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For families, alumni & friends of Quest Academy

WINTER  I  2010


Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning

interdisciplinary teaching WINTER PROFILE

The interdisciplinary approach to learning focuses on blending knowledge and creating connections throughout the curriculum. It allows students to develop the ability to work with multiple sources and disciplines to examine a central theme or issue, solve a problem, and raise new questions. The National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) explain that “educational experiences are more authentic and of greater value to students when the curricula reflects real life, which is multi-facetedrather than being compartmentalized into neat subject-matter packages.” This approach requires collaboration among teachers to create connected learning and coherence in the curriculum. Our third grade students are currently studying explorers and the Renaissance period. Unit projects are connected through social studies, language arts, music, art, drama, and technology. The unit begins in social studies where they are learning how to take notes, research, and gather information from various sources. With the facts in

hand, students will write adventure tales of explorers at sea in the 1500’s. They take this information to art class where they create a storyboard for a stop action animation movie. The art project includes writing & organizing the project, creating backgrounds and props to be used for the animation and using digital cameras to take photographs for their movie. This means figuring out how to create movement through a series of individual photos. The photographs are taken to technology class where students learn how to put their “mini-movie” together and add sound. Students are also writing skits about explorers. Guidance is provided by the drama teacher on how to act according to the time period. Students will wear clothing representative of the era and create props for their skit. Cont. on page 8

WHO’S WHO Alumni news annual fund new logo

Welcome to Quest Academy Be sure to explore and become familiar with the Parents News & Events section to find current information. Visit teacher pages through the Faculty & Staff Directory, update your contact information in the Family Directory. Bookmark the news page - this is where you will find event information, the school calendar, and the Weekly Quest school newsletter.

Inspiring & Challenging Gifted Children



The Quest - Winter 2010


Meet David Grunberg Class of 2003 “Quest Academy allowed me the freedom to pursue my interests in mathematics and science. Through activities such as math team and science fair, I developed my passion for technology-based fields. I was well prepared to continue with my studies in high school, and eventually college.�

I am currently a first year graduate student at Drexel University, and am continuing the research that I began as an undergraduate on integrating music and technology. My current project is enabling robots to respond to and dance with music. We are now using the Hubo platform as our dancing robot, which presents new opportunities and challenges. The Hubo, one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, can move in a very human-like manner and contains many sensors to help position the motors. This will enable it to move in an exceedingly human-like manner. The Hubo computer is also more capable than our previous robots, so it can perform more complex tasks, such as using a camera to watch a conductor while also listening to the music. High School: Illinois Math and Science Academy, 2006 GPA: 3.9 Math team: Sophomore year: The IMSA team placed second in the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) exam. Junior year: The IMSA team placed fifth in state on the ICTM exam. Additionally, the school team was third place in the North Suburban Math League (NSML) competition, and the junior team was first in the competition. I individually qualified to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). Le Grand Concours (National French competition): Placed 7th in the chapter in the sophomore year History fair: Center for Working Class Studies award in the Chicago finals in sophomore year. Also advanced to the state finals in both sophomore and junior year. Academic: National Merit finalist AP scholar with distinction AP exams: English (5), Calculus-based physics, Mechanics (5), Calculus-based physics, Electricity and Magnetism (5), BC Calculus (5), Chemistry (5) SAT: 2310 (800 Math, 800 Verbal, 710 Writing)

The Quest is published for families, alumni, and friends of Quest Academy. It is produced by the Office of Institutional Advancement.

ADDRESS CHANGES Readers who wish to change their mailing address for The Quest, may call Laurie DeSimone at 847.202.8035, extension 461 or send an email to

QUEST ACADEMY Head of School Managing Editor Editor and Designer Photography Contributing Writer

