Keystone Montessori - Ahwatukee Foothills News: School Highlight

Keystone Montessori

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Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014 9:43 pm

Since 1995, Keystone Montessori in Ahwatukee has been offering its students a Montessori education.

Keystone Montessori began with an enrollment of 13 students from ages 3-6 inside founder Sherri Sampson’s living room.

The school’s facility moved from Sampson’s living room to Horizon Presbyterian Church, which assisted the church on building its educational wing, and in 2000 the school moved to its current location on Liberty Lane.

In 1995, the elementary program at Keystone Montessori became charter certified, so the school could educate as many students as possible.

Currently, the school houses 320 students from 18 months old to ninth grade.

Cindy Maschoff, assistant head of school, said the initial expansion of grade levels wasn’t always the primary goal, but the school wanted to help support the community need for Montessori.

“We believe that we are a full-spectrum school, so we have that large age group… we also have a long-standing staff who are a group of committed educators,” Maschoff said.

For more information about Keystone Montessori, visit

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A Step Ahead Preschool

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Maysa Fini, director of A Step Ahead Preschool, poses with students on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Since 1998, A Step Ahead Preschool in Ahwatukee has been teaching its students through Montessori and traditional teaching methods.

The school houses nearly 60 students from 4-week-olds to 5-year-olds.

Director Maysa Fini said the school focuses on giving its students Montessori and traditional learning experiences to help them transition into the school system.

“Almost all of our graduates end up going to a public school, and the public school is not Montessori,” she said. “For us, we have a mix of both, some Montessori and some school-readiness activities, so when they go to kindergarten, they’re ahead.”

According to the school’s website, A Step Ahead’s draws students from Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Chandler and Tempe.

For additional information about A Step Ahead Preschool, visit

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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