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Middle School

Connecting newfound passion with newly honed ability

We believe the middle school years mark the momentous time when students are physically, emotionally, and intellectually mature and capable enough to pursue learning at a level far deeper than before.

Our fifth through eighth grade students benefit from robust programs provided by caring educators that help them realize and fulfill their potential.

Starting in fifth grade, project-based learning invites students into hands-on collaboration with their peers and teachers. Middle School students also sign up for far-ranging co-curriculars including a variety of athletic options, a theater production, and more. Along the way, students meet daily in their small advisory groups, a hallmark of our supportive community, and assume more responsibility for shaping their own learning as a part of their Learning Plan conferences.


Doug Sept

Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs

“EA’s strong academic program is a differentiator, but not as much as it used to be. What makes EA different is what is happening within those courses. They are collaborative in nature and not as teacher centric. When our Middle and Upper School students are in a class, they are expected to be active participants. We teach and mold them to learn what that means: advocate for themselves, share thoughts, develop communication skills.”

The Ideal Middle School Student Experience

Navigating today’s educational landscape can be challenging. Recently Doug Sept, Elgin Academy’s Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, discussed the elements students need to have The Ideal Middle School Student Experience during a 20-minute webinar.


Meet Our Middle 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

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Doug Sept

Doug Sept

Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs
MS, University of Kentucky
BS, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Students must feel comfortable before they can learn. I expect my classroom to be an environment where students are allowed to take risks. I look for situations when I can look at a problem for the first time with students and model for them how to try and potentially fail in finding the right solution, only to rebound and try new ideas.
-Doug Sept

Amy Criswell

Amy Criswell

Early Childhood & Lower School Director, PEAK Director
M Ed, University of New Hampshire
BA, University of New Hampshire

Truly amazing things occur at Elgin Academy because we work to ensure that our students feel known and have a sense of belonging and purpose. At EA, students learn and discover in an active environment built on partnership, respect, compassion, challenge, and integrity. When students feel safe to express their ideas, make mistakes, ask questions, and be creative, meaningful learning takes place and it's magical.
-Amy Criswell

Andrew (Drew) Roling

Andrew (Drew) Roling

Middle School Dean of Students, Middle School Math & Science
MA, University of Northern Iowa
BA, University of Iowa

I strive to make the school and classroom a place where, when you walk into the building, you can tell that students want to be here. The students are free to take risks, express themselves freely, and have fun doing so. For me, this is done by cultivating strong personal relationships across a diverse student body. This is the atmosphere that I wish to help set.
-Drew Roling

Craig Pinson

Craig Pinson

Athletic Director, Middle School PE Teacher
MS, Ohio University
BS, Northern Illinois University

Being part of the Elgin Academy community is an amazing experience. I could not be more proud to represent this campus and these students in the classroom and on the field.
-Craig Pinson