©2019 by Acton Academy of Bergen County

Acton Academy of Bergen County

Inspiring children to find a calling, explore their path and change the world

A new non-profit private school for children ages 5-12

- Opening September 2019 - 

Kids Blowing Bubbles

Our Mission

To inspire each child who enters our doors to find a calling and explore the path to accomplish it

Outdoor Family Day
Teacher and Class

We Believe

If you work hard, have fun and find your calling you can change the world.

We promise our students

Begin your Hero’s Journey.

Learn to be a curious, independent and life-long learner.

Discover your strengths, weaknesses, and passions.

In the Classroom

We feel that the school system today is:

Designed to fit the industrial age values


Lacks freedom and is very controlling

Encourages memorization and overemphasizes knowledge

Does not teach real-life learning skills and underemphasizes social skills

Based on lecturing rather than creative teaching - The teacher is the main source for knowledge


Our Approach


Progressive Education

​A learner-driven community 

Learning to form authentic friendships and honestly resolve interpersonal problems

Self-paced learning of reading, writing and math

Real-world projects of hands-on learning for 21st century skills

What do we learn in Acton?

Blonde Boy Reading
Art Fun
Summer Camp Kids

Learn to learn

Socratic discussions and self-paced challenges equip children to be independent lifelong learners

Learn to do

Hands-on Quests for science, entrepreneurship and the arts prepare children for real-world challenges

Learn to be

Intense focus on character development by giving learners lots of freedom and responsibility 

Hand Holding a Plant

The education revolution is growing

Acton Academy of Bergen County joins dozens of other Acton Academies all over the world


Our Team

Michal Leshem

President of the board

Head of School

Michal is a proud mother of 4 wonderful boys. She is a Modern educator with an extensive background in science and cyber technology.

After working more than 15 years in Cyber Intelligence, Michal pursued her dream of becoming an educator. She obtained a Master of Education degree in parallel to co-founding Israel's National Cyber Education Center (CEC).

Michal developed many education programs for middle-school and high-school students in more than 70 schools across Israel and managed unique and innovative learning programs for computer science college graduates.

Michal is also the Co-Author of “The Exploring Twins” Book Series, an original book series for children grades K-4 who love to read and explore science. 

Michal worked as a guide in Acton Verona where she got to know and love the Acton system from the inside.

Shira Cohen
Director of Operations

Shira is a scientist with 15 years of experience in the field of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Shira headed a research laboratory, led many aspects of clinical developments, wrote scientific articles and lectured in medical conferences all over the world.  

Shira holds a Master degree in biotechnology from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

Shira is a mother of 4, and along with her professional career she has led and executed educational projects in the fields of students nutrition, learning space renovation and enrichment programs, as part of the parents-teachers-organization in Israel.

Yair Leshem

Director of Development

Rycki Waldeck

Curriculum Advisor

Yair has been working as a Product and Business Development executive in the high-tech industry for the past 16 years. He has been leading large operations, projects and teams to great success. 

He is the co-author of “The Exploring Twins” Book Series, an original book series for children grades K-4 who love to read and explore science. 

Yair believes that education is the key to making our world a better place and that it should constantly progress as the world around us does. 

Rycki has been a teacher for the last 25 years and on 2019 received the Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award for her work. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Bennington College in Early Childhood Studies and Psychology, a Master’s Degree from Boston University in Elementary Education, and another Master’s Degree from Kaplan University in Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.

In recent years she taught middle-school students in Bergen County and in the past she taught in many other states across the US. She has written curriculum for an online math and science company and has also trained teachers from all over the country. She is currently a math and science teacher at one of the founding progressive schools, Bank Street School for Children in New York City.

Ashley Edwards

Elementary Studio Guide


Ashley graduated from Pace University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in childhood education and a
Master’s degree in special education. She has worked in public, charter and private schools in both New
Jersey and New York City. Her passion for working with learners extends beyond the classroom. For the
last eleven years she has served as a tutor at the Math Adventures and Word Play tutoring service in
Teaneck, New Jersey.
Ashley enjoys writing and earned second place at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center Poetry slam in


If you want to read more about Acton's unique methodology and the

day to day life in an Acton school, visit Michal's blog

Girl climbing rope

"You never fail until you stop trying”

Albert Einstein


To Schedule a call for more information

Or contact:  michal2904@gmail.com

Chalkboard Drawings