Once located in the middle of the desert many miles from town, Thunderbird Adventist Academy is now an oasis of green grass and citrus trees in the middle of Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale is an upscale suburb of Phoenix—the nation’s sixth largest city—and is known for its unlimited shopping opportunities, challenging golf courses, family-friendly parks, and fantastic restaurants in the midst of the desert Southwest.
In 1900, the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists established an elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona. After several years, it developed into an intermediate school. As the membership of the conference grew, the student enrollment of the school increased until the need for an academy was strongly felt. Originally named Arizona Academy, the school began in 1920 when six acres of land were purchased northeast of Phoenix. That summer, two dormitories were constructed with space for classrooms in the basements and first floors of these buildings.
Thunderbird Adventist Academy 1956
In 1953, the conference purchased Thunderbird Army Airbase Number Two from the U. S. government. The school was relocated to the former airbase on nearly 800 acres of land and renamed Thunderbird Academy. Classes, student and staff housing, and all other activities were originally held in the barracks and hangers left behind by the army.
Over the years, property has been sold to finance various buildings and improvements. New classrooms, an administration building, dormitories, and a cafeteria were built in the 1970s, and most of the old army buildings were torn down.
Thunderbird Adventist Academy 1960-61
A thriving industrial program provided employment for students up until the late 1990s and early 2000s when the furniture factory, laundry, and packaging business were sold. In addition, the name was changed once again in 1973, adding “Adventist” to the name to help clarify the school’s identity.
In 2011 the Alumni Awards Foundation decided to adopt Thunderbird as the inaugural school in its Renaissance Network. AAF, according to its website, “is composed of volunteers willing to fund, advance and sustain greater excellence to Adventist schools.
Thunderbird Adventist Academy 2013
” They “seek to honor and preserve the uniqueness of Adventist education, which aims to impart far more than just academic knowledge, by encouraging students to seek truth, develop character, and foster a friendship with God.” The Renaissance Network is, according to the same website, “a program that allows certain schools to step outside of the traditional system of governance and management for the purpose of becoming a Center of Excellence. This initiative is intended to improve the level of accountability, oversight, support, and expertise that is currently provided in existing Seventh-day Adventist schools.”
MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS
Thunderbird Adventist Academy is a safe Christ-centered educational community that promotes spiritual growth, academic excellence, social maturity, and healthful living. *Inspired by Luke 2:52: “And Jesus Increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”
Thunderbird Adventist Academy embraces a philosophy that maintains education is a preparation for life – life in its present and eternal context, recognizing God as the source of all knowledge and wisdom.
Our vision is to EXCEL:
Thunderbird Adventist Academy believes in the uniqueness and value of the individual and is committed to challenging each student to:
"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6
Thunderbird Adventist Academy
7410 E. Sutton Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260