Summit School Newsletter


February 11, 2022

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From the Head of School...

Dear Summit School Community,

I hope you are well and enjoying the warmer sunny days we have been having this week as much as I am. I can't help but poke at my friends and family back in Wisconsin about this gorgeous Arizona weather.

The team at Summit has been taking advantage of our warm days by getting out to spread the word about Summit School. We've attended two local events and met lots of new families. We are also looking forward to our Pop Up Playground on Saturday. Please share this event as it is open to the community.

In addition to reaching out to perspective families, there is a lot of work going on to prepare for next school year. I want to continue to keep you updated on the plans and progress. We are continuing discussions on what enrichment will look like in the future. Our students are reaching exceptional heights in their learning, and we are deep in conversation about the best ways we can serve everyone. This may mean creating new classroom learning experiences and expanding our staff to include advanced math offerings. Please watch for continued updates on math enrichment.

Below 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 into a first grade classroom.

  • 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.

  • Martha Silva has made the decision to take a break from the classroom and the middle school Spanish position is posted.

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

  1. Miss Jones and Mrs. Beatty in PreK,
  2. Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Pepiton 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.

Thank you for all you do.


Dr. Stephanie Nardi

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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!

Summit RunAThon

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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.

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Art Adventures at Summit School

Art adventures at Summit School include middle school work in cardboard and oil pastel, fifth grade sewing of stuffies, and kindergarten experimentation with glue, shredded paper, and chalk pastel drawing.

TAB Speaker Coming Soon!

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Advanced Math Opportunities at Summit School

Advanced math time with Summit School first graders means balanced equations. Students who demonstrate a need for higher level math instruction are working with Ms. Danforth. As we continue our planning for 2022-23, we will be addressing the need for even more advanced math opportunities.

We Make Summit Amazing!

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Fredie Boudrie, Preschool Teacher

I have been teaching preschool for 24 years. This is my 18th year teaching here at Summit School! I am an enthusiastic and energetic teacher and I absolutely adore teaching Summit preschoolers! I have a blast reading stories in silly voices and love laughing with my students! I love taking hundreds of pictures! And I love teaching kids to zip, button, and tie!

I moved to Arizona from Ohio in 1997. Before moving to Arizona, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Interpersonal Communication from The Ohio State University. GO BUCKS! While at Ohio State, I also completed coursework in the field of Elementary Education. I student-taught in a second-grade classroom, but discovered that my true passion is teaching young children! In 2014, I completed the required coursework to achieve an Early Childhood ‘Academic Certificate in Child and Family Professional Development.’ Each year, I attend continuing education training classes and seminars.

Outside of school, I love spending time with R.T. and my two AMAZING children! My son, Clark, majored in Japanese and graduated from ASU with Honors. He is currently living and working in Japan! My daughter, Gemini, is in her final year at ASU. She is majoring in Business and minoring in Sustainability! We enjoy watching Anime and movies, and playing games when we get together. R.T. and I also love cruising on our Harley, going to NASCAR races, watching football and baseball games, and laughing at our magical cat, Sassafras! In my spare time, I love reading, listening to music, and singing at the top of my lungs! My favorite holiday is Halloween!

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Curtis Hough, Physical Education Teacher

My name is Curtis J. Hough. Raised in Los Angeles and educated there. Have extensive background in Physical Education and glad to share it with your children. I graduated from Utah State University in Kinesiology, while I was an inter collegiate athlete. I received my Master’s degree from Cal State University at San Bernardino. Total number of years in Education is 32 years. I believe in the saying “Healthy Body, Healthy mind” approach. I cover the basics of the body, mind, and health. Having this background making PE foremost in every persons lives is my foundation for teaching. Have coached at the Collegiate level, High School with a State Championship and four State Runner-up’s, and a championship in Track at Palm Desert, California.

After retiring last year from California Public Education I am so happy to be here in Arizona. It was time to leave and take my tool belt to a place where I can give back to very young child I teach, the re-emphasis of Physical Education in every person’s life.

Married to Kimberly for 27 years, I have three children Stephanie (40), Amanda who would have been (35) passed away seven years ago, and Jacob (20) who is in Commercial Airlines at Arizona State University. We are blessed to have a granddaughter Harper who is (8) years old.

Go Sabercats! Let’s Roll…..

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Jessica Harris, Middle School Science Teacher

Hi my name is Jessica Harris and this is my first year teaching middle school science at Summit. I began my teaching career in Illinois and moved to sunny Arizona where I continued teaching for another 4 years in the Kyrene School District. During that time I had a passion for coaching high school color guard and middle school cheerleading. I spent a number of years home with my children, Brynn (15) and Hannah (14), while they were young and I am returning to teaching with excitement and passion. I believe all children have inner brilliance and I love finding creative ways to motivate them to discover who they are.

I have been married to my husband, Rick, for 20 years. We have two daughters, Brynn (15) and Hannah (14). Brynn has a passion for horses and crafting and Hannah is a competitive diver with Sun Devil Divers. We have an adorable 1 year old dog named Titus, a senior cat Nellie, and 4 backyard chickens. As a family we enjoy cooking together, spending time in our pool in the backyard, taking family walks, and heading north to explore the forests and lakes.

I consider myself a creative “jack of all trades” and love to try new hobbies. I enjoy writing blog posts, crafting new home décor, taking photos, and creating graphic design projects. Through personal experience, I have a passion for raising awareness for Ocular Melanoma and the importance of adding yearly dilated eye exams to your routine health care. I have a passion for studying personal growth and mindset as I believe it has a profound impact on living life with intention and purpose.

I am so excited to be part of the amazing Summit Community!

Camp Summit Returns in 2022!

Find All-New Adventures at Camp Invention in 2022

STEAM Opportunities for Grades 1-8

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A complex, but fun, example...

Rube Goldberg Soap Challenge
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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.

Masking at Summit School

I have had a number of families ask about changing back to optional masking at Summit School. As a result, I have reached out to both the Health and Safety Task Force Co-Chairs and to the Board of Trustees Executive Committee. We expect to begin discussions when we return from Spring Break in March. We will look at the local case numbers at that time.

Face coverings should be 2-ply masks that cover the mouth and nose, and fit snugly. Any images or messages on masks must be school-appropriate. Masks with exhalation valves, neck gaiters, bandanas, or face shields are not approved, per the CDC and not approved for use at Summit. (Health and Safety Guidelines, p. 4). Please be sure that your child has a mask and a spare at school each day. Masks frequently get lost, wet, or damaged. A back-up is a good idea.

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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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.

Follow Chips and Salsa @chipsandsalsa_tortoise

Follow Sabrecat Athletics @summitathleticsaz

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