Always moving “Forward Together” – Head of School update


The new school year is just a few days away, and we have been busily preparing for the students’ return.  The past week of teacher professional development and team building has us all energized and ready for an extraordinary school year.  Our theme for the year, Forward Together, will keep us focused on deepening relationships with our students, peers, and families as we continue to build momentum for Summit’s future.

I am very pleased to share the enhancements Summit has made in the past few months.

To continue fortifying our math program, we created two Math Coordinator roles.  Molly Danforth (2nd grade teacher), and Ashley Burbach (4th grade teacher), will be our Math Coordinators for Kindergarten – 2nd and 3rd – 5th grades respectively.  In these roles, Ms. Danforth and Ms. Burbach will provide leadership and coordination to bolster our math program’s rigor, comprehensiveness and enrichment, to meet student learning needs.

Completing the “Fund the Future” projects has been a priority for us this summer. Additional curriculum materials were added, and three campus improvement projects finished, with one more in the works that will be completed very soon.

Hands-on learning in Science has always been a curricular strength at Summit, and with the new FOSS Science kits, Elementary and Middle School Science classes will reach even higher levels of innovative thinking.

In preschool and kindergarten, innovative OSMO technology and iPads will now be augmenting our curriculum. OSMO actively engages students in physics, numeracy, literacy, coding and spatial skills, using brain-based interactive games.

The security improvement project is now complete. This included installing a magnetic secured entry system on the main lobby doors, removing a wall section that obstructed visibility to the side entry door, installing a new door to the nurse’s station to allow for greater visibility and access, and rebuilding the reception desk to improve its security and functionality. These enhancements will make the lobby a more secure entry point.  The secured entry system will be in full use later this fall, restricting entry to the front lobby, and requiring visitors to be buzzed in.

We also made major progress on Phase 1 of the playground improvement projects.

On the elementary / middle school playground, we installed new rubber mulch throughout the playground area, and are nearing the final installation of three shade structures over the playground and bleachers, as well as installing a mister system in these areas.  To provide safe playing surfaces for our students, we re-sodded the field, removed the gravel from around the grass area, and removed the boulders behind the basketball court.

The preschool playground also offers even more to our youngest learners. The fencing around the bike storage was removed, and pavers added near the sidewalk, significantly increasing the area for children to ride bikes and wagons and enjoy.

Thank you once again to our parents and supporters for your generous contributions that enable us to improve the Summit experience for all our students!

I’m looking forward to seeing you at Back to School Night!

Go Sabre Cats!

Mark Bistricky Head of SchoolWarm Regards,
Mark Bistricky
Head of School
Summit School of Ahwatukee

IOWA Assessment Testing Results: Summit School of Ahwatukee Students Score High Nationally


IOWA Assessment Testing Results

Student achievement results are an important way for parents to compare schools and make choices for their child.  We are frequently asked if we have standardized test results to provide evidence that Summit School of Ahwatukee provides a high quality academic program.

We are proud to share summaries of our standardized assessment scores as evidence of Summit students’ high achievement in science, mathematics, reading, and writing.

From 2006-2014, Summit grades 3-8 participated in state-wide AIMS testing and these data consistently indicated 90% to 100% of our students met or exceeded state standards in reading, language arts, mathematics, and science (science was tested only in grades 4 and 8).  In 2015 the AIMS test was discontinued by the State of Arizona.

Beginning with spring of 2015, Summit elected to use the Iowa Assessments  as  it is a well-established, nationally norm-referenced test that measures student learning in alignment with the College and Career Ready Standards, which served as the foundation for our more rigorous Summit Standards.

We proudly share our students’  2015 results for all subtests and composites within the domains of English language arts/reading and mathematics, as they are exceptional.

1) Where does Summit School stand in comparison with other schools nationally?

In every subject and grade level tested, Summit’s performance ranks at or near the top among the national distribution of schools. This can be gauged by examining the national percentile ranks of Summit’s average student standard scores among all schools’ averages in the national norming sample for the Iowa Assessments. These school-normed national percentile ranks are provided by grade and subject, and indicate Summit’s relative standing in a national distribution of schools. For example, all grades at Summit had a national percentile rank of 99 on the English Language Arts (ELA) Total. This means that in all grade levels tested, Summit students collectively performed better in ELA than those in 99 percent of schools. Similarly, on the Math Total scores, Summit students in grades 3-5 and grades 7-8 performed better, on average, than those in 99 percent of schools, and Summit 6th graders performed better than those in 95 percent of schools.

