Local Family Opens Independent School, Acton Academy, to Serve Lincoln Families

The Harsin Family identified the need for a modern self-directed, peer-to-peer educational opportunity in Lincoln and took action by opening Acton Academy Lincoln (actonacademylincoln.com) in fall 2020—and it has become an instant success for learners and parents alike! Now, they are enrolling K-8 for 2021 to serve more families who want the best possible independent learning experience for their children, not hampered by an antiquated one-size-fits-all, grade-specific, micromanaged school system. So far, they have 13 students—about one third each drawn from private schools, homeschools, and public schools, and are planning to more than triple enrollment for the 2021-22 school year.

Like most parents, Founders Zach and Heidi Harsin were learning to parent their three children, Haddie, Sawyer, and Milo, and wanted to give them an educational opportunity that would foster joyful, curious children by developing their individual passions. Then Zach watched an Acton Academy video “that changed everything.” He could hardly contain his excitement when he wrote a text to his wife including a statement he never thought he would write: “We are going to start a school.” For the long-time Lincoln entrepreneur—former co-owner of Pink Gorilla Events and now a full-time real-estate investor—it was a light-bulb moment.

“It definitely was not something I saw myself going into, but when you find Acton, you can’t un-see it and you run with it,” Zach said. “The life-changing video was about Acton Academy, an 11-year-old micro-school model in Texas. Acton is a learner-driven education, so specific grades don’t really matter, because students all learn at their own pace. We create customized plans for each student to work toward, and we are here to guide and coach them through it. We can give our children and families an education option that was not even dreamt of when we were school-aged.”

The goal of Acton Academy is to maintain a community of like-minded families seeking a modern approach to education that will help equip their kids for the 21st Century using a blend of Montessori elements, Socratic questioning, and learner-driven education that allow students to discover and develop their God-given passions and unique callings in their lives, learning through quests and apprenticeships, and developing mastery of reading, writing, and arithmetic using the latest technology and self-paced learning.

Acton Academy’s early success stems from Zach’s understanding from the business world that micro-management doesn’t work: “It’s about hiring the best people they can as guides (Acton’s term for teachers), then empowering and encouraging them, but not getting in their way,” he said. With current students ages 4.5 through 14, the Harsin family plans to add a high-school level program by fall 2022, so that their oldest existing students will comprise the first graduating class, prepared to take the world by storm their way. That includes having completed 15-20 (yes, you read that right) internships and/or apprenticeships with real-world experience, and starting their own businesses each year for the Acton Business Fairs by the time they graduate high school!

Acton Academy Lincoln is located at 8400 Cody Drive. For more information, to request an information kit, or to schedule a tour of the beautiful studio, visit actonacademylincoln.com, email hello@actonacademylincoln.com, or call (402) 858-5151.