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Early Childhood

Early Childhood class sitting on the steps with their theachers

Harnessing children’s natural curiosity

Our youngest students love coming to a school where they can begin collaborating with others, expressing original ideas, solving problems, understanding themselves and discovering their abilities.

We strive to ensure the first formal learning experience for these three- and four-year-olds is meaningful, relevant, and joyful in a supportive and high achieving environment.

Our Early Childhood teachers apply their expertise to intermingle learning and play in the right balance. Lessons focused on learning the alphabet, numbers, plants and animals, days of the week are blended with Spanish lessons, art, music forays, and thoughtful library visits. 

“I have an open relationship with the teachers, so I know how my kids are doing and they are able to tell me.”

- Current EA Parent

Early Childhood teacher in the sand box with 3 students

"We take a hands-on approach to learning. We also incorporate activities for our children to build self-esteem, learn to problem solve and get along with others, and engage in rich discussions. We key into their natural curiosity and associate it to scientific practices. Our ultimate goal is for our students to develop an excitement for learning." 

- Amy Maly, Early Childhood Instructor

Meet Our Early Childhood Faculty & Staff

“We found some wonderful teachers who were caring, engaging, and personalized. You know those once-in-a-lifetime teachers you get? At EA, we got them multiple times.”

Parent of an EA Graduate

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Kiana McDarrah

Kiana McDarrah

Early Childhood Assistant
BA, Thomas Edison State University

Working with our youngest learners is a great joy and a chance to see the world through the passionate and creative eyes of a child. Each day at Elgin Academy, I strive to help our students reach their full potential, meeting where each child is developmentally to assist in creating memorable learning opportunities that will grow into a lifelong love of learning.
-Kiana McDarrah

Suzy Ceci

Suzy Ceci

Lower School Spanish, Middle School Spanish & Theater
MA, Universite de Toulouse Le Mirail
BA, Universite Stendahl

When I teach my students to speak French or Spanish, I fancy myself doing a bit more than simply teaching them the skills to express themselves in those languages. I envision myself poking a hole in the language drapery, to enable them to peep at the conglomerate that makes it up: people, culture, land, history, and much more.
-Suzy Ceci

Heidi Hamilton

Heidi Hamilton

Lower School PE, Extended Day Coordinator
M Ed, University of Minnesota
BS, University of Minnesota

My hope is that my students will understand the importance of life-long physical activity and fitness. I want my students to enjoy participating in physical activities in the hopes that they will be life-long participants.
- Heidi Hamilton

Joshua Mettille

Joshua Mettille

Lower, Middle, and Upper School Visual Arts
BS, Olivet Nazarene University

I take a student centered approach to teaching visual art by combining the experiences, interests, and abilities of all of my students. My goal is to have students create art that is meaningful to them.
- Josh Mettille