National Percentile Ranks of Summit’s Average Standard Scores among Schools Nationally

Iowa Assessments Administered in Spring 2015

GradeReadingWritten ExpressionConventions of WritingVocabularyELA TotalMathematicsComputationMath TotalCore Composite
Grade 3999699999999999999
Grade 4999999999999979999
Grade 5959899949999979999
Grade 6919699899995989597
Grade 7949999989999989999
Grade 8939799909999999999

2) How does a typical Summit School student perform in comparison with other students nationally?

A typical Summit student standard score is the average student standard score among Summit students in the named grade level and subject; this average score provides a reasonable estimate of students’ collective performance. The student-normed national percentile ranks shown in the table below indicate where the average Summit student’s score in a particular grade and subject is located in the national distribution of student scores. Nationally, the typical, or average, score for a grade level and subject is the scale score that corresponds to the 50th percentile of the national distribution of student scores. The table below shows that a typical Summit student ranks very well in comparison with the national distribution of students. The average Summit student is at or above the 81st percentile nationally on all ELA, Math, and Core composites.

National Percentile Ranks of Summit’s Average Standard Scores among Students Nationally

Iowa Assessments Administered in Spring 2015

GradeReadingWritten ExpressionConventions of WritingVocabularyELA TotalMathematicsComputationMath TotalCore Composite
Grade 3868184878790859088
Grade 4868482909286818788
Grade 5778081798784808584
Grade 6747981758578818181
Grade 7788284889083818586
Grade 8767988778888848988

Another way to gauge student performance is to examine grade equivalent scores. Typical Summit students, in all grades and subjects tested, achieve standard scores that are comparable to those of typical students who are several grades higher. Grade equivalent scores are decimal numbers provided by the test publisher that describe a particular standard score’s location on an achievement continuum scaled to reflect the grade level and months at which a typical student earned this same standard score (i.e., the grade level and months at which the same standard score would be at the 50th percentile). For example, the average standard score for Math Total among Summit’s 7th graders corresponds to the Math Total standard score earned by a typical student nationally who is near the end of 11th grade. More specifically, Summit’s reported grade equivalent for Math Total in grade 7 was 11.9, which indicates that the average student in the national sample achieved this scale score when 9 months into 11th grade. All other grade equivalent scores in the table can be interpreted in a similar manner.

Grade Equivalents of Summit’s Average Standard Scores by Grade and Subject

Iowa Assessments Administered in Spring 2015

GradeReadingWritten ExpressionConventions of WritingVocabularyELA TotalMathematicsComputationMath TotalCore Composite
Grade 36.05.75.55.55.75.75.15.55.5
Grade 47.68.47.17.07.676.36.87.1
Grade 57.99.48.97.58.68.47.78.28.3
Grade 69.011.110.78.410.09.39.49.39.6
Grade 711.213+13+11.113+12.211.611.912.6
Grade 813+13+13+11.413+13+13+13+13+

As we all know, test scores are only one part of the equation supporting the academic excellence at Summit School of Ahwatukee. Summit is a unique, affordable, and high performing private school with data to prove it!

Thank you for continuing to send your children to, or for considering attending  Summit School of Ahwatukee!

Summit School of Ahwatukee Preschool offers eight – $6,000 scholarships


Summit School of Ahwatukee is proud to partner with Quality First, First Things First, and the United Way. Through these programs we can offer eight children a $6,000 scholarship to join our NAEYC, nationally accredited preschool for the 2016-17 school year.

Preschool scholarships are for Summit’s academic school year, August 3, 2016 through May 17th, 2017, for a five day program. Hours are 8am – 3:15pm.

The scholarships are based on family income, with limits set by the state. Qualifying families are responsible to pay the tuition not covered by the scholarship, and the cost of before and after school care, or enrichment classes, if needed.

Learning in Summit’s NAEYC accredited Preschool is fun and enriching. The developmental, experiential, play-based curriculum, utilizes Teaching Strategies Gold objectives for teaching and learning. The curriculum is research-based, developmentally appropriate, and taught by experienced teachers, who nurture cognitive, social and emotional growth. Preschool also includes classes in Art, Spanish, and Music, Tumbling and Library. Preschoolers can range in age from 30 months to 5 years old, but must be fully independent in the bathroom.

