Summit School Newsletter


February 25, 2022

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From the Head of School...

Dear Summit School Community,

As March approaches, so does our Summit School STEAM Night on March 31. Save the date! There will be a number of STEAM-focused activities for your family including the opportunity to learn more about STEAM careers from the experts.

Exhibits will include a student art fair, Future City project display, and our first Summit School STEAM Team Competition. Don't worry about making any dinner plans before the event, we will also have a food truck onsite so you can have a meal and enjoy conversation with other Summit families outdoors.

Information to sign up to participate in the STEAM Team Competition is below. The deadline is March 18. Show us your engineering skills and win.

Thank you for all you do.


Dr. Stephanie Nardi

STEAM Opportunities for Grades 1-8

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A complex, but fun, example...

Rube Goldberg Soap Challenge

Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee First Meeting

Tuesday, March 1st, 1pm

4515 East Muirwood Drive

Phoenix, AZ

If you are interested in being a part of the Summit School Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee, our first meeting will be on Tuesday, March 1 at 1pm in the Summit School Conference Room. The inspiration for this new committee is celebrating and recognizing the differences that make our Summit School Community and our greater Arizona community amazing.

Come Together: Save the Date

Saturday, April 30th, 5:30pm

2201 East Clubhouse Drive

Phoenix, AZ

Support Summit School and reunite with our Summit Community at the Annual Spring Auction. Details coming soon.

Masking at Summit School

Beginning Monday, February 28, 2022, Summit School will return to a mask optional policy. I want to thank all of you for your continued diligence in maintaining a safe, face to face instructional environment.

We have been watching our school case counts, community numbers, and trends in the nation. I strongly encourage you to continue to wear a mask, especially if you have chosen not to vaccinate.

The flowchart from Maricopa County Public Health will be our reference as we address any possible school exposures. Please note that should there be a positive case in a classroom, wearing a mask would eliminate the need for an unvaccinated student to isolate at home after exposure. No other changes will be made to our school safety measures at this time.

Once again, thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we address this ever-changing pandemic.

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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

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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!
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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.

TAB Speaker Coming Soon!

Question and Answer Forum for TAB Visual Arts Program at Summit

Zoom Guest Speaker: Mrs. Bridget Kudrle

Date: Thursday March 3, 2022 - next week!

Time: 5:00 - 6:00 pm

30 minute speech & 30 minutes for questions

Dear Summit Families,

Do you have questions about the visual arts program? This is your chance to get some answers! Our guest speaker is only 1 week away and your input and participation are essential.

Please send your question now! Or by tomorrow (February 25, 2022) to

Thank you,

Colleen Eckles

Visual Arts

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!

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Kristin Pepiton, Preschool Teacher

Hello! This is my third year here at Summit and I am proud to be a Sabrecat in my 11th year of teaching! I received my Bachelors of Education from Southwestern College, now known as Arizona Christian University. Shortly thereafter, I received endorsements in Early Childhood and Structured English Immersion. I love to continue learning through Professional Development and from my peers.

My Kindergarten teacher had such an impact on my life that I knew I wanted to teach Kindergarten when I was in Junior High. That dream came true for me in 2011 and I taught Kindergarten for 6 and a half years. Then I moved down to preschool and have taught it for the last 4 and a half years. My teaching career has been an interesting journey so far!

David and I have 2 daughters here, too! Zoe is in 2nd grade and Anna is in her last year of preschool as she gets ready for Kindergarten next year. As a family, we love to go to church, travel, go camping, play games and do puzzles, and spending time with our friends and family. We have 2 dogs we rescued at the end of our street and 1 kitten we adopted from the AZ Humane Society; Minnie is our black and white Chihuahua mix, Daisy is our Terrier mix, and Suzannah is our Torbie kitten.

A few of my favorite things are music, children’s literature (especially Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle), and Disney. I love this quote from Mr. Rogers, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

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Dawn Anderson, Grade 2 Teacher

Hello, my name is Dawn Anderson. I teach second grade here at Summit. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Being from the Midwest, I have fond memories of going camping and boating at Table Rock Lake, picking apples at the local orchards in the fall, and eating the best barbeque! My family moved to Arizona 24 years ago.

Our son, Chad, is 34 and works for a solar company in Maui. Our daughter, Julia, is 28 and is a nurse at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. She recently married a wonderful young man named Hunter Kennedy. It was a fabulous day full of joy, family, and fun. I am happy to say I have been a part of this unique Summit School since it first opened in 1998.

I am retiring at the end of this year after 40 years of teaching. I look forward to going back to the Midwest for some lake time, but I couldn’t imagine life without the beautiful Arizona sunshine in the winter. You will see me around next year as a regular Summit substitute!

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Christine Odenkirk, Grade 1 Teacher

I was born and raised in the valley of the sun. I am married to a wonderful man, Jim. We are proud parents of a U of A Wildcat that is in his junior year at the Eller Business School. Our beagle, Baila, is the center of our lives now that we are empty-nesters.

I have been an educator for 23 years, and part of the Summit faculty for 18 years. At the beginning of my teaching career, I taught second, third, and fourth grades in the Scottsdale School District. My first two years as a Sabrecat were in the Kindergarten classroom before the first graders captured my heart.

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Education from ASU with a concentration in bilingual education and English as a Second Language. I hold endorsements in early childhood education, reading, and English as a Second Language. In addition, I am CLIP (Collaborative Literacy Intervention Project) Certified.

I enjoy reading, hiking, biking, playing games, and watching sports. I hope to learn to golf in the near future so I can spend more time with husband and son.

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!


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