Why we started Acton
We are the Petramalos: Joseph, Mindy, Alivia, James, Carter, Charlotte and Marcus .
Joseph and I grew up as farm kids, Joseph in Rexburg, ID, and myself in Manns Choice, Pennsylvania. We met at Brigham Young University and lived in Orem, Utah for 8 years. In 2015, we moved to Mesa, AZ to be close to family. While living there, 3 of our oldest children were blessed to attend a Montessori school. When my first child became school age, where to enroll her was a decision I took very seriously. This was my child's life I held in my hands, and this decision would alter her future forever! After conducting my own research, as well as talking to seasoned mothers and a couple of women who were highly qualified in child development fields, I was confident in enroll her at a local Montessori school. There was a drastic difference in her excitement between having work pages in pre-school and kindergarten to going through 1st grade in a learner-driven setting. She became passionate about her interests and enthralled with researching.
When my next child was well into his kindergarten year, his teacher called me in for a meeting. She noticed my son struggling with reading and started to suspect dyslexia. I too had suspected this, as I was well acquainted with the signs with this running in my family. However, we let my son proceed with his classes just as normal. No labels, no delays; we just let him be excited about learning by leading his own learning, being held responsible for his work, and leading his younger peers. I can attest, it worked for him! Now finishing 3rd grade, reading is still slow, but he has always loved school. He even loves reading in front of people. His fire to learn and lead drives him to read even when it's hard.
In 2020, we decided to go back to our roots and raise our kids on a farm. Our extended family was moving from Mesa, which was the main reason we moved there. A couple of Joseph's family members moved to Twin Falls, ID, so we thought we'd look into it. Twin Falls had all of our qualifications except one...NO Montessori or learn-driven schools. This was a HUGE drawback for us. We saw the love our kids had for learning and did not want to squander that by putting them in a traditional school setting. We knew if we wanted to call Twin Falls home AND our children to continue with a learner-driven education, there was no other option but to take this quest into our own hands.
We initially began our quest to start a Montessori school, but after starting down that path for a short time, something didn't feel quite right. 5 years prior, Joseph had completed his master's degree at Acton's entrepreneurial MBA program and suggested I look into the K-12 program they offered. I began researching the school's model and philosophies. Thiis led to a few late nights because the more I read, the more the theories made sense and felt right. My excitement grew. I grew more and more excited for my own children, and also excited to bring this opportunity to Twin Falls. So once again, we joined the Acton family and are thrilled to be pursuing this venture in our lives.
We will open August of 2021.