Ahwatukee Foothills News voters have named Summit School of Ahwatukee one of the Best Preschools for 8 years in a row! Why? Students gain skills, above and beyond those needed, to thrive in kindergarten. They develop a joy of learning and inquiry.

Summit is a private preschool, elementary and middle school, located in Ahwatukee, on 46th street and Muirwood, just south of Chandler Blvd.

Click here to see if your family qualifies for a scholarship to attend the Best Ahwatukee Preschool_Summit School of Ahwatukee   then click on “Preschool Scholarships through Quality First” or call Summit’s admissions office at 480-403-9506 or to schedule your personal tour.

The importance and success of high quality Science instruction at Summit: Kindergarten – 8th grades


In creating a world-class academic program for 21st Century learners Summit has established a strong reputation for teaching communications, math and science.

  • Communication is the process of expressing our thinking and understanding, including the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Math has been called the language of science and Willis Harman, a noted engineer, social scientist, academic, futurist, writer, and visionary, described Science as “…the cognitive authority of the world.  It’s where we turn for our understanding of reality.”
  • Science is the language of precision and inquiry used around the world.

Science: At Summit we use the Full Option Science System (FOSS) curriculum as the foundation of our teaching.  Science classes are taught in lab settings, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through middle school.  Over the past three years we have been making changes to this core curriculum using ideas from the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) which include connections to Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) practices, crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and the Summit Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math.

Science is inherently interesting, and children are natural investigators. Children learn science concepts best by doing science which is why 50% of middle school classes and over 70% of elementary classes focus on experiments; hands-on experiences with objects, organisms, and systems.  Hands-on activities are motivating for students, and they stimulate inquiry, curiosity and collaboration. Students at all grade levels investigate experiment, gather data, organize results, and draw conclusions based on their own actions.

Each year our fourth and eighth graders participate in the AIMS Science tests which are administered to students in public and charter schools across the state.  The AIMS test reports the percentage of students that meet and exceed state standards for science. The table below illustrates that over 90% of Summit students met or exceeded standards for the past six years.

Grade201020112012201320142015AVG
4th100%100%98%91%92%97%96%
8th96%100%100%100%100%93%98%

We are very proud of our two amazing Science teachers, Andrea Yocum (middle school) and Lori Phillips (kindergarten – grade five), for inspiring our students to learn and love the language of Science.

At Summit we prepare your children for success as the students, workers and citizens of the future.  Thank you for continuing to send your children to Summit School of Ahwatukee.

FIFTEEN CANDLES ON SUMMIT’S CAKE!


If Adelle can name an album after her age then Summit is going to re-name January the “Happy 15th Month!”  This month we are celebrating our 15th anniversary!  Décimo quinto cumpleaños feliz!

Summit Parents are Invited! As a way of commemorating this special birthday we would like to invite parents to join our students and staff on Monday, February 1st  at 10:00 a.m. to take a group picture on the play field.  We would like everyone to wear a white-colored top so we can form the number “15.”

Let’s celebrate fifteen great reasons why your children belong at Summit:

  • Community – Students, teachers and parents who care about education and work together to make Summit strong!
  • Great Teachers – Educators who are passionate about inspiring learners and leaders for life!
  • Preschool – The happiest place on earth where child-centered education and life-long learning begins.
  • Elementary – Grades Kindergarten through five are the “wonder years” of learning to learn.
  • Middle School – Academic rigor, social development, study skills, electives, community service and athletics prepare well-rounded young adults for success in high School, college and beyond.
  • A Rich Variety of Special Curricula – Science, Spanish, Art, Music, Physical Education, Technology, and Library, designed to enhance our comprehensive liberal arts approach to learning.
  • Learning – Critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, presentation skills and communication are the 21st century skills that we teach, what  your children need to thrive and what they deserve from their education.
  • Safety – Summit provides the physical, social, emotional, and psychological safety that children need to be confident and unique.
  • Character – Summit’s Character and Respect Education (CARE) program combines character education and positive discipline in order to teach and support the behaviors that create a safe and healthy learning environment, and strengthen social and academic skills and confidence.
  • Leadership – Providing opportunities to cultivate the leader within each child is a priority at Summit.
  • Diversity – Our community values and celebrates our differences.  We need more talented kids and diverse families to join us!
  • Technology –  Teacher and student use of tech tools provides new opportunities for teaching, learning and creating.
  • Affordable – Keeping tuition reasonable, offering scholarship assistance, and Arizona’s prívate School tax credit helps families stay at Summit.  Can you afford not to have your child receive a high quality Summit education?
  • Happiness & Success & High Achievement in every experience, everyday in every classroom.

