We are the Collar family. Like many of you, we wanted to provide the best possible learning environment for our children that would spark their natural curiosity, inspire them to be lifelong learners, challenge them to grow in character, and equip them to be leaders that will change the world.
After exploring a range of educational settings, including public school, private school, and homeschool, we were unable to find anything that fit our vision of what education could be. When we eventually stumbled across Acton, we knew that we had found our home. (See: What Makes Acton Academy Different?) As we read Laura Sandefer’s Courage to Grow, it ignited something in our hearts through its articulation of a vision that had been stirring in us for some time. We knew we had to be part of this unique and special community and were thrilled at the opportunity to bring this special private school to other Indy families seeking a similar experience for their children.
We have been blessed by the incredible community of families and learners who have joined us on this journey to reimagine education and would encourage you to give us a call or schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting your family!
We believe each child has a gift that can change the world in a profound way
We believe in a closely connected family of lifelong learners
We believe in learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be
We believe in economic, religious, and political freedom
Head of School
Liz Collar has a passion for seeing young people grow into the Heroes they were created to be. The daughter of a missions pastor, Liz lived in six states before her 10th birthday, an experience that cultivated an ability to adapt and connect with people of all kinds. She is particularly passionate about creating safe spaces for young people to express their curiosity, take risks, and grow into their true selves.
Liz graduated from Grove City College with a degree in History and Education and had been working as a homeschool mom prior to encountering Acton. She has served on the board of her daughter’s preschool and as youth group leader at her church. Her heart is to see her children and those joining us at Acton to retain the excitement, wonder, and curiosity that defines childhood. She also loves to travel, snow-ski, hike, and grab coffee with friends.
J.D. Collar is a lifelong learner who longs to see young people become curious adventurers pushing beyond the status quo and challenging accepted boundaries. A graduate of Grove City College with a degree in English and Education, J.D. has spent the past 15 years building businesses in the marketplace. Along the way, he earned a Master’s degree in theology and has served in various leadership and ministry roles with his church.
He values courage, grit, creativity, and integrity and is eager to instill a growth mindset at Acton that values calculated risk taking and thoughtful reflection on struggles and failures. He played varsity basketball throughout college and is a self-taught pianist.
Advisor and Acton Academy Co-Founder
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.”
Advisor and Acton Academy Co-Founder
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.