About Summit

Why Choose Summit School of Ahwatukee: a private, independent school nestled in the Ahwatukee community of Phoenix, Arizona.

We’re honored and proud to introduce families to our school, our faculty, our students and our beautiful campus.

From preschool through middle school, we nurture student’s critical thinking skills, creativity, and confidence in their own abilities, encouraging each and every student to grow to their full potential.

Summit School provides an extensive, rigorous liberal arts curriculum. Why? Math, writing and reading are clearly important, and our programs are strong, and tailored to the individual growth of each child.

Moreover we believe that a world of possibilities awaits each child, and learning should provide the spark that leads children toward the path that brings them joy and success.

Summit’s curriculum is rich with classes and teachers dedicated to science, Spanish, music, art, technology, physical education and library. Middle school elective choices are broad and enriching.

Impactful? Yes. The list of awards for the school’s academic programs, teachers, community service and more is long and encompassing. Yet our greatest success is developing the love of learning in each child, realizing their talents and abilities are unique.

Teaching methods incorporate significant hands-on learning and meaningful discussions in which children share their ideas and thought processes. They become articulate, confident and adept at solving problems in creative ways. This sets their course for success in future educational pursuits and the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Additionally, our small class sizes of only 18 to 19 children means your child receives highly-personalized attention from our staff of exceptional and passionate instructors.

A recent National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) report provides further insight into why private schools are beneficial to your child. Their study showed that of students enrolled in private, independent K-8 schools like Summit, an impressive 98% went on to graduate from college by age 24 as compared to 50% who attended ‘High Quality Public Schools’.

We offer your child a unique opportunity to succeed.  We believe each Summit student deserves the space to thrive.

We encourage you to come see for yourself what we’re doing to transform education from a rote memorization of information to a highly-personalized experience. Come take a tour of our campus and observe the joy our students enjoy while learning. Schedule your personal tour.  Contact our admissions director at 480-403-9506

Our Students

Ages two and a half to thirteen; preschool through eighth grade, our independent school students are engaged and enthusiastic about learning. They are respected and nurtured by experienced teachers, with a passion for education. For children not yet old enough for preschool we also offer a Toddler / Parent class once a week in the heart of preschool.

Enrollment in 2015: 330 students.

Accreditation and Memberships

Summit’s preschool is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Elementary and Middle School are Nationally Accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), a division of AdvancED®.

Summit School of Ahwatukee is proud to be a member of the following associations:

  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED®.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC
  • National Association of Independent Schools, NAIS
  • Arizona Association of Independent Schools, AAIS
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development
  • National Junior Honor Society
  • National Junior Spanish Honor Society
  • Learning Forward
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Arizona Language Association

From our Founders

“When we helped co-found Summit School of Ahwatukee in 2000, we were looking for a strong academic education for our three children.  Summit has far exceeded our expectations.

Throughout the years, the dedicated and passionate teachers challenged our children scholastically and guided them socially and emotionally.  The Summit educators embraced and nurtured the unique potential in each child.  Thanks to Summit our children are excelling in high school and college, equipped with the skills and confidence needed to thrive.  Summit has been more than a school to us; it has been a family.  We are eternally thankful for the foundation Summit has given our children.”

~Heidi and Tim Crown, Founder/Chairman at Insight Enterprises Inc.


  • 40 faculty: with 36 faculty employed full time
  • 8:1 student/faculty ratio

Graduates: High Schools / Colleges / Alumni Awards

Summit, an independent school, is consistently recognized as one of the top Arizona middle schools.

Alumni Awards

Summit School of Ahwatukee graduates are National Merit Scholars

Summit is proud of our graduates who have become part of the elite group of National Merit Scholars.

2008: Brett
2010: Bomi, Kelsey, Marissa and Nora
2011:  Farizah
2012: Jonathan

A 2009 Summit graduate was chosen as a finalist for the Brophy College Preparatory “Man of the Year Award”.

High School and College Success

In the past six years 98% of Summit graduates have been accepted into every high school to which they applied, with a 98% acceptance rate for every graduating class!

85 – 90% of graduating students qualify for high school honors or gifted classes.

Private High Schools attended by graduates include:

Public High Schools attended by graduates include:

  • Desert Vista Public High School
  • Corona Public High School
  • Mountain Pointe Public High School
  • Payne Gifted Academy

Colleges attended by graduates include:

  • American University, Washington DC
  • Arizona State University
  • Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University
  • Carleton College
  • Chandler Gilbert Community College
  • Chapman University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Fordham University
  • Franklin and Marshall College, PA
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Tech University
  • Glendale Community College – Ford Asset Program
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Miami University in Ohio
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Notre Dame
  • Oregon State
  • Pepperdine University
  • Princeton University
  • Regis University
  • San Diego State University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Scottsdale Community College
  • St. Ambrose University
  • Stanford University
  • UC Davis
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Southern California, School of Engineering
  • University of Southern California – Annenberg School
  • University of Tennessee

Where are students from

Most Summit School of Ahwatukee students live in the Phoenix community of Ahwatukee / Foothills, and in Chandler, Tempe, Ocotillo, Gilbert and Maricopa. Students from all over the valley are welcome.

