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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.”

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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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

Catherine Bass

Catherine Bass

Middle School & Upper School Visual Arts
B.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago

In a rising digital age where it is easy to look and not see, art (realism) teaches me how to see and engage reality. This orientation extends beyond an art practice and has become a way of life. I hope that after taking my class students will become better observers of the world around them and be able to see the magic in the ordinary.
- Catherine Bass

Mary Bayer

Mary Bayer

Upper School Theater & History, Middle School Theater
MS, Illinois State University
MA, St. Mary's University
BA, St. Mary's University

My role as an educator is to help each student become a life-long learner, one who is always questioning and seeking, posing new problems and formulating creative solutions, one who digs deeper and reaches farther to find the answer, but understands that the process of seeking the answer is more important than the answer itself.
- Mary Bayer

Darrin Bonecutter

Darrin Bonecutter

MS Math/Science Teacher
BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MA, Villanova University

As I work with Elgin Academy students, I am excited to see how well they respond to a challenge, and how eager they are to learn. Nothing motivates students more than their own success, and I look forward to helping them each develop the tools they need to excel in math and science. I also emphasize that setbacks are a normal part of life, and it is how we deal with them that is important.
-Darrin Bonecutter