Meet our Founder
Mr. Jesse Grimm
Jesse Grimm founded Acton Academy Katy in 2018 after years of attempting to change the educational models in Houston and Alief ISDs. He is married to McKenzie, another Guide at Acton Katy, and together they have 5 beautiful daughters who all attend Acton Katy. Jesse earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his Masters in Business Administration from Rice University.
Over the course of his career, Jesse has come to realize that school should be so much more than grades, high-stakes assessments and assigned seating. School should be a place where children love to learn, are allowed to explore what they're passionate about, and have fun!
Mrs. Mckenzie Grimm
McKenzie Grimm has been behind the scenes of Acton Katy’s journey since it began, as she is the wife of founder Jesse Grimm. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in EC-12 art education. She has been in education for the past 13 years serving in Alief & Katy ISD. She is over the moon to be leaving public education and joining the Acton community as a Guide! McKenzie is passionate about fostering creativity, kindness and encouraging others to gain confidence in themselves and their capabilities.
Mrs. Alli Cardenas
Alli Cardenas is the Guide for the Spark Studio. She has served as an early childhood educator for the past 13 years in a variety of school environments, including traditional public school, play-based preschool and finally at Acton Academy beginning in 2020. Alli is passionate about learner-driven education and believes in equipping young learners with an abundance of rich, hands-on experiences to spark their love of learning and find their unique calling to change the world!
Alli grew up in West Houston, and earned a BA in Journalism from UH (go COOGS!). She continued her education, earning a teaching certification in Early Childhood and English as a Second Language. She is happily married to her husband Rod, and together they have 3 children - Kamryn, Isabela and Rohan, who attends Acton Academy Katy.
Mrs. Amanda Dixon
Amanda is a wife to video game developer Brett, and mother to three humans (Carter, Reese and Faye) + three miniature dachshunds (Evie, Ganon and Bash). A self-proclaimed PLAY advocate, she believes children learn best when they are given time, space and freedom to engage in hands-on experiences. She also feels passionately about educating the whole child.
Amanda has experience owning her own play-based preschool, where she was inspired by Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf philosophies. She also has taught various early childhood education classes at the college level. Her education includes a B.A. in child development and an M.A. in early childhood education, both from California State University, Long Beach.
Amanda and her family are originally from CA and are loving their new life in Texas. They love to cook together and play video games (obviously). When she’s not at Acton Katy, you’ll find her curled up with her dogs, reading a great book and enjoying a good cuppa tea. She and her family are thrilled to be joining Acton Katy! Amanda will serve as the Discovery Studio Guide.
Mr. Billy Mims
Billy Mims is beyond excited to be joining the Acton Katy community as the Navigations Studio Guide!
Billy spent the last 15 years in the oil and gas industry as a Human Resources professional and was laid off during the start of Covid. What at first seemed to be devastating turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Forced change provided him with the opportunity to reflect on what values are the most important to him at this stage in his life and career. When the position of Navigations Guide became available, he knew that his calling had changed. Billy is excited for the opportunity to transition his experience from mentoring adult career goals to empowering learners to find their calling in life.
Billy has been married to his beautiful wife, Leesa, for almost 13 years, who he met in college at the University of Houston, GO COOGS! They have two beautiful girls, Brilee, 9 and Finlee, almost 5. Brilee has been attending Acton Katy for the last two and a half years and Finlee is beginning her journey this year!
Billy enjoys all sports and any outdoor activities. On Saturdays during the fall, you will catch him at the UH football games. Our family loves to travel, especially to the mountains and the beach. We have two dogs, a golden retriever, Shasta, and a bichon frise mix, Mochi.
Billy looks forward to meeting everyone soon. He can’t wait to start this journey with the returning and new Acton families!