Our Faculty

Spotlight on...

CHRIS SWEENEY

Chris started teaching at Eagle Hill in 1993 and was a full-time teacher here for five years. She returned to Eagle Hill in 2005, after taking some time to stay home with her young children. The 2018-2019 school year makes her twentieth year of teaching at Eagle Hill. She primarily teaches Lower School tutorial, but she has also taught writing, literature, and science. In her time at Eagle Hill, Chris has served as a mentor for new teachers and has presented three times at LDA conferences on the topic of metacognition.

Chris studied psychology and special education at SUNY Geneseo. Her Bachelor's of Science is in Special Education, and she completed her Masters in Special Education and Reading at Manhattanville College.

Q&A

What activities do you lead outside of the classroom?

The activities I lead are predominantly in nature study and gardening. I taught nature study when I first started here in 1993, exploring our beautiful campus and I love to continue finding ways to explore the outdoors with students. 

I've also been co-leader of Eagle Hill's Earth Day for the past seven years with Jeanette Glover. In addition, I've been in charge of our school vegetable garden!

How involved are you in community service projects and why is community service an important part of life at Eagle Hill?

I work with the Sweet Readers program and bring in pups from Guiding Eyes for the Blind for home socialization in our classrooms.

Community service develops bonds. Working together at EHS towards positive common goals provides students with a sense of accomplishment. Placing value on even the smallest act like holding a door for someone leads to bigger projects like making cards for those in need during callbacks. Ultimately, our students learn that volunteering feels good. They deepen their respect, pride, and compassion while having fun together.

What do you like most about teaching at Eagle Hill?

I love teaching at Eagle Hill for a wide variety of reasons. One of our greatest strengths is student-centered thinking and teaching. The power of our collective mission to collaborate has kept me striving to learn more and teach with unwavering conviction and passion.

What would you tell a prospective family about Eagle Hill?

Prospective families can expect the best and most committed people to teach their children at Eagle Hill. We strive to create successful school experiences.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time I love to be with my three children, our dog Blue, and outdoors. Kayaking, hiking, and gardening are some of my favorite activities and I enjoy baking, making jam, listening to audio books, and traveling with family and friends.

AIMEE BYRNE

Aimee has been a speech and language pathologist at Eagle Hill since 2006. In college, she studied in the field of Communication Science and Disorders and received her Master's of Science from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. She is certified through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed in both NY and CT.

Q&A

Can you describe how the Speech and Language Department works in tandem with the teachers?

In addition to providing pull-out services, the speech-language pathologists at EHS collaborate with teachers and provide services in the classroom with the goal of truly integrating our services. This model allows us to facilitate carryover of learned skills and to work closely with classroom teachers. Teachers meet with us regularly to discuss individual student goals and to create shared lessons. The speech-language pathologists also serve as a resource for teachers to provide additional insight pertaining to language development and instructional approaches.

What do you like most about being part of the Eagle Hill faculty?

The faculty at Eagle Hill School is passionate about the work that they do with their students each and every day. Teachers are an integral part of each student’s team and work together to understand the needs of all students. The Eagle Hill community fosters a sense of camaraderie where we celebrate each other’s accomplishments. In any given moment, it would not be surprising to see teachers willingly sharing ideas or resources.

What would you tell a prospective family about Eagle Hill?

Eagle Hill School offers a unique learning environment where students are empowered to reach their full potential. The multidisciplinary team recognizes each student’s individual strengths and areas of need. Small class sizes and our child-centered instruction allow for enriching opportunities for students to develop the tools needed to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. The collaborative team approach ensures that instructed strategies are generalized across a variety of contexts. This is all part of what makes Eagle Hill a “life-changing experience”.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I have 3 children, ages 15, 13, and 10. When I am not driving them to activities, I enjoy cheering on my son at his soccer games, watching my girls dance, and playing with my black lab. While free time is hard to come by, my husband and I enjoy listening to music, getting together with friends, and going on cruises with our family over the summer.

NICOLE KUMAR

Nicole has been teaching tutorial, literature, and study skills in Eagle Hill's Lower School since 2014. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor's of Science in Childhood and Special Education from New York University. During her time at NYU, she was a member of the Pi Lambda Theta National Honors Society and the Pi International Honor Society in Education.

She then completed the Reading Specialist Master of Arts Program at Columbia University's Teachers College. She is a certified reading specialist in both NY and CT.

Q&A

What activities do you lead/what sports do you coach?

For over twenty years, I studied and then taught many different types of martial arts. Subsequently, I have been running the karate activity at Eagle Hill for the last four years. As of last year, I also assisted in coaching the Eagle Hill wrestling team. I love bringing martial arts to Eagle Hill; karate builds confidence and teaches self-discipline, which helps students succeed in all facets of academic and social life.

What do you like most about teaching at Eagle Hill?

I love how Eagle Hill’s small class sizes and individualized curriculum allow students to flourish. I also love the creative collaboration among colleagues; I’m always learning something new!

What would you tell a prospective family about Eagle Hill?

I would tell a prospective family that Eagle Hill provides an individualized learning experience to best meet the needs of each child. Eagle Hill is a respectful, accepting and supportive community of students, parents, administrators and teachers.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, hiking with my dog, reading, kickboxing, traveling and photography. 

October's Spotlight

Joe Baynes

JOE BAYNES

Joe has been teaching science and math in Eagle Hill's Lower School since 2011. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Childhood and Special Education from Buffalo State College and completed his Educational Leadership Certification at the University of Bridgeport.

Q&A

How would you comment on the personalized instruction at Eagle Hill and its importance?

