When you enter the welcoming doors of Highland Academy preschool and daycare in Ponderay, the sound of music and laughter fills the air and the joy of both children and staff is evident.
As an academic daycare and preschool that specializes in hands-on education, art and music, Highland Academy enriches the lives of children as young as six weeks through five years of age.
Owners Kimberlie and Austin Clark purchased the daycare, where Kimberlie had worked as a manager, in April of 2015.
“I have been a part of this daycare since 2012,” said Kimberlie. “I worked as manager, so when the opportunity came for my husband and I to buy the business, we had such a smooth transition. Parents were familiar with me, and it wasn’t shocking and scary to be under new ownership.”
With a Bachelors of Arts in Education from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Kimberlie teaches lessons to the pre-school children, and she and her staff ensure that the children are constantly surrounded with activities that help them develop educationally, physically and socially.
“We love music and art. The messier the art, the more fun we have,” said Kimberlie. “We also have a piano in the center of the building. It’s used for lessons, dance time, circle time and much more.”
At Highland Academy, the children are taught sign language on a daily basis, just one of the things that makes the school so unique.
Kimberlie said they offer an after-school program as well as a summer program for children up to age 9. In addition, they provide school bus drop-offs and pick-ups from various schools in the area. “We are open Monday through Friday from 5:30am to 6pm with occasional Saturdays and Friday night date nights by reservation.”
Safety is something Highland Academy takes very seriously. “Our facility is considered a locked facility. That means all of our outer doors remain locked at all times. Only parents and guardians of children in attendance have a personal code to get inside the facility. This is for the safety of the children,” said Kimberlie, adding that all teachers are pediatric CPR certified and go through background checks. “I’m extremely picky about who I hire.”
At Highland Academy, it is a priority to make sure the children receive the physical activity that kids crave. They recently installed a new playground with a nine-inch deep covering of certified playground wood chips, which goes a long way in the prevention of accidents. And with the reality of living in the climate of North Idaho, they have also an indoor playground as well as an indoor climbing wall.
Kimberlie is passionate about her work with children and is grateful to many for the support she has received in furthering her mission at Highland Academy.
“God has given me the strength and knowledge to run this business,” said Kimberlie. “My husband, Austin, has been my rock. He is employed elsewhere in law enforcement, but he is always available to help and support me.”
She is also grateful to the previous owners for creating such a wonderful place for children to thrive. And, of course, there are the teachers with whom she works.
“I have an amazing staff! Most of them have been with me since I became owner,” said Kimberlie. “They always strive to make Highland Academy a loving place.”
Kimberlie invites those interested to call and arrange for a tour.
30736 Highway 200, Ste 101
Ponderay, ID 83852