Thank you to our parents for sending your children to Summit!

Warmest regards,

Patrick O’Brien, Head of School

Summit School of Ahwatukee

Community Invitation to attend an inspiring documentary film “Beyond Measure”: dynamic learning environments that inspire


Summit School of Ahwatukee invites Summit families, friends and the community to experience the inspiring feature-length documentary film “Beyond Measure” on Thursday, January 14th from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm on the Summit School of Ahwatukee campus.

View a Trailer of Beyond Measure

The event is hosted by the school free of charge, however, registration is required. Click here to reserve a seat.

Six years after 2010’s award-winning movie “Race to Nowhere” rose to national prominence, Reel Link Films brings the inspiring film, “Beyond Measure” which shines a light on tenacious and cutting-edge alternatives to the stifling, high-pressure education system presented in its predecessor film.

Where many past documentaries have dwelled on the education crisis and the policies to blame, “Beyond Measure” follows public schools across the country as they take matters into their own hands, innovating from the inside. By spotlighting success stories, the film shows that it is possible to rise above America’s fixation on achievement tests and build a richer, deeper, more empowering, and student-centered education culture from the ground up. The Summit School of Ahwatukee is very proud to be able to feature this documentary.

“Beyond Measure is a road map for communities looking to put true learning at the forefront of their school experience,” says Timothy Quinn, Former President, Princeton Board of Education. “It demonstrates what students, educators and parents can achieve when they look beyond merely improving upon an outdated model of instruction to creating dynamic learning environments where every student can thrive.”

Notable people featured in the film include Sir Ken Robinson (international education expert and presenter of the most watched TED talk of all time), Linda Darling-Hammond (education advisor for President Obama’s 2008 campaign), and bestselling author Daniel Pink (Drive and A Whole New Mind). The film team includes Oscar-winning editor Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads) and Executive Producer Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com. The film coincides with the release of director Vicki Abeles’ new book, also titled “Beyond Measure”. The book, published by Simon and Schuster, examines cultural and educational symptoms of the academic rat race and suggests steps big and small that readers can take to reclaim their schools and children’s lives. Called America’s “wake-up call” by Maria Shriver and praised by New York Times bestselling author Brigid Schulte as “one of the most important books of the early 21st century,” “Beyond Measure” is now available in book stores.

Reserve your complimentary seats today! Click here to reserve a seat.

Future Head of School shares his vision and why he is excited to join Summit School of Ahwatukee


Written by By Joyce Coronel and published by the Wrangler News, November 20, 2015

Summit School of Ahwatukee will have a new leader for the 2016-17 school year, and he’s fired up about challenging students to learn in innovative ways. Mark Bistricky, who has led private schools in Arizona and California, becomes head of school for Summit, effective June 30.

Mark_Bistricky_Future Head of SchoolWith an undergraduate degree in history and master’s degrees in history and education administration, Bistricky comes to his new role eager to prepare students for the future.

“I think it’s critical for schools like Summit to connect innovation with education and to be forward-looking (and) entrepreneurial,” Bistricky said.

“Business and non-profit leaders say they need workers who can think outside the box, who can create, who can apply imagination, who combine facts and figures and source material from different areas in new ways,” he said.

What’s more, Bistricky notes, the traditional model of education, which consists of digesting information presented and then spitting it back on standardized tests, isn’t going to cut it.

“The problem is that there’s a very low level of learning that takes place in that model. They’re not being challenged to develop the kind of critical-thinking skills (or) the creative skills, the ability to apply what they’ve learned,” Bistricky said.

“I think that Summit already does a tremendous job of equipping the students with those kinds of 21st century skills, and I hope to be able to continue to develop those kinds of programs at the school.”

When asked about the specifics on how innovative learning could best take place, Bistricky gave a description of how students could learn about the desegregation of schools during the 1950s.