Ben Hebebrand Michael Bates Sharon Rockhill Faculty & Staff Sharon Rockhill

SAT II: 2310 (800 Math IIC, 800 Chemistry, 710 English literature) ACT: 35 (36 English, 34 Math, 35 Reading, 36 Science, 32 Writing) Extra-curriculars: Research (two weeks at Drexel University working with a professor on 3D image modeling of organs), math team, Le Grand Concours, History fair, Ambassador (admissions tour guide), piano, literary club, fine arts club, political club (Vice President) College: Drexel University, BS, Electrical Engineering, GPA: 3.89 Awards and honors: Magna Cum Laude, SuperNOVA (combination BS/PhD program), Graduation with Honors, Presidential Scholarship (full tuition), Milton Rosenberg Scholarship, William F. Mitchell SuperNOVA endowed scholarship, Thomas W. Moore endowed scholarship, Dean's List, Tau Beta Pi (Engineering honors society), Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering honors society) Activities: Research, piano, Drexel Energy Club, Honors College activities, admissions tour guide Research: I performed research in the Music and Entertainment Technology laboratory (MET-lab) throughout my college career. The work I did was focused mostly on digital analysis of music, such as developing a program that could listen to music and detect the locations of beats. I used this program to control the motions of humanoid robots such that the robots are able to dance to the music. A video Cont. on page 5


lauren davis ’98 graduated from Miami University of Ohio in '06

Kelsey is a double major in Psychology and Studio Art and is currently

with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. After working for three years at

undergoing the process of getting her own research IRB approved with the

firms in Chicago, she decided to change directions and has been attending

intent on running it with the local schools and Quest! Kelsey also works at the

Northwestern University taking Pre-Medical prerequisites. She plans

Women's Center on campus.

on applying to medical school in the spring of 2011. Lauren works at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in the department of Simulation Technology and Immersive Learning. In her department, they use simulators to run medical scenarios for med students, residents, and various departments of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Part of her job includes research and the development of new simulation devices, as devices are built in-house that simulate various medical procedures.

emily pollokoff ’02 moved back to the US from Syria, and from Chicago to California this summer. She and her husband lived with his sister and her family in Humboldt County and helped out with their nephews before and after the birth of their niece. They got to witness the home birth, which Emily stated, “it was pretty cool!” They then moved downstate to Santa Barbara, where they’ve been since. Emily is working as an ESL tutor at UCSB, volunteering at an organic farm,

sehaj sethi ‘00 is currently a third year grad student in NYU's film

at a cat shelter, and as the Editor-in-Chief for the Islamic Society of Santa

program. Over this past summer, Sehaj worked in Chicago at a post-

Barbara, and applying to grad school in sociolinguistics.

production house called Utopic. She also spent two weeks backpacking through Argentina. Now back in New York City, she’s busy producing three

For the holiday season, she and her husband will either visit his sister's family

spec commercials, and directing a spec commercial of her own. In addition,

again up in northern California, or see her family in Florida.

she’s working on her thesis film which is scheduled to shoot in India in early

Austen Murrow ’06 was named Valedictorian of the class of 2010 at

2012, and in post-production of her last short from NYU, which will be sent

Woodlands Academy in Lake Forest. (Side note: this is the 2nd consecutive

out to festivals later this year. To top it all off, she’s in the middle of writing her

year a Quest Academy alumnae was named Valedictorian at Woodlands.

first feature.

Kayla Grayson '05, was named in 2009.) Austen is taking a gap year and

kelsey floyd ’04 was a camp counselor for Camp Henry Horner

traveling to Jordan, India and Argentina. She designed the program herself and will not be traveling with a group as she learns Arabic, does service work

(a Jewish-affiliated camp in Ingleside, IL) this summer and worked with kindergarten girls during day-camp and 8th grade girls during overnight

and improves her fluency in Spanish.

camp. She also got to represent and vote for her chapter (Alpha Chapter of

Jillian Johnson ’07 was named National Merit Scholar Semifinalist

Alpha Chi Omega) at a national convention in Washington D.C.

and an AP Scholar with Honors.

Kelsey will be hanging out with friends and family during the holidays, while

zach levine ’07 was recently named a National Merit Semifinalist. Zach

her freshman year roommate from Beijing, China will be going home with her

currently attends Evanston Township High School.

for Thanksgiving.

MITCHELL ZIELINSKI ’07 was recently highlighted in a Chicago Tribune

Kelsey’s travels have been extensive this past year. She went to Hawaii during

article that reported that he scored a 36 on his ACT and plans to study

Fall Break where she got to scuba dive and shoot underwater photography.

engineering. Mitchell currently attends Palatine High School.

