Summit School Newsletter


March 4, 2022

Big picture

No School March 7 - March 14. Students return on March 15.

From the Head of School...

Dear Summit School Community,

Woohoo! Summit School has two elementary robotics teams that have qualified for Worlds in Dallas, TX, on May 10-12th.

Congratulations to these 4th graders competing in the Elementary Division (thru 6th grade):

Team 11086A – Electric Cybercats were our 1st place Arizona State Champions in Teamwork Skills.

Team 11086B – Invented Cybercats also qualified for worlds with their Innovate Award, as well as their high ranking in individual skills.

Please also congratulate 11086C and 11086D for making the state finals and placing 7th and 6th respectively out of 30 elementary teams.

March 5th, we have 3 middle school teams competing in their state championship.

This is amazing! Go Cybercats!


Dr. Stephanie Nardi

Big picture

Please Welcome Janet Parker Collins

Janet Parker Collins will be the new Summit Middle School Spanish teacher beginning in 2022-2023. Please see her bio below. You will have an opportunity to meet her later this school year when we hold a welcome reception for new staff.

Janet Parker Collins, MA

I have a bachelor's degree with a minor in Spanish from Texas Christian University and a master's degree in Spanish from the University of North Texas. I have been teaching Spanish since 2005 when I opened my own Spanish language school. Since 2019 I have been teaching Spanish at an honors middle school. It has been a privilege to teach Spanish over the course of these many years. It is of equal privilege to have the opportunity to teach the students at Summit School.

I feel strongly that each student carries within them a tremendous potential. I believe in tapping into a student's second language potential by providing them with challenging academic material, real life connections, and the joys of art, culture, and conversation. I hope to impart in my students an excitement about the Spanish language while helping them achieve academic confidence and mastery in the subject.

Big picture

Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee

On Tuesday, Summit School had its first Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee meeting. We had eight parents in attendance. Our discussion was focused on educational and celebratory experiences for our students as well as looking at the policies and practices at Summit.

We agreed that we want to ensure that Summit School grows in its recognition, education, and celebration of the diverse community we have at school and in our local community.

If you are interested in joining us, the next meeting is March 22 at 2pm at Summit School.

Big picture

Thank you Phoenix Symphony Strings, Summit PTO, and our amazing Summit music teachers!

Big picture
Big picture

STEAM Opportunities for Grades 1-8

Big picture
Big picture

A complex, but fun, example...

Rube Goldberg Soap Challenge

A Message from Mr. Moreno...

Hey Everyone,

I hope you are all having a fantastic Friday. I wanted to let you all know that I will be resigning from Summit School as the Athletics and Summer Camp Coordinator effective March 4th, 2022 and will not be returning after spring break. I have been offered a job opportunity to work with The City of Phoenix beginning in mid-March. My family has always been tied with the City of Phoenix ever since I was born and it is a company that I have always considered working for. The job opportunity came up and I have decided to take full advantage of it.

I know my departure is coming sooner than we all expected but I want to thank all of you for an amazing 2 years and 2 months. You all welcomed me with open arms in January 2020 and I couldn’t believe a school like this even existed! I know I don’t have to worry because Summit has the best staff and faculty in Arizona and I know this school will continue to evolve.

5B Time in the Ceramics Studio

Summit Spring Concert

Dear Summit Families,

Hello from the Music Room! We are excited to share that students in grades K-5 and the Sabrecat Bands have selected songs and are rehearsing for our upcoming Summit Spring Concert, which will be held in the large, indoor auditorium at Mountain Park Church, 16461 S 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85048 on Wednesday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.

The concert will be mask-optional, but we strongly encourage everyone to wear one. We will continue to closely monitor COVID metrics in the community.

As we prepare for seating arrangements for the concert we request that you RSVP with the number of people from your family attending the concert.

Thank you,

Chris Dorsey

Jennifer Horne

Big picture
Big picture

Tax Credits

Summit Parents,

The Institute for Better Education, IBE has released their 2022-23 Application. In order for IBE to send processed tax credits to Summit during the 2022-23 school year, please complete and return directly to IBE at or you may complete the application online at prior to June 1st. IBE cannot send processed tax credits to Summit for July’s tuition until the application is submitted.

In addition, please see the attached flyer for the upcoming IBE Tax Credit webinars. Below is the link to IBE’s registration for their webinars on February 10th.

IBE 2.10.2022 Tax Credit Webinars The link is for all three webinars, although anyone can join in at any time once registered if they do not need all three.

They will present the following webinars at the times below:

  • Planning for Private School (5:30 pm): This webinar is for families who are not already in private school but would like to solicit Recommended Funds prior to attending. Great for potential families!
  • Tax Credit 101 (6:30 pm): This is the life of a tax credit, from donation through scholarship. Great for everyone!
  • Soliciting Funds (7:30 pm): This takes a deeper dive into how to solicit for Recommended Fund Scholarships. Great for anyone who wants to focus on Recommended Funds!

End of the Day Safety Reminder

It is incredibly important that Summit School is a safe and supervised environment from the beginning to the very end of our day. If you are coming to school to pick up multiple children, please do not allow your children to play unsupervised on the playgrounds. Our staff is not scheduled to monitor these areas and we don't want any of our students to be injured. We appreciate your help.

In addition, please be sure to check your emergency contacts and pick up lists on FACTS. It is incredibly import that these stay current. Thank you.

Referral Credits

Our families are Summit’s best advocates and we appreciate when you share your Summit story with family and friends. We ask for your help in continuing to spread the word about Summit School!