Special Recognition for Summit School of Ahwatukee Teachers and Curriculum

Summit, a private, independent preschool, elementary and middle school, is proud to offer a strong successful curriculum, which has received numerous awards and recognition for teachers, curriculum, community service and more.

Click here for a complete list of national, state and local awards.

For example: Each year, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) identifies and develops the academic talents of the most advanced Kindergarten through 12th grade learners worldwide. In 2012, Summit School of Ahwatukee was awarded a certificate of recognition for the support of students with high academic potential in the International Mathematics and Verbal Talent Search.

The Vitruvius Program is the heart of the Summit School of Ahwatukee art curriculum. This exceptional program was named The Best Art and Architecture School Curriculum in the United States, by the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) in 2011.   Read more!

Course of Study

NAEYC Preschool

National Association for the Education of Young ChildrenAs an independent, private school, we are committed to our student’s personal and academic growth from the moment they enter as preschoolers, until the day they graduate eighth grade as young adults. This is why Summit is one of few preschools in Phoenix nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Four multi-age preschool classes, each with 18 children and two educated and experienced teachers engage children with a curriculum that is research-based and developmentally appropriate. The program also fosters a love of learning through hands-on, experiential, play-based activities. Children gain skills above and beyond those needed to thrive in kindergarten. They also develop a joy of learning and inquiry.

Kindergarten - Fourth Grades

  • Math with differentiated instruction in kindergarten – 6th grade
  • Reading: differentiated, reading instruction in kindergarten through third grade
  • Science lab
  • Music
  • Art
  • Spanish
  • Technology
  • Library
  • Physical Education
  • Social Studies
  • Character Education
  • Public Speaking
  • Differentiated Spelling instruction

Fifth - Eighth Grades

  • Math with differentiated instruction in 5th and 6th grade
  • Graduates complete one or two years of high school level math
    • 7th grade: Pre-Algebra or Algebra
    • 8th grade: Algebra or Geometry
  • Language arts class
  • Literature class
  • Science lab
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish
  • 5th grade Specials:
    • Art
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Technology
  • Quarterly Elective Choices for sixth – eighth grades
    • Art
    • Band
    • Culinary Arts
    • Debate
    • Forensics / Speech
    • Physical Education
    • Programming and Game Design
    • Robotics
    • Theater
    • Yearbook
  • Significant Focus on:
    • Character Education
    • Community Service
    • Public Speaking

Special Programs Unique to Middle School at Summit

We are very proud of two programs developed for our eighth grade students: “ROPES” and “SERVE”. Many of our middle-school programs are designed to impart the skills, values and confidence our students need to succeed in high school, college and life. Programs such as ROPES (Rite of Passage Experience), and SERVE (Summit Excellence Reflected in Volunteer Experience), which are exclusive to our school, are great examples of how Summit is fostering student’s growth.

ROPES (Rite of Passage Experience): A unique 8th grade program at Summit

At Summit, a private, independent school, students take a giant step closer to graduation and preparation for high school and college by participating in ROPES, a unique second semester project that includes multiple skills: reading, writing, thinking, decision making, researching, summarizing, demonstrating, performing, public speaking, and most importantly taking risks!

Students venture into the community to engage in a brand new life experience, by finding and contacting a professional, asking them to serve as their mentor. In the last years, students have enjoyed exploring symphony conducting, journalism, cooking, cartooning, surgery, firefighting, creating guitars, woodworking, veterinary medicine, and much more.

Research papers and 20 minute presentations, with demonstrations to an audience of over 100 people and three judges, mark the culminating event for each student. Students deliver presentations that are unique, engaging, enthusiastic, confident, knowledgeable, sincere, heartfelt, and thoughtful. The experience not only prepares students for the future, but also gives them a life changing opportunity.

SERVE (Summit Excellence Reflected in Volunteer Experience)

SERVE teaches students the importance and value of sharing their time and talent with their community. To graduate, all 8th grade Summit students are required to donate 20 hours of their time volunteering at organizations of their choice. Summit teachers also help student find ways to bring value to their school by coordinating activities such reading with children in preschool during after school care, tutoring younger children in math and writing, or volunteering at St. Vincent DePaul or other community organizations. Students gain insights into the needs of others, fostering a pride in their efforts and a realization of how they can benefit the world around them.

