Surrounded by 100 acres of landscaped grounds, the EF Academy New York boarding school in the US offers students a huge variety of activities to take part in and plenty of space for them to pursue their passions. Experience a traditional american boarding school education in New York in an international setting that will inspire, transform and empower you.
At our private high school in New York, our academic philosophy is centered on allowing students to explore subjects and courses with the aim of helping them discover their passion. Encouraging them to pursue their personal interests is at the root of our university guidance as well.Read more
Students enjoy a wide range of intriguing options to ensure they are fully engaged at school, and ready to succeed at university. Join us for Grades 9 and 10 to benefit from the internationally recognized IGCSE program. In Grades 11 and 12, we offer 40 different IB classes, which allow students to start earning college credits before graduation, including more than 15 world languages, five sciences and three arts. For a broad and challenging course of study, students may pursue the full IB Diploma, which develops intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and creative problem solving. In addition to your IB Diploma or IB Certificates, all successful students earn a nationally recognized High School Diploma.
For students aged 14 to 16 who seek an internationally recognized academic qualification.
For students aged 16 to 19 who would like to pursue a global education and career. Students will also receive a New York State High School Diploma.
For students aged 13 to 19 who would like to learn a wide range of subjects and attend a university in North America.
For students who do not yet meet the programs’ requirements or who want to kickstart their education abroad.
Our university guidance counselors at EF Academy New York have built relationships with leading universities. Students benefit from guided tours of nearby universities, and representatives from over 100 different colleges in North America visit the school throughout the year. Our students are required to participate in co-curricular activities.Read more
Dr. Brian Mahoney has more than 15 years of experience in private education. He has taught history, English and geography, and coached several sports including lacrosse and basketball. Dr. Mahoney received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Siena College. His Master’s Degree is in teaching and he holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fordham University. He has served as EF Academy New York’s Head of School for the past five years.
Matthew J. Gonzales has been involved with the International Baccalaureate since 1999 and has taught in the Middle Years and Diploma Programs. Matt is currently a senior examiner for DP Music, has been a Diploma Program Examiner since 2004 and is a MYP curriculum reviewer. Matt also designs and facilitates IB teacher training workshops in the PYP, MYP and DP, including IB & the Common Core, Music & Inquiry, Planning, Instruction & Assessment and assessment for learning. Matt also developed Assessment for Learning in the Diploma Program and is a member of the DP Music Curriculum Review Team. Matt has consulted with a wide range of schools in various stages of implementation; he greatly enjoys assisting school communities on their IB journey.
Angie Brice Hessbruegge holds a BA from Tufts University in International Relations/Spanish and an MA in Applied Linguistics /English Language Teaching from King’s College London. Fluent in five languages, Angie has lived and taught extensively in the US, Europe and Latin America. For more than 13 years, she has enjoyed teaching to a variety of students including United Nations ambassadors, multinational business executives and most especially young adults. She is also an adjunct professor at Suny Purchase and the United Nations.
Daniel Paccione holds a Master’s Degree in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Daniel has worked for EF over the last five years in the role of Director of Global Engagement and Product Innovation where he developed EF’s Global Student Leaders Summit series. Prior to this role, he worked with the International Baccalaureate (IB) to help promote its mission of an "education for a better world.”
Emily Aquina graduated from Siena College with a major in Business Management and a minor in Women’s Studies. Before becoming part of the EF Academy New York team, Emily worked as a preschool teacher for 10 years. She was also extremely involved in the orientation program at Siena College and she was an educator in the Science Barge program at Groundwork Hudson Valley.
Fabiana Da Silva is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and she has a BA in English and Portuguese and an MS in TESOL. She has been teaching ESL/EFL for over fourteen years, which includes being an EFL teacher and the head of the EFL department at Wizard Language School in Brazil. Fabiana started at EF as an ILS ESL instructor and was promoted to the University Preparation Program.
Lauren Ciallella holds a BA in Psychology from Villanova University, and a MSEd in School Counseling from The College of Saint Rose. She worked as a school counselor in a public high school for many years prior to starting at EF Academy in 2013. Learning from her students who represent a variety of backgrounds and sharing in their successes, whether they be personal goals or college placements, are the most rewarding parts of her position.
Michelle Ferrera graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She then went on to receive her MSEd in School Counseling from Hunter College, City University of New York. Prior to joining EF Academy in November 2013, Michelle worked as an Admissions Counselor for the State University of New York, Maritime College.
