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Meet Us

Anya Torres, School Director
Anya Torres, School Director

Hello, my name is Anya Torres, and I am the Center Director at Cadence Academy Preschool in West Des Moines, Iowa. I started in management in August of 2008. To tell you a little about myself, I graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I believe that the first years of a child's life are incredibly important, and I am very happy to dedicate my career to helping as many children and families start their lifelong journey of learning here in our school! Before joining Cadence Academy Preschool I have worked as a teacher for the Des Monies Public Schools in both elementary and preschool classrooms. I live in Des Moines with my husband and our son, who also attends Cadence Academy. I really enjoy connecting with each family in our care and providing a wonderful environment that is educational, safe, and exciting each and every day. I also feel it is very important to help parents feel involved in our school, and we are always looking for new ways to communicate and connect with our parents from our free monthly family events, to weekly emailed lesson plans and announcements, as well as sharing moments of excitement and accomplishment all throughout the year. Welcome to the Cadence Academy family!

Erica Austin, Assistant Director
Erica Austin, Assistant Director

Hi, my name is Erica Austin and I am excited to be the new Assistant Director at Cadence Academy! I am originally from Johnston, IA, and graduated with my Associates Degree in Early Childhood from DMACC in 2007. In 2009, my husband and I moved to Iowa City and I taught 2’s for 4 years, then became the Assistant Director at the Cadence Academy in Iowa City. After my husband graduated from the University of Iowa in 2016, we moved to Pella, IA, where I have been the Lead Teacher in a classroom of 2 and 3 year olds. I am excited to be returning to the Cadence Academy family!

Elizabeth White, Teacher
Elizabeth White, Teacher

Hello! My name is Elizabeth. I have worked at this chool since September 2003. During my time here I have worked as an Assistant Director, a Lead Teacher in the Older Preschool, a Lead Teacher in the 2's classroom, and I'm now the Lead Teacher in the Younger Preschool! I received my Early Childhood Education Associates Degree from DMACC. I am also the Health and Safety Coordinator for this school! One of my proudest moments while working here was in April of 2008 when I received the Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Award! When I am not working at Cadence Academy, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Vinny, and my two sons, Jaxon and Carter. We enjoy spending time outside and cheering on the Hawkeyes during football season! Go Hawks! I look forward to getting to know you and your children this year!

Kathy VanAmburg, Teacher
Kathy VanAmburg, Teacher

Hi, my name is Kathy. I am the Lead Teacher in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom. My classroom is a partnership between Cadence Academy and the West Des Moines School District to prepare students to start school with confidence, learning skills, and an excitement for knowledge. I have worked here for over ten years now, and am experienced in working with all ages, but have mainly worked with 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Education from Upper Iowa University with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.

To tell you a bit about myself, let me start by saying that my family is important to me. I have a husband and two daughters, ages 15 and 12. We live in Norwalk and enjoy spending our free time doing anything outdoors. I can't wait to get to know you and your children!


Schedule a Visit: 515-989-6844
Enrolled Families: 515-225-1837

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Address & Directions

1809 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50265



Monday - Friday
6:30am - 6:00pm
Recognized as a Cadence Education 
School of Excellence

Recognized as a Cadence Education School of Excellence

Grand, West Des Moines, IA