Herzberg: doing right by them — and the Town of Paradise Valley

Not every child learns the same way, especially when faced with learning or attention challenges, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or other learning differences that can make learning in traditional schools difficult.

All communities benefit when their children are given the opportunity to succeed. This is why the Jones-Gordon School came to be. The results have been remarkable, and we are proud to be an innovator for such education.

From first grade to high school, we have created an environment that makes all the difference for children and their parents.

When we learned that Tesseract was leaving and selling its site at Tatum and Doubletree, we saw it as an opportunity to better serve our students, who we currently educate in Scottsdale.

Many Paradise Valley families have attended Jones-Gordon or used On-Track Tutoring (both divisions of Herzberg Education Services, Inc.) over the years, and the community already has a rich history with similar grade levels and a renowned private school at Phoenix Country Day School.

Our move is being made possible by the generosity of local Paradise Valley residents Chuck and Anita Theisen, who own Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale. They have a son who attends our school and have already purchased the former Tesseract site.

Readers may recognize not only those names but also the superb job they did transforming a tired office building into their showroom on Scottsdale Road that also doubles as an architectural jewel. Such achievement is relevant because the Tesseract site has not recently been well maintained and currently sits abandoned.

Tesseract was allowed to have as many as 340 children in preschool through eighth grade.
We are seeking to eliminate the preschool and kindergarten levels and add 60 high school students for an overall student enrollment of approximately 160 students.

Thanks to valuable feedback from the Planning Commission, and area residents, we have agreed to many stipulations regarding the number of high school students who can drive to school (only 20), where they can park (only in our parking lot), extracurricular activities (outdoor ones off-site), and other matters.

Some neighbors have embraced us, while others have not.

To them I would say this: to date, we have had zero problems on our Scottsdale site with the surrounding neighbors. We attribute this to our community of families who are dedicated to our mission.

Despite high tuition, our families understand the importance of what we provide, and are committed to helping us maintain our high standards, both within our classrooms and as part of our surrounding community.

I imagine the case is the same with Phoenix Country Day, which has four times as many students and a similar tuition. With collaboration, conversation, and cooperation, there is no doubt in my mind we can achieve a positive outcome for all, most importantly for some of the most vulnerable children in our community.

Paradise Valley is a town of exception — exceptional people, homes, businesses, and community. And our small school is indeed exceptional, especially for the families that call it home.

Editor’s note: Ms. Herzberg is founder and head of school at The Jones-Gordon School.

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