Paul Giordano received his BA in Social Studies Education from The College of Saint Rose in upstate New York and earned his Master's Degree in Literacy Education from Mercy College. He joined EF Academy as a history teacher in 2012. Since then, he has taught IGCSE history, IGCSE global perspectives, IB history and IB business and management. As the Athletic Director, Paul supervises all athletic teams and clubs.
Scott Hirschmugl is a Certified Public Accountant with an MBA (finance, international business) from New York University. Prior to coming to EF, he spent 20 years in banking and finance, primarily in global mergers/acquisitions and business development. Leaving the corporate world, Scott was seeking a more personally fulfilling and rewarding career and being part of the EF team that helps shape young lives has far exceeded his expectations.
Gavin Robinson obtained his Bachelor of Kinesiology from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia along with his Bachelor of Education Degree. He also has a postgraduate degree in Administration, Management and Leadership from Bristol University, Bristol England. Gavin has been teaching and involved in administration for over fifteen years and has worked in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Germany and Canada.
Jonathon Dunn has over 12 years of experience in education, both in private and public schools, including teaching internationally. He has taught ESL and Outdoor Education at the primary, middle, and secondary levels. He is a veteran three-season coach of soccer, ice hockey, alpine ski racing, and outdoor education including; rock climbing, hiking and trekking, on and off-road biking, and canoeing. Jonathon received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire, and his M.A. in International Education from the School for International Training Graduate Institute. He joins EF Academy as a Dean of Students from Northfield Mount Hermon where he was the Associate Director of International Education.
Prior to joining EF Academy, Robert spent a year abroad in South America, teaching English to children and adults in both Ecuador and Peru. Robert is passionate about the international community, and has volunteered his time working with impoverished children and communities abroad, as well as domestically, volunteering his time with organizations working towards progressive immigration reform. Robert also has over 10 years experience as an analyst and corporate trainer in the private sector.
Michael Muska is nationally recognized in the field of university admissions and served as the Associate Director of Admissions at Brown University and Oberlin College. He graduated from the University of Connecticut and earned his MS from the University of Massachusetts. Michael also co-authored Getting In, a book about college admissions for high school students.
Drew Granucci graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Language & Literature and an MBA from George Washington University. He worked as an Admissions Director at George Washington University and American University in Washington, DC prior to joining EF Academy. Drew has worked with international students as a volunteer for over ten years with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, an international youth leadership organization.
Marc Johnson teaches IB Literature and Theory of Knowledge and is also the Head of the English Department. He has taught for over 20 years in various schools around the globe. Most recently, he spent eight years teaching in China at Shanghai High School and the High School Affiliated to Renmin University. He received his B.A. in English and Religion from Faith College and his M.A. in Ancient Literature from Central Seminary.
Patrick Dunn received his Bachelor's Degree in Education and History while minoring in Archaeology and Ancient History in Oklahoma. He obtained his Master's Degree while in South Africa in Egyptology from the University of Stellenbosch and completed his PhD course work through the University of South Africa in Egyptology.
Cassie Marsh started at EF Academy in 2012 after finishing her Masters from Iona College. She began as an IB math studies’ teacher as well as a house parent to the 9th and 10th graders. She is now the Mathematics Department Chair and also teaches mathematical studies. She truly enjoys teaching the IB program and working with students from all over the world.
Giovanni Villari is an actor, director and set, sound and lighting designer, fight and stunt choreographer, prop master, stage manager and technical director. He is a native of Florence, Italy, and holds a Laurea from the city's Univeristà degli Studi. In his 6th year at EF Academy, he is the Chair for the Arts Department, teaches IGCSE Drama, and serves as the theater's technical director.
Dr. Lynee Connelly has a PhD in Education, a MA in International Education, and a BA in Linguistics and Italian. She has been involved with international education since 2000. Teaching in many schools abroad and in the US, Lynee has developed a keen sense for global awareness and social justice. Ironically, her international education career was sparked by an EF trip to France and Italy as a freshmen in high school. Lynee is currently serving as the head of the English department.
Miriam Ortiz is originally from Ecuador. She graduated from Fordham University obtaining a double major in Adolescent Education, and Spanish Language and Literature. She has been working with EF Academy since 2009. In 2014, Miriam moved to the classroom and since then has taught IGCSE Spanish Foreign Language, IB Spanish Ab Initio, IB English B, and ESL. She also serves as a houseparent and soccer coach.
Steve Amrol received his MA in Social Studies Education from New York University and attended PhD programs in Cultural Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara and International Relations at Florida International University. He has 20 years of experience teaching K-college students from over 15 countries and spent the past 10 years developing international schools in Asia. Steve is a strong-advocate for using project-based learning to develop the skills essential for 21st Century career success.
