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Cadence Academy Montessori, previously Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy, Gilbert offers families in the East Valley of Phoenix an exceptional Montessori education. Our school is open year-round and maintains low student-teacher ratios in our classrooms to ensure we are providing your child the best possible early educational experiences. We also offer a Private Kindergarten program.

Our Mission

The mission at Cadence Academy Montessori, Gilbert is to provide children with a Montessori environment that nurtures and encourages them to grow intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically. We help children develop the foundational habits, attitudes, skills, and ideas which are essential for a lifetime of creative thinking and learning.

Kind Child

Kind Child LogoKindness is the foundation of our school’s culture and our directors, teachers, and staff are committed to practicing kindness in their daily interactions with one another and with each child. We want every child to feel welcome and at home at our preschool and we encourage our students to develop important social-emotional skills and valuable character traits as part of our Kind Child program. Our school regularly hosts Kind Child events including our annual Trike-A-Thon, which raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Staff and Faculty

Our staff is dedicated to encouraging self-directed, competent, caring, and enthusiastic learners. All of our lead teachers are Montessori certified and have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, all teachers and assistants are CPR and First Aid certified. We provide on-going support and training for all staff members. We are extremely proud of our professional and caring team of teachers and administrators at Cadence Academy Montessori, Gilbert. They make a difference!

Arizona Tax Credits

Arizona allows you to turn your state taxes into tuition scholarships for children attending private school. You can support your friends and family in their educational choices by making a donation to Arizona Tuition Connection. Your state tax liability is then turned into scholarships.

By choosing this tax credit program, you take control of your taxes. For full details on all of the rules of donating and how your funds can be used, visit

Our Team

Tiphanie Reed

Tiphanie Reed

Assistant Director

My name is Tiphanie Reed.

I was born in Japan and raised in Kearney, Arizona. I have 2 young children and currently reside in Apache Junction.

I have worked with children for 9 years. I have held the titles of both Teacher and Assistant Director. I completed my Montessori Primary 3-6 Certification in May 2016. I am excited to apply my newfound knowledge as a Certified Montessori Teacher.

I am happy to be a part of the Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy family serving the children and families of Gilbert.

Darling Hall

Darling Hall

Head of School

Hello, my name is Darling Hall and I am proud to be your Montessori Academy Director.

As an educator and mother I know that finding the right early childhood program for your family is one of the most important decisions you can make. At Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy we believe in nurturing our children academically, socially and emotionally. It is our mission to encourage our children to develop a life time love of learning. We offer a Montessori setting that inspires children to be explorative, inquisitive and curious about the world around them.

Our beautiful campus is secure and clean, complete with security coded entrances and surveillance cameras in every classroom and on every playground. Our school holds 2 playgrounds, basketball court and lovely garden. Your child will love learning in our Montessori works enriched classrooms. Our Certified Montessori teachers are First Aide & CPR certified and we conduct regular background checks. We offer an open door policy to all our enrolled families that allows for our parents check in on their children regularly.

Our children LOVE coming to school because we make learning a fun and explorative processes. We believe in positively reinforcing academic and social success as a behavior management guide and celebrating children when they make great choices.
As your Montessori Academy Director it is my dedication to provide your children with the absolute BEST Early Childhood Educational experience. We invite you to stop by our Guadalupe and Mc Queen location for a complimentary Day of Discovery. We are conveniently located 2 blocks south of the US 60 on the SW corner of Guadalupe and McQueen in Gilbert AZ. We look forward to making you a part of the Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy Family.

Reviews from Parents

4.7 Rating based on 89 Reviews Leave A Review
Dalia Elkabli • Google
1st thing that caught my eye was how super clean this school. My 3 year old has been enrolled now for 6 weeks and he has been healthy the entire time. He started with a rough week at drop off times due to separation anxiety but warmed up very quickly to the friendly and caring staff.. now he can't wait to get to school in the morning. Thank you miss Patricia, Mss Darling, and miss Tiffany for your great job.
Hoda Williams • Google
I am giving this school 5 starts thus far. My husband and I toured over six schools and came down to choosing Smaller Scholars. Ms. Darling was extremely thorough and super informative during the tour. She was able to answer all my questions and with detail. During her first day, Ms. Darling called not only myself, but also my husband to tell us how our daughter's day was going, what she ate, what she did and how engaged she was. This spoke volumes. The school is primarily Montessori inspired. Although only the teachers are Montessori certified, not the school itself. This does not concern me. I am Maria's biggest fan and advocate. Not having a school Montessori certification does not speak about the value and quality of the school itself. We will continue to take mental notes throughout the year and will be coming back to let everyone know how my daughters school year went. I know how important these school reviews are! Until next time!
Jennifer Eastman • Google
We recently started our 22 year old month son here and we are absolutely thrilled with this program. Our son has stayed home with me until this point, and has never been in a school environment, so we were really worried about his transition. He transitioned flawlessly, and feels so comfortable in his classroom. It is so sweet to see him be excited for school and to walk in independently carrying his little lunch bag. The teachers and the director are wonderful, and take the time to communicate individually with parents. I absolutely love and look forward to the updates I receive throughout the day, and despite COVID restrictions, I really feel a part of his classroom. Our son comes home happy, and we are so blessed he is receiving early education that incorporates practical living skills, independence and pride in self. Smaller Scholars really feels like a family to us, and we are so lucky we found them. I cannot wait to watch our son continue to flourish.
Rachel Pike • Google
We highly recommend Smaller Scholars! All of the teachers have been so kind and nurturing to our little one. The Director, Ms. Darling, and her staff are dedicated to every child and it shows. The environment is bright, cheerful and clean. They also use an app that sends updates and pictures throughout the day, too. You will not be disappointed!

Cadence Academy Montessori

Gilbert, AZ

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Preparing Your Child to THRIVE

Your child is unique, and we are happy to provide an educational, fun and nurturing environment where each child can develop and thrive in order to build a bright future with unlimited possibilities.