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Overview
  • Programs
  • Our Team
  • Reviews

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

Director

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 96 Reviews
Tracy
October 15, 2021
My son has been attending Small Beginnings for almost 7 years. He started at 3 months old in the infant room and moved from there to little toddlers, big toddlers, the 3-4 room, the pre-k room, and now is in the aftercare program. We love this school! It's very nerve wracking picking a daycare, and with three older kids I've had a variety of experiences. If you tour the school you will be impressed by the large, fun playgrounds, the gym, the science room, and the playrooms in general. But the thing that will make you want to stay forever is the staff. Everyone is always friendly, they take the time to learn who the kids are, who the parents are, and there is a real sense of community. The amount of patience, flexibility and just plain kindess is a tribute to their management. Right from the very beginning you feel like you've moved into a neighborhood with all nice neighbors. I think it's truly amazing that I've never had a negative experience with anyone on the staff, and NEITHER HAS MY SON. And my son is a handful, so that's a major accomplishment. I've had children at the Creme de la Creme, the Jewish Community Center, La Petite and Y-care. All of them had some great features, but they also all had some not so great things. Canterbury at Small Beginnings is the total package.
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Tracy Turner • Google
October 15, 2021
I am updating because my original review was 5 years ago. My son has been attending Small Beginnings for almost 7 years. He started at 3 months old in the infant room and moved from there to little toddlers, big toddlers, the 3-4 room, the pre-k room, and now is in the aftercare program. We love this school! It's very nerve wracking picking a daycare, and with three older kids I've had a variety of experiences. If you tour the school you will be impressed by the large, fun playgrounds, the gym, the science room, and the playrooms in general. But the thing that will make you want to stay forever is the staff. Everyone is always friendly, they take the time to learn who the kids are, who the parents are, and there is a real sense of community. Right from the very beginning you feel like you've moved into a neighborhood with all nice neighbors. I think it's truly amazing that I've never had a negative experience with anyone on the staff, and NEITHER HAS MY SON. And my son is a handful, so that's a major accomplishment. I've had children at the Creme de la Creme, the Jewish Community Center, La Petite and Y-care. All of them had some great features, but they also all had some not so great things. Canterbury at Small Beginnings is the total package. For warmth, location, a Montessori curriculum and a very fair price, you just can't beat Canterbury!!!
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Jagdeesh Subramanian • Google
September 13, 2021
Our daughter went to Small Beginnings for 3 years and we loved every bit of the experience. Our daughter grew so much in those 3 years and we have seen her learn so much and blossom from an infant to a mature toddler. The teachers were amazing in each of her classrooms. The staff at the front desk and the administrative staff always had a smile on their face and always open to questions. The cook took special care in preparing the meals and also helped as needed. We have only good things to share and will really miss the school, the staff and the kids as we have moved out of town!
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Jackie McGinnis • Google
August 04, 2021
My son loves attending Canterbury Academy Small Beginnings. He loves his teachers and has made many new friends. The small zoo of animals they have is awesome as well. We have to stop at every cage and tank along the way to his class every morning to say hello and every evening to say bye. It is truly a remarkable facility!
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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.