Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School - Ahwatukee Foothills News: School Highlight

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Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School

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2620 E. Liberty Lane Phoenix AZ

Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 6:45 am

Being part of the Kyrene School District since 1999, Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School offers a schooling community housed by a veteran staff.

Enrollment size currently stands at 495 students, which includes its preschool level.

Principal Michael Lamp is entering his second year as the school’s leader and one of his goals for the school is to continue increasing enrollment.

Lamp feels what sets Estrella apart from other schools in the district is the amount of teacher experience.

“On average, we have 16 years of teacher experience. We have a very veteran staff… It’s a staff that comes here and wants to stay here. They are not looking for greener pastures; they are not looking for a better gig,” Lamp said. “They know they have a place here where it’s a very calm environment, where they have parent support and have kids who come prepared to learn.”

For additional information about Estrella, visit

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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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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