Faculty Spotlight


Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown – Middle School English
Bachelor of Arts, State University of New York-Cortland
Master of Science, Nazareth College
Master of Arts, DePaul University
1 Year at EA

Describe your teaching philosophy in one sentence.

My teaching philosophy can best be described with a quote by Madeline Hunter: "Expecting all children the same age to learn from the same materials is like expecting all children the same age to wear the same size clothing."

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

This is such a tough question! I would have to say I most enjoy working with students. Each student brings something different to each class and discussion. The variety of personalities and skills propel teaching and learning to higher levels.

Why is Project Based Learning so important?

I think this goes back to my teaching philosophy. Students need a variety of methods to help them grow and learn. Project Based Learning offers students the opportunity to explore things they are interested in while it simultaneously encourages students to question and challenge what they know.

How are you creating empowered learners?

By teaching and guiding students through basic skills, they are better able to take control of their learning. Depending on the unit, students will be participating in online discussion boards with other students from their class, creating self-chosen projects, and contributing the direction of the curriculum.




Craig Pinson

Middle School Athletic Director
LS & MS PE Teacher
Bachelor of Science, Northern Illinois University
Master of Science, Ohio University

I really like teaching activities that students don’t get exposed to a lot.  You can go to any school in America and learn how to dribble a basketball in PE.  It takes a special kind of teacher to trust a kindergarten student with a floor hockey stick…

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Jennifer Brown

Lower School Administrative Assistant
Bachelor of Science, St. Louis University

"I enjoy knowing that I've helped someone, whether it's by completing a task, making sure information gets where it needs to go, or just listening. I get to do all of those every day."

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Julie Janik
Middle School Social Studies, Language Arts, and Theater
Master of Arts, National Louis University 
Master of Arts, Bowling Green State University Master of Music, University of Cincinnati
Bachelor of Music, University of Cincinnati 
 
"Middle school kids are a joy to teach. Their critical thinking skills and academic independence are just starting to blossom at this age, and they are contemplating topics and issues in new ways and at deeper levels."
Read More about Julie Janik
Elizabeth Stemn

Kindergarten Teacher
Bachelor of Arts, Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Kindergarteners find joy in the ordinary. It doesn't take much but a little encouragement and a smile to change a frown upside down or dry a tear.

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Jessica Brown

Middle School English
Bachelor of Arts, State University of New York-Cortland
Master of Science, Nazareth College
Master of Arts, DePaul University

"By teaching and guiding students through basic skills, they are better able to take control of their learning."

Read More about Jessica Brown
Amy Maly

Early Childhood Teacher
Bachelor of Science, Illinois State University

"We can use our tools that we learned at a young age to celebrate success and work through challenges over the course of a lifetime."

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Doug Sept

Upper School Director & College Counselor
Bachelor of Science, University of Missouri
Master of Science, University of Kentucky

"There is a palpable sense of joy at Elgin Academy."

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Peggy Veltri

Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies
Bachelor of Journalism, University of Missouri
Master of Business Administration, Loyola University
Master of Arts in Teaching, National Louis University

"When we learn about things like the Silk Road in social studies, we don't just read about it, we take interactive journeys along it, trading as we go."

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Rick Williams

Director of Athletics and
Varsity Boys Head Basketball Coach
Bachelor of Arts, Judson University
Master of Science, Capella University

"By playing hard, having fun and getting better we let everyone know what it means to be a Hilltopper!"

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Heather Giebel

PS-8 Grade Music
Master of Music, New England Conservatory
Bachelor of Music, University of Massachusetts

"I wouldn't want any child to miss out on a musical education."

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Jim Kidston

Technology Director, Upper School Computer Science
Bachelor of Arts, University of Michigan
Master of Arts, University of Chicago
Master of Business Administration, University of Chicago

"My goal is to make myself unnecessary."

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Adeline Moon

4th Grade Teacher
Bachelor of Science at University of Illinois

"We have a Twitter page that allows the weekly student "Tweeter" to showcase what is going on in the classroom."

Read More about Adeline Moon