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Canterbury Academy at Shawnee Crossings first opened its doors in 2006 and we strive every day to create an enriching preschool environment where children can blossom and grow.

Our caring staff utilizes a Montessori-based approach to education which gives our young students every opportunity to get the most out of these precious early years. Our students are encouraged to be active and creative explorers, as well as independent, self-confident, and inquisitive learners. Thanks to the flexibility built into our Ascend Curriculum, each child is educated as an individual and encouraged to progress at his or her natural ability while still reaching desired age-level goals.

Our Preschool’s Programs

  • Infants Daycare (ages 6 weeks to 1 year)
  • Toddler Daycare (ages 1 to 2.5)
  • Preschool (ages 2.5 to 4)
  • Pre-Kindergarten (ages 4 to 5)
  • School-Age Program – be sure to ask about our new school-age programs!

Our Montessori Philosophy

Our primary objective is to create enriching learning environments that encourage social, emotional, creative, and cognitive development. The Montessori-based Learning Centers we have in each of our daycare and preschool classrooms are continually filled with content-rich activities for young children to explore. 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 preschool and daycare 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.

Kindergarten Readiness

Ascend Curriculum LogoProviding your child an exceptional early education is a central part of our preschool’s promise to you. Our skill-based Ascend Curriculum allows us to work towards important milestones across 9 different subject areas every month. We start introducing important skills in our Infant and Toddler classrooms and continue to build valuable skill sets in our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs. 97% of our full-time Pre-K students tested at an advanced readiness level for kindergarten in 2017 and we will continue to focus on Kindergarten Readiness so that future classes will also be excited and ready for the big transition into elementary school.

Getting to Our Preschool

Cadence Academy at Shawnee Crossings is in western Shawnee just to the southeast of the intersection of the K-7 and Shawnee Mission Parkway. If you’re traveling on Shawnee Mission Pkwy, you’ll want to turn south on Hilltop Rd, then west on Midland Dr. If you’re on K-7, turn east on 75th St and immediately north on Midland Dr. Our preschool center is at 22900 Midland, Shawnee, KS 66226.

Our Team

Elsie Thurman

Elsie Thurman


Welcome to our school! My journey with early childhood began as a student at the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!), where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Education, emphasis in Early Childhood Education. I have been a director for the past 5 years and love meeting all the children and families in the community.

In my spare time, my husband and I like to travel with our two boys, Max and Leo, who make everything an adventure. I look forward to making Canterbury Academy your home away from home for your children!

Taylor McQuinn

Taylor McQuinn

Assistant Director

Welcome to Canterbury! I am from Maryville, Missouri and moved to Kansas City in 2016 with my husband, Jason, and dog, Winston. I obtained my degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Family Studies from Northwest Missouri State University. I have been a teacher in all age groups – I truly do not have a favorite!

In my spare time, I enjoy watching movies, traveling, and taking my fur baby on walks. My passion has always been working with young children. I look forward to watching them learn and grow!

Reviews from Parents

4.5 Rating based on 65 Reviews
Lindsay Dunn • Google
March 10, 2021
Staff is amazing! My daughter has loved coming here everyday! Administration is very quick to respond to emails, and very adequate at keeping parents up to date on the latest updates with their facility and daily happenings. I’m extremely glad that we chose this facility for our daughter.
J Daniels • Google
February 24, 2021
Amazing early learning center! Cannot say enough great things about Canterbury Academy at Shawnee Crossings. The teachers and administrators are kind, attentive and compassionate about early childhood education!
Ryan Thurman • Facebook
January 28, 2021
Great school and amazing staff! All : of my kids have learned so much attending Canterbury
Mathew Mcclintock • Google
December 16, 2020
Our toddler absolutely loves going to Canterbury Academy in Shawnee. The directors are great and she has loved all of her teachers! The development we've seen over the last year has been amazing. We can't wait for our youngest to start.

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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.