During Winter Break she went to Switzerland with her family to visit family friends. For Winter Term, she went to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico where she learned how to silversmith. For Spring Break she went to Puerto Rico to visit a friend. Then she went to D.C. during the summer.

fall production of “Anne Frank and Me.” Per October 21, 2010 edition of Triblocal. Austin McKee ’09 here's a link to an interview with Austin about

Kelsey is currently the Alpha Chapter President of Alpha Chi Omega at DePauw University in Indiana. Prior to that, she was the VP Risk Manager and the Freshman class representative for Risk Management.

gabriela carrillo ’08 plays the lead in the Woodlands Academy

his Taiwan experiences that was published in the Naperville Sun - http://

Help Wanted: We are looking for contact information for the following "lost" alumni. Please send any current information to Christopher D'Asta 80s Bryan Ebert 80s Jennifer Goldstine 80s Holly Halchin 80s Erich Loepke 80s Mike Machowski 80s Robert Marcum 80s Michael McGovern 80s

Oscar Pinz 80s Stephen Tharp, '83 David Sena, '85 Stephen Sviatko, '86 Jennifer Anderson, '87 Richard Singer, '87 Gordon Schumacher, '89 Daniel Smith, '89

Jason Freeburg, '90 Nefertiti Thomas, '90 Brendan Bosack, '91 Jill Downing, '91 James Hammang, '91 Jennifer Saum, '91 Matthew Wagner, '91 Anne Freeburg, '92

Ansel Baily-Mershon, '93 Kelly Brady, '93 Sarah Carson, '93 Courtney Eisner, '93 Beth Gregersen, '93 George Nedic, '93 Daniel Tremitiere, '94 Scott Weiss, '94

Casey Shonfield, '95 Kevin Zamp, '96 Steven Lee, '97 Valerie Trapp, '97 Stephen Walker, '97 Johanna Wiesbrock, '97 Max Lennartz, '98 Phillip Schutt, '98

Nissa Thompson, '98 Tristan Zamp, '98 Andrew Heber, '99 Alex Hellner, '99 Amber Lynch, '99 Hussin Syed, '99 Brenton Bade, '01 Jeffrey Hodal, '02

Brandon Kuesis, '02 Allyson Nolde, '02 Berit Kuesis, '03 Colin Wixted, '03 Jarrett Bade, '04 Dan Tauber, '06

We’d love to hear from all alumni and their parents! Please drop us a note to let us know where you are and what you are doing. Email us at



The Quest - Winter 2010

Quest Academy WHO’S WHO Beth Blaetz

Rupa Khanna

Alison Ortony

Class: Fourth Grade - Owl Classroom

Class: Preschool

Class: Middle School Math

Hometown: Palatine, IL

Hometown: Palatine, IL (Calcutta, India)

Hometown: Urbana, IL

Why I Teach: Teaching is a new experience every day! Exploring teaching methods and how students respond to various strategies is very intriguing and no matter how long I have been doing this job there is always more to learn about better ways to help children become excited about learning.

Why I Teach: I teach because I love children. I delight in their willingness to learn, their unabashed inquisitiveness, the look on their faces when they have mastered something new, and the beauty of their unjaded personalities. I am filled with joy because even while I teach I learn something new from my students. As some said "To learn and never be filled is wisdom, to teach and never be weary is love."

Why I Teach: I love math. I also love being a part of the moment when students have been struggling with an idea which they finally get.

Why I like Quest: Quest offers me the best possible environment for teaching. This community is so supportive of professional development and offers me the flexibility to teach children in a variety of methods to best serve their learning needs. Finally, the students are amazing! Hobbies & Interests: Pottery, sewing, decorating my home, and going to the theater are some of my hobbies. I am always interested in learning more about education, including brain research, and special communities. Favorite Music: I enjoy music to sing along with and/or dance to. Favorite TV Shows: I watch House, NCIS, The Good Wife, and English mysteries. Favorite Movies: Notting Hill, My Best Friends Wedding, and The Princess Bride. Favorite Books: I read many educational non-fiction books and grade level novels but my favorite fictional book is Ladies of the Club. Favorite Quotation: "What lies behind us and before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.� - Emerson About Me: I received my license in Cosmetology during high school and worked as a hairdresser to earn money during college. Since college I have been happily married for 28 year and have raised three adult children who have become great friends. I have a fondness for working with power tools having used them for both construction and destruction while remodeling my home and doing landscaping.

