Nick Knight

Ahwatukee is a special place in many ways, not the least of which is our public school system.

While officially part of Phoenix, we are served not by the Phoenix Unified School District, but rather a much closer neighbor, Tempe. Elementary and middle schools are part of the Kyrene School District, while our two high schools are part of the Tempe Union High School District.

The Kyrene School District, founded in 1888, operates nine elementary and three middle schools in Ahwatukee, as well as schools in Tempe, Chandler, Guadalupe, and parts of the Gila Indian Reservation.

Of those in Ahwatukee, six elementary schools and one middle schools have been recognized as A+ Schools of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation.

Tempe Union High School District began 20 years later, in 1908, and serves roughly 14,000 students in Tempe, Chandler, Guadalupe, Ahwatukee and the Gila River Indian Community.

Our two Ahwatukee high schools, Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe, with a combined enrollment of more than 5,000 students, consistently outperform state and national averages on SAT scores and enjoy a nearly 90 percent four-year graduation rate.

That combination of excellent education opportunities contributes to making Ahwatukee such a desirable place to live, work and play.

Managing two districts that serve such a diverse and widespread population is a challenging job, at the very least, and we are fortunate to have two very capable leaders at the helms of our two school districts.

You’ll have the opportunity to hear and meet those leaders when the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee hosts our first Superintendents Roundtable.

Both Dr. Jan Vesely from Kyrene and Dr. Kevin Mendivil from Tempe Union will be sharing their thoughts and plans for their respective districts in general and Ahwatukee specifically, followed by a moderated question and answer session.

The event will take place on Thursday, July 26, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., in the theater at Foothills Golf Club, 2201 East Clubhouse Drive, Ahwatukee. While there is no cost to attend, reservations are recommended. Please visit to register, or call 480-753-7676.

Look for these future public policy events we’re planning for this fall. In August (date TBD) we’re working on a Meet the Candidates event for Legislative District 18 and in October, a Phoenix Mayoral candidates forum is in the works.

-Nick Knight chairs the Ahwatukee Chamber Public Policy Committee and is the owner of Nick’s Computer Guys. You can reach him at or 480-242-4997.

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