School highlight: Sonoran Science Academy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: School Highlight

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School highlight: Sonoran Science Academy

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Sonoran Science Academy

14647 S. 50th Street

Teaching students with a professionally developed system in STEM education, Sonoran Science Academy’s Ahwatukee campus excels at their integrated curriculum.

With roughly 150 students in kindergarten through 8th grade, the school has been open to the Ahwatukee community for the past four years. Next school year, however, middle school grades 6, 7 and 8 will be phased out due to low enrollment.

“We’re hoping to recruit more students for younger grades,” said David Coste, dean of students.

At Sonoran, adjacent to Interstate 10 near 50th Street and Chandler Boulevard, students participate in an annual science fair showcasing research projects—the school’s biggest event of the year.

The academies were started about 12 years ago, with the Ahwatukee campus opening around 2009, by engineering and medical professionals, ensuring quality instruction and material.

“We’ve been on this STEM thing well before it got fashionable,” Coste said.

The school also offers creative arts clubs like drama, music, crafts and Spanish and hosts an annual music concert.

For more information, visit

• Compiled by Diana Martinez, contact the reporter at

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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