character.
  • Value a healthy lifestyle of mind and body.