In addition to helping create a thriving community of learners, Summit School has temporarily increased the Referral Credit from $500 to $1,000 as a credit toward your tuition liability for each newly enrolled student of a new family. This temporary increased referral credit amount is for new students (not applicable for siblings of current students or for returning students) that enroll between April 12, 2021 and March 11, 2022. Each credit is applied to your FACTS tuition account after the new family makes two tuition payments for the new student(s). During these stated dates there are no limits to the number of referral credits you may earn by supporting our school! Please contact Summit Admissions or Business Office if you have any questions regarding the family referral program.

Note: Referral credits of $600 or more require the completing of a W-9 form claiming the income. Referral credits are not applicable for voting members of the Board of Trustees.

Our 22-23 Summit School Teachers

To keep you informed as we move ahead and plan, you can see our current 22-23 staffing updates.

  • Colleen Eckles will reduce her teaching load to grades 3-8 and Summit School will be hiring an additional art teacher for PS-2.

  • Andrea Yocum will return to Summit School faculty as the full-time grade 5 teacher.

  • Christine Odenkirk will become our Summit School Reading Specialist beginning in 22-23.

  • Rachel Jones will move into a preschool teaching position in PreK.

  • Kat Glover will move from preschool into a first grade classroom.

  • Kristen Pepiton will move from preschool to kindergarten where she has multiple years of experience.

  • We are adding a middle school LA teacher. This does not replace a current teacher. Instead, it is an addition to our middle school staff.

  • Ashley Poole will be moving on to her next teaching adventure and the middle school math position is posted.

  • We are adding a part-time advanced math position for grades 5-8. This position in currently posted.

  • Martha Silva has made the decision to take a break from the classroom and the middle school Spanish position has been filled. When able, we will introduce our new teacher to the community.

  • Elsa Conti has decided to leave Summit School and the part-time K-5 Spanish position has been posted.

  • Our preschool teams have been determined for next year**. They are:

  1. Miss Jones and Mrs. Beatty in PreK,
  2. Mrs. Clark and a new teacher yet to be determined in PS or PreK depending on enrollment numbers, and
  3. Ms Boudrie and Mrs. Green in PS.

** Please understand that due to staff requests or enrollment numbers, preschool teachers may shift to other positions prior to the beginning of 22-23.

We Make Summit Amazing!

Big picture

Andrea Yocum, Grade 5 Teacher

I am an Arizona native, growing up in Lake Havasu City before moving to Phoenix. This will be my 20th year at Summit and I am so fortunate to be part of this community. I spent the first 19 years as a middle school science teacher, and just recently moved to teaching literature and language arts for 5th grade.

My daughter, Kailey, attends Summit in 3rd grade, and my husband is a partner in wealth management firm in Scottsdale. Some of my favorites things to do include reading, traveling, gardening, and spending time with my family.

Big picture

Elsa Conti, Spanish Teacher


I grew up in Mazatlan, Mexico until arriving to Arizona decades ago. My daughter is a Summit alum, who graduated with her MA from ASU and works in marketing. We visit my family in Mexico often and enjoy going to Diamondbacks games!

I have been at Summit for over 21 years and continue to create opportunities for children to interact and experience the Spanish language and culture. I am passionate about finances and accounting (love preparing taxes), but discovered that my love for children could go beyond these skills.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, reading and spending time with family and friends!

“Los niños son grandes imitadores. Entonces dales algo grande que imitar”

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” - Anonymous

Big picture

Dr. Chris Dorsey, 4-5 Music and Sabrecat Band

I’m originally from Georgia and grew up listening to my dad’s Elvis Presley records and an older cousin’s Beatles records. I played saxophone in school bands and guitar in high school rock bands. After studying commercial music at Belmont University in Nashville, I moved to Phoenix where I earned my Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Guitar Performance at Arizona State University. I’m a fan of music throughout the world and have studied both in Spain and Argentina. I’m active as a guitar soloist and for many years was a member of the Santa Fe Guitar Quartet of Argentina, which performed throughout the United States as well as in Mexico and Northern Europe. I’ve recorded one album as a soloist, Antiguo canto (2010), and two albums with the Santa Fe Guitar Quartet, Journeys (2003) and Wapango (2007).

In 2001, I started teaching classical guitar at Summit as an after school enrichment and joined the Summit faculty as a part-time music teacher in 2007. I have studied the Suzuki approach for teaching music to children and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Suzuki Association.

My wife Paola and I have two amazing daughters, Mariana in Seventh Grade and Mercedes in Fourth Grade at Summit. Go Sabrecats!

Camp Summit Returns in 2022!

Find All-New Adventures at Camp Invention in 2022

COVID-related Absences

Please communicate all COVID-related absences to both and your child's homeroom teacher. The teacher will then reach out to you within 24 hours to set up a plan for your child's academic success during the absence.

Summit Apparel Store

Gear up with back to school apparel! Check out the Summit apparel store for customizable shirts, pants, and accessories with your favorite Summit logos!


Big picture
Big picture

Follow Chips and Salsa @chipsandsalsa_tortoise

Follow Sabrecat Athletics @summitathleticsaz

Big picture
Big picture
All Calendars

Click for all Summit School Calendars

Current Parent Website

Click here for handbooks and other important links.

Past Newsletters

Click to view past 2021-22 Summit School Newsletters.

Support Summit School with Amazon Smile

Click here to start your Amazon Smile support.