Personalized instruction at Eagle Hill is a key component to student success.  Teachers are able to gear the instruction towards student needs in a way that wouldn’t be possible at other schools.  Teachers are able to get to know their individual student needs, and then adapt their instruction in order to meet them. 

What can you say about the level of training and experience of the faculty?

Eagle Hill is dedicated to developing all faculty. The amount of professional development opportunities offered to teachers is something that I think many people outside the school aren’t aware of. Eagle Hill teachers are always learning and developing no matter what year they are in because the school makes sure it provides this opportunity. Every Friday we meet for teacher development and learning. Teachers are able to go on conference trips. The senior staff does an amazing job sharing their expertise with the rest of the school.

How do small classes and student-teacher relationships enhance learning?

Small classes allow teachers and students to form stronger relationships. Small class sizes allow teachers to focus on what motivates students.  Teachers can also learn what areas students are confident in, and where they aren’t as confident. At Eagle Hill we are trained to use what we know about the students to our advantage. We make sure the students feel safe, respected, and know they can trust us as teachers. We do that by having the ability to understand their individual needs.  We have many students that weren’t able to build strong relationships in their previous school experiences. 

How are subjects taught differently at Eagle Hill?

Teachers have the freedom to use the techniques that work for each student. Some of our students come to us after failing to be successful in math at a traditional school. Traditional schools need to use certain programs to teach their students. At Eagle Hill, teachers are able to seek out the method that works best for each individual. Many students struggle to meet common core math standards, but come to Eagle Hill and learn the same math in a way that's geared towards their learning style.

What would you tell a prospective family about Eagle Hill?

I have three students in my math class. I am able to spend one on one time with each student. I understand their strengths and weaknesses, and I am able to adapt my instruction towards each of their needs. None of them have the same learning style, but because of the class size, I am able to make the necessary changes to adapt to each of them. 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy traveling, watching sports, and spending time with family (especially my new daughter Mia!) and friends.

Aimee Byrne

AIMEE BYRNE

Aimee has been a speech and language pathologist at Eagle Hill since 2006. In college, she studied in the field of Communication Science and Disorders and received her Master's of Science from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. She is certified through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed in both NY and CT.

Q&A

Can you describe how the Speech and Language Department works in tandem with the teachers?

In addition to providing pull-out services, the speech-language pathologists at EHS collaborate with teachers and provide services in the classroom with the goal of truly integrating our services. This model allows us to facilitate carryover of learned skills and to work closely with classroom teachers. Teachers meet with us regularly to discuss individual student goals and to create shared lessons. The speech-language pathologists also serve as a resource for teachers to provide additional insight pertaining to language development and instructional approaches.

What do you like most about being part of the Eagle Hill faculty?

The faculty at Eagle Hill School is passionate about the work that they do with their students each and every day. Teachers are an integral part of each student’s team and work together to understand the needs of all students. The Eagle Hill community fosters a sense of camaraderie where we celebrate each other’s accomplishments. In any given moment, it would not be surprising to see teachers willingly sharing ideas or resources.

What would you tell a prospective family about Eagle Hill?

Eagle Hill School offers a unique learning environment where students are empowered to reach their full potential. The multidisciplinary team recognizes each student’s individual strengths and areas of need. Small class sizes and our child-centered instruction allow for enriching opportunities for students to develop the tools needed to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. The collaborative team approach ensures that instructed strategies are generalized across a variety of contexts. This is all part of what makes Eagle Hill a “life-changing experience”.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I have 3 children, ages 15, 13, and 10. When I am not driving them to activities, I enjoy cheering on my son at his soccer games, watching my girls dance, and playing with my black lab. While free time is hard to come by, my husband and I enjoy listening to music, getting together with friends, and going on cruises with our family over the summer.

Nicole Kumar

NICOLE KUMAR

Nicole has been teaching tutorial, literature, and study skills in Eagle Hill's Lower School since 2014. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor's of Science in Childhood and Special Education from New York University. During her time at NYU, she was a member of the Pi Lambda Theta National Honors Society and the Pi International Honor Society in Education.

She then completed the Reading Specialist Master of Arts Program at Columbia University's Teachers College. She is a certified reading specialist in both NY and CT.

Q&A

What activities do you lead/what sports do you coach?

For over twenty years, I studied and then taught many different types of martial arts. Subsequently, I have been running the karate activity at Eagle Hill for the last four years. As of last year, I also assisted in coaching the Eagle Hill wrestling team. I love bringing martial arts to Eagle Hill; karate builds confidence and teaches self-discipline, which helps students succeed in all facets of academic and social life.

What do you like most about teaching at Eagle Hill?

I love how Eagle Hill’s small class sizes and individualized curriculum allow students to flourish. I also love the creative collaboration among colleagues; I’m always learning something new!

What would you tell a prospective family about Eagle Hill?

I would tell a prospective family that Eagle Hill provides an individualized learning experience to best meet the needs of each child. Eagle Hill is a respectful, accepting and supportive community of students, parents, administrators and teachers.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, hiking with my dog, reading, kickboxing, traveling and photography. 

Our Teachers, in Our Own Words

Faculty and Staff Directory

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Conrad Aamodt

Conrad Aamodt

Titles: Teacher
Email:
Deanna Abbondola

Deanna Abbondola

Titles: Teacher
Email:
Margie Alley

Margie Alley

Titles: School Social Worker
Email:
Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker

Titles: Teacher
Email:
Joseph Baynes

Joseph Baynes

Titles: Teacher
Email:
David Blank

David Blank

Titles: Director of Psychological Services
Email: