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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A Step Ahead Preschool

Daniel Ochoa/AFN
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 www.astepaheadpreschool.com.

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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