Our Story

As parents of two young children, we believe strongly that each came to earth with unique gifts and passions that would be theirs to cherish. We believe our role as parents is to inspire and equip them to reach the potential that is already within them, by inspiring them to embark on what we call a Hero's Journey.

These principles reverberate through history as men and women, heroes, have given all in the pursuit of individual liberty. This belief is what drew us to Acton Academy, a place where children were deeply respected, discovering how they uniquely contributed to the world, rather than how they can become just like everybody else.

We continue to learn so much on this journey, but we do know we want our children to be prepared for a meaningful life, with 21st-century skills that focus on learning to "Do" and to "Be" while embracing lifelong learning.

Michael Bonifacio
Acton Academy Estero Co-Founder and Guide

Our Fort Myers Campus

Acton Academy Estero is centrally located at 18810 Misty Morning Lane, Fort Myers, FL

Our Team

Michael Bonifacio

Co-Founder and Guide

Mike Bonifacio was born and raised in New Lenox, IL and relocated to Estero, FL just over two years ago with his family after selling their business in Illinois. Mike has been a landscape designer for over 30 years and is a committed lifelong learner. As an adult he went back to school and earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Governors State University, and afterwards persuaded by a valued mentor to pursue his Masters Degree in English. He was fortunate to work as a graduate assistant while doing this, helping his peers in the GSU Writing Center craft thoughtful and well-written research papers. Upon graduating with his Masters Degree in English Mike was recruited by GSU staff to teach writing and composition as an adjunct professor. During this time Mike completed a Graduate Certification in Online Teaching and Learning, a collection of skills, along with his tutoring experience, he's excited to bring to serve learners at Acton Academy Estero.

Mike and Gina's drive to improve education led them to co-found Acton Academy Estero, a cutting-edge school that blends entrepreneurship and classical education with Christian foundations. Mike serves as the school's CEO and its first Guide and is dedicated to providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century.

Married to his amazing wife, Gina, Mike is the proud father of two children, Margo and Vincent who will both be attending Acton Academy Estero's Elementary Studio this coming January. In his free time he reads, draws, and loves traveling with his family. As a devoted lifelong learner he's currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies from South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary, and a Bachelors of Art in fine art from FGCU. He loves Jesus and is currently serving on the Ocean Church Estero safety team, has previously volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Global Village, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanners which he hopes to do again soon.

Gina Bonifacio

Co-Founder

Gina Bonifacio grew up in Salem, IL and relocated to Estero, FL just over two years ago with Mike, Margo, and Vincent. Gina is a Registered Nurse, previously working in an ICU, Obstetrics office, and as a Nurse Injector. She now works in a position she was called to and is passionate about, as a Nurse Manager and Advocate at Immokalee Pregnancy Center. Gina believes that everything she has done in her personal life has led her to an amazing opportunity to provide ultrasounds and to advocate for expectant mothers at Immokalee Pregnancy Center. Many women have chosen life for their babies with the aid of Gina's testimony and counselling, along with the generous support of Immokalee Pregnancy Center and its many donors. Gina holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Illinois State University, and a nursing degree from Joliet Junior College.

Mike and Gina's drive to improve education led them to co-found Acton Academy Estero, a cutting-edge school that blends entrepreneurship and classical education with Christian foundations. Gina serves as the school's co-founder and is dedicated to providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century.

Married to Mike for 13 years she is the proud mother of Margo and Vincent who will both be attending Acton Academy Estero's Elementary Studio this coming January. Gina loves to read, travel, and is a bit of a foodie who loves trying new restaurants in our area. She loves Jesus and is currently involved in Bible studies with other women from the community and actively supports charitable organizations in Immokalee and throughout Southwest Florida. She is also a member of Ocean Church Estero.

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.