Deborah Summers grew up as a military child and began school in Munich, Germany, and continued her elementary and high school education in Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. She attended the University of Arizona earning the bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science and masters degree in Special Education. Her second masters from Northern Arizona University is in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and she is an Arizona State Certified Principal. In addition, she also holds an AMI Montessori Certification receiving her training under Nimal Vaz in Phoenix.
Ms. Summers has extensive experience in education and has worked in schools from the primary level through graduate schools at prestigious universities. Her career began as a special education teacher in the Alhambra School District. She moved into higher education by serving as the Director of Special Services at Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, Texas. Then moved on to The University of Chicago as an Assistant Dean in the University for six years. There she became exposed to higher education in the major private universities of the United States and the Big Ten Universities of the Midwest. When she returned to Arizona, she worked as an administrator in the Gradate College at Arizona State University. At the university level she worked with development, admissions, fellowships and scholarships and wrote grants for graduate student funding and programming. Although she valued her experience in higher education, she felt that the “action in education” was at the K-12 level and that is where she could make a difference.
She took her special education, grant writing and Montessori training and became a part of the Charter Movement by working at Esperanza Montessori School in South Phoenix, Villa Montessori in Central Phoenix, and Imagine Schools in Phoenix and Sierra Vista, and finally at Mission Montessori Schools.
She developed her unique view of education because of her vast experience from primary to graduate schools, having worked at all levels. Her depth of knowledge and understanding of American education deepened with her work experience and grant writing. At the university level she has written to the federal government and private foundations; at the elementary level she has written Charter School grants for opening new charter schools at the state level and the Charter School Start Up Grant at the federal level ; and a variety of arts and academic grants.
” Life is hard yard by yard. Life is a cinch inch by inch.”
“The future is so bright, it hurts my eyes.” Maya Angelou
” I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” William Ernest Henley