Summit Is Better:

“We Believe in Our Students”

If you were to ask any teachers at Summit Academy why they are so dedicated to their students, you would get the same response; “We believe in them.”

When we say that we believe in our students, we are not just talking about a select few of them or the ones we already know.

We believe that every student walking into our school has what it takes to succeed, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or who they were before we met them. We believe that each and every one of our students have the potential to be great at whatever they wish to accomplish.

That type of belief does not come with conditions. Our No Excuse philosophy was created to ensure that there is never a reason one of our students cannot do well and rise to success. We know that before we can ask a student to believe in our ability to provide them with a progressive, challenging, and individualized educational experience, we must first believe in their ability to handle it.

Whether your child has been at Summit Academy for a few years, or just wrapping up their first school year with us, we look forward to being there for them and you no matter what lies ahead. You can trust that we will keep finding ways to give your child the best education because we believe that the best deserve nothing less.

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Five Reasons to Take a Family Vacation

Life can get so busy that many days the weeks and months seem to run together. Between school, work, and extracurricular activities, it can be difficult to spend much needed family time.

Prioritizing a family vacation may not appear to be practical or even economically possible at first glance. However, even a short weekend away or a long day trip can provide long term benefits. Below are just 5 reasons you should consider planning a family vacation.

1. It will help you reconnect to each other.

Getting away from the normal activities and stresses of life will allow you to really listen to your kids and get caught up on their lives without distraction.

2. A change of scenery is disarming.

The need to cook dinner, clean house, or help with homework can be overwhelming and lead to high tensions. Sometimes just being away from home for a day can help everyone take a deep breath and release their tension in a less stressful setting.

3. You can gain new perspective.

Getting a break from your daily routines will allow your family to come back with a fresh pair of eyes. This can benefit you at work and your children at school.

4. Vacations can provide learning opportunities.

Whether you spend your vacation at a beach or a museum, learning opportunities are all around. As your kids questions about the things they see. They will likely appreciate the chance to share something new at school.

5. Everyone needs a break for fun.

By definition, a vacation is for fun, and nothing is more fun than time spent with family.

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Spring Time Baking:

Spring Confetti Bars

April showers are here! Only this spring is bringing confetti filled showers. Or at least that is what you will be getting when you dive into these scrumptious Spring Confetti Bars. Careful, though, these sweet treats are even more fun to eat than they are to make!

Makes about 20 bars


  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cups white chocolate chips separated
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup Spring M&Ms
  • 3 tablespoons sprinkles Spring colored


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the room temperature butter with the white and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Mix the butter and sugars together with hand beaters or in a stand mixer until creamy and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Stir together and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  5. Mix until combined.
  6. With a wooden spoon, stir in one cup of the white chocolate chips. Press the cookie dough into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  7. Bake the cookie dough for 10-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
  8. Remove and immediately top with the miniature marshmallows and M&M’s. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the marshmallows become puffy.
  9. Remove and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup white chocolate chips and sprinkles over the bars.
  10. Let cool completely and then cut with a wet knife.

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Teach Your Teen to Self-Advocate

At the high school level, teenagers find that they now have many different platforms to express their voice.

Additionally, they may find themselves interacting with both staff and peers on a more professional and personal level than they have in the past. Knowing how and when to advocate for themselves will give them the ability to voice their thoughts and opinions without fear while still maintain respect for others.

Why It’s Important

While we believe that college preparation begins in the elementary years, it becomes more tangible and crucial for our high schoolers. After leaving the comfort of Summit Academy North High School, students will be solely responsible for seeking help with any issues they may have in college. Being able to comfortably express their shortcomings or concerns they have will help them be successful in their academic career.

How to Do It

Engaging with your teenager regularly will help them become more comfortable expressing themselves. It is not enough to just focus on superficial topics, similar to the way people discuss the weather. Take a genuine interest in them and their hobbies and desires. Discuss issues that they may be facing at school and really listen to them. Instead of offering them solutions, ask them how they would go about solving their problems and what steps they think they should take. Be a sounding board instead of a coach.  If there is a situation that requires them to act, encourage them to pursue their solution. Ultimately, helping your high schooler understand that their feelings and views matter is the goal.  The more you help them validate their feelings, the easier it will be for them to self advocate.

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Teaching Your Teen Personal Resilience

Teenagers are some of the strongest members of our society. Sadly, though, they are also some of the most vulnerable.

While we do everything in our power to keep the students of Summit Academy North High School encouraged and motivated, personal resilience is something that can only come from within.

What it Means to Be Resilient

Resiliency is defined as the ability to spring or bounce back from difficulties. At one point or another, your high schooler will be met with a difficult situation. Whether it is an academic challenge, problems with friends or family, or another outside factor, it is an unfortunate part of life. Their ability to face the issue and recover from it will depend on how resilient they are.

Here are a few things you can do to help improve your teen’s resiliency.
Be honest with them.

As much as we want to protect our kids, trying to shelter them from the realities of the world will only hinder their growth and make them unprepared to face difficult situations. There is no need to be overly pessimistic with them, but they will be best served by direct and honest conversations.

Provide them with a support system.

Facing problems may be inevitable, but facing them alone is not. Make sure your kids know you that they have people who care about them, love them, and will help them. Assure them that no matter what they are going through, they never have to go through it alone.

Remind them that everything difficulty is temporary.

Nothing is forever, and that includes pain. Let them know that any hurt feelings or troubles they have today can be replaced with joy and happiness tomorrow.

Teach them to seek help.

Explain to them that seeking help is not a weakness. There is never a problem too small or large to be helped.

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Samual Standafer

Age: 17

Favorite subject:

“Algebra 2”

Favorite Teacher:

“Mr. VanGelder is my favorite teacher”

Why he loves Summit Academy:

“I love the fine arts program at the school. I love the opportunities that being in Drumline has given me. It has given me a lot of experiences that I will carry with me for many years to come.”


Jenna Cunnien

Age: 16

Favorite subject:

“Science, specifically chemistry, Trig/Pre-Calculus”

Favorite Teacher:

“Mr. Charlefour and Mr. Murphy”

Why she loves Summit Academy:

”Summit has given me numerous opportunities for success. I have learned so much from the teachers and staff. I really appreciate everything I’ve learned, and I believe it will prepare me for my future.”


T.J. Murphy

Role at Summit Academy:

T.J. has been with Summit Academy North High School for 10 years an currently teaches Honors Algebra 2, Algebra 2A, and Trigonometry/Precalculous.

T.J. in three words:

Fun, Dedicated, Positive

Why he loves Summit Academy:

“Summit really builds a sense family throughout the entire building, not only with other coworkers, but with students and their families. Relationships here aren’t just titles. Everyone knows something special about each other which helps with both a sense of community and family.”

Most memorable moment at Summit:

“Everyday! My favorite moments are when I get to see a student’s hard work turn into success. I especially enjoy having graduates come back to Summit to tell us about their personal successes they have had since leaving the high school, and knowing I had a small part in helping them achieve their personal goals is the icing on the cake.”

Interesting fact about him:

“After graduating from CMU, I moved to Oregon for 5 years. While in Oregon, I went back to school and earned my Master’s Degree.”

Summit Academy is better because…

“Summit provides both a wide variety of academics and extra curricular activities. There is something here for everyone. Many students choose to be involved in multiple programs and activities. Here at Summit students have those opportunities.”

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