About Us

Scottsdale Education Center has been providing high quality tutoring and test prep services to high school, middle school and elementary school families since 1999.


Over 40 Years of Teaching

Our Philosophy

SEC’s goal is to have every student become the best that they can be academically… whether that means graduation from high school…attending ASU, NAU or U of A… attending an out of state university….or acceptance to an Ivy League school. The primary goal of SEC is to provide structured programs to help bridge students to successful learning results through flexible individualized tutoring programs.

We provide a cadre of services to help our students reach their goals and highest potential. We encourage students to reach their full academic potential through preparation, confidence, and independence. We believe in providing skills that can be applied to many different academic areas, giving them true learning skills. Our programs focus on the specific needs of each student.

Hear more from our founders, Dave & Kim Duckworth

About US

Our History

Scottsdale Education Center has been providing high quality tutoring and test prep services to high school, middle school and elementary school families since 1999. It was founded by two Arizona Certified teachers. In 2007, David and Kim Duckworth, both Stanford University graduates, purchased SEC, and have seen the business grow to servicing over 1,400 students annually. We strive to guide students to attain academic success through a variety of tutorial services and classes. SEC’s secret to success has been hiring top practicing Arizona Certified Teachers who are experts in their fields. Collectively our tutors have over 200 years of teaching experience. This allows us to truly be a valuable resource to Arizona families.

Years Of Experience

Students Per Year

+ Certified Tutors

Our Facility

SEC’s headquarters is located in a 5,000 square foot facility in North Scottsdale. It hosts a Math/Science wing, an English/Writing wing, a classroom where SAT/ACT/PSAT and various summer classes are held, a foreign language room where we tutor Spanish, French, Latin and German, a conference room for confidential consultations and evaluations, an assessment and evaluation area and an elementary classroom. We have a private room for students who may have special learning needs. We have a library that includes over 750 books including over 100 current SUSD math, science, foreign language, and English textbooks, numerous reference books, and tapes. We have a rich supply of support materials for tutors that are aligned with AZ state and National standards (e.g. Arizona AIMS Buckle Down Series, Saxon Math, McDougal Littell Math Series, Larson Hostetler Edwards Series, etc.)

Our Certifications

SEC is a certified proctoring location for over 190 high school correspondence courses that are accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS) and Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and over 50 high school correspondence courses accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement as well as the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation.

High Standards

Quality Control

SEC maintains rigorous quality control measures that include regular monitoring of the success of our programs and tutors. A few of the methods that we employ, with parent permission, are monitoring grades for students, regular interfacing with teachers and counselors, semi-annual customer surveys, a website form for family comments, and we regularly check the web for local blog and customer satisfaction sites for ratings and concerns. We also check multiple sources before we hire tutors or administrative staff.

We have regular contact with parents and often do assessment tests and individual consults prior to assigning a student to a tutor. When a student starts with the Center, part of our administrative contract includes a goals sheet that helps confirm that the family’s objectives are understood and supported. At the beginning of each of our courses, we will confirm the students’ expectations and make certain that we address their concerns during the class. And we take great pride in our SEC Success Board in our Lobby that is regularly updated and chronicles the successes of our students and tutors. We also have a monthly Newsletter that provides ongoing communication with our families and tutors.

Over 200 Years of Teaching Experience

Our Educators

We employ many of the best, award-winning teachers in the area, all of whom are either current or retired AZ certified teachers, private high school instructors, or experts in their respective fields. Key awards include multiple Teacher of the Year recipients and Masters in Educational Leadership. Some of the special skills of our tutors include ESL endorsements, Pre IB/IB curriculum certifications, AP trained certifications, AZ certified AIMS class teachers and a high school college and career planning specialist.

Our outstanding staff resource includes Arizona Certified teachers (fingerprint clearance approved), certified diagnostic testing specialists with Let’s Go Learn and Summit Educational Group, and a high school career and college planning specialist. Our tutors collectively represent over 200 years of teaching experience and boast over 16 Masters’ degrees in areas such as Educational Leadership, Special Education, Educational Counseling, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Material Science, Electrical Engineering, School Psychology, and Educationally Technology.




Kim Duckworth

SEC co-owner and CEO since 2007 is responsible for Marketing, Human Relations and heavily involved with College Coaching at the Center. She has 16 years of successful entrepreneurial experience. She had a highly successful Executive Sales and Marketing Career with IBM for over 10 years in Silicon Valley and New York. She graduated from Stanford University ’78 with a BA in Communications Journalism and a second major in International Relations. Her success with College coaching includes not only placement at all Arizona in-state universities, but also Stanford, Columbia, USC, SMU, George Washington, University of Texas, BYU, etc. She volunteers time with the American Cancer Society and local children’s community theater arts groups.


David Duckworth

President and co-owner of SEC since 2007, David is responsible for General Operations and Financial Management. He has had a background as an entrepreneur in Scottsdale since 2003. Prior to that David worked for such firms as IBM, HP, and Sybase in Northern California. For over 16 years he was involved in executive management for businesses throughout California, Minnesota and Arizona He is a graduate of Stanford University ‘79 with a BS in Information Systems. Married for over 33 years, Dave has three daughters with his wife and co-owner, Kim and is an avid runner and Master’s swimmer. Scottsdale resident for 24 years.


Marcy Ross

Member of the Scottsdale Education Center Administrative Team since 2013, currently Operations Manager, responsible for scheduling and directing all students and staff.  She started as an Administrative Assistant and student at SEC.  She was also a lifeguard and swim team coach for the City of Phoenix for four years, working with kids of all ages and experience levels.  She attended Arizona State University Barrett Honors College for Nursing and Community Health, but has since transferred to Paradise Valley Community College to study business.  Marcy is a Phoenix native, and enjoys doing yoga and spending time with her dog, Axel, in her free time.


What Our Parents Say

My son has been attending this center since Freshman year in HS and it has done WONDERS for him. He also likes to go which is amazing to me. The teachers are very professional and they teach him so much in the 1 hour session each time. A great well organized educational center. I highly recommend to anyone!
The tutoring and homework support services are excellent! My son took the HSPT prep program and was very prepared for the exam. This is the best place to go when your child needs educational support. The staff is wonderful!