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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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Katherine (Katie) Schiyer

Katherine (Katie) Schiyer

Lower School Library, Battle of the Books Instructor
MA, National College of Education
BS, Purdue University
SLMS, Northern Illinois University

It is my sincere pleasure to be the guardian of our beautiful Elgin Academy Library. I believe that good literature opens up so much to our students. Books can be mirrors to reflect upon ourselves, windows to see things from other points of view, or portals to worlds unknown. Matching each student with a good fit book is my goal every day. You will also find our students coding, creating, researching, and imagining in our beautiful space!
- Katie Schiyer

Brian Wrightson

Brian Wrightson

Lower, Middle, & Upper School Music
MM Ed, VanderCook College of Music
BS, Elmhurst College

Music students should learn how to become independent musicians, and lifelong music lovers. My personal goal is to impart my knowledge and enthusiasm for music in the students I have been given the privilege to teach.
-Brian Wrightson