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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 Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy, 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 Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy, 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

4.8 Rating based on 88 Reviews
Madeline W. • Yelp
October 13, 2021
I recently enrolled my daughter into Smaller Scholars Montessori. Her previous daycare was okay, but never made me feel like they truly looked at her as an individual. Some times she would come home messy, just little things yes, but things that as a mother bothered me. Not only did I feel like her previous daycare was overworked especially during the pandemic, I also felt like I was not getting the quality I had paid for. So I decided to make a change. I called many other Montessori schools but immediately felt so welcomed by Mrs. Darling just through our short phone call. When I came in to visit it was so welcoming and clean. The children were organized and happy and LEARNING! All the teachers and students just seemed to be happy in this peaceful environment. I received tons of info from Mrs. Darling and never felt pressured to enroll more like I was being welcomed into the Montessori family. I immediately enrolled my daughter. From day one she has loved going! She has made friends. Learned new things every day including good manners. She talks so highly of her teacher Mrs Mary! And those are the things that mean the most to me. You can just tell the staff take care of her as if she was their own child. I'm always updated if anything new happens that I need to be aware of. The staff are very transparent. I really couldn't be more grateful to find such a great place for my daughter especially at the height of a pandemic! And the cost is only slightly higher. But no money can overpower the value of feeling like my daughter is in a safe and loving environment. I appreciate Smaller Scholars Montessori and all their staff for everything they have taught my daughter and myself thus far. And look forward to the years to come knowing I have that peace of mind each and every day I drop her off.
Ri nicole • Google
September 21, 2021
shannen • Google
September 19, 2021
Unfortunately we didn't have the experience we wanted here. We were so excited for our son to go to a Montessori school but experienced many issues along the way. My sons teacher Ms Tarah is amazing and it definitely made the decision difficult when pulling our son from the program. However, he was never comfortable and even afraid of the classroom aids and this concerned us. We also seemed to have been treated differently by Darling I am not sure why but she always seemed irritated and short with us. It really impacted our experience here and made us not trust our son going to this school.
Bianca Wendell • Google
September 10, 2021
My 3 year old son started school here about 4 or 5 weeks ago. Some days he doesn’t even want to come home, he LOVES going to and being at school! He does 3 half days. Ms Darling is AMAZING. She somehow remembers all the kids names and their parents. Ms Tiffany is really sweet as well and she’s always willing to help. My son loves his teachers and I do as well. They’re always so nice and they often give me updates when I come to pick him up. I can tell they really care about all the children and that means the most to me. Overall our family has had such a positive experience and I’m so happy we decided to enroll our son here!

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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.