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Welcome to E.S.T.E.A.M: an Acton Academy

At the Core of our Program are the Acton Academy Principals of Learning.  Our Full Program includes teaming with Industry leaders such as 4Reelz School of Film, Learning Fun 101,  and many others who will be an integral part of our community and assist in guiding our students along the way thru our Enrichment Programs. A Young Film Makers Club &  Robotics Club will be staples in our program.

This is not your ordinary School and Our Students are not your Ordinary Students!! Parents and Students have a say in what we bring in and how we move forward. Parents will also have the opportunity to be involved in the communities projects.

The perfect candidate for Acton E.S.T.E.A.M are Self-Sufficient, Outside the Box Thinkers! Creative, Risk Takers, who Dream Big and are Not Afraid of Failure!

We are located in Round Rock, Texas, and accept students from all the surrounding areas, including: North Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, Liberty Hill, Hutto, Tayler, Pflugerville.

JoAnn Nolte:  Co-Founder & Mentor

JoAnn Nolte: As a life-long learner, JoAnn has pursued a wide range of knowledge and experience across several fields.  JoAnn studied Organizational Management and Youth Psychology while attending Colorado Christian University, she began her journey in the realm of learning as she and her four children journeyed together through 12 years of homeschooling. 

Along the way, JoAnn has learned real-life lessons on how young minds truly think and learn, how to celebrate and capitalize on those varied learning styles, and strengthen individual talents and interests.  She celebrates opportunities to see those around her heroically traverse challenges to discover how they can change their corner of the world.  She truly believes that everyday life is a huge, open classroom with endless possibilities. 

While on this learning journey JoAnn started Learning Fun 101: LEGO Robotics, an educational company in the Central Texas Area that reaches over 2000 children every year with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.   Learning Fun 101 success was the beginning of her life as an entrepreneur and a key component in the creation of E.S.T.E.A.M Academy.

Nicholle Walton-Durban: Co-Founder & Mentor

Nicholle Walton-Durban: Passion, Purpose, Curiosity, and Grit. These are the things that have driven Nicholle thru her life. Born and raised in the South, at the age of 20, she would set out on her Hero’s journey and chase her dreams to Los Angeles, CA. There she attended Santa Monica College,Cal State Fullerton, studied Theater Arts, traveled to China as part of a Musical Theater Troupe/Cross Cultural Exchange Program, received her license in Cosmetology, and worked her way up in a startup from an entry level position to VP of Operations in just under 5 years. After relocating to Austin, TX in 2008, Nicholle opened Edgen Films in 2010, and then 4Reelz School of Film in 2014, offering classes and camps where kids, teens, and adults of all ages could come to explore, create, and express, while learning and developing skills in a variety of Art / Tech Industry’s.

Of all her adventures, becoming Mom to 3 wonderful boys is truly where passion and purpose aligned, and Nicholle wanted to ensure they would have an environment where they could discover their own unique gifts, talents, passion’s, and purpose. In 2016, Nicholle would team up with Joann Nolte and open E.S.T.E.A.M Academy (an Acton Academy affiliate) combining their love of Art, Technology, and Entrepreneurship with Core Academic Studies, Socratic based Discussions, Projected-Based Learning and Enrichment, in a Student-Led environment.


BIO: Brett St Germain Dennis: From a very young age, Brett’s family filled his head with stories of people who have made major contributions to humanity. “If these people have done this, you can too” he was told. His family instilled work ethic, outside the box thinking, being true to oneself, and they made sure to instill the knowledge of how precious time is.

Brett grew into a doer. At the age of 13, Brett started working at McDonalds, and by the age of 17 was the Boys Head Councilor at summer Camp NEOFA. He has been in managerial rolls ever since. Brett carried 28 credit hours per semester in college, and graduated with a degree in Music Composition and an English Minor. After College, Brett worked as a snowboarding instructor at Olympic Training Ground Whiteface Mountain in NY, and his riding was filmed for a Whiteface Mt. commercial. Brett moved to New York City where he wrote 8 screen and stage plays. He also launched DNA Productions, which saw the successful launch of one stage play where no investors lost money. Being at the towers on the 11th, Brett decided to abandon DNA, leave New York City, and pursue another way to find meaning in his life.

Having graduated college with a degree in Music Composition, Brett is proud to say that he has performed nearly 700 times in his life, and written around 3,000 musical works to date, ranging from full orchestral pieces, to simple chord based “folk songs”.
Brett is a doer. Brett is extremely happy to be working with Esteam Academy, and is hopeful that he can Guide others to become doers, and positive contributors, to society as well.

:: Enrichment Club Guides ::


Daniel Calderone


Daniel (Dan) Calderone has been drawing since kindergarten where he skipped-out on class to hide in the library with a learn-to-draw Popeye book, until he got caught. Dan was born in Pennsylvania, although he grew up in Houston, TX and currently resides with his family near Austin, TX. where they are active in the homeschool community.

Dan attends The Art Institute of Austin in pursuit of a BA in Media Arts & Animation with graduation anticipated in December of 2015 at which time he will present his full portfolio. He studies predominantly in 3D environment art but additionally he is advanced in concept art, storytelling, story boards, animation, and digital paint. His work has been represented in two film festivals and has been featured by Professors. When not busy with homework, Dan can be found fighting evil doers from his home base in Hutto, TX along side his team of trusty sidekicks: his wife, three daughters, and super-pets kitty and fish.