Colleen Reynolds has a Master's Degree in School Counseling from Seton Hall University. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Salisbury University, and prior to returning to school for her Master's Degree Colleen worked as an Event Manager in Manhattan. Colleen has experience as a Career Development Coach and also as a School Counselor in Elementary, Middle, and High School environments.
Emily Cozzi graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology. She then went on to receive her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Queens College, City University of New York. Prior to joining EF Academy, Emily worked as a Guidance Counselor in New York City.
Leah holds two bachelor’s degrees from both The University of Texas at Austin (B.A. in English Literature, Minor in Education and Italian) and The American University of Rome (B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies). Leah taught English in Italy for two years to both children and adults prior to working as an international admissions counselor at The American University of Rome. Leah is fluent in Italian and loves helping students achieve their goals for continued education.
Meghan Heim graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood and Family Studies and completed her Master’s in School Counseling at State University of New York at New Paltz. Meghan has experience working with students in kindergarten through grade 12 in the classroom and counseling setting as well as coaching athletics at the high school level.
Robyn Fowler has worked for more than a decade as a private therapist in Adelaide, South Australia. She also has experience as a School Counselor, following her first career as an elementary school teacher. Robyn has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and post graduate qualifications in both Special Education and Gifted Education, as well as a Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis. Robyn is delighted to support students at EF Academy with her counseling skills and firsthand experience of migration.
Sophia Pak has a Master’s Degree in Education in School Counseling from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language Education from NYU, she taught Japanese to high school students at New Heights Academy Charter School and interned as a guidance counselor at a high school in Manhattan. She is dedicated to working with her students to help them develop new insights and maximize their potential.
Thomas Hannon has 35 years of experience in private education. He has taught Theology, Hebrew, Theatrical Production, and The Theory of Knowledge. He has moderated theatre groups, student government, and the chess club, in addition to leading service trips to work with orphans in Jamaica. Mr. Hannon received a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Economics from Manhattan College. He received a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School. He began teaching at EF Academy in New York in 2016.
Lauren Kubis graduated from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Honors Psychology and Medaille College in Buffalo, New York with a Master’s Degree in Education. She has previously worked in the social service sector providing vocational rehabilitation counseling and creating educational plans. Lauren is an experienced international educator with experience teaching in Canada, China and the U.S.
Adrian Burgess began his transition into education through a passion for coaching. He attended the University of California Irvine on a soccer scholarship, before eventually graduating from the University with a Major in Political Science and a focus under Comparative Politics. He began his coaching trials during his collegiate undergrad, coaching: High School Soccer for both Male and Female athletes, as well as, club soccer for the development of middle schoolers to Junior High School. Adrian will be at EF Academy New York serving as a House Parent, and Head Coach of the Varsity Boys Soccer Program.
Amanda Torres graduated from Syracuse University, with a major in Women & Gender Studies and Sociology. Before joining EF Academy, Amanda volunteered for Americorps for two years serving under privileged students in New York City public schools, and she has six years of Educational Administrative experience in the New York State Public School System. In college, Amanda was also planned public events for a Women’s empowerment organization located in New York City.
Elin was a founding member of Kristiansand International School in Norway 2008, and in 2014 she started up the Model United Nations (MUN) program at EF Academy. She has two bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and French Language Acquisition which she obtained in Trondheim, Norway. Previously, she lived and worked for four years in Africa and one year in France. Developing a relationship where the whole student grows academically and socially, is essential to her teaching.
Irina Rudneva became an expert in TESOL, ESOL, and Academic Writing while teaching at Westchester Community College and Valhalla public schools, NY, for almost two decades. Ms.Rudneva is a trained specialist in Integral Education methodology and, besides MA in English Language, Linguistics, and Pedagogy, she holds a certificate in Human Education. Ms. Rudneva leads an Integral Connection Club to help young adults build and sustain lasting friendships and achieve self-realization goals.
Meric Dunn is celebrating her 14th year in education, 10 years being in international schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts in American Literature and Master’s degree in Education. She teaches IB Language and Literature and IGCSE English First Language and she runs a Mind and Body club. She takes pride in interacting with students in different capacities which includes supporting them during study hall or their day to day activities and she believes supporting students develop and strive for lifelong goals are what makes her job a rewarding experience.
In addition to teaching Physical Education and Health, Michael is a house parent in the school community as well. He has taught & coached basketball in the Westchester area for the last seven years. He is a big fan of the New York Yankees, Giants, Rangers and Knicks. In his free time, Michael likes to play basketball, work-out, go hiking, and socialize with friends. He is looking forward to working with the student community and helping them develop the skills to live a healthy lifestyle.
