Our Story

As parents we knew our children would be just fine in traditional schools. They would get good grades, volunteer somewhere, and go to college. But we wanted something more meaningful and inspiring.

The more we were honest with ourselves, the more we felt the traditional school model was limited and outdated; where success is based simply on regurgitating information and following instructions.

In our years of searching for something better, we discovered a proven model in Acton Academy. Launched in 2009 in Austin, it is now the largest micro school community with over 300 campuses in 25 countries.

Our dream was for an environment where our children developed a love for learning, self-awareness, and a strong character – pillars we believe are necessary for their happiness and success in both personal and professional life. So, in 2020 we launched Tej Acton Academy – where children have the opportunity every day to discover their inner genius, or ‘Tej’.

If you want to experience this powerful school environment with us, please schedule a tour.

We look forward to meeting you!

Meera & Srujal Shah
Tej Acton Founders

Our Tej Acton Academy Campus

Tej Acton Academy is located at 1 W Campbell Ave, L-54, Campbell, CA 95008
We are centrally located in the Silicon Valley between CA-85 and I-280 off of the CA-17 freeway

Our beautiful, new campus at the Campbell Community Center (formerly Campbell High School) has all of the amenities including:
• Access to after-school programs
• Sports facilities: outdoor track and field stadium, large fields, large playground, indoor basketball/volleyball courts,
  tennis courts, racquetball courts, skateboard park, swimming pool, indoor large and small gyms, weight room.
• The Heritage Theater
• Library
• Conference rooms

Our Team

Meera Shah

Parent, founder & guide

Meera is the mother of two beautiful daughters and is Co-Founder and Guide at Tej Acton Academy. She has earned her Teaching Diploma in Lower Elementary Montessori Education and a Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy, which she practiced for 8 years.

Her passion for alternative methods of education comes from her twenty years of experience as both a participant and facilitator of youth discussion groups centered on cultivating strong character and human dignity.

She believes that along with academic excellence, education should also bring joy and develop leadership qualities such as strong character, clarity in thought and communication, and the ability to face adversity. Acton Academy's principles of deep respect for children and trust in their abilities resonated immensely with her, as did its Hero's Journey for each student to find their calling.

Vibha

Spark Studio Guide

Vibha joins our team as a Spar Studio Guide. She earned her bachelor's degree in Arts and proceeded to specialize in the field of Early Childhood Education. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of education, with most of those years spent working in the Montessori method.

Vibha believes early childhood education is instrumental in shaping a child's personality and positive outlook towards learning. She is passionate about providing a positive atmosphere to allow children to realize their inner qualities.

Vibha has lived in California since 2003. She has been married for 18 years and has two wonderful daughters, aged 8 and 14. She loves to travel and explore new places and bring these vast experiences back with her to share in the classroom.

Kyle

Elementary Lead Guide

Kyle has been working for Acton Academy since the fall of 2017, when he helped establish Acton Academy Placer County. Over the next four years, he would serve as a middle school guide for a growing number of young heroes. Kyle has experience teaching in multi-age classrooms and adopting academic curricula to suit the needs of the individuals under his guidance.

Before he was in a classroom, Kyle coached youth gymnastics and motor skill development at The Little Gym of San Jose. For 12 years, he served 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 San Jose with his wife and son during the summer of 2021, eager to continue shaping the future of education at Tej Acton Academy. He brings with him the philosophy that all children - no matter their age or circumstance - have genius within them. And he believes that, with patience and exposure, that genius can be realized.

Pajaree

Elementary Studio Guide

Pajaree believes that Acton's unique systems and hands-on experiences empower children to be lifelong self-motivated learners. As a guide in a learner-driven studio, she continues to be amazed at how Acton's approach and freedom levels actually guide learners towards responsibility and ownership of their education, more than she had ever seen in a traditional school.

After working as an auditor at Deloitte, Thailand, Pajaree earned her MBA from UT Dallas and moved to the Bay Area with her family. The transition from the corporate world to education was driven by her own children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. This transformation, followed by the time she spent at Tej Acton Academy, transformed her perspective on how education can and should be approached.

Pajaree enjoys conducting scientific and engineering experiments with her 6- and 9-year-old children. She also co-builds a small online business with them.

Our Advisors

Jeff Sandefer

Co-Founder - Acton Academy

Jeff Sandefer lives a dual life as an entrepreneur and a Socratic Guide. As an entrepreneur, he founded his first company at age 16 and went on to found or co-found seven successful businesses. 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 Entrepreneurship 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.

Laura Sandefer

Co-Founder - Acton Academy

Laura lived on both US coasts and in between as a child, then settled into Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Science. After being awarded the highly competitive Walter Wattles Fellowship at Lloyd’s of London, Laura worked in the aviation insurance industry in New York City.

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."

Our Promises

We promise through Socratic guiding and experiential learning to encourage each member of our community to:

  • 1

    Begin a Hero’s Journey.

  • 2

    Discover precious gifts and a commitment to mastery.

  • 3

    Become a curious, independent, life-long learner.

  • 4

    Embrace the forging of a strong character.

  • 5

    Cherish the arts, the physical world, and the mysteries of life.

  • 6

    Treasure economic, political, and religious freedom.

Acton School Guide

Our Beliefs

We believe clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits forge character, and character determines destiny.

  • 1

    We believe each person has a gift that can change the world in a profound way.

  • 2

    We believe in learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be.

  • 3

    We believe in a closely connected family of life-long learners.

  • 4

    We believe in economic, political, and religious freedom.

Acton School Guide

Our Economic Model

We believe self-directed, peer-to-peer learner-driven communities built by our young Heroes will deliver transformational learning at a cost all parents can afford.