Acton Academy Katy was founded in August of 2018 with the help of 6 Founding Families and 9 Founding Learners. These courageous families and Learners took on the challenge of redefining what education can look like in the 21st century.
Currently, Acton Katy has over 50 Learners ages 4.5-13 and will soon be full grown at a permanent location!
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.
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.
Amy was born in Laredo, just south of Texas and for this reason she is fluent in Spanish. Amy started her educational career at Texas A&M International University where she later transferred to Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada with a degree in Psychology and Sociology. Language and connecting with people is very important to Amy so during her time in Canada she took 2 years of French, the 2nd most used language in the province where she resided.
Amy is very passionate about nurturing young minds and is well versed in childrens overall physical, mental and emotional
development. She is very active and creative. In her spare time she enjoys a variety of physical activities such as basketball, volleyball, paddle boarding, rollerblading, biking, hiking and occasionally hosts meditation sessions in which she incorporates physical activities. Amy also enjoys writing, sewing, and doing research on child development from an organic perspective.
Amy lives in Katy and has 2 children of which the oldest attends Acton Academy. She discovered Acton Academy during her research on schools and felt that Acton was best in line with her values. Amy has big goals to someday opening her own home and creating a camp for children aging out of the foster care system in Texas. During her time at Acton Academy Amy is excited to watch the children grow and bloom into the very capable and independent individuals that they are.
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!