Roumen Vragov is known as Dr. V. by his students. He has a PhD in Economics, the subject he loves and teaches. Before coming to EF Academy, he taught Business, Economics, and Information Systems in college for 16 years. In his spare time, he does business consulting.
Scott began teaching internationally as a CELTA instructor in 2003. Since 2009, he has taught secondary English and Humanities in the UAE, China, and Canada. He received his B.A. in History, English, and Philosophy from Mount Saint Vincent University, and his B.Ed. from the University of New Brunswick. In 2015, he completed his Masters in Education Leadership from the American College of Education in Illinois.
Dr. Paul spent most of his career as a research scientist with RCA Laboratories which later became SRI/Sarnoff. His research was in computer modeling of electron optics and the human visual system. The latter work led to an Emmy Award for technical achievement. He received a B.S. in physics and mathematics summa cum laude from The Cooper Union and a Ph.D. in physics from UNC - Chapel Hill. He spent four years teaching physics and math in New Jersey public high schools and community colleges before joining EF Academy in 2016.
Amanda Jordan graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida earning a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Since then, she has enjoyed working in a variety of educational and therapeutic settings. She has been playing guitar for the past 13 years and looks forward to sharing her passion for music and visual art while also working as a House Parent.
Mr. Conor P. Lane is a recent graduate of Providence College. While at Providence College Mr. Lane majored in Global Studies with a concentration in Global Education. During his time at Providence College Mr. Lane was a member of the Men's Rugby Club and a supervisor at the school's fitness center. Mr. Lane also studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where he worked at a local high school and coached rugby.
Dan Hannon has worked in private schools for more than 12 years as a coach, teacher, and house parent. He has taught History, Physical Education, and Theory of Knowledge, as well as coaching Football (American), Lacrosse, and Track & Field. Dan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a concentration in History from Manhattan College.
Elyse McGrath is originally from Portland, Oregon and she graduated from Colgate University in 2015 with a major in history and a minor in theater. After college, she spent two years teaching junior high school English in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. Her other education and boarding school experience includes teaching theater at Willowbrook Arts Camp and Northfield Mount Hermon Summer Session. Her hobbies include acting, singing and sewing.
Emily Pettengill is a House Parent from the Boston Area but has been residing in Santiago, Chile for the last year and a half. She graduated from Union College in 2014 with a major in Spanish Language and Hispanic Studies and double minor in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. She loves to travel, read, and enjoys getting outside as much as possible by hiking, running, biking, skiing, and camping.
Kate Irvin recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Kinesiology. She grew up in New Jersey and loves running, hiking and anything that gets her outdoors.
Keegan graduated from Grove City College in 2015 with a BS in Exercise Science and is currently working towards a Masters in Nutrition. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. During the school year, she works as a House Parent and as the Summer Campus Manager during the summer months. In high school, she worked with AFS Intercultural Programs to help teach and improve foreign exchange students English before the school year got started.
Michael Clark, a proud Manhattan College alum spent three years as an Americorps volunteer post college, teaching in Kansas City, MO, Chicago, IL, and Lawrence, MA. In his spare time, Michael can often be found surrounded by his loved ones, enjoying life to its fullest.
Rakeisha Heckstall was born and raised in Caroline County, Virgina. She graduated with a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. During her free time, she is actively involved in athletics and does Spoken Word Poetry from time to time.
Tiffany Santana received her Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in Health Science from the California State University, Fullerton. This will be her first year joining EF Academy after working with EF Long Beach the past two summers in Southern California. Prior to joining EF, she worked at the Disneyland Resort where she was introduced to guests visiting from across the globe. This will be her first time living in New York and is looking forward to working with individuals from such diverse backgrounds.
Michele became a nurse after a successful career with Bloomber, L.P. as a Project Manager in Business Development. She has always had a passion for health and wellness and spent the last 10 years caring for women and newborns. Working with the students at EF Academy, she gets to utilize her background in business, her love healthcare and her genuine affection for teens and young adults.
Stephanie Hendrick has a BS in Psychology from Union College and a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from Regis College. She has been working as a pediatric nurse for almost four years and previously worked on the pediatric ICU at Westchester Medical Center. Stephanie came to EF Academy to experience and learn about different cultures.
