The Story of Apex Innovation Academy

How Tim and Kirsten started the learning center of their dreams!

Tim Bedley

12/23/20232 min read

As the day of my retirement approached, Kirsten and I grew increasingly frustrated. What would I do post-retirement? I love my job and I'm not ready to just sit around and sip lemonade on the beaches of Hawai'i...yet.

Should I conduct teacher inservices? I wasn't too excited about that. Leading trainings exhaust me.

Should I tutor kids? The main thing I love about my job is managing a class full of kids, so tutoring didn't seem like a good fit. I wanted to put my 36 years of experience to work.

Then, in the spring of 2022, I discovered Acton Academy, a small school based in Texas. Everything the founder said about their philosophy matched mine. The model was personalized and small. I found my calling!

For the next several months, I was on a mission. I eventually realized that I didn't want to start an Acton Academy because I wanted to be autonomous and creative, and the only bosses I wanted were my students and their parents. So Kirsten and I decided we were going to start a learning center!

One of the main things that motivated me to take this path was my desire to continue working with my current 5th graders. This is a FANTASTIC group of kids, and I am so privileged to have been able to be their teacher. So many of them are model students, the kind of kid every teacher loves having in class. Most of my current students have been with me for two, three, and even four years! Since they were in second grade! How could I say goodbye to my good friends? AND how could I send them to a traditional middle school after working so hard with them to build their confidence and push them to become motivated, self-taught, autonomous, joyful learners? I wanted more for them than just the old, one-size-fits-all educational model.

And so, Apex Innovation Academy was born. For the past several months, Kirsten and I have dedicated our free time to preparing for the opening of AIA in August. We've been meeting with a lawyer, discussing financed and websites with vendors, phoning charter schools, talking to potential donors, creating a school brand, meeting with families, and building this website. This is our journey to learn, grow, and make, just like the students at AIA will be on their journey to learn, grow, and make amazing things!

As we prepare to open the learning center, we learn daily. There is never a moment when we think we have arrived. There are always better ways of doing everything. Even though we face a mountain of potential growth and learning, we are fully convinced that Apex Innovation Academy will offer the BEST choice for students in Lake Elsinore and surrounding areas. The challenge now is to find scholarship funding to help families afford a private learning center.

Join us on our mission to make education relevant, exciting, and personalized!