Dear Prospective Family,

Thank you for your interest in learning more about Shepherd of the Desert. Research shows that participation in a high-quality early childhood program is a strong indicator of future success.  We understand that development is not linear and children do not develop at the same rate—each child’s trajectory is as unique as each child!

Our school serves families with children 18 months through 5 years old.  Our goal is to provide a learning environment staffed with loving and nurturing adults who expose students to the necessary skills that they need to be successful in any program/school upon graduation.  This is accomplished through the implementation of age appropriate, hands-on learning experiences which focus on all areas of learning:  Cognitive, Social, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual.  

At Shepherd, our staff understands that children learn best when they are engaged in activities geared toward their developmental levels, prior experiences, interests and needs.  These activities, when facilitated by caring adults, build a foundation that provides the basis for understanding concepts in language, literacy, math, science and the arts.  Our goal is to inspire students to become life-long learners both spiritually and academically.

In our 38 years of Christian education, Shepherd of the Desert has touched thousands of families.  Each student who enters our facility grows spiritually, socially, emotionally, and academically by working together, asking questions, and exploring the world around us. 

I would personally love to share with you all of the great things that are happening here at Shepherd of the Desert and welcome you into our family!  Please feel free to contact the preschool office at (480) 860-0488 to arrange a tour of our campus or allow us to answer any questions that you may have about our program.  

Serving THE Shepherd,

Jen Marmaduke
Preschool Director

Who We Are

Shepherd of the Desert Preschool serves children 18 months to five years old, offering half-day, full-day, with two, three or five days/week class options.  Before and after-care is also available to our families on a regular or as-needed basis.  At Shepherd of the Desert Preschool, we work with you and your child’s schedule to provide the most appropriate and convenient education experience in our loving, Christian environment.


Shepherd of the Desert Preschool is a non-profit, Christian preschool partnered with Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church.  Our mission at Shepherd of the Desert Preschool is to lead people to follow Jesus and provide the premier Christian educational experience focused on advancing academics for children ages 18 months through 5 years old.  Your child will have the opportunity to know and experience the unconditional love of Jesus through Bible stories, prayer, songs, and weekly chapel time. Our program enhances cognitive, social, emotional language, and physical development in a hands-on, center-based STEM inspired environment.


At Shepherd of the Desert, our goal is to provide a loving environment and facilitate a positive introduction to formal education.  We believe a child’s first school experience is important because it lays the foundation for all future educational experiences.  Therefore, we offer an encouraging atmosphere conducive to individual growth and development.  We believe that each child is a unique gift of God, and our approach involves the whole child recognizing that each one develops at his or her own pace.  We strive to create an environment that is safe, loving, and rich in opportunities for learning and growth through age appropriate, hands-on activities.


Shepherd of the Desert Preschool is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services.  In addition, we have earned EXEMPLARY STATUS ranking through the National Lutheran Accreditation commission on multiple different times in the history of our program.  Accreditation is granted when nationally-recognized criteria for high-quality programs have been met.  Extensive self-study and validation visits are required to complete this process.  Lutheran School Accreditation encourages and recognizes Lutheran schools and preschools that provide quality Christian education and engage in continuous academic and ministry improvement, and we are honored to be recognized for this achievement.

Out of the more than 2,500 LCMS schools nationwide, only five percent have been honored with EXEMPLARY STATUS recognition.  This honor is earned every five years, and we look forward to continuing to improve our program in order to maintain this achievement.


The staff at Shepherd of the Desert uses a variety of ways to keep families informed of the events and activities that occur throughout the day during the school year. Each day your child attends school, parents have the opportunity to interface with teachers and staff at drop-off and pick-up.  Teachers also compose and send daily emails to families letting them know what happened in the classroom that day, including photos of different activities and centers.  We also have an “open-door” policy which allows parents of an enrolled child access to our facility any time during our hours of operation.  In additional, parent/teacher conferences are scheduled twice throughout the school year to assess and keep families updated on their child’s progress.

Get Started on Enrollment Today!