Why I like Quest: Teaching at Quest is a blessing. I am fortunate to be part of a school whose aim is to foster the development of all that is best in a child, creatively, cognitively, and emotionally. The parents and families I work closely with are a continued source of support and together we are truly a "village" all working towards creating an environment at school and at home where our children can thrive. Quest is simply not just a school your children attend; it's a family in the truest sense of the word. Hobbies & Interests: Travelling, painting, interior design, cooking and organizing (really). Favorite Music: My taste in music is eclectic. On my ipod are: Barbara Streisand, Prince, Nina Simone, Alicia Keyes, Simon and Garfunkel, Gypsy Kings, John Legend, Lady Ga, Ga, Jagjeet Singh, Beatles, Bee Gees, Pavarotti, Bocelli, Julio Iglesias, Coldpay and Sting. Favorite TV Shows: Devine Design on HGTV, Bobby Flay and Chopped on Food Network, Modern Family, CSpan, The Daily Show, National Geographic. Favorite Movies: Sound of Music, Doctor Zhivago, Michael Moore's documentaries, and most movies that have Matt Damon in the lead. Favorite Books: I am a voracious reader and will read just about anything. But some books that I have carried with me to every home are those by James Herriot, Kahil Gibran, and a book of poetry that my husband gave me of the collected works of Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, and Milton. Favorite Quotation: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi About Me: I modeled for Lipton Tea when I was in college. It was quite a thrill to be selected and I smile when I think of that time. I am a speed reader and if engrossed in a particularly fascinating book will stay up all night to complete it, even if it kills me.

Why I like Quest: I love teaching at Quest because the people are awesome. The faculty and staff are extremely committed and passionate about creating a wonderful experience for the students. The students are hard working and surpass my expectations daily. It is really a cool place to work. Hobbies & Interests: I spend a lot of time in school. I just finished my masters in Math education from Western Governors University last month and I am working on a certificate in gifted education at Northwestern. I also love to play with my dogs and spend a lot of time exercising/playing wii. I also spend a lot of time practicing mental math and creating and solving problems for myself. Favorite Music: I like rap and hip-hop and most other genres without guitars with feedback. Favorite TV Shows: I really like Stan Lee's Super Humans and Myth Busters. Favorite Movies: I love seeing the technological advances in animated movies. I remember when Monsters Inc. looked so advanced and cool. Recently I saw Despicable Me, which was great. Favorite Books: Flat Land About Me: I have four dogs - two Chihuahuas, Skooter (4 lbs) and Daisy (6 lbs), one poo-huahua Chester (10 lbs), a rat terrier (terror) Jaxxmine (15 lbs) and a cat named Godel (20 lbs). Before coming to Quest, I worked in Italy for four months programming computers for the University of Trento's math department. I spent two years working on a PhD in Computer Graphics before I realized I want to be a teacher. I still think that one day I may become a ballerina.


Noetic Math Competition This year 4,343 students representing 262 teams participated in the Noetic Math Competition. This is a 21% increase from the spring 2010 contest and 87% from the fall 2009 contest.

with Mr. Hebebrand Beginning September 14 and finishing up on November 2, Head of School Mr. Ben Hebebrand hosted ten QUIPP (QUest Information Program for Parents) sessions. With trustee representation at all but two sessions, these one hour informal gatherings replaced the traditional grade level coffees and last year’s neighborhood coffees. Approximately 35 percent of families attended one of the QUIPP sessions. 90 percent of those who responded to the follow-up survey indicated that the content presented at the sessions were worth the investment of time. In terms of feedback to improve future sessions, folks wanted a bit more time for questions and answers, elimination of some overlap information that was also presented at the Welcome Coffees earlier in the year, consider fewer sessions but require a minimum number of attendees per session. Parents did like the fact that these were held on campus. The sessions held immediately after drop-of at 8:30 am were clearly the most popular. Thanks to all who attended and if you have not yet gone on-line to complete the brief follow-up survey, there is still time to do so.

