Our Founders


Shannon Scordella

Co-Founder & Head of School

Shannon is a native of the Bay Area and graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelors in English & Political Science. She continued studying & working in Europe and in New York both in the Finance and Hospitality industries. Shannon followed her passion of  bringing people together by owning and operating two restaurants in Palo Alto with her husband. Wanting her own children to have a growth-mindset she sought out to create a school where children are free to be who they want to be, where they learn through failure and perseverance all while their strengths and abilities are being nurtured. Shannon truly believes that children are far more capable than we give them credit for and decided to help create a school where kids can build up their natural talents, dive deep into their passions and apply their learning to real world experiences. Shannon looks forward to sharing this journey with her own three children and the future families at Acton Academy SV.


Maria Ferrari

Co-Founder & Head of Operations

Maria is a Senior Product Manager and Strategist in Biotechnology focused on Oncology Research and Development. She has worked in both large-scale organizations such as Google and currently at Genentech, as well as cutting-edge start-ups where she has helped define and lead strategic direction, process optimization and organizational development. As the co-founder of Acton Academy SV, Maria is focused on reimagining education for her own daughters and future generations to ensure children approach the real-world with confidence, empathy, character, and a growth-mindset. With her strong organizational development background, Maria takes on the role of Head of Operations at Acton Academy SV to ensure that things are running smoothly and productively. Maria, her husband, and their 4 daughters live in the Bay Area where they enjoy spending time as a family outdoors.

Our Guides

Game-makers, Storytellers, Observers & Encouragers

The core of Acton Academy Silicon Valley is our passionate guides, who instead of giving directions, offer choices and consequences through the Socratic Method of learning. Guides are leading discussions for growth & are facilitators to spark learning!

Take a look below to learn more about each of our guides.


Libby Galt

Spark Studio Guide

Libby brings over 20 years of experience in the field of education, with her most recent role being an educator at the innovative Google Children's Center. Libby brings the perspective and experience of a world traveler into the classroom. Her early experiences traveling the globe taught her patience, perspective and a deeply ingrained sense of appreciation, all key qualities that she brings into the learning environments that she engages with. Because she has had a personal meditation and yoga practice for years, she brings mindful awareness to her work with young people and their families. She earned her undergraduate and Master’s degree in Human Development, with a focus on Families and Leadership in Education. She believes that young people will change the world by being in an environment with supportive adults who are not afraid to challenge them. She doesn’t accept the status quo and knows that when learners are put in charge of their own learning, they will develop a deep self-knowing, one that will transform themselves, each other, and the world. 


Muhammad Iqbal

Discovery Studio Guide

Mo is a former Wall St banker, business operator, entrepreneur and now a passionate educator. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Georgia. For over a decade, Mo has had a love for teaching and mentoring young learners to help them be the best they can be in and out of the classroom.

By personally teaching his 1st grade niece throughout the pandemic, he noticed the waning joy for learning, the unfostered curiosity, and the lack of preparation for thriving in the 21st century - especially social-emotionally. After that, he was compelled to tackle these problems for the learners in his community and pursued the opportunity as an Acton Guide. And of course, he is a big kid at heart who loves to have fun and inspire learning adventures every single day!