Summit Academy makes learning top priority

| February 3, 2011
Co-founders of Summit Academy are Rosemary Middleton (Charles) and Head of School Margaret Thornton (Tom).

Co-founders of Summit Academy are Rosemary Middleton (Charles) and Head of School Margaret Thornton (Tom).

Oh how I hate to get up in the morning – except at the annual Summit Academy early-bird 8 a.m. breakfast at The Olmsted in November where you are hit by a wave of love and warm vibes from guests who come to give their all to precious children who were born with learning difficulties.

Right now, months later, I can break into tears after remembering heartbreaking stories of helpless parents who couldn’t afford special schooling and were saved by the vision of two remarkable women.

Margaret Thornton and Rosemary Middleton started a school to meet the unique needs for children with learning differences.
They opened Summit Academy in August 1992 with 21 students and a staff of five. Currently 138 students are enrolled.

Faculty includes 16 homeroom teachers – plus art, music, library and P.E. teachers and assistants. The on-staff licensed clinical psychologist, speech therapist and occupational therapist provide total development.

Vee Hughes (center) matched the Challenge Grant up to $35,000 at the Mountaintop Breakfast. At left is Gray Middleton and at right is Bea Buetow.

Vee Hughes (center) matched the Challenge Grant up to $35,000 at the Mountaintop Breakfast. At left is Gray Middleton and at right is Bea Buetow.

The vision of co-founders Margaret and Rosemary came true.

Summit Academy helps students with neurological learning disabilities such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy, William’s syndrome, communication disorder, developmental delay, non-verbal learning disability, auditory processing and sensory integration disorders and more.

Summit provides a place where learning challenges are met using psycho-educational testing, corrective curriculums and high teacher to student ratios.

Students receive special services the entire school day. Math and language arts form the foundation for success in other subjects.
A curriculum is prescribed for small groups (averaging seven students to one teacher).

Among students helping at the breakfast were Mason Clough, Denise Wiemann, Michael Calderon and Ellie Rabeneck.

Among students helping at the breakfast were Mason Clough, Denise Wiemann, Michael Calderon and Ellie Rabeneck.

Summit puts major emphasis on the arts with weekly art and music classes and drama and art clubs. Each child has adaptive physical education twice a week and daily recess.

A common misconception is that tuition for private schools covers the full cost.

Summit Academy is a “school of necessity” and not of “choice,” and tuition is beyond the means of many families.

The Moutaintop Breakfast is one of two annual fundraising events to help bridge the gap between tuition and the substantial cost of operating the school.

Summit Academy Singers.

Summit Academy Singers.

Summit Academy has received more than $200,000 as a result of their 2010 Mountaintop Breakfast. Proceeds were used for financial aid for students, as well as support programs that make Summit so special: talented teachers, small classes and exceptional services for students to achieve their potential.

Janice Cates of the Summit Academy is overall chair.

The Mountaintop Breakfast speakers included: Christine Rabeneck of the Cottage Salon; Todd Metcalf, Summit Academy parent and board member; Chris Bird, Summit Academy parent ant board member; Tom Buetoe, alumni parent; and co-founder and Head of School Margaret Thornton. The Summit Academy singers sang “Climbing the Top.”

Casino Royale

“Casino Royale” (without Bond, James Bond) will be held Friday, March 25, at 6 p.m. at Standard Country Club. You can bet the limit of “funny money” at roulette, black jack, raffles and craps.

The event will include live and silent auctions and glorious food by famed Standard Country Club chefs including a buffet of roast beef, stir fry, salads and desserts.

Chaired by lovely and lively Leslie Gagnon, you may call her at 502-228-9549 to send tax deductible donations for the auction.

Wear some sporty evening clothes and become a high roller. Eat your heart out Vegas!

photos by Lucie Blodgett | contributing photographer

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Category: The Social Side

About the Author (Author Profile)

Lucie Blodgett
Always out and about at happenings around town, Lucie Blodgett has been writing a weekly column for The Voice-Tribune for more than two decades.

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