Welcome to Academy Hill!

Melissa Earls

Academy Hill has been a proud leader in the education of enthusiastic, motivated students for over 30 years. We are an internationally recognized independent PK - 8 school that seeks to harness our children's natural curiosity and help build a lifelong passion for learning and doing in an environment rich in encouragement and opportunities.

At Academy Hill, "Developing Visionaries, Innovators & Leaders of Tomorrow" is not simply a tagline. We believe in our mission to enhance the educational experience for our students through rigorous, engaging, personalized curricular and co-curricular programs. Our teachers harness the talents and gifts each child exhibits and help to guide every child to find new and creative ways to access knowledge, interpret content, and develop and present ideas.

Academy Hill offers our students opportunities to interact with the world as they develop skills that will continue to benefit them, the community and our society. Our "Good Morning Show" and "Forum" programs ask all students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 to conduct research and present publicly on subjects of their choice multiple times each year. Enrichment Clusters allow the entire student body to explore and experience topics with tremendous depth and genuine authenticity. Service opportunities, extension offerings, and participation in academically-based celebrations such as Classics Day encourage our students to experience the world in uniquely tangible ways.

A classical humanities education paired with 21st century readiness skills is at the core of what our students receive at Academy Hill. Spanish, Latin, fine and performing arts, and a systemic approach to research and oral presentation skills separate Academy Hill from other educational environments. Our small class sizes, attention to relationships, and inclusion of families in our programs have combined to create strong, successful early education, elementary and middle school offerings for our students.

We thank you for taking the time to learn about what makes Academy Hill unique.

Best wishes,





Melissa Earls, P'16
Head of School

Melissa Earls received a dual B.A. in Government and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame, and went on to earn an M.Ed. with Distinction in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership from Boston College. She has been named a 2019 Klingenstein Head of School Fellow at Columbia University's Teachers College. She holds multiple educator licenses from the state of Massachusetts, including Superintendent and Principal at all levels, as well as a leadership certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from eCornell, the online learning platform of Cornell University. Melissa has presented at several state and national conventions on a variety of topics, such as "Differentiated Instruction" and "Teacher Professional Development." She and her husband, Joe, are the very proud parents of Emma Earls, Academy Hill School Class of 2016.

Academy Hill in the News

The Wilbraham-Hampden Times


New England Public Media's Connecting Point

The Hill

USA Today

Western Mass News

Macaroni Kid

The 413 Mom

MassLive Reports on Independent Schools Meeting Needs of Students In-Person During Pandemic