Art Recognition

In 2011, the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) selected Summit’s innovative Vitruvius Art Program as the winner of the National School Award:

THE TOP Architecture, Art and Design School Program in the UNITED STATES!

It is easy to see why Summit, an independent school is consistently named one of the top middle schools in Arizona.

Art, architecture and design begins in preschool and continues through eighth grade. Summit’s art program demonstrates how design education can be integrated into a school curriculum, through projects that invite students to creatively solve real problems on a local and global scale. Student’s creative artworks encompass canvas, fused glass, architectural design, drawing, painting, and ceramic works; often expanding on the thematic learning that begins in the grade level classroom.

Phoenix Magazine recognized the Vitruvius Program as one of the top five art education programs in Metro-Phoenix. (2009)

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, (SMoCA) has invited the Vitruvius Program to create two exhibitions for their young@art Gallery.

The first exhibit, Bridges: Connecting Earth to Sky, was on display at SMoCA from October 2010-January 2011, and included 280 kindergarten through sixth grade student works in architecture and design.

The second exhibit: Cycles From Fields to Cities displays the collaborative architectural work by Summit School of Ahwatukee third and fifth grade students for three months beginning February 2013. It also includes student works from Finland, France, Russia and Sweden. This exhibit was co-curated by Kathleen Kupper, Summit art instructor and co-founder of the Vitruvius Program. This architectural project asks children from many countries to think reflectively about the current state of their city’s design, and challenges them to share how they would reconstruct and reconfigure old and new elements. Artworks range from architectural models and drawings to animations.

The museum’s Associate Curator of Education noted that Summit’s art program “builds the critical thinking and design skills our upcoming generations need in order to create more elegant and effective solutions for our future.”

Fifth grade art students were also invited by the SMoCA Education Department and the Scottsdale Public Art Program to participate in the Soleri Bridge and Plaza Dedication on December 11, 2010.   Students created a temporal Ice Installation for the opening ceremony.

Experience this award winning art program through a short video on the Summit School website.

Math Recognition

Each year, the Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics (AATM) sponsors a state-wide Algebra math competition. Summit students distinguish themselves by scoring 1st, 3rd and 4th in the state, or by scoring in the top 10% in the state.

  • 2015: A Summit student earns the highest math score in the state! A classmate earns the 4th place win, with two other students scoring in the top 10%.
  • 2013: A Summit student tied for the 3rd highest score in the state, and another tied for the 4th highest state score. Six additional students scored in the top 10% in the state.
  • 2012: Twelve Summit School of Ahwatukee students scored in the top 10% in the state.
  • 2011: Four students scored in the top ten percent statewide, with two students earning an additional distinction by being among the top 10 highest scores in state.

“This algebra course is equivalent to a high school level class and they give it their all,” explains middle school math teacher. “My students have such a great attitude about learning, making my job as their teacher extremely fun and rewarding.”


The mission of Summit School of Ahwatukee is to foster academic excellence and the love of learning through a liberal arts education. Our community nurtures the knowledge, skills, and values essential to a responsible and rewarding life.


Summit School of Ahwatukee is a private school, celebrating its 15th year of inspiring and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The Phoenix Preschool is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Elementary and Middle School are Nationally Accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), a division of AdvancED®. Approximately 350 students from Chandler, Tempe, Ocotillo, Gilbert and Ahwatukee join us each year.

Strategic Plan

Summit School of Ahwatukee was founded in January 2001 as a non‐profit, private, independent school. The founders of the school envisioned a school community where students would attain academic excellence while respecting individual achievement and diversity. Our school has flourished over the years and has gained a reputation for being a very strong private independent school supported by a highly‐involved parent community.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees acts as an advisory board and has been entrusted with the long-term health, stability, and viability of Summit School of Ahwatukee.

The Board receives no compensation and is composed of dedicated parents, founders, the head of school, a teacher representative, and the BEST board president. The Board of Trustees is responsible for establishment of policy, the appointment of the head of school, and the preservation of the school’s mission, finances, facilities, and programs.

Members work in concert to make decisions in the best interests of the school through the following standing and Adhoc committees: Executive, Compensation & Review, Financial Assistance, Strategic Planning, Finance, Tuition, Nominating, Development, and Communication.


Our faculty embody the character, experience, passion for teaching, and overall excellence that makes Summit School of Ahwatukee one of the premier private schools in Arizona.

Visit Summit

Summit School of Ahwatukee is nestled in the Ahwatukee Foothills in Phoenix.

Phone: (480) 403-9500
Toll Free: 1-866-713-8102
Fax: (480) 403-9599

4515 East Muirwood Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85048

Step Inside Our Nationally Recognized Art Program

Step Inside Our Science Labs

Summit School of Ahwatukee
4515 E Muirwood Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85048
(480) 403-9500