Acton Academy Palm Harbor Team
& Standards of Ethical Conduct
Kristy Moody - Head of School & Spark Guide
Jenny Leogrande - Spark Guide
Leigh Ann Carbery - Discovery Guide
Aaliyah Donnelly - Discovery Apprentice Guide
Danielle Vallat - Middle School Guide
Chris Sharpe - Middle School Guide
Elasa Tiernan - Yoga, Gardening & More
Nicole Druckamiller - Science of Reading
Derek Currier - Music Guide
As the mother of three amazing children, and a former teacher and elementary principal, I’ve been confronted with constant high-stakes testing, the immense amounts of wasted time, standardization of learning, and lack of meaningful purpose in conventional schooling. I worked to innovate in order to bring excitement, vitality and joy to the work for teachers and learners. I can attest that I stretched within the system in every direction possible, but it simply does not provide the space for the creativity and genius that lives in each and every young person.
This admission marked the beginning of Acton Academy Palm Harbor.
I’ve followed the Acton Academy Austin journey from the early years, incorporating elements into my traditional schools, but I am overjoyed to break down the barriers and open an Acton Academy in Pinellas County.
Our studio values intellectual, emotional and character development. A school that includes free time devoted to the arts, nature and exploration of individual interests and talents. A place that values the space needed for individual genius to develop and grow. An environment that doesn’t limit the roles of young people, but challenges them to contribute, support and drive personal and entrepreneurial innovation in pursuit of a full, happy, profoundly rich life with meaning and purpose.
Einstein didn’t pursue understanding and knowledge for a grade, nor did Churchill pause when he thought his work was good enough. The nature of inner genius is unlimited. At Acton Academy Palm Harbor, we believe that this hero’s journey can begin now, for every child and their family. Let’s get started. There is no better moment to begin than the spacious present.
Together we can reinvent education for a better, brighter future.
Kristy & Rob Moody
Learner Driven Guide Pledge
I believe each person who enters my studio is a genius who deserves to find a calling that will change the world. I believe young people have important work to do, that should not be interrupted by adults. I also believe the self-directed, peer-to-peer learner-driven tribes built by our young Heroes will inspire self-managed and self-governed, healthy communities to deliver transformational learning at a cost all parents can afford.
As a guide or owner on my own Hero’s Journey, I will delegate responsibility as quickly as possible to Sheepdog learners to make myself smaller each day, week and session until I am no longer needed. At each step, I will be surprised by how much I have learned about myself from experiments run by our community.
- Professional Certifications - Educational Leadership, Principal Certification, Elementary Education K-6, ESOL Endorsement
- US Coast Guard Academy - Bachelor of Science: Management
- University of Phoenix - Master of Arts: Elementary Education
- University of South Florida St. Petersburg - Graduate Certificate: Educational Leadership
- University of Florida - Leadership in Educational Administration Doctorate, ABD.
Guides receive specialized training in leading Socratic discussions and facilitating a learner-driven studio, and have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. State education statute also allows instructors who have three or more years of public and/or private school teaching or have special skills, knowledge or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction in subjects taught.
Standards of Ethical Conduct - Acton Academy Palm Harbor
(Adapted from the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida and Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida)
1. Our school values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
2. Our primary concern is the student and the development of the student's potential. Employees will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
3. Concern for the student requires that our instructional personnel:
a. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student's mental and/or physical health and/or safety.
b. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.
c. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.
d. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student's academic program.
e. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.
f. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student's legal rights.
g. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination.
h. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.
i. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
4. Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the community, employees of our school must display the highest degree of ethical conduct. This commitment requires that our employees:
a. Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
b. Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.
c. Shall not interfere with a colleague's exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities.
d. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
e. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
All instructional personnel, educational support employees, and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.
All instructional personnel, educational support employees, and school administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel, educational support employees and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors. Reports of misconduct of employees should be made to Kristy Moody, Head of School. Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to Julie Sharpe, Member of the Board. Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted in and on our Web site at www.ActonAcademyPH.com.
Reporting Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect
All employees and agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Call 1-800- 96-ABUSE or report online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/.
Signs of Physical Abuse The child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries; broken bones; or burns. A child experiencing physical abuse may seem withdrawn or depressed, seem afraid to go home or may run away, shy away from physical contact, be aggressive, or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries.
Signs of Sexual Abuse The child may have torn, stained or bloody underwear, trouble walking or sitting, pain or itching in genital area, or a sexually transmitted disease. A child experiencing sexual abuse may have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively, fear a particular person, seem withdrawn or depressed, gain or lose weight suddenly, shy away from physical contact, or run away from home.
Signs of Neglect The child may have unattended medical needs, little or no supervision at home, poor hygiene, or appear underweight. A child experiencing neglect may be frequently tired or hungry, steal food, or appear overly needy for adult attention.
Patterns of Abuse: Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.
Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action. (F.S. 39.203)
An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under F.S. Chapter 760. (F.S. 768.095)