The mission of ECHELON ACADEMY is to provide students with a supportive and challenging environment that is responsive to all learning styles, emphasizes learning through the arts, and integrates creative and critical thinking throughout the curriculum.

ECHELON ACADEMY offers a positive and encouraging learning community where achievement happens more efficiently than larger schools, and with ease, as teachers and students work cooperatively, heading in the same direction, traveling on the thrust of one another, standing by one another, and honking in encouragement.

Esh'e lan - a squadron V formation which allows geese to conserve energy by using the uplift of air from the goose in front of it. By flying in a V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. This formation allows each bird to have an unobstructed field of vision, allowing flock members to see each other and communicate while in flight. The geese take turns leading; there isn't one designated leader. As one bird tires, it drops to the back of the formation and another takes its place.

Why Echelon Academy was started:

To provide private, quality education to elementary, middle, and high school students (grades K-12) who want to succeed in a small, untraditional school setting that caters learning to each individual student.

Echelon Academy ....
  • encourages students to unlock their greatest potential for achievement through small group instruction.
  • employs the Theory of Multiple Intelligences to reach all students in their own capacity (Musical Intelligence. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Linguistic Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Natural Intelligence).
  • strengthens environmental education, communication, collaboration and multi-disciplinary work.
  • engages students to become globally educated persons who take ownership for their own learning.
  • brings out the leader in every student.

Education and stewardship are lifelong learning processes that need a solid foundation. ECHELON provides an excellent opportunity for developing this foundation.

ECHELON encourages authentic, real world learning.

  • Arts Integrated Classes.
  • Fair Admissions screening which considers the whole child, beyond test scores.
  • Individualized Student Instruction.
  • Social Etiquette Development.
  • Hands-On Field Experiences that encourage real-life competencies
  • Flexible Grouping of students according to skill levels.

With parents as partners, our school provides top quality education in an emotionally safe atmosphere, building on strengths and attending to needs. Collaborative efforts of parents, teachers, and administration yield the most effective educational plans for all students.

Capturing enthusiasm is essential for improving the quality of our students' education. The overall size of our academy is kept small to build a strong sense of community and to ensure close and caring relationships among all students and staff. Small schools create more opportunities for participation. School size is a critical factor in determining educational outcomes. Research links small school size with higher levels of achievement.

ECHELON's teaching staff is composed of top educators who are highly motivated and caring professionals. We implement "best practice" teaching methods including instructional accommodations and curriculum adaptations, so that no student is held back. All teachers have extensive training in subject content and instructional methods that allow students to fully access rich and challenging academic material. Teachers create lesson plans that are properly paced to ensure that essential curriculum is covered; develop materials that support the instructional program as well as recognize individual learning styles of students, maintain classroom discipline; and ensure a classroom environment that is conducive to learning.

Meet the Director
Director Kelly Mazzeo

Echelon Academy Director Kelly Mazzeo

Kelly Mazzeo has been dedicated to education since an early age. At the age of 13, she was a peer tutor for students with disabilities and at the age of 14 she volunteered in a special education school. Professionally, she has been involved in education for over twenty five years.

Throughout her career she has taught in Virginia and Maryland, from preschool to high school, serving as a teacher in both regular education and special education. She has been a special education department chairperson, staff development instructor, and parent educator. Ms. Mazzeo works privately as a staff development consultant to schools and has been an advocate for students for many years.

For more than twenty years, she has provided community based workshops to families. She created and served as director of Columbia Association's Camp Discovery for children ages 12 - 14. In 1988 she was selected as an Outstanding Woman of America and in 2016, she was the recipient of the International ATHENA Award for her extraordinary dedication of self and generosity, professional excellence, community service, and the mentoring of young women.

Currently, Ms. Mazzeo is an adjunct professor in the Department of Education at Montgomery College where she teaches about arts integration, reading, special education, and educational foundations. Ms. Mazzeo is also an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Reading. Ms. Mazzeo is a frequent speaker at regional and national conventions oriented towards parenting, education, students with special needs, and creative classroom approaches.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary/secondary education and special education from Radford University, and a master of arts in special education from The George Washington University.

Memberships include:

  • The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), currently secretary of the Montgomery County CEC Chapter
  • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
  • Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
  • The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
  • The International Literacy Association (ILA)
  • US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.