Joshua Mason

Director | Owner

I grew up loving education. My father was a professional religious educator and my mother a volunteer teacher for youth church programs. While living in Hawaii, I was given the chance to act on this family passion by taking a job as a public school teacher for 7th grade English and history.

I, like many people, thought the problems with education were the bad conditions for teachers — low pay, no support from staff or parents, too much stress. But I was being paid more than I had ever earned before. I was at a school ranked as one of the best to work at; the staff and fellow teachers made the job comfortable. The job was still stressful, but I didn’t find that the stress was preventing children from learning. They loved learning, but they hated school.

I realized the problem with public education was its outdated methodology. The children were creative, brilliant, and capable of changing the world, but their time was being wasted by a method that confines them to rows of desks in cinder block rooms for 45-minute periods that ended and began with a bell — a method that treats them like factory products, because it was adopted in the 1800s to create mid-level factory workers.

So I quit after four months. I just couldn’t bring myself to be okay being paid to be a part of such a system, no matter how well-intentioned the people involved are.

I later discovered and attended the Acton School of Business where I met Jeff Sandefer, the co-founder of both the business school and Acton Academy. He offered me an apprenticeship with Acton Academy upon graduating with my MBA, and I got to see firsthand what was missing from my days as a teacher. Young people were taking ownership for their own learning, and the adults were barely in the picture.

It forever ruined traditional education for me. I told my wife Michelle, “When we have kids, they’re attending an Acton. If there isn’t one where we live, we’ll start our own.”

We moved to Port St. Lucie at the beginning of 2021 and heard from friends how disappointed they were in the lack of quality schools in the area. We don’t have kids yet, but we decided to open this Acton now so we could be a part of the solution to this problem, getting the Acton up and running so it’s ready for our children to attend one day.