The top 10% of students in each grade level are placed in the National Honor Roll. The top 10%-50% of students in each grade level are placed in the Honorable Mention category. Ms. Alison Ortony has distributed medals to all of our National Honor Roll students and team leaders. Congratulations to all the students who participated. Don’t forget the spring competition on April 14, 2011! Fifteen Quest Academy students made the national honor roll. Second Grade—Nina Prakash (team leader), Ronje Roy, Freddie Tang, Adya Verma, Michael Cumberbatch, Gavin Schneider. Third Grade—Mitchell Brown (team leader), Alan Hentrich, Jacob Levine, Max Curl. Fourth Grade—Sonya Gupta (team leader), Christopher Paik, Nanouk Roy. Fifth Grade—Ryan Ford (team leader) and Matthew Han. Visit the Noetic Learning web site: mathcontest/

Cont. from page 2

of one such robot is available on the MET-lab web site at research/Robotdance. Publications: I have published several conference papers and one journal paper in the course of my research: - D. Grunberg et al, "Development of an Autonomous Dancing Robot," In the International Journal of Hybrid Information Technology, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 33-44, 2010. - Y. Kim et al, "Developing Humanoids for Musical Interaction," In Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October, 2010. - Ellenberg, R., Grunberg, D., Oh, P., and Y. Kim, "Creating an Autonomous Dancing Robot," In Proceedings of the International Conference on Hybrid Information Technology, August, 2009 Senior Design: I worked with two other students in the MET-lab to design an orchestral tracker. The purpose of this system was to assist people who are unfamiliar with classical music when they listen to an orchestral performance. My portion of the project was designing a program that could listen to an orchestra and, in real time, determine which measure of the piece the orchestra was playing.

This information was sent by a server application to handheld devices in the audience, such as iPhones and iPod Touches. These devices could then display information relevant to the orchestra's position in the piece. This project placed second in the college competition and was written up in the Philadelphia Inquirer (see: resonance__via_your_cell_phone.html). Work experience: Drexel requires its students to work at a job for several months as part of their education. I worked at the Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST), specifically the Hubo lab, where the Hubo robot is developed. Drexel is using the Hubo for several of our projects, hence my interest in the lab. My work involved creating gestures for the Hubo arms, and analyzing, documenting, and improving the Hubo program. This experience allowed me to learn more about the humanoid robots that I work with in America, particularly in regards to enabling them to produce specific gestures. Post-college: Tests: GRE: 1550 (800 Math, 750 Verbal) Honors: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.



The Quest - Winter 2010

Show Your Spirit & Pride! We are excited to present our new athletic/spiritwear logos! The new look is now available through the school store. Go to to order your spiritwear. Order by December 3 to ensure holiday delivery!



For Quest students, the end of the year means wrapping up class projects and then enjoying a welldeserved winter break. For you, this time of year should be a reminder to not only enjoy the holidays and time with family and loved ones, but also tie up any loose ends when it comes to charitable giving. Giving to Quest Academy before December 31st packs a double punch. First, you will be supporting the mission and vision of the School. Which really means investing in the students who attend Quest Academy—the Pandas all the way through 8th Grade. Second, tax incentives may enable you to do more than you realized possible, perhaps improving your own financial position in the process. The availability of an income tax deduction helps a charitable person be even more charitable. Here’s How If you itemize deductions, a gift is deductible in the year it is made. In general, the effect of the deduction is that the higher your income tax bracket, the more you will save in taxes. If you have had to take the standard deduction in past years, giving more may increase your deductions above the standard. This qualifies you for a greater tax benefit. Example: An individual who pays taxes at a 28 percent marginal federal income tax rate makes a gift to Quest of $1,000. It is as if that person has actually only spent $720. The $280 difference is the tax that the donor would have paid if no gift had been made. What Should You Give? Cash: Nothing is as simple and direct as giving cash. You can make an unrestricted gift or designate a gift for use in a specific area such as technology, faculty development, the library, athletics, service learning, or give to

Remember! Only gifts made by December 31, 2010 can reduce the amount of taxes you owe on April 15, 2011!



2010 Year-End Giving

the endowment. A gift of cash may be deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income and gifts in excess of 50 percent may be carried over as deductions into the next five years. Securities: Stocks or other investments that have grown in value and that you have owned for more than one year can become a substantial gift with a low net cost to you. You receive a charitable deduction for the gift based on the fair market value on the date the gift is received by quest. The bonus is you avoid all federal tax gains that would otherwise be owed on the sale of the assets. Timing Your Gift If you plan to make a calendar year-end gift to Quest Academy, the effective date of your gift is the date the gift is hand-delivered or postmarked. Stock that is held in electronic form can be transferred through your broker. The value and date of the gift are determined by the date of the transfer, which is generally the date the securities are received in our account. Matching Gifts Many companies match employee gifts up to a certain limit per year. To find out if your company is among those participating in a gift-matching program, ask your human resources department for information about your company's gift-matching policy. Don’t Forget …to keep all receipts and acknowledgement letters, especially for contributions of $250 or more.

