Meet the staff of Acton Academy Venice Beach!

Dani Foltz-Smith
Founder, Head of School, and Lead Launchpad Guide

Dani founded Acton Academy Venice Beach a decade ago after moving back to Venice, CA from a two-year move to Austin, TX, during which her two daughters attended the original Acton Academy. Dani and her family immediately fell in love with “the Acton way:” letting young people determine their own education by having adults step back and guide the learners along their own hero’s journey. As her daughters and their founding peers have grown up, Dani has led older and older studios, currently spending most of her time at school with her younger daughter in the Launchpad Studio, after having graduated her elder daughter in the first AAVB graduating class of 2021. Dani loves being inspired by the incredible intellect of young learners and never tires of the “Eureka!” moments in the studios!

Kaylan Agarwal
Lead Middle School Guide

Kaylan came to AAVB after finishing his undergraduate studies at DePaul University in Chicago, double majoring in African & Black Diaspora Studies and Sociology, with a passion for education that liberates young minds. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, and a couple years in Curitiba, Brazil, he was made eminently aware of injustice and inequity from a young age. Through his undergrad studies, he dedicated himself to exploring how and why the world is organized as it is, and at Acton, he works to reify all he’s learned in order to guide young learners to embrace their unique curiosity, liberate themselves from the constraints of standardized education, and pursue their wildest dreams. Kaylan loves having hard conversations about real topics and can’t get enough of the awesomely weird things Acton learners do!

Amy Radcliffe
Lead Elementary Guide

Amy is an amazingly talented artist and educator whose passion for doing good and being creative intersects as the cornerstone of AAVB’s community. Initially starting at Acton as the Art Guide, Amy grew into the Lead Elementary Guide role quickly and works tirelessly to foster the imaginative inquisitiveness of Acton’s youngest learners. She recently became a mom herself, and integrates her roles as a mom and a guide by occasionally guiding with her now one-year old sidekick much to all of the learners’ delight. Amy loves seeing little learners grow into their expansive minds, and would spend all day, every day doing, talking about, and admiring Acton Eagles’ art.