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Canterbury Academy at Small Beginnings offers families a unique Montessori-based educational environment where preschool, kindergarten, and elementary students thrive! We know that finding the right school for your child is an extremely important decision and we strive every day to provide children a well-rounded educational experience that will serve them for years to come.

Our Programs

  • Infant Daycare (ages 2 weeks to 1 year)
  • Toddler Daycare (ages 1 to 2.5)
  • Preschool (ages 2.5 to 4)
  • Pre-Kindergarten (ages 4 to 5)
  • Private Kindergarten
  • K-5 (ages 5 to 11) – for the 2020 – 2021 school year, we will be offering additional classes for structured small group education in a multi-age setting. New classes will be for grades K-2 and grades 3-5 as separate groupings. We are also offering a virtual/hybrid program to help students with virtual learning support according to local school district programs. We will partner with local school districts to follow learning plans and will help children stay on track with virtual learning.
  • Summer Camp (ages 5 to 12)

Our Montessori Philosophy

Our primary objective at Canterbury Academy is to create enriching elementary and preschool learning centers that facilitate extraordinary development. We believe that every child has the ability to learn and to teach, and that a child who enjoys learning will always seek challenges in life.

Our programs are based upon the Montessori principles of self-direction and experiential education. We promote a thoughtful and sensitive atmosphere in each classroom, and we support cooperation between children as they learn from one another. We have Montessori-based Learning Centers in each classroom, which ensure each child has numerous content-rich activities to explore at any given time. Our multi-age preschool classrooms enhance our learning environment by allowing children to develop at their own pace.

Kind Child

Kind Child LogoKindness is the foundation of our school culture and Kind Child has become a popular part of our curriculum. We introduce social and emotional skills each month and focus on the development of a specific character trait like Responsibility, Empathy, a Positive Self-Image, and Respect every two months. The goal of Kind Child is to elevate the well-being of every child in our care and to enrich friendships.

Our School’s Location

Canterbury Academy at Small Beginnings is conveniently located less than a mile east of the 69 Highway and can be reached by taking the exit at either 151st St or 159th St. Our address is 15801 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66223, but you’ll want to turn east onto 158th St from Metcalf Avenue to reach our parking lot. We share the southeast corner of Metcalf and 158th St with Bank of America and Tires Plus.

If you’re looking for before and after care for your elementary student, we provide transportation to and from Blue River Elementary School, Lakewood Elementary, Stanley Elementary, Stilwell Elementary, Sunrise Point Elementary, and Morse Elementary.

Our Team

Elizabeth Zsuzsics

Elizabeth Zsuzsics


I have been in early childhood education for over 12 years. I began my career as an Assistant Teacher at the Center for Child Development at Kansas State University while attending the university. It was there that I realized that early childhood education was my true passion. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences, I became a Lead Teacher at the Fort Riley Child Development Center and was later promoted to Assistant Director. I’ve been a Director since 2015.

I’m originally from the Overland Park Area and only left to further my education at Kansas State University. Go Wildcats!

I am a wife and a mother to a wonderful, busy little boy. My family is the most important thing to me and I spend all my spare time with them. We love to spend our weekends going to the farmer’s market and exploring all the Kansas City has to offer.

I love being an early childhood educator because I love being a part of educating our future. Children are truly a reminder to stop and smile every day. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Jackie Steranko

Jackie Steranko

Assistant Director

I have been with the Canterbury Family ever since I was a junior in high school, which is over 10 years ago now. I worked in multiple age groups (infants all the way through pre-K) until I switched into my role as an Assistant Director, where I have been for 4 years. I am currently Montessori certified and so close to finishing up my Bachelors in Child Development from Fort Hays University.

I am a mother to 3 wonderful boys who have all gone through the program here at Canterbury. My husband, children, and I currently reside in Overland Park and keep busy with many different sports activities!

My favorite part of my job is working closely with all my families and seeing that each and every child experiences success during their time here with us.

Marion Troast

Marion Troast

Lead Grade School Teacher

I have worked for Canterbury for 16 years. I started my career in 2000 as a Pre-K teacher and moved to the grade school program in 2003. I have seen many students pass through my classroom door and I am proud to say that I have given them the foundation to be successful students. I graduated from Bowling Green State University, have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and hold a directors license in Kansas.

I have been married for 24 years and have 2 wonderful sons. I am proud to say my oldest son serves in the United States Army and my youngest is a Physical Education teacher and high school soccer coach. I have 2 wonderful grandchildren and a big dog named Boss. I enjoy shopping (especially for antiques) and attending sporting events. I am a crazy KU fan and love Kansas basketball!

When I was hired at Small Beginnings, the director said I want this job to be your career. I am proud to say I have done just that! The best part of my job is hearing from past families. Hearing that their child is successful in school makes my job extremely rewarding!

Tanya Adams

Tanya Adams

Lead Preschool Teacher

I have been working for Canterbury for 11 years. I have worked with age groups from infants to Preschool. I am Montessori certified and have my first aid and CPR certification too.

I am a mother to 3 boys who are so much fun and who have grown up in the Canterbury Schools. I live in a small town and love to hang with family, ride horses and 4 wheelers. I love working with my families and building a strong relationship with each child and family.

Reviews from Parents

4.7 Rating based on 87 Reviews
Delaney Gordon • Google
April 01, 2021
If you are looking for a safe, educational, and fun place for your child to go to school, I would definitely recommend Canterbury! The teachers and staff are wonderful, kind, answer all of your questions and are so personable with every pick up, drop off, and phone call! Plus our son just loves going to school! His teachers pay attention to where he excels and challenge him, but also nurture the areas where he struggles. We literally could not ask for more from this school! He is excelling beyond what we could have imagined ahead of starting kindergarten and we have Canterbury to thank for that!
Cheetha Banks • Google
April 01, 2021
All staff we have dealt with have been courteous and professional. My little one has LOVED all her teachers and clearly learns more everyday. Her conversations on the way home are full of tales of adventure and learning. The indoor gym is huge plus for helping her expend energy when weather is not accommodating for outdoor activities.
Amber Hamilton • Google
March 10, 2021
Every positive thing a parent would want in a learning environment/school!! The front staff is phenomenal and personable. The teachers (shout out Mrs.A) help grow and nurture while still having fun!! Liz and Jackie are always on top of questions or information ! This school is 15/10 would recommend time after time!!! Our daughter absolutely loves and looks forward to going to class!
Aasha Cunningham • Facebook
February 24, 2021
My son is in one of the toddler classrooms at Canterbury and we love it! He is so happy there and learns SO much. I am constantly amazed at his growth. The staff does a very good job at communicating to parents via email and via phone when necessary. All the classrooms have multiple iPads to keep the parents updated about their child throughout the day through an app. I look at it multiple times a day while at work, I can always count on a smiling picture of my boy! With the pandemic this year, Canterbury has done a great job at keeping the children safe and keeping the parents informed. Staff and teachers are so sweet and genuinely love and care for the children. Highly recommend.

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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.