We first met Dana Herzberg in the fall of 2009. Our son Mick was diagnosed with slow processing and our doctor recommended we speak with Dana about his education.
At the time, Dana was the director of a small school for kids who learn differently. Mick had always been delayed with speech and motor skills but his ability to learn in a typical classroom was in question.
This new school seemed like a perfect fit. Dana’s vision brought us to the school and made us a fan for years to come.
Near the end of our son’s first grade year, Dana told the families that she was leaving and wanted to start her own school where she could develop the programs she had researched and believed in.
We met at a schoolmate’s home with a handful of families who believed in Dana and followed her to start her own school in the fall. My son along with one classmate were the first to attend The Jones Gordon School from first grade through high school graduation.
Dana hired only the best. The school was a nurturing place with incredible teachers who always thought outside of the box. Dana consistently tried to better the school through new programs for kids who learn differently.
She brought in specialists in different reading programs and took our kids on new adventures. This small school with a handful of kids grew to a school with 160 kids right here in Paradise Valley.
Over the years, there have been so many interested families wanting their kids to join, but Dana always took into consideration the learning differences and the personalities of the kids attending to make sure there was an academic and social connection in the classroom.
Dana has never been interested in seeing how big her school could be. She only wanted the best learning environment possible for those who are there.
As the school grew not only were the academics outstanding but a sports program was started along with clubs and dances. Over the years teachers have attended sporting events, plays and birthday parties outside of school hours and supported our kids in every way. The kids are honored for all achievements both academically and otherwise.
Many staff attended my son’s graduation party and came to the house to see him off before he left for college. Many are still checking in with him while he is away in Iowa at college to make sure he is doing well mentally, socially and academically.
When my son graduated in May of 2021 he was honored with a basketball backboard at the school and a “legacy” award. Basketball is his one true love and with the support of coaches and our athletic director he is a part of the Cornell Rams basketball program.
Every day, I drive down Doubletree road and smile as I look at the backboard he was honored with. The education he received at The Jones Gordon School prepared him for college, but the love and support he received from Dana and her staff gave him the self esteem he could only get from those who truly love and support him.
The Arizona Private School Tax Program helps many who can’t afford a private school education attend a school like this.