Dan can be reached at calderone.dan@gmail.com

My online Generalist Reel can be viewed here at www.dancalderone.com

Art Club
Board Games Club
eSports Team


Justin R. Durban


Justin has written trailer music for the some of Hollywood’s highest grossing films of all time such as James Cameron’s “AVATAR”,  “Alice in Wonderland”, and “Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix”. He has composed film scores for the “SyFy Channel”“Lifetime Channel”, and Numerous video game titles. He has 20+ feature film scores under his belt along with hundreds of short films from directors and producers around the world.

Along with his talent for writing emotional music for film, he has a strong passion for the visual arts including Directing, Visual FX, Compositing, Editing, Web, Digital Art, & Graphic Design. His music can best be described as “Upliftingly Dark” Cinematic Film Music with Epic Intimacy. He plays by ear but the music ultimately resonates through his heart.

For more information, visit:


Digital Art Club
Film Club
Mini-Makers Club
eSports Team


Betty Currie


Bio coming soon…

Cooking Club
Gardening Club


Joshua Roush


Joshua Roush has become an accomplished musician, composer, and instructor through the years. Pursuing a degree in Music Education, he learned and mastered several instruments with a thirst for knowledge and improvement. Playing in Carnegie Hall at the age of seventeen, singing in the National Cathedral at the age of eighteen, winning the John Phillips Sousa award, and winning the talent show in his senior year of high school are just a few of many of his accomplishments. He plays and has played in many bands as well as holding the position of Drum Major and Student Conductor in high school musical ensembles. He is very passionate about helping his students on their journey through music. Several instruments are offered including guitar, piano, voice, many brass-wind instruments, as well as music theory and composition/song writing. When Joshua isn’t teaching, he is playing in one of his bands – Three:33 (rock originals), Roc Holiday (rock originals), Trick Shot (high energy covers with a rock edge). He also fills in with various bands around town.

“Music is in every part of life-live it.”

Performing Arts Club - Musical Director


Kelsey Kimble


Kelsey Kimble uses her vast experience in performing a variety of different genres to entertain and educate others. As a performer, Kelsey enjoys singing jazz music with her husband and local pianist, Austin Kimble. She also writes and performs original rock music with their band, The Kimbles. Trained in classical voice technique from The University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Rose Taylor, Kelsey also enjoys acting in area theater productions. Favorite roles include: Louise/Eve in “Ruthless” (2018, City Theater, Austin), Regina in “Rock of Ages” (2017, Georgetown Palace), Calliope in “Xanadu” (2015, Georgetown Palace). Aside from performing, Kelsey has a passion for educating voice students of all ages and experience levels.

Website for Original Music: meetthekimbles.com

Performing Arts Club -Technical Director


Bob Maccarni


Bob started competitive athletics at the young age of 6 years old playing Little League Baseball and Pee Wee Football in New York City. He went on to become a multi – sport athlete in High School Playing Baseball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, and Track & Field. He took an interest in the conditioning methods of the trainers and decided to pursue the field of sports and fitness.

Bob studied Physical Therapy and Exercise Science for 2 years at Northeastern University and went on to a career of over 35 years in Fitness and Sports Conditioning, attaining certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine ( NASM ), The National Strength & Conditioning Association ( NSCA ), and The American Council on Exercise ( ACE ), while staying active in competitive sports until the age 47.

While having vast experience in all facets of general health and fitness with both youths and adults, including nutrition, weight control, athletic related training, injury rehabilitation & prevention, and basic overall strength, Bob now specializes in Sports Conditioning and injury prevention for youths and young adults. His programs are designed to increase strength, agility, speed, and stamina so as to increase performance in every sport or general physical activity. He pays close attention to core strength and flexibility to not only performance, but to also dramatically decrease the chance of injury during sporting activities and competitions.

Bob’s techniques combine the strict training program to increase performance with teaching the fundamentals of sports conditioning and nutrition. He feels that if an athlete, or anyone for that matter, understands how his or her body is affected by exercise and the food they consume, it offers a long lasting foundation for a healthy mind and body for the rest of their lives. Bob will teach proper exercise techniques as well as recovery methods so our young athletes can enjoy improved performance on the field, in the gym, or wherever your activities may take you for many years to come.

- Athletic Director
- Physical Fitness Club
- Trade Skills Club

:: ACTON Founders ::

Laura Sandefer: Advisor & Co-Founder of the Acton Academy

Laura lived on both US coasts and in between as a child, then settled into Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Science.

After being awarded the highly competitive Walter Wattles Fellowship at Lloyd’s of London, Laura worked in the aviation insurance industry in New York City.  Deciding to follow her calling into the world of education, Laura returned to Nashville and earned her Master of Education at Peabody College. This led her to her work at the Oklahoma Arts Institute, creating fine arts education programs for teachers and talented high school students.

Laura married Jeff Sandefer and is the happy mother of Sam and Charlie and step-mother to Taite. It is the inspiration of these children that led Laura and Jeff to co-found Acton Academy.

Her greatest hero is her mother who was a Master Teacher. Her wisest mentor is her father who sent her off to college with two words of advice: "Be curious".


Jeff Sandefer: Advisor & Co-Founder of the Acton Academy

Jeff SandeferJeff Sandefer lives a dual life as an entrepreneur and a Socratic Guide.

As an entrepreneur, he founded his first company at age 16 and went on to found or co-found seven successful businesses.

As a Socratic teacher at the University of Texas, Jeff’s students five times voted him the school’s Outstanding Teacher and Businessweek named him one of the top Entrepreneurship professors in America. Jeff went on to co-found the Acton School of Business, an MBA program perennially ranked by the Princeton Review among the best in the nation. In 2012 The Economist honored him as one of the top fifteen Business School professors in the world.

Jeff is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, where he served for over twenty years on the school’s governing committees. He was a longtime director of the Philanthropy Roundtable and National Review magazine and one of the youngest members ever elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.


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