Our Story

Aubree & Troy Hazard with their children

After having children of our own, we started exploring if there was a better way for us to equip them to learn and reach their full potential. We wanted to give our kids the best tools, methods, and resources available, our goal was to nurture independent and confident children ready to embark on the adventures that life holds.

After going from kindergarten all the way to Utah State University graduates, we found ourselves disenchanted after navigating the public school system. Despite our academic achievements, the system's inherent inefficiencies left us yearning for a more effective and fulfilling approach to learning and life.

This realization became the catalyst for our decision to start Acton Academy Cache Valley, driven by our shared belief that there must be a more dynamic way to nurture and unlock the full potential of every student.  We've found ways to funnel our great passion for outdoor adventure, our love of rich literature, and our insistence on personal freedoms into the fiber of Acton Academy Cache Valley.  

In founding Acton Academy Cache Valley, we aspire to create an innovative and empowering environment where learning is personalized and inspiring for the children of Cache Valley. 

Cache Valley Campus, Logan, UT

Acton Academy Cache Valley is located in historic downtown Logan.

404 S. Main, Logan, UT 84321


Our Team

Aubree Hazard

Founder & Head of School

Acton Academy Cache Valley 

I lived for traditional school.  I was constantly busy being a teacher's pet, 4.0 student, the first in line from Kindergarten all the way to college.  It wasn't until I graduated as a Biological Engineer from Utah State University that I took a step back to truly assess my academic journey. 

- What was it all for? 

- Had my academic journey hindered or helped me become a better person? 

- Did I love to learn or just love to get good grades, was there a difference? 

I had a very challenging time answering these questions reflecting back upon my 18 year academic journey.  Around this same time in life I had a toddler daughter.   I'd watch her try to master a new skill like putting on her socks or writing her name.  She'd approach everything with such enthusiastic curiosity, she had an unbridled passion for life , she was boldly determined to conquer even the most difficult things.  In my daughter I saw the learner I wanted to be; yet somehow even after years in a system that told me it was teaching me, I wasn't even close to being as creative and ingenious as she was at 3 years old. 

I decided I wanted more for her.  I couldn't stand the thought of her passion, curiosity, and ambition being slowly drained out of her.  I made it my mission to sustain the light in her eyes that sparkled every time she examined a potato bug or colored a picture of a pony.   As she and our family grew we played; first with toys, then with friends, often with nature, and eventually we started playing with concepts and ideas.  My philosophies around education became deeply rooted in a foundation of freedom and ownership.  I found that she and her siblings excelled at anything they set their mind to, IF they set their mind to it.  There was no use in attempting bribe, or guilt, or trick them into learning (all tactics readily deployed in most traditional systems).

I wanted a place she could freely discover the world around her and was consistently motivated to practice her skills effectively, a place where she could collaborate with other children who were passionately pursing their goals.  That's when I discovered Acton. 


Shalleen Balle



Jeff Sandefer

Co-Founder & Advisor
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 & Advisor
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."