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Taylorsville Journal

Taylorsville day school has been quietly owned and operated by the same family nearly a half century

Jan 31, 2022 02:52PM ● By Carl Fauver

Taylorsville mother and daughter Linda and Becca Lucas (L-R) have been operating World of Wonder Day School for more than 45 years. But Linda’s great granddaughter, Ivie, has only been around for the last two. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

One of the longest-established businesses in Taylorsville doesn’t have a flashing neon sign on Redwood Road. In fact, tucked in a quiet cul-de-sac just east of Redwood (near 6500 South), World of Wonder Day School’s only sign is the small one owner Becca Lucas props against the family mailbox outside their home.

“We only put it out in September at the start of the school year,” Lucas said. “And we make sure all the kids’ names are on it.” 

A full 20 years before Taylorsville incorporated – the same fall (1976) when Jimmy Carter was elected President – Becca’s mom, Linda Lucas, opened what was then called “World of Wonder Preschool.”

“Just a few months earlier (March 1976) we moved into this home and Becca was born,” Linda explained. “It was a busy time to start a preschool. But I had graduated from Utah State University in early childhood development, and had always wanted to run a preschool. So, I opened it – and we’ve never closed.”

That kind of longevity has led to the Lucas’ – “Miss Linda” and “Miss Becca” to their students – being invited to a number of former students’ high school and college graduations, mission farewells and weddings.

“I went to four (former students’) weddings just last year,” Becca added. “And I have two kids now whose mom I taught.”

Technically, Becca is a third-generation part of the World of Wonder legacy. When Linda, opened the school in 1976, Becca was tended by Linda's mom, “Miss Cookie.”

“My mom didn’t actually work for the school, because she was busy tending Becca upstairs,” Miss Linda said. “But she was around the kids enough that they knew Miss Cookie.”

The school officially changed names in the late 1990s – about the time Becca was taking over for Linda as the primary owner and operator – from World of Wonder Preschool to World of Wonder Day School. What’s the difference?

“That just means we now have older kids, up to fifth grade, that we drive to and from school each day,” Becca explained. “Parents drop their kids as early as 6 a.m. I now have eight kids I get ready for school each morning.”

In the midst of all the chaos, Becca also found time to raise her son Skyler, 27, who now has a master’s degree and is a success out on his own. Then she accepted another challenge in 2008 when she adopted her son Cole, 13, at birth.

“I knew Cole’s birth mother and family through the preschool and knew they needed help,” Becca explained. “Because of the circumstances of his birth, we knew he would probably have health issues. But it’s been more than I expected. He’s like having 50 kids, because of all of his medical issues. But somehow, I knew he was supposed to be mine. I’ve never regretted (adopting Cole) for a moment.” 

Becca prefers not to discuss her son’s medical issues in too much detail. She does say he has had on-going intestinal issues since he was a baby. He also had a severe bout with COVID-19 a year ago that landed him in the hospital for a couple of nights. And, at age 7, he had a tumor removed.

“Cole has been to Primary Children’s Hospital so many times he has a whole team of doctors there who know him,” she explained. “They have told me many times he would likely be dead if I had not adopted him.”

But Becca is also quick to point out, despite her son’s medical challenges, life is mostly good.

“Cole is a straight A student in seventh grade at American Heritage of South Jordan,” she said. “He loves to sing and dance. He’s anxious to try out for the school’s prestigious Alliance Dance Team next year. He practices with them three days a week now.”

According to their website (, American Heritage of South Jordan is “a traditional pre-kindergarten through 12th grade private school. (Their) vision is to provide every student with the values, knowledge and skills to become independent, lifelong learners – to make a positive contribution to society. (The school) exists to foster great minds and souls by immersing students in classic literature and history in order to help them be leaders in the modern world.” 

The school has 238 students – 17 in Cole’s seventh grade.

Last December, the Alliance Dance Team was invited to participate in the Pearl Harbor Day 80th anniversary commemorative activities in Hawaii. Cole was accustomed to being in Hawaii during that time of year, though never on Oahu. So he and his mom were able to support the dance group he hopes to be a part of next year.

“My brother owns property on Kauai and we have been making family trips out there over Thanksgiving since Cole was a baby,” Becca Lucas said. “But Oahu is too commercial for me. I had not been to that island for at least 20 years; and Cole had never been there. So this year he and I left the rest of the family in Kauai after Thanksgiving to attend the Pearl Harbor ceremonies.”

Kauai and Oahu are adjacent in the string of Hawaiian Islands, although they are more than 100 miles apart. 

“It was fun going to a different part of Hawaii and seeing different places,” Cole Lucas said. “I knew there had been an attack on Pearl Harbor – but I didn’t really understand who did it or why. Learning about Pearl Harbor was very educational. We also got to visit many other places (on Oahu). I loved watching the shows at Polynesian Cultural Center. The (interpretive performers) playing with fire was great.”

“We ended up being in Hawaii 18 days (between the two islands),” Becca concluded. “I’m still not a big fan of Oahu. But this visit was great. Cole is a natural entertainer. Watching his schoolmates perform was great for him. And we were both happy to support (American Heritage of South Jordan) because it’s been such a good school for him.”

AHSJ may be a great school – but it’s an infant compared to World of Wonder Day School. The traditional private school was founded in 2005 – nearly 30 years after Miss Linda threw open the doors on her Taylorsville preschool, with mom (Miss Cookie) and infant daughter (eventually Miss Becca) upstairs. 

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