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About Cadence Academy Kenton

Welcome to Cadence Academy Preschool, Kenton in Huntersville, NC. Previously known locally as Gateway Academy, we are proud to be a four-star accredited preschool and childcare center helping Huntersville children reach their full potential. Our early childhood learning center has been a part of the Lake Norman community since August 2001. We offer child care and exciting educational programs for children ages six weeks old through Pre-Kindergarten. Students love learning through play in our interactive classrooms and on our expansive, modern playgrounds. And, as elementary schools are altering schedules, we are here to serve your needs and the needs of your school-aged children with enhanced programs to help with virtual learning sessions and more.

We also participate in the Meck Pre-K program which provides quality preschool education for qualified families. To learn more and to apply for the Meck Pre-K program, click HERE.


Our Early Childhood Education Programs

With more than 30 years of child care and early childhood education experience, our experienced team of teachers enthusiastically creates lesson plans that promote an enriched learning environment for every age group.

We offer the following preschool programs:

  • Infant Daycare (ages 6 weeks to 1 year). In our infant daycare program, we have designed our partnership approach to involve even the busiest parents in their child’s first learning experiences.
  • Toddler Childcare (ages 1 to 2). Your child will start to discover new things through our theme-based curriculum that encourages play, language, and discovery.
  • Early Learners (ages 2 to 3). In this early learners program, our skilled team of educators cultivates all areas of early childhood development through comprehensive early learning curriculum.
  • Preschool (ages 3 to 4). Our preschool program helps your child to participate in stimulating learning experiences such as puppet play, storytelling, and gardening.
  • Pre-Kindergarten (ages 4 to 5). To prepare for elementary school, we immerse our Pre-K students in a comprehensive curriculum that ensures their readiness to succeed in Kindergarten.
  • School-Age Program (ages 5 to 12). Our before and after school program features homework help and free transportation to and from local schools.
  • Summer Camp Programs (ages 5 to 12). In this program, children have the opportunity to see new environments, meet new friends, and enjoy new experiences.

Our Philosophy

We believe that to ensure a child’s success in school and life, you must provide them with the right tools often and early, including fun, engaging activities; caring, qualified teachers; and, a safe, secure learning environment.

What Makes Our Preschool in Huntersville, NC Unique

At Cadence Academy Preschool, Kenton we give parents with peace of mind by offering children an exceptional education every fun-filled day in a setting as nurturing as home. We offer part-time schedules and half-days too.

We are proud to offer what we believe is the best preschool in Huntersville, North Carolina. We deliver a preschool and pre-kindergarten curriculum developed specifically to meet and exceed the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Certified early childhood educators lead our classes, where each child has an individualized learning plan in a low student-to-teacher ratio classroom setting. In fact, our classes are the perfect way to build a foundation for future academic success.

Our caring staff provides excellent parent communication via Facebook, My Week at a Glance, and Monthly newsletters that we email to all families. We also offer Parents Night Out each quarter, which gives parents the opportunity to go out for an evening without worrying about finding a babysitter.

More About Our Early Childhood Learning Center

Cadence Academy Preschool, Kenton is located at 16420 Sedgebrook Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina, 28078. You can find us at the corner of Sedgebrook Lane and in the Kenton Place Business Park, directly across the street from Lowes Foods grocery store. We are conveniently situated near several area elementary schools: Cornelius Elementary, JV Washam Elementary, Barnette Elementary, Torrence Creek Elementary, and Community School of Davidson.

Our Team

Ashleigh Tilton

Ashleigh Tilton

Assistant Director

My name is Ashleigh Tilton and I have been the Assistant Director at Cadence Academy Kenton for 2 years now. I have worked at Kenton for over five years and started out as an assistant teacher in our Preschool 4 room and then moved to be the Lead Pre – K teacher. I have over 9 years of experience working in the early childhood field and began my career in New Hampshire where I attended Granite State College and received my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I currently am going to school to further my education in the Early Childhood Field. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our daughter. We love to travel and exploring new areas around us.

Jen Christenbury

Jen Christenbury


We are very excited to share that Ms. Jen is our first National Teacher of the Year for Cadence Education!

Congratulations to Ms. Jen who has been with our school for more than 18 years and has the highest kindergarten readiness scores for all our schools in NC! She is continually mentioned in family reviews and feedback for exceeding expectations and for going above and beyond for her students and families.

These are some of our favorite quotes about Ms. Jen:

“Ms Jen … is amazing! She shows such compassion, yet also teaches them self-reliance, respect, and discipline. She celebrates their victories and helps with their challenges. My daughter is very ready (if not overly) for kindergarten, and I have to give Ms Jen the credit for that!

“I am so grateful for Ms. Jen, I know she is pouring love and positivity into my son and every other child, I hear things like “Ms. Jen is so proud of me”, “Ms. Jen told me I can do anything”, “Ms. Jen makes me happy”, all the time. Ms. Jen creates an environment that kids want to be in and want to learn in. My son is so excited every day to go to school and as a parent I couldn’t ask for more.”

“Ms. Jen is not only preparing these little kids for the next step in their education but more importantly she celebrates and encourages their individuality and is teaching them to be good people. Thank you for the wonderful gift to my child that is Ms. Jen!”

We are so lucky to have Ms. Jen as part of our team.

Reviews from Parents

4.5 Rating based on 70 Reviews Leave A Review
Karyn Carter • Google
Both of my children have been going to Cadence since they were infants. The teachers are professional, interested in my children’s development, attentive, and make learning fun. They understand each child is different and take time with each child to help them grow and build confidence in themselves. Covid brought challenges and throughout the entire process the school kept parents informed on status and precautions taken to safely reopen. I highly recommend Cadence! You will be so impressed with the teachers and your child’s development!
Brittani McMillian • Google
We have had the best experience at Cadence Academy! We recently located back to the area and our sons, ages 4 and 2, are excited everyday to go to school. The beginning of our time here was a little bit of an adjustment for our two year old, as there were a lot of changes in our life. The staff was so patient with him to help him feel comfortable. He is now running from the car to join his class! The activities that are planned by the teachers amaze me. My sons come home talking nonstop about what they learned, songs they sing, and how much fun they had with their friends and teachers. I strongly feel that our 4 year old will be ready for Kindergarten. I am so pleased with our decision to join Cadence. My husband and I feel so fortunate that my children are well taken care of and are learning and retaining more than I imagined!!
Brittany Richardson • Google
This place is a wonderful place to work and bring your children. I love coming to work here everyday! The teachers and team of administrators are an absolute joy to work with. If you are thinking about a place to bring your children that cares about each child individually, this is the place!
Alyssa Yardley • Google
As a first time mom I was skeptical and nervous about which daycare to choose - especially when my husband and I had to enroll our son at 12 weeks - but I can tell you without a doubt we made the best choice for him (and us) when we enrolled him at Gateway. Throughout the process Ashleigh (Asst Dir) was super helpful and always made us laugh - even when as a Mom on maternity leave I called crying about what to bring and how to handle this change - she took it all in stride and made me feel way less crazy than I felt. Not to mention Miss Nika and Miss Jay are absolute rockstars and we are certain they give our son the best possible care with plenty of attention and love. Our son has only been there for two weeks but he has already started sleeping better at night and can soothe himself so quickly when he startles that we don't even have a chance to pick him up if we wanted to. We knew that daycare would help to accelerate all his milestones and we can't wait to see how much he grows with the help of Gateway and their staff. Thank you for taking care of our little man!

Cadence Academy Preschool

Huntersville, NC

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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.