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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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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

Carolyn Dunoon

Carolyn Dunoon

Middle & Upper School French
MA, Middlebury College
BA, Illinois College

I love to teach! I have been teaching since 1974 and cannot get tired of the pleasure of working with young people to learn French. I want to create an atmosphere of acceptance, curiosity, and a solid work ethic. It is very important to me to add enrichment - music, art, film expressions of the week, and more. I am very happy to be at Elgin Academy with such fine students and staff. Every one of my students has a different level of language proficiency. I will take them from where they are and lead them to success. We will all be francophiles and not only of France but the many countries where French is spoken.
-Carolyn Dunoon

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

Jody Ireland

Jody Ireland

PEAK Multi-Sensory Language
JD, Valparaiso University School of Law
BA, Augustana College

I engage students by first meeting them where they are and identifying any obstacles they may have encountered during their education. Using a multi-sensory approach, we then work together to develop strategies they can use to better understand themselves, how they learn, and to help them succeed.
- Jodi Ireland