Experience how Acton is transforming education in this independent, award-winning documentary.

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Our Story

Todd and Julie

A few years ago we felt our family was suffocating. Todd was working out of town most of the time and Julie was working full time as a Registered Nurse while trying to manage the homefront as well. Everyday was a rush. Quality family time was being lost. Julie quit her job and began homeschooling to offer our children a more unique, personalized style of learning and to spend more time together as a family, traveling with Todd for work as often as they could and taking learning on the road. As our children began learning at their own pace, through play, projects, exploring their environment and cities traveled, we soon realized they were learning and thriving in a very non-traditional way. And our family was whole again.

Steve and Katie

When our second oldest son was in sixth grade he was having a very difficult time in public . He didn’t fit the mold of public education and was struggling in many ways. We knew something needed to change so we began homeschooling our children. Katie learned about Acton Academy when we first started homeschooling and wished there was one close enough to send our kids to. After three years of homeschooling and seeing the benefits of alternative education we decided that we needed to start an Acton Academy in the Syracuse area, not only for our own children, but for the children of the community as well.

Our families share the same philosophies and visions for education. We believe our kids can change the world. We want to equip them with the tools to build and lead a meaningful life and encourage a love of lifelong learning. We are excited to offer them an opportunity that will equip them to learn to do and learn to be in this world.

Our Team

Julie Stady
Co-Founder

Julie is a Registered Nurse and has practiced in various critical care settings for 18 years, as well as teaching wellness and prevention and practicing public-school nursing, before deciding to invest more in her two children though homeschooling. Her experience working with patients, as well as her own children, has enabled her to learn compassion and encourage children and adults to strive for their best. She believes in the vast learning potential that a project-based, learner-driven community can provide for children as they connect new concepts with real world applications.

Todd Stady
Co-Founder

Todd received his Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and holds Master of Science in Healthcare Administration. His career began practicing as an OT here in the Central New York community and has had the opportunity to work with both pediatric and adult populations in both rehabilitative and preventative environments. Drawing on these experiences has allowed for a transition to his current position as a HealthCare Information Technology consultant, where he works to assist health care systems implement and optimize the use of the electronic health record and other technologies to facilitate improved care delivery and outcomes. He is experienced with serving and directing the nomination committee for the Board of Elders for his church. He is passionate about education and providing children in the community, as well as his own, with positive learning experiences to increase their success and achievement.

Steve Sheffield
Co-Founder

Steve received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2008 from the University of Minnesota, and now owns and operates a successful dental practice in LaFayette, NY. He has served in several leadership positions in his local congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including most recently as a counselor to the Bishop. He brings a strong background in business structure and management. He cares about the educational success of his own children, who will be part of the learning environment, as well as in the local community he serves every day. He strongly believes children learn best through project-based learning, allowing opportunity to explore, create, and apply real world knowledge.

Katie Sheffield
Co-Founder

Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Marriage, Family, and Human Development degree from Brigham Young University. She is currently the homeschool mother of five children which has enabled her to gain experience and wisdom regarding the various learning needs of children at different grade levels and learning styles. She is an active member of her community, and has served in several leadership positions in the children's organization in her church. She is passionate about encouraging children to grow and learn to their fullest potential. She believes if you set the bar high and offer children the right tools and environment for success, they can change the world.

"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.

Hi, I'm Katie Sheffield. 👋

I'm Co-Founder of Acton Academy Syracuse.

Join us for our Open House!

Discover what a 21st Century, self-paced, hands-on learning environment can mean for your child!

When:Tuesday, September 17 | 6:00–8:00pm

Where: 5940 Feather Dr., LaFayette, NY!

Which Open House session do you plan to attend/participate in?

Join us for our Open House! 👋