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What Makes Us Different?

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Happy, Well Adjusted Students

Our first goal each day is to make each day happy, fun and exciting.  This is your child's first school experience and we want it to be an AWESOME one!  We want you child to love to learn and to love coming to preschool.  We want each child to feel confident, comfortable and happy.  By having this as our goal, our focus and direction is on creating a positive environment.  We accomplish this through our own attitudes and direction, as well as fun and engaging games and activities.  When children feel loved and accepted, they are able to gain the confidence needed to adjust to the world around them and to help others gain confidence.

Academic Success

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Our second goal is for children to succeed academically.  We help children to reach their highest potential and then go further. This is accomplished because we teach to the individual child.  Each child is different and that understanding is KEY.  As we are able to individualize their learning, we are able to help each child succeed.  We believe each child has a world of potential.  Some may be more accomplished in alphabet and phonics, while others may be more accomplished in math or science.  Still other children may be prone to have advanced social skills or world knowledge.  We encourage success in all of these areas, and build on continued growth and achievement in the areas in which they shine.

Small Class Size

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Our classes are capped at 14 children, and our teacher to child ratio is 1:6. This enables us to individualize learning and gives us the opportunity to teach to each child and focus on their individual needs.  

Our Programs

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Our Programs are unique and different and are designed to not only benefit the whole child, but to prepare students for Kindergarten Readiness, Cultural Awareness, and to develop a lifelong love of learning.  


Our programs include:


3 and 4-year old Classes

STEAM for the Alphabet

Art in Motion

Pursuit of Knowledge

Phonics and Reading

To learn more about our Unique Programs, please visit our Programs We Offer Page or the individual Program pages.

One-on-One Learning Time for Pre-K Students

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Each Pre-K Student at Shining Stars Academy has a one-on-one learning appointment 1-2 times per week with our Director, Miss Sam.  This time is spent helping build on what individual children have learned, and helping them reach their full academic potential.  Material covered includes (but is not limited to) reading and math.

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Problem Solving Skills Taught

"Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it."  -Travis Kalanick

At Shining Stars Academy, we love to see children learn and grow together. For a child problem-solving is an important life skill they will need to develop so they are able to make healthy decisions for themselves. If a child is able to solve problems on their own, they will be happier, more confident and more independent; they will not feel frustrated or disheartened in their inefficiency. This is why it is important we begin teaching children problem solving skills from an early age.

Rather than being looked on negatively, problems help build character, resilience and perseverance. They afford us opportunities to see things differently and do things in a different way and evoke lateral thinking. A child who lacks problem solving skills may avoid trying new things, may ignore certain situations altogether or act rashly when presented with a problem.

We work to make sure your children are able problem solve.  And, while they are in our care, we offer them a positive, educational, and overall fun atmosphere! 

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Small Group Learning Opportunities

We believe that children learn well when they learn from each other.  Each day during Interactive Playtime, children of similar skill levels will have the opportunity to study math and alphabet concepts in a small-group setting with our Assistant Teacher. 

Periodic Performances to Build Self-Confidence

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We will have several performance opportunities throughout the year to build self-confidence and to share what we have learned through song and dance.  We do not 'force' children to perform, but instead ENCOURAGE them to share what they have learned.  Through these experiences, children gain self-confidence and strength and demonstrate satisfaction in a job well done.  It is truly a delight to watch children share what they have learned with their families.  

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Hands-On Application of Concepts Being Taught

At Shining Stars Academy, we believe in hands-on application.  70-100% of what we hear, see, say, and do we retain.

"Research shows and studies support that in order to get the best learning outcome possible, children need to actively and simultaneously use as many of their senses as they can when they learn and practice.  For example, if you are trying to teach a child a new word, the child should ideally see it, say it, hear it, and do it - all at the same time."  

-Heidi Butkus 

We implement hands-on application in many ways.  Examples may include doing a Peace Walk when learning about acceptance, or painting outside like Claude Monet. 

"Two of my favorite moments as a teacher came in the last few years, and it was during those moments that I realized that what I was doing was truly making a difference. 


The first moment came when I received the following text from a parent:

"We were driving down the street and I pointed to a guy in a hot dog costume.  I laughed and said, 'How funny that guy looks!' (My Child) looked at me and said, "Hey Mom, we shouldn't laugh at him, he looks awesome.  Miss Sam taught us It's Okay To Be Different!'

Thank you for that wonderful lesson!"

The second moment came when I was teaching a summer class about different countries of the world.  A sweet child looked up at me and said, 

"Miss Sam, it's like we're so close to the other parts of the world and these other - like countries of the world but we're far away, but it's like we're so close because we're learning about them." 

-Miss Sam

Fun and Exciting Field Trips

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Field trips are an excellent way to get involved in the community and experience what we learn hands-on.  We will participate in 4 field trips per year which will correspond to the subjects we are learning. 

Our Field Trips Include Trips to:


Fire Station - In House


Living Planet Aquarium 2024

Creative, Structured Learning Environment

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Children thrive on dependability and crave structure.  It is our goal to help children know when to share ideas, when to listen, how to accept others' ideas, and how to follow instructions.  Throughout our day, we provide opportunities for all of these needs.  We welcome the sharing of new ideas and input and we celebrate the ability to both share and listen.  In addition, our daily schedule provides opportunities for directed learning as well as open, free play and movement. Our art projects encompass both directed art as well as free, creative art.

Multiple Community Awards

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Shining Stars Academy is humbled to have been the recipient of multiple community awards including:

KSL A-List: Childcare Business of the Year 2014

KSL A-List: Childcare Business of the Year 2015

KSL A-List: Childcare Business of the Year 2016

KSL A-List: Childcare Business of the Year 2017

Best of Holladay: Best Children's Focused Business 2019

Best of SLC: Best Childcare 2021

Best of SLC: Best Childcare 2022

Best of SLC: Best Childcare 2023 Runner-Up

Check out our reviews on Google or Yelp to read why parents have repeatedly trusted and chosen Shining Stars Academy to teach and love their children.

Over 27 Years of Experience

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Miss Sam has over 27 years of experience and has loved EVERY minute of it.

"Preschool is my happy place"

-Miss Sam

To learn more about our staff, visit our Meet Our Staff page.

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