In Bistricky’s model, rather than hearing a lecture and receiving work sheets that provided a narrative describing the benchmark case of Brown versus Board of Education, students could learn at a deeper level by taking on the roles of make-believe members of the school board and of parents upset about desegregation and its related issues.

They’d be busy doing research about their character, engaging in dialogue, finding primary sources and sifting through period literature.

There could also be an artistic component where students create a picture or a portrait that symbolizes emotions or feelings or symbols of a particular period in history. They would have an opportunity to stand up in front of the class to make an argument or have the poise to answer questions from other characters in the play.

Bistricky also sees students going beyond classroom walls to learn.

“I think it’s really important for us to be a community school, one that is very connected, and that we’re inviting people in,” Bistricky said. “We want to create a learning community in which all want the same thing: for the child to be challenged.”

The pre-K through eighth-grade independent school boasts low student-teacher ratios and an extensive liberal arts curriculum.

“Independent schools can do innovative things with multi-disciplinary, project-based learning, where students are not just learning material but they’re actually putting it into practice in a real world setting,” Bistricky said.

So how did he catch this innovation bug?

“I first started teaching and ultimately became an administrator when I was living in San Jose, in Silicon Valley, during the technology boom in the early 2000s. So that experience and seeing the innovation and the creativity and the applied learning that was present with all of the technology companies and start-ups, it was a very exciting time for ideas and putting those ideas into action.

“And so I think that helped to form (who) I’ve become,” Bistricky said.

“I want to be an innovative educational leader who’s helping to pioneer new models that will serve our students more effectively in preparing them for a future that doesn’t exist and we can’t entirely predict.”

All this excellence and innovation doesn’t come cheap.

However, through a blend of tuition tax credits, corporate scholarships and financial aid scholarships, “It’s more accessible than you might think,” Bistricky said.

Summit School of Ahwatukee Thanksgiving Food Basket Community Outreach Project ~ October 28 – November 20, 2015


Thanksgiving project_turkey imageWHAT? Thanksgiving basket food collection for Homeward Bound

WHEN? Collect food donations beginning Wednesday, October 28, through Friday, November 20, 2015

WHY? To provide a family in need with a complete, nutritious holiday meal

WHERE? Please return items for the basket to your classroom teacher by Friday, November 20, 2015

HOW? Select a feather from the turkey representing a food item needed to complete a family basket. Purchase the chosen item and return it to your classroom.

QUESTIONS? Contact any member of the Summit Student Council or Mrs. France

Thank you for sharing with others this Thanksgiving season!

Summit School of Ahwatukee Selects Next Dynamic Head of School


Summit School of Ahwatukee is proud to announce that Mark Bistricky has been appointed as the next Head of School, effective June 30, 2016. Summit is a private, independent school of approximately 350 preschool through 8th-grade students in Phoenix, Arizona, that is committed to promoting academic excellence and developing in its students a love of learning through an innovative, thematic curriculum.

The search process for a new head was initiated last year due to the planned retirement of Pat O’Brien, who has led Summit for the past eight years through a period of growth in enrollment, academic programs, and extracurricular offerings, as well as the attainment of accreditation. Mr. Bistricky was hired through a rigorous, multistage, international search. Corey Saba Basha, Chair of the Summit Board of Trustees, led the search efforts in conjunction with a Head of School Search Committee comprising five trustees and assistance from the national search firm Triangle Associates/Heads Up Educational Consulting.

The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed that Mr. Bistricky has the ideal experience, skills, and personal traits to lead Summit School of Ahwatukee in accordance with its mission. Describing his enthusiasm for this position, Mr. Bistricky noted, “In addition to the excellent faculty and staff, what attracted me to Summit is its commitment to research-based and innovative education. Many schools teach students facts. Facts are important, but they are not enough. The world’s need for individuals who can synthesize and apply knowledge imaginatively to solve problems will keep growing. Summit School is perfectly poised to meet this critical need and to expand its reputation as a leader in education.”

Mr. Bistricky was raised in Phoenix. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Whittier College (magna cum laude), he holds two Master of Arts degrees: one in History from University of Arizona, and the other in Education Administration from Santa Clara University. He has over seven years of experience as head of school/principal, including positions in both private and parochial schools. Mr. Bistricky is currently Head of School at Tesseract School in Phoenix. Prior to this position, he had served as Head of School at Valley Christian High School in Chandler, Arizona, and as Principal at Holy Spirit School in San Jose, California.