Brian Mahoney Head of School
Matthew Gonzales Deputy Head & House Parent
Angie Hessbruegge Director of Testing
Daniel Paccione IB Coordinator & Director of Global Studies
Emily Aquina Student Activities Director
Fabiana Da Silva Director of English Language Learning
Lauren Ciallella Director of University Advising
Michelle Ferrera Director of Guidance
Paul Giordano Athletics Director
Scott Hirschmugl Campus Director
Gavin Robinson Dean of Students
Jonathon Dunn Dean
Robert Behrens Assistant Dean of Students
Michael Muska Senior Associate Director of University Advising
Drew Granucci Associate University Guidance Advisor
Marc Johnson Head of Boarding
Patrick Dunn Head of Humanities
Cassie Marsh Math Chair
Giovanni Villari Arts Chair
Lynee Connelly English Chair
Miriam Ortiz World Languages Chair & House Parent
Steve Amrol Humanities Chair & House Parent
Colleen Reynolds Guidance Counselor
Emily Cozzi Guidance Counselor
Leah Martin University Guidance Counselor
Meghan Heim Guidance Counselor
Robyn Fowler Guidance Counselor
Sophia Pak Guidance Counselor
Thomas Hannon Theory of Knowledge
Lauren Kubis CAS Coordinator & Psychology Teacher
Adrian Burgess House Parent & Head Coach of the Varsity Boys Soccer Program
Amanda Torres House Parent & Social Media Coordinator
Elin Dordal English Teacher & House Parent
Irina Rudneva English Teacher & House Parent
Meric Dunn English Teacher & House Parent
Michael Yoder Gym Teacher & House Parent
Ruomen Vragov Humanities & House Parent
Scott Miller Humanities Teacher & House Parent
Walter Paul Math Teacher & House Parent
Amanda Jordan House Parent
Conor Lane House Parent
Dan Hannon House Parent
Elyse McGrath House Parent
Emily Pettingill House Parent
Kate Irvin House Parent
Keegan Reed House Parent
Michael Clark House Parent
Rakeisha Heckstall House Parent
Tiffany Santana House Parent
Michele O'Brien School Nurse
Stephanie Hendricks School Nurse
EF Academy’s high school in New York has an impressive athletic program that includes several varsity sports teams. There are also subject-specific and special interest clubs for students who would like to complement their studies. The activities coordinator plans regular cultural excursions, many of which take students to Manhattan to visit museums and exhibitions or see a show.Read more
EF Academy’s private school in New York has an impressive athletic program that includes several varsity sports teams. There are also subject-specific and special interest clubs for students who would like to complement their studies. The activities coordinator plans regular cultural excursions, many of which take students to Manhattan to visit museums and exhibitions or see a show.Emily Aquina EF Academy New York
Director of Activities and CAS Coordinator
“The Swiss school system wasn’t suitable for our daughter and we wanted to enroll her in a curriculum that had a good combination of activities and academics. Since starting at EF Academy, she has become more enthusiastic about studying, generally happier and more open to the rest of the world.”Catherine & Ridha Belaiba EF Academy New York
Parents of Inès Belaiba
IB Certificate Student
EF Academy’s American high school in New York is tucked in the quiet, suburban town of Thornwood and it is characterized by the many pathways, trails and woodland that surround its academic and residence buildings.Read more
Just down the hill from the school is Rose Hill Shopping Center, a small plaza with restaurants and shops. The famous island of Manhattan is less than an hour away. You will have plenty of time to explore the cultural hub of New York City on excursions organized by the school staff.
Theater students step into the spotlight in our beautiful auditorium where full-length plays are staged twice a year. Science labs equipped with state-of- the-art equipment and welcoming art studios not only enrich your classes, they also host science and art clubs after school and are available for you to use for independent study. Complete your school day with a bit of physical activity in our fully equipped gym, dance studio or basketball courts, or get some fresh air by going on a bike ride around eight kilometers of off-road trails on campus using one of the school’s own mountain bikes.
With a new residence building complete with lounges, study spaces and an outdoor terrace, our private high school in Thornwood, New York is modern, welcoming and perfect for studying and living with friends.Read more
EF Academy New York’s residence building opened for the 2016/17 school year and features modern design with communal spaces that invite students to study and live together. House parents live alongside the students and make sure they are cared for at all times and a staff nurse is on duty daily. Our international school’s residences are structured as communities, with one house parent overseeing a small number of rooms and the students within. Genders are separated and there are age-appropriate curfews, which are enforced by house parents and deans of students. Study hall at EF Academy New York takes place in the residence and is supervised by the house parents.
The on-campus residence buildings also have kitchen areas, quiet study rooms and lounges. Students make themselves at home in these open spaces and build friendships with their classmates and roommates as they cook, study and watch movies together.
To get more details about our New York campus