Alumni Spotlights with Elizabeth Urban

Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, Connecticut provides children ages 5 to 15 with language-based learning differences a life-changing experience.

In a nurturing environment, children can gain transformative academic skills coupled with a strong sense of self and the confidence to advocate for themselves inside and outside the classroom. They can see their gifts and recognize their value. Faculty, administrators, and staff are vital to this crucial endeavor to educate “the whole child.”

Eagle Hill’s overall mission is to afford kindergarteners through eighth-graders the opportunity to grow into capable, resourceful students with the character necessary to meet the challenges they will face as lifelong learners.

Our Alumni Spotlights will be largely dedicated to testimonies from our graduates and their reflections on the teachers that mattered, the key lessons they learned at Eagle Hill, and the life skills that still are with them to this day.

Elizabeth Urban

Class of 93

Elizabeth Urban, Eagle Hill Class of 1993, works at a nursery school in Massachusetts. Her professional path and love of kids were inspired in part by her mother, Brook, a former member of the EHS staff and Board of Trustees, who helped establish a child care center in Greenwich.

After Eagle Hill, Liz attended St. Luke’s School in New Canaan and then Purnell School in New Jersey. After high school, while doing service work with AmeriCorps, she helped hurricane victims in Florida, the homeless in New York City, and others in need nationwide. She is now pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Quinsigamond Community College.

What first brought you to Eagle Hill?

ehs-elizabeth urban 1

I was diagnosed with a processing problem. There is no real evidence that I have a learning disability.

Through tests and through other channels, we determined my learning disability is in processing. I was attending a mainstream school. I was having difficulty understanding the material and processing information.

My parents heard about Eagle Hill, and they decided that it was the best place for me. We moved to the area, so I could get the education I needed to succeed.

I really want to thank my parents. Without their support, I never would have had the opportunity to attend Eagle Hill to help shape the person that I have become today.

How have Eagle Hill Teachers helped you?

ehs-elizabeth urban 5Every teacher I encountered at Eagle Hill touched me in different ways, with their wisdom, through their teaching styles, through their empathy, and hearts.

I remember working really hard on trying to conquer math, and I still was having difficulty.

I remember giving my teacher a high five after completing this difficult math problem we had been working on. It felt so rewarding.

Every teacher I encountered taught me something different.

I played field hockey. I was a goalie. People involved in sports were so supportive. The coaches were inspiring and helpful on the field and off. It was a moving and wonderful experience, and I thank the teachers every day for using their skills to help me achieve my education further down the road.

What were some of the vital lessons you learned at Eagle Hill?

Eagle Hill taught me to advocate for myself. Before being a student at the school, I wouldn’t say anything. Now I say to teachers, I have a processing problem. I just want you to be aware of this. I’m not using this as an excuse, I add. I just want you to know the material might be a little bit challenging for me at times. That has helped me in college and in my career. Eagle Hill gave me the skills, and my parents too, to advocate for what I need as a person to basically succeed in life.

What Have You Been Up to Since Graduating from Eagle Hill?

ehs-elizabeth urban 3Right now, I'm taking one class at a time at Quinsigamond Community College, because I work full-time.

I applied for a scholarship. I couldn’t have done that without the help of what I learned at Eagle Hill.

I actually applied there on my own. I spoke to an advisor at the college, and I shared that I wanted to go back to school. The advisor helped me go through the steps to apply.

When I told my parents that I was going back to school, they were happy and a little shocked, because I did it all by myself. My plan is to continue. I have a year and a half before I graduate from Quinsigamond. I’m hoping I continue on to get my B.A. Right now, I’m taking it day by day. I love children. I enjoy child care. I see that in my future as well. Continuing to help children grow and learn to become the people they are going to become is so important.

What advice would you give to Eagle Hill students?

Never, ever give up on yourself.

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Topics: Alumni Spotlight

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