Mr. Bistricky is a dynamic professional who will bring creativity, passion, and strategic vision to guide the school in the spirit of a liberal arts approach that fosters development of students’ academic, social, creative, and physical skills. Regarding desired qualities for the Summit Head of School, Corey Saba Basha noted, “I envision a person who will teach our children to manage in the world we live in today and also in a world we have yet to encounter, who can manage in chaos, who is willing to roll up their sleeves and show leadership in all domains at Summit, and who is willing to teach shoulder to shoulder and lead by example. Mark Bistricky, our new Head of School, has demonstrated the ability to do just that.”

2015 Let’s Move! Active Schools NATIONAL AWARD: Summit School of Ahwatukee ~ the top physical activity and physical education distinction for K-12 schools


Let’s Move! Active Schools, a sub-initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign announced its 2015 National Award honorees.

Summit School of Ahwatukee was one of 15 schools in Arizona and five hundred and twenty-five U.S schools representing 37 states, recognized for their outstanding efforts in creating an Active School environment and increasing physical activity and physical education opportunities for students.

The Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award is the top physical activity and physical education distinction for K-12 schools. The award celebrates a school’s commitment to integrating at least 60 minutes of physical activity before, during and after the school day.

“These schools are raising the bar by creating Active School environments where students are happier, healthier, and higher-performing.  I am thrilled with their success through Let’s Move! Active Schools – they’re helping to create a new norm where physical activity is a fundamental aspect of a young person’s success both in the classroom and in life,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Letter from Michelle Obama to Summit School of Ahwatukee ~ National PE award 2015

This is the second time Summit School of Ahwatukee has earned received this national honor.  “We owe so much to our physical education teacher, Kathy Dean, who has worked tirelessly to help create a culture of health and wellness at Summit,” Head of School Patrick O’Brien proudly shares.

Studies show that Active Kids Do Better. Physical activity not only helps kids stay healthy and strong, but it can also lead to higher test scores, improved attendance, better behavior in class, and enhanced leadership and interpersonal skills.

“The Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award is the nation’s top physical activity and physical education distinction for K-12 schools,” said Charlene Burgeson, Let’s Move! Active Schools Executive Director. “We commend Summit School of Ahwatukee’s exemplary work and commitment to active learning environments. Summit’s faculty, staff and students are paving the way to a healthier, higher-performing and more successful generation of youth.”

To earn a Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award, a school must have met significant benchmarks in five areas: physical education; physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school; staff involvement; and family & community engagement.

Summit School of Ahwatukee’s programs exceed in all these areas, in large part thanks to PE teacher Kathy Dean, who was instrumental in developing Summit’s physical education curriculum focusing on physical and nutritional health. She also initiated the middle school sports program, and created a before school running club at which 50 or more students and parents voluntarily run or walk on the school’s field twice each week.

Dean began and continues to organize the annual family turkey trot, and the school’s field day, which also focuses on developing leadership in middle school students who help run the event. Last year she held a successful pedometer challenge for the school’s teachers and staff, encouraging healthy goals for daily steps.

Students benefit academically from Dean’s initiatives as she provides training to staff, sharing “brain break” activities teachers successfully use in the classroom to help young minds stay fresh and engaged.

However, from the student’s perspective the most important and best loved initiate of Dean’s is the daily morning recess / snack break enjoyed by kindergarten through eighth grade students. In addition to lunch recess, students thank her in spirit each day as they enjoy ten minutes on the playground tire jumper, shooting hoops, running on the field, or simply chatting with classmates as they enjoy a healthy snack. “We all need a break to stay fresh and motivated,” explains Dean.

Why does she do it? “The biggest reward for me is the tremendous buy in from the entire school community: teachers, staff, parents and kids, to lead healthy, active lives,” says Dean with visible warmth.  “It is true that active kids are more successful academically, but they are also happier. You can actually feel the joy of students, teachers and parents on Summit’s campus. It is wonderful to experience.”

Honorees are provided with a banner, certificate and congratulatory letter from the First Lady. Recognition packages were generously sponsored by BOKS, Build Our Kids’ Success, a free before- and during-school physical activity program aimed at getting kids’ bodies moving and their brains ready to learn.