For more information, please contact: Michael Bates, CFRE Director of Institutional Advancement & Chief Development Officer 847.202.8035, extension 459 Laurie DeSimone Director of Development & Constituent Relations 847.202.8035, extension 461 For your convenience, we now have secure, on-line giving capability. Please go to:

* You too can get one of these "Quest for Success" Annual Fund bracelets with your gift. Don't be left out!



The Quest - Winter 2010

Cont. from page 1

At the end of the unit they share with family and friends all that has been learned. During the third grade Renaissance Faire, the skits will be performed and the stop action animation movies will be shown. There will, of course, be a feast with food representative of the period to share with all! This integration process enhances critical thinking and creativity and helps students connect learning to real life experiences. Students become actively involved in their learning which empowers understanding as opposed to learning that required memorization. Living the study imprints more deeply, students

have the opportunity to bring their studies to life. This deepened experience is something they will carry with them throughout their life. What's next for the third grade? They will be moving on to study Ancient Americas civilizations by watching short fictional film clips about what exists in South America/Mexico and in science class the students watch scientific follow up clips to understand more about the oceans, archeology, and experiments.

Creating the storyboards.

Making backgrounds and props.

Rehearsing their skits. Taking photographs.

Making the movie and recording sound. Uploading photographs.


November 16 at Quest Academy Super Tuesday included two great events Quest Ahead and Meet the Alumni and Alumni Parents Night. Quest Ahead provided our parents an opportunity to look ahead to next year and beyond, to get a peek at what their child will be doing and learn more about our curriculum. All grade levels and subjects were available throughout the day, parents were able to register for two sessions. Meet the Alumni and Alumni Parents Night is an annual event that provides students and parents an opportunity to talk to Quest Academy graduates about their transition to high school. This year we added alumni parents to the panel to share their perspectives, too. Alumni from public and private schools and all grade levels were represented. Alumni and alumni parents panelists included: Connor Chang (Quest ’08 / Barrington) Shelby Daniel-Wayman (Quest ’08 / Illinois Math & Science Academy) Anna Deberry (Quest '10 / Woodlands Academy) Max Farbman (Quest ’10 / Buffalo Grove) Sarah Farbman (Quest ’07 / Buffalo Grove) Danny Gardner (Quest ‘09 / Loyola Academy) Jillian Johnson (Quest ’07 / Fremd) Mack Lee (Quest '10 /Stevenson) Andrea Nicholson (Quest ’10 / Fremd) Abby Rosenson (Quest ‘07 / Stevenson) Alumni Parents: Kyle Chang, Debbie Daniel-Wayman, Estelle Nicholson, Jodie Johnson, Jeff Farbman , Alan & Lindy Rosenson


10 The Quest - Winter 2010

Pumpkin Fest Pumpkin Fest never fails to delight our students and their families! The pumpkins were fantastic! It was great to see families working together on their creations. Our middle school students did an outstanding job running the games and activities. Mr. Simon, Mr. & Mrs. Barrios, Mrs. LuckettKelly, and Mr. Jurewicz provided a perfect end to a perfect evening with their creative interpretation of The Adventures of Isabel! Thank you to all volunteers for making this an event to remember. 11

UPDATE FROM THE HEAD Dear Quest Academy Community: Following our recent announcement of Quest Academy having entered into an agreement to purchase both a 3.7 acre parcel of vacant land across Plum Grove Road and the adjoining shopping plaza, several parents, students, faculty and staff, alumni families, and Palatine community members have approached us with notes and remarks endorsing our vision. It has been more than reconfirmed to me that development of green space has long been an item of the highest priority. It was moving to witness the faculty and staff ’s joy when Board Chair Jim Erbs and Finance Chair Curtis Maas announced our plans. For the many faculty and staff members who have worked here for more than a decade or just for a few short years, the plans to expand our campus represented a moment to take great pride in our school’s almost 30-year history that initially began as Creative Children’s Academy with eleven students in 1982 in a small building in Arlington Heights. Equally, our trustees, several of whom have been involved with our school for nearly two decades, reflected on the school’s history and fittingly and humbly credited past trustees, parents, teachers, and administrators for building a school with such a critical mission – challenging and inspiring gifted children. Our work is now steeped in “due diligence” efforts to ensure that all legal, zoning, financial, engineering and environmental factors are in the best interest of our school prior to closing on these real estate transactions, projected to occur early in 2011. We have been aided in this process by extraordinary efforts by our trustees and pro-bono services of a prominent law firm as well as the services of our Crown Group partners, the commercial real estate development and brokerage firm that will manage the retail plaza for the foreseeable future. Let me share with you some of the questions I have been asked about this project: •

