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Lower School

Three Lower School students working with a teacher at a table in a world language class

Providing a unique student experience

While play still occupies a formative role - especially in Kindergarten - it’s gradually replaced with carefully designed active-learning projects that students execute increasingly on their own.

We enrich the abilities and consciousness of Kindergarten to 4th grade students through our curriculum, teaching approach and learning goals. 

During Lower School we introduce students to a Learning Plan, which motivates them to take charge of their goals and achievements. We hold parent-attended Learning Plan conferences in the spring and fall, and beginning in 3rd grade, students play an active part in planning them.

By the time they finish 4th grade, students are acquainted with the foundations of the academic process. They enter Middle School equipped with the self-confidence, curiosity, and know-how to take on increasingly sophisticated work.

“EA enabled my son to bring all of his talents and strengths to the surface. I am not sure that would have happened at a public school.”

Current EA Parent

Michelle Matalone

Lower School Director

"As the Early Childhood and Lower School Director at Elgin Academy,  I am committed to providing a child-centered learning experience that is unique and individualized. I believe in fostering a nurturing environment where children can flourish and grow, not just academically but also, emotionally and socially. Together, we create a place where curiosity is celebrated, kindness is paramount, and learning becomes an adventure that lasts a lifetime." 
- Michelle Matalone

Meet Our Lower School 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

< 1 2 3 4 showing 13 - 15 of 15 constituents
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

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