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Who We Are

We discovered that Acton is not just a school, but a way of life.

We no longer answer questions, but encourage others to find the answers.

Our children have an excitement in their eyes when they discover an answer they worked hard to find. 

We decided to join the movement and launch our own Acton Academy, Vine Academy – An Acton Affiliate in the Fall of 2021. Every hero at Acton has a unique journey and story. We are here to help your young heroes discover the incredible plans God has for their lives! 

Our mission is to inspire each person who enters our doors to discover his or her God-given calling that will change the world.

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Our Mission

We believe each person who enters our doors will discover his or her calling from God to change the world.

Our Promises

We promise through Socratic guiding and experiential learning to encourage each member of our community to:

  • Begin a Hero’s Journey;

  • Discover precious gifts and a commitment to mastery;

  • Become a curious, independent, life-long learner;

  • Embrace the forging of a strong character;

  • Cherish the arts, the physical world, and the mysteries of life; and

  • Treasure economic, political, and religious freedom.

 

Our Beliefs

  • We believe each person has a gift that can change the world in a profound way.

  • We believe in learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be.

  • We believe in a closely connected family of lifelong learners.

  • We believe in economic, political, and religious freedom.

 

Our Educational Philosophy

We believe clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits forge character, and character determines destiny.

Our Economic Model

We believe self-directed, peer-to-peer learner-driven communities built by our young Heroes will deliver transformational learning at a cost all parents can afford.

Meet our families

Long before the Masons (Justin and Theresa) and the Syswerdas (Adam and Dre) had school aged children, both families were on a mission to find a non-traditional education for their children.  While there are excellently rated public schools in the north Texas area, traditional public schools did not seem to provide the education that either family was looking for.  As their oldest children were approaching Kindergarten, their searches became more intentional.  They considered local private schools but the significant annual investment per child was a deterrent for each family, as siblings would be approaching school age in the very near future.

The Masons

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The Syswerdas

In the spring of 2020, a friend of Dre’s told her about Acton Academy. The Syswerdas looked into the school and its mission, and realized this was the school they had been looking for!  They began the application process to attend a local Acton and shared their knowledge of the school with the Masons.  As the Masons did their own research, they, too, realized this was the school they had been looking for and also applied. Both of their sons were accepted, and in the Fall of 2020 both the Masons and Syswerdas’ sons were enrolled in Acton Academy. Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, both families fell in love with the Acton model and the incredible potential beginning to be unlocked in both of their sons and families. 
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Meet The Team

We would love to connect and hear about your journey!

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Theresa Mason

Co-Founder and Head of School

Theresa is a serial entrepreneur! Since graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2004, she has started and sold multiple businesses.  From painting to real estate, country music to non-profits, Theresa loves serving others, growing, learning, and leading.  Currently, Theresa and her husband, Justin, are Brokers and Owners of Magnolia Realty in Grapevine, TX.  Theresa also manages Justin’s country music career.  When the opportunity presented itself to start an Acton Academy franchise in Grapevine, Theresa was up for the challenge.  Seeing her own children thrive in this incredible learning environment and seeing the joy they had for school, made this decision easy.  She and Justin, like so many other parents, are passionate and intentional when it comes to their children.  Being able to provide an Acton educational model in Grapevine for her own children as well as others in the community is truly rewarding and exciting!

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Justin Mason

Co-Founder and Head of Sales

Justin is a veteran of the United States Navy, a former Police Officer, Real Estate Broker, country music entertainer and co-owner of Vine Academy.  He is also a husband and proud father of 3 amazing kids.  After seeing his own son thrive in the incredible learning environment of Acton and seeing the joy he had for school, Justin, along with his wife, Theresa, felt that the decision to start Vine Academy was easy.  Like so many other parents, Justin and Theresa are passionate and intentional when it comes to their children.  Being able to provide an Acton educational model in Grapevine is a rewarding and exciting venture!

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Dre Syswerda

Co-Founder and Head of Marketing

Andrea has a background in Kinesiology from TCU, a deep passion for life-long learning and is a master of managing chaos as a mom of four. She and Adam share a desire for their children to discover who God created them to be, and because of that, the opportunity to start an Acton Academy in Grapevine became an easy decision.  Dre’s creativity and keen marketing eye have helped promote Vine Academy’s presence and mission in the Grapevine community and beyond. 

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Adam Syswerda

Co-Founder and Head of Finances

Adam grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan. He attended Hillsdale College where he developed a deep appreciation for the brilliance of the founding fathers and their incredible architecture for the United States of America. After college Adam moved to Texas for a job and soon met his wife, Dre. They have been married over 11 years and have 4 children.  Adam is the President of Box Insurance Agency in Grapevine TX. In 2021. Adam obtained his MBA from Southern Methodist University. During that process he developed a deeper understanding of how amazing the Acton model is for children to become who God has created them to be.

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Jeff Safender

Mentor, Co-Founder of Acton Academy

Jeff Sandefer is the Co-Founder of Acton Academy, Middle School Guide, Founder of The Acton MBA School. His support, inspiration, and guidance have been a tremendous part of our success at Vine Academy.

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Laura Safender

Mentor, Co-Founder of Acton Academy

Laura Sandefer is the Co-Founder, Head of Schools, and Elementary Guide at Acton Academy. She is also the author of  Courage to Grow. Her guidance, inspiration, and mentorship every step of the way have been an integral part of our success at Vine Academy.

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Kristin Jenkins-Mejia

Spark  Guide

Kristin has a background in Chemistry from the University of North Texas, during her time there she spent countless hours volunteering nationally and internationally doing mission work. One trip in particular led her to meet her husband Danny, in El Salvador, whom she has been married to for 3 years now. Shortly after getting married Kristin realized that lab work was not for her and decided to move El Salvador for a fresh start. While she was there she discovered Acton Academy El Salvador. She started her journey there as a Spark Guide and found her calling. In the spring of 2022 Kristin, Danny, and their Australian Shepherd “Bazel” returned to the states. While in that process she reached out to Vine Academy and found her new home. 

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Janeen
Shafer

Elementary Guide

Janeen moved to Texas two years ago from California with a hope and a prayer that this would be her family’s new forever home. She and her husband, Jason, have been married for 18 years and love serving at church together. They believe Texas aligns with their values and is a wonderful place to raise their children, Ashlynn, Madalynn and Danny.  They also have an adult daughter Kailey, who is currently in college. Janeen worked in real estate while in CA, but felt a different calling here in Texas. When she and her family heard about Acton Academy, they started researching and praying not only for direction for her children but for herself. Just a short while later there was an opportunity for an Elementary Guide position at Vine Academy, and she was up to the challenge of diving in and starting a new journey. Janeen believes God has a plan for everyone and that Vine Academy opens that door to find out your true passions that can change the world!

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