"Traditional School Wasn't Getting What Our Children Needed For Today's World
...So We Started One That does"
MEET THE FOUNDERS
Martina Pavlovich-Slaven - Montessori Trained
Head of School | Spark & Elementary Studios
Having raised 4 older children who are now graduated and pretty "cool" adults, Martina brings practical thinking to the Acton Academy Fort Lauderdale family.
A certified Yoga Instructor, and Montessori-trained Guide (NAMC), she was one of the first generations of students to travel west when the Iron Curtain came down in the early ninties.
Her favorite quote is to "Be the change you want to see in the world" and our Acton Academy is the fruition of what she has been dreaming education could be for our youngest, after watching the older four navigate the traditional education system.
Head of School | Middle School & LaunchPad Studios
Tobin's own Hero's Journey started in education, with an M.Ed in Student Development (trained to be a teacher and school administrator). He was also an award-winning HS and collegiate basketball coach, University instructor, and admissions officer.
For the last 20 years Tobin has operated in the business world, as consultant and entrepreneur specializing in helping expert-based businesses create and launch "Offers That Sell Themselves."
Our first 'Dragonaut' Student of the Elementary School Studio at Acton Academy Fort Lauderdale.
Meet our Guides
Tyler Eassa - IALDS Silver Certified Guide
Technology Director & Lead Guide
Tyler brings a willingness to learn and share new technology, along with a patience to work with younger people in helping them see the amazing world all around them. Tyler is also Safesport-certified by the U.S. Center for Safestport Training.
In his spare time, Tyler loves foraging for mushrooms, learning about herbal recipes, and is inspired by traveling to new locations.
Chantal Tompkins - IALDS Silver Certified Guide
Arts Director & Lead Guide
Art and the appreciation of all different forms of beauty is central to Chantal's life, as she is a practicing artist and graphic designer.
As a Lead Guide, Chantal is responsible for bringing both a fun and "gameful" experience to the learning environment, for students and adults alike.
Ján Tompkins - BA (MA-2023)
Visual Culture and New Media Specialist
Ján Tompkins is an archival researcher specializing in audiovisual storytelling. He is the co-founder of the Prague-based production company Daisy with Rider.
The company's current projects include The Republic of Dreams: a multimedia project produced by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, which adapts the work of Polish writer Bruno Schulz, using video, illustrations, and sonic experiences all inspired by dreams and dreaming (see more at republicofdreams.online), and The Infinite Library: a virtual reality exploration of various systems of knowledge that relate to the human experience made in collaboration with Berlin-based High Road Stories and the Goethe-Institut in New Delhi.
Ján is currently completing his Master's degree in Humanities at Anglo-American University in Prague, the city where Acton Academy Fort Lauderdale's sister school will be opening in 2023.
meet our advisors from The Original acton academy In austin, TX
Laura is cofounder and head of school of Acton Academy (Austin). Raised by a science teacher and minister, Laura lived on both coasts and in between as a child and then landed at Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Science. After working in London and New York City in the aviation insurance business, Laura yearned to follow her heart into the world of teaching.
She went back to Vanderbilt's renowned Peabody College and received her Master of Education. This led her to work in arts education at the Oklahoma Arts Institute. Laura later married Jeff and has two sons and a stepdaughter. It is the inspiration of these children that led Laura and Jeff to cofound Acton Academy. Her greatest hero is her beloved late mother, who was a master teacher as none other. Her wisest mentor is her father, who sent her off to college with two words of advice: "Be curious."
CoFounder of The Acton School of Business, at the University of Texas
Jeff is an entrepreneur and a Socratic teacher. As an entrepreneur who most recently sold Sandefer Capital, an energy investment firm with several billion dollars in assets. He cofounded the Acton School of Business, a school dedicated to America’s next generation of principled entrepreneurs and famous for its 100-hour work weeks. The Princeton Review has consistently ranked Acton’s teachers, students, and program among the best in the country.
While at the University of Texas, Jeff’s students voted him the school’s Most Outstanding Teacher five times, and he was named by Businessweek as one of the top entrepreneurship professors in America. He also cofounded Acton Academy (Austin), where he is a middle school lead guide. Jeff has been a longtime board member of National Review, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Harvard Business School and is one of the youngest members ever elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.
Our School Philosophy Is Inspired
By This 'Emeritus' Board of Educational Leaders
Italian Physician and Educator | 1870-1952
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name.
Montessori considered her work in the Orthophrenic School and her subsequent psychological studies and research work in elementary schools as "scientific pedagogy", a concept current in the study of education at the time. She called for not just observation and measurement of students, but for the development of new methods which would transform schools through "Scientific Education."
Lord John Acton
Historian and Politician | 1834-1902
Lord John Acton was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer best known for the remark, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
John Amos Comenius (often written as Komenský) was a Czech philosopher, pedagogue and theologian who is considered the father of modern education.
Comenius was far ahead of his time and is best known for developing the concept of "schooling by games".
Comenius introduced a number of educational concepts and innovations including pictorial textbooks written in native languages instead of Latin, teaching based in gradual development from simple to more comprehensive concepts, lifelong learning with a focus on logical thinking over dull memorization, equal opportunity for impoverished children, education for women, and universal and practical instruction.
Ivy Cromartie Stranahan
Teacher and Philanthropist | 1881 – 1971
Often referred to as the "mother of Fort Lauderdale," Ivy Stranahan was the city's first teacher of its one room schoolhouse.
And like the Acton Academy focus on peer-to-peer learning, Ivy was known for teaching her older students, so they could in turn teach the younger learners.
Ivy is also well known for supporting the rights of the Seminoles of Southern Florida and aiding them in moving to an Indian reservation.
She is closely associated with the Friends of the Florida Seminoles, an organization through which she sought to support the education of Seminole children, build homes and eventually to support themselves fully.