Why did Quest invest in these two parcels of property?

There are two primary reasons. First, we responded to feedback from both current and prospective parents, as well as a recommendation in the ISACS re-accreditation report (November 2008) regarding the need for green space.  Our outright purchase of the 3.7 acres of land represents the highest priority item to improve the quality of our students’ experience on the Quest Academy campus. Second, by partnering with The Crown Group, we have stabilized the future of the Palatine Centre and secured the future of Quest Academy.  We are no longer subject to the purchase of the Palatine Centre Mall by an unknown ownership group.  We control our future and feel secure in protecting the leases for our Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Band, and Finance/ Advancement Office spaces. •

When do you expect the “green space” to be ready for use by Quest kids?

It’s difficult to give you a definitive answer today. It’s a function of when we close the deal, selecting a contractor(s) for each part of the project (that is the preparing of the property and then the development of the property), coordinating the execution these projects, and as this is Chicago, the weather.  As is our practice, we will keep you updated as plans develop. •

Is there going to be a fundraising campaign for the “green space?” When?  Do you have a goal in mind?

This is a big move for Quest Academy, and therefore yes, there is a high-probability of a special fundraising initiative (over and above the Annual Fund and the Auction) in support of the “green space” project at some point in the future, still to be determined. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact our trustees or me should you have any specific questions. It is with a great sense of purpose that we are moving forward to secure and improve the future of Quest Academy.


Ben Hebebrand

12 The Quest - Winter 2010

Office of Institutional Advancement

Quest Academy

Inspiring & Challenging Gifted Children

500 North Benton Palatine, Illinois 60067 847.202.8035


December 2  | THU Band Concert 7:00pm December 10 - 11  | FRI - SAT Madrigal Fest December 14  | TUE Lower School Choir Concert 7:00pm December 19  | SUN Regional Lego Tournament 10:001m-4:00pm December 20 - 31  | MON - FRI Winter Break - NO SCHOOL

JANUARY January 3  | MON School Reopens January 7  | FRI Alumni Reunion 7:00-9:00pm January 9  | SUN Admissions Open House 1:00-2:30pm YMCA Family Night - Buehler YMCA January 14  | FRI Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly 9:00am January 17  | MON Martin Luther King Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL January 21  | FRI 5th & 6th Grade Toboggan Trip

FEBRUARY February 8  | TUE History Fair 1:00pm Judging, 3:30 Open Viewing February 10  | THU 5th Grade Move-up Day State of the School/Move-up Night February 21  | MON President's Day - NO SCHOOL February 26  | SAT Regional History Fair, NIU, Dekalb

MARCH March 5  | SAT Auction - Night of All Knights March 11  | FRI Inservice Day - NO SCHOOL March 21 - 25  | MON - FRI Spring Break - NO SCHOOL March 31  | THU Parent Teacher Conferences 3:30-8:30pm Early Dismissal 2:45pm

Save the Date - Alumni Reunion 7:00pm, Friday, January 7, 2011 Calling all Questies! Mark you calendars for the Alumni Reunion - call, text, IM, or Facebook your old Quest friends. Join us for pizza and snacks while you catch up with faculty and friends. RSVP to Laurie DeSimone at 847.202.8035, ext. 461, email or go to our Facebook page and RSVP to the event.

We'd love to hear from all alumni and their parents! Please drop us a note to let us know where you are and what you are doing. Email us at

QUEST ACADEMY  I  OUR MISSION Quest Academy provides gifted children with a challenging curriculum and a nurturing environment. Our program emphasizes sound character along with scholarship and creativity in both the academics and the arts. The Quest community values the individuality of each child and encourages each to strive for personal excellence.

The Quest Nov 2010  

The Quest Magazine, November 2010