The Gardner School
of Nashville

The Gardner School of Nashville is significantly more than a traditional preschool or child care facility. Established in 2005, this Nashville preschool is proud to offer our award-winning childcare to the children and families of Music City. As a private, academically focused preschool that specializes in early childhood education, we cater to those families that want the best for their child. Our school is conveniently located in the Century City Business Park off of Elm Hill Pike and directly across from The University of Phoenix. At our Nashville campus, we offer year-round educational programs for full and part-time childcare for children six weeks old through private Pre-Kindergarten. In addition, we provide a full suite of enrichment classes and our summer camp, Camp Gardner.

Enrichment Programs Offered



For Ages: 18 Months +


For Ages: 18 Months +

Be Smart Computers

For Ages: 2 Years +


For Ages: 2 Years +


For Ages: 2 Years +

Amazing Athletes

For Ages: 3 Years +

Kid Balanced Karate

For Ages: 3 Years +

Advanced Computer

For Ages: 4 Years +

Nashville Campus Leadership

Vernise Wilson
School Director

How long have you been with TGS? 
Since September 2008

Roles Served with TGS:  
Teacher Floater, Assistant Teacher, Trainer, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Director, Executive School Director

What is your educational background? 
Majored in Education at Murray State University in Murray, KY.

What made you decide to have a career in education? 
I have always believed that educators have one of the most important jobs that exist, because they are preparing children for the world of learning. The greatest thing I can do is help someone’s life by teaching them how to learn effectively and enjoy it!

What makes you laugh about kids?
Just sitting and having a conversation with the kids about their day or what they did over the weekend always provides me with some good laughs.

What is your favorite part of the day at TGS?  
There are a couple of parts of the day that I really enjoy!!! Morning arrival time is that part of the day that you get to see the kids really excited about coming to school and what they are going to experience when they walk through the door.  Center Time it is always enlightening to listen to them play and learn from each other. Then there is the end of the day when they have that same excited look when they are sharing the day’s events with their parents.

What do you love most about TGS? 
The close relationships we have with each child under our care and their families. We see each child as a unique individual with a great capacity to learn. We have an environment where children and families from different cultural backgrounds feel welcomed and accepted. 

What inspires you? 
That we are providing children a rich environment where they feel safe to explore, initiate learning, and feel free to express themselves.

What does the term ‘Where Learning Begins’ mean to you?
The building blocks of learning are developed in the early stages of life and education is a lifelong process.  We are setting a strong learning foundation for our kids here.

How important is early childhood education? 
Early childhood education is very important! Preparation from early childhood education will follow these kids for years to come. When they are older students, they will still be incorporating these skills with their learning process.

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Erika Cole
Assistant Director

How long have you been with TGS?

Since January 2012.  I spent those six years working at both Brentwood and Franklin locations.

Roles served with TGS:

My roles with TGS have included everything from Teacher/Floater, Enrichment Coordinator, BeSmart Computers/Cooking Teacher, Music/Drama Teacher/Contractor, and Key Holder/Office Support.

What is your educational background?

I hold a Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music. My major was Vocal Performance, and my minor was English; Creative Writing. I graduated in May of 2011.

What do you love most about working with kids?

Kids are the BEST. They make me laugh and smile multiple times a day. My favorite thing about kids that makes me laugh is their honest facial expressions when trying new foods (infants), and when toddlers through Pre-K students break out in random dance parties.

What is your favorite part of the day at TGS?

My favorite part of the day at TGS is in the morning when the children are dropped off. I love when they are so eager to share a story with you, show you their new shoes, or give you a big hug! There’s truly nothing like our TGS family and sharing these special moments with each of our students and their families.

What do you love most about TGS?

I love that TGS is a place for kids to feel safe, happy, and to learn to grow in their confidence. I have seen so many students grow from 6-weeks-old to incredible 5-year-old children. Watching them grow is a gift that I feel truly blessed to be a part of.

What is your fondest memory of TGS thus far?

My fondest memory—how do I choose? I always love the spring musicals. Sharing the stage with the music students who work so hard to prepare a show is always a proud moment. They accomplish so much, and they are so proud. I love watching them beam in front of an audience! I also have a fond memory of a child giving me a hug, telling me my hands were cold, and offering to “hold my hands to keep them warm.” It was such a genuine, simple, and sweet reaction.

What is the funniest thing you’ve heard come out of the mouth of a TGS student?

The funniest thing I’ve ever heard come out of a child’s mouth was when the child accomplished writing his name for the first time and stated, “Wow! I am SO great. Anyone need help writing? I GOT THIS!”

What inspires you?

Being with coworkers who share the same drive to take care of children inspires me. I work with “superhumans” who have big hearts! 

What is your passion or passions?

My passion is sharing my positivity with children and adults in life. Whether it’s a song, sharing a laugh, offering advice, or an extra hand…if I can give a smile, it makes my heart grow…in size and pride.

What does our motto “Where Learning Begins” mean to you?

"Where Learning Begins" means that we, The Gardner School, have the job of planting seeds in children that will be the foundation for the rest of their lives. We have the responsibility to create interests, invest in young friendships, and share in happy memories!

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