School highlight: Kyrene de los Cerritos Leadership Academy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: School Highlight

School highlight: Kyrene de los Cerritos Leadership Academy

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 4:41 pm | Updated: 10:49 am, Tue Dec 31, 2013.

Kyrene de los Cerritos Leadership Academy • 14620 S. Desert Foothills Parkway

Recently named a “Lighthouse School” for its environment of honing leadership skills, Kyrene de los Cerritos continues to lead by example.

Located north of Chandler Boulevard on Desert Foothills Parkway, the school’s mission is inspiring leaders of tomorrow with leaders of today.

With its nearly 400 students in elementary grades first through fifth, including preschool and kindergarten classes, Cerritos was given its title of the 27th “Lighthouse School” by Franklin Covey Co. in November.

Students will be hosting, leading and running an assembly on recycling next month, and Principal Darcy DiCosmo said that when the kids find out what they do well, they generate better ideas.

“As far as taking leadership, I’m always amazed at what kids can come up with,” DiCosmo said.

Open in the Ahwatukee Foothills since 1994, the school went through a multi-year process of implementing programs, training and leadership habits before becoming the 27th school to receive the title.

Cerritos is one of 39 “Lighthouse Schools” in the world.

“That’s really the whole purpose, to help kids find their voice and start putting plans in to place,” DiCosmo said.

• Compiled by Diana Martinez. Reach the reporter at dmartinez@ahwatukee.com.

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School highlight: Summit School of Ahwatukee

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Lyndsey Klein reads to children from Homeward Bound.

Throughout the years, Summit School of Ahwatukee has been assisting children with entering school with its preschool program.

Ages for the preschool program are from 30 months to 5 years old; all students must be potty trained prior to entering school.

There are four classes within the preschool, with a maximum of 18 students per classroom.

“We are a quality school, with quality coming first,” said Andrea Benkel, director of early childhood education. “Instead of a more traditional model, where there is a classroom with students and a teacher and an aide, each one of our rooms has two teachers. That allows us to high-functioning and high-quality.”

Summit School’s preschool program has been voted the top preschool in Best of Ahwatukee for six consecutive years.

According to Summit School’s website, children are given the opportunity to participate in large and small group settings.

The private-school curriculum focuses toward growth in areas such as social/emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, math, science, technology, social studies and language comprehension.

Benkel said teachers add to the success at Summit School, with each of them being passionate about furthering their students’ education.

Teachers and administrators are gearing up for the first day of school, which begins Wednesday, Aug. 6.

For additional information about Summit School, visit www.summitschoolaz.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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