OUR STORY

We believe that children are far more capable than we think. We started Acton Academy Midwest because we wanted our children to be in an environment that harnesses the power of curiosity and celebrates self-discovery. 


We are parents just like you, trying to raise our child to be curious, independent and confident. As we started exploring options for education, we did not see how traditional education could work for our family, so we started investigating alternative models and found Acton Academy. We dove into the research and believed it was the right fit for our family. Just one problem – there wasn’t a location in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa) YET.

After understanding that some of the most well rounded successful entrepreneurs sent their children to Acton Academy, we applied to be part of the over 250 Acton Affiliates in 2018, and launched Acton Academy Midwest in 2020, in Onalaska, WI. We are honored to  bring this revolutionary learning approach to our community and are looking for like-minded families to join alongside us on this journey.

We accept applications year round. Schedule a call to learn more and request an application.


OUR TEAM

Acton Academy Midwest is guided by a team of creative, passionate people. We call our leaders ‘guides’ instead of teachers to reflect our focus on the Socratic method. These excellent individuals focus on empowering learners to discover how to DO. BE. LEARN.

Laura Simon, a passionate advocate for meaningful lives for children, discovered the Acton Academy model almost three years ago. Since then, she has been dedicated to learning and staying up-to-date on its progress. Drawing from both her professional background and her valuable experience as a homeschooling mom, Laura brings researched insights to her work. With a bachelor's degree in Integrated Studies and a focus on education, business, and psychology, she supports children aged birth to 18 in learning with enthusiasm. Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Mental Counseling, Laura adapts to individual and collective needs. Leveraging her past experience, she excels in collaborating on basic needs, advocating for positive growth, guiding self-advocacy skills, and coordinating resources with staff, families, and community support. Laura employs servant skills to assist learners, families, and staff. 

Meet Liam, a passionate and certified personal trainer, as well as a multi-sport coach dedicated to fostering personal well-being. Currently excelling as a Powerlifting Coach, Liam shapes state, national, and international competition qualifiers and champions, coaching at Central High School and De Soto Area High School Powerlifting programs. His expertise extends to guiding state-qualifiers and mentoring new athletes in the sport. As a Personal Trainer at FixedIDFitness, Liam works closely with individuals, emphasizing at-risk youth, and crafting personalized fitness plans. Contributing as an Assistant Football Coach at La Crosse Central High School, he specializes in Special Teams coaching and overall team strength and conditioning.

Liam's commitment to empowerment aligns seamlessly with Acton Midwest's values. Holding certifications such as CCS Certified, SafeSport Certification, and being a State (WHSPA) and National (USPA) Qualifier, he strives to empower individuals to achieve better living through personal well-being. Additionally, Liam will serve as a guide at Acton Midwest: Empower Your Child To Fulfill Their Dreams, combining his dedication to empowerment with Acton Academy Midwest's mission of helping students develop real-world skills and character traits. This alignment reflects Liam's overarching goal of inspiring others to reach their full potential, both in personal fitness and holistic well-being. 

Mrs. Miriam Cavanagh, Creative Director, is the owner of a Custom Art business called Joyful Light. She has been a professional artist the last five years, with twenty years of amateur experience. 

Miriam is also an Art Guide for Acton Academy, and has taught varying art classes within the community from children to adults. 

She is a certified Guide for the organization 1Life Fully Lived, empowering individuals to creatively envision and step into the best version of themselves. 

She is passionate about drawing out creativity in everyone, from arts to the entrepreneurial mindset. 

Her key to success is to always have an attitude of gratitude and servitude, and never stop learning.

Dr. Carolyn Colleen Bostrack, MBA is a multifaceted entrepreneur, former keynote speaker, and accomplished author who is deeply committed to helping individuals achieve their personal and professional goals. As a dedicated mother of three, she fully understands the importance of finding balance between family, career, and lifestyle.

Carolyn is the founder of a non-profit organization that empowers underserved women and children in the 7 Rivers Region to achieve generational self-sufficiency and create life strategies that enable them to live their dreams.

Carolyn has authored "F.I.E.R.C.E.: Transform Your Life in the Face of Adversity, 5 Minutes at a Time!" and co-authored "Academic and Educational Entrepreneurship." She is the owner of Acton Academy Midwest, a private STEM entrepreneurial and trades school that fosters collaborative learning and differentiated instruction through real-world projects and experiences rooted in Servant Leadership.

Alongside her professional achievements, Carolyn is also a delegate for the Commission on the Status of Women United Nations 2023, where she has the honor of advocating for gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide.

Dr. Ann Wonderling, the proprietor of Family Vision Center and Vision Therapy Academy, stands out as one of Wisconsin's four optometrists to have completed a residency in vision therapy and pediatric optometry. Moreover, she's among just seven optometrists in the state to hold Fellowship status in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Her professional accolades comprise:

Beyond her practice, Dr. Wonderling has generously volunteered her expertise to endeavors like Special Olympics, the Cahaba Valley Health Initiative, and Camp Seale Harris, which serves children with diabetes. She's also engaged with Volunteer Optometrists Serving Humanity (VOSH), contributing to mission trips across countries including Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. In Wisconsin, she is a provider for Vision USA.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Dr. Wonderling is an enthusiastic supporter of her two sons' athletic pursuits in basketball, baseball, and tennis. Her family shares a love for camping and river-based activities. Joining Family Vision Center in 2004, she established Vision Therapy Academy in 2005.

Partnering with Acton Academy Midwest, Dr. Ann Wonderling adds another dimension to her accomplished profile. This collaboration highlights her commitment to advancing education in the fields of optometry, pediatric care, and vision therapy. Acton Academy Midwest benefits from her expertise, enriching their educational programs and initiatives. Dr. Wonderling's engagement underscores her dedication to not only shaping the future of optometry but also contributing to the growth of students and professionals within Acton Academy Midwest's sphere.

Brian is a dedicated advocate for education and personal growth, with a degree in Psychology from National University in San Diego, CA. His academic journey has been marked by a steadfast focus on childhood development and cognitive studies in adolescents, reflecting his unwavering commitment to understanding the intricacies of the human mind at crucial stages of life.

As a true lifelong learner, Brian's passion for continuous self-improvement knows no bounds. His fervor for knowledge extends beyond textbooks and classrooms, inspiring him to explore innovative ways to foster growth and development across all age groups. 

Brian's enthusiasm for transformative learning experiences was ignited by a profoundly personal encounter with the power of brain training. Witnessing the remarkable progress of his own son, who benefited from Natural Learning Solutions, solidified Brian's belief in the potential of cutting-edge techniques to reshape lives positively.

Currently, Brian's journey has led him to an exciting partnership with Acton Academy Midwest, where he channels his expertise and fervor for personal development into creating impactful educational experiences. With a profound understanding of psychology and a deep appreciation for the potential within every individual, Brian is genuinely excited and proud to contribute to a cause that he believes to be truly life-changing.

Anna Slaback, M.S., C.B.I.S, is the Director of Resilience, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to her role. With a Master's degree in clinical mental health counseling, Anna's dedication to her community spans over two decades through various impactful human service positions.

Anna's journey includes roles in group homes, day programs, and management of these facilities. Her commitment extends to assisting individuals in navigating disability benefits and accessing essential services. She has also played crucial roles as a crisis responder and psychotherapist.

At her core, Anna's aspiration is to guide individuals towards unlocking their innate wisdom and inner resources. By doing so, she empowers them to cultivate self-love, nurture relationships, and reach for aspirations beyond imagination. Her mission revolves around helping others create lives that transcend even their most ambitious dreams.