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THE QUEST For families, alumni & friends of Quest Academy

FALL I  2011

Character Education: Celebrating Over Ten Years of Nurturing Young Minds and Hearts Addressing moral, ethical, and academic issues that are of concern to our society and the safety of schools is important. These issues can be addressed through character education, which is a process of teaching, example, learning, and practice, over time.

IN THIS ISSUE Character Education Fall Profile Who’s Who Welcome new Families & Faculty spot auction update

The Quest Academy Character Education program encourages each student to develop respect for self, for others, and for his or her surroundings through internalization of the following traits: compassion, courage, generosity, gratitude, honesty, industry, loyalty, modesty, patience, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline. To fulfill this mission and facilitate a program that is inclusive, supportive, straightforward and communicative, we have implemented the following: • Classroom activities and service projects which allow for discussion and analysis of good character.

• • •

Recognition of exemplary and/or consistent behavior by awarding seals. Opportunities for students to learn leadership skills. Celebrations of individual and community character achievements at pageants.

When Creative Children’s Academy was in the process of changing the school’s name to Quest Academy, the knight was selected as the mascot. Around the same time, a faculty committee was exploring character education programs and options, both to resolve behavioral issues seen in the school and to Continued on page 5

Update from the Head

Welcome to Quest Academy 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

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The Quest - Fall 2011


Carmen Aiken ‘01 Quest Academy’s First Knight “Quest definitely allowed me to become the inquisitive and open-minded person I am today. My time there allowed me to explore even though it would sometimes end in frustration or confusion. I met friends and mentors from all sorts of spectrums, and many of the people I met are still in touch with me today.” Mills College Class of 2009 BA English, GPA 3.95, Graduated with Honors Extracurricular Activities: Deep Oakland Public Radio Journalist, Intern at FHM Magazine in London, Editor of The Walrus (Literary Magazine), Senior Baccalaureate speaker.

Prospect High School Class of 2005 Four AP classes, GPA 3.5, ACT 31 Extracurricular Activities: Speech Team (State Sectional Finalist), School Newspaper (Managing Editor), Freshman Mentor, GSA President and Founder.

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

T-Shirt Front, Left Chest

Head of School Managing Editor Editor and Designer Photography

Ben Hebebrand Michael Bates Sharon Rockhill Faculty & Staff

Future plans and aspirations: Starting a small press for “zines”, chapbooks and bike tomes; continuing to work for food justice and active transportation; owning a stable of road, touring and cargo bikes. I recently volunteered with Active Transportation Alliance on Four Star Bike Tour. I still like to go on reading tears or learn how to fix bicycles or work on a farm or edit a “zine”.

Quest Academy Service Learning Leaders

We extend an invitation to all alumni and alumni parents to join us for Immersion Day on Wednesday, November 16. Contact Mrs. Jen Fabsik at if you are interested in participating.

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

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ALUMNI NEWS Erin (McGrath) Scheffer, ‘94 graduated from Hersey High School in 1998. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a High Departmental Distinction in Psychology. She then earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University with a 4.0 GPA. She is currently working to obtain her Doctor of Psychology from Argosy University, which she is due to achieve in 2012. Erin has received many impressive academic and service awards over the years and has trained and certified a therapy dog with which she visits senior centers and therapeutic day schools. Alicia Gamze, ‘02 graduated from Barrington High School in 2006, then moved west to attend Loyola Marymount University outside of Los Angeles. She graduated with a Communication Studies major and a Theater minor in December of 2009. After moving back to Chicago, she completed her prerequisites including CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and Phlebotomy, and recently began her clinicals at Quest Diagnostics as a Phlebotomy Technician. Alicia will attend Harper College’s Nursing Program and plans to graduate as a Registered Nurse in the spring of 2013. Marissa Suchyta, ‘06 was among 27 Girl Scouts in northern Illinois who earned the

Girl Scout Gold Award in 2011, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. Her project, Buckets of Optimism, offered support to teenage girls undergoing treatment for cancer and also raised awareness of cancer research in her community. Andy Mack, ‘07 recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. He also made it as a walk-on to the Purdue University cross country team. Colette Hankin, ‘08 is a senior at Loyola Academy and has achieved 1st Honors academic status each semester. Throughout her time at Loyola, she has been active in the Theatre program and was recently inducted into the International Thespian Society. When she visited France with the French program, she stayed in Le Havre with a French family and then visited Paris. She reciprocated by hosting a French student from that family in her home. She has received the great honor of being nominated for the Brost Award, which is for outstanding leadership in a non-athletic cocurricular during one’s junior year, as well as the Team Freedom Salute Award from the US Army for Outstanding Support of the Troops.

Colette has participated in various service activities and trips such as to a Navajo reservation to build homes, plus she traveled to Cairo, IL to assist flood victims this summer. This fall, she will be one of the Varsity Football team’s student trainers. Grant Threlfall, attended Palatine High School, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Indiana after leaving Creative Children’s Academy in 1992. He graduated with distinction in Political Science and a second degree in International Relations from UWM and a MBA from the Kelly School of Business at IU. After 9/11, he joined Air Force ROTC, was commissioned in 2002 and has been an Air Force officer ever since. Grant has been deployed to Asia and the Middle East, has been stationed at Langley Air Force Base, VA with the 1st Fighter Wing, and recently left Creech Air Force Base, NV with the 432nd Wing and moved to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii where he is working on the 13th Air Force staff. He and his lovely wife Dana married in 2007 and have two children, Gorden and Kyleigh (Kyleigh was just born on September 10th!). Grant is still in contact with several CCA friends, including one of his best friends, Alex Saunders.

The Class of 2007 The colleges and universities these alumni are attending: Lauren A. Capra Thomas Chen Elizabeth A. Dickerson Rebecca Ehrmann Abigail J. Elf Andrew Erbs Sarah Farbman Connor R. Firth Jared Fisher Erin Ford Trevor Jennings Jillian Johnson Mary H. Joo Connor Lehman Zachary B. Levine Eli R. Longbottom Alex Maas

University of Chicago University of Michigan New England Conservatory Young Judea’s Year Course, then Northwestern University University of Evansville Pennsylvania State University Grinnell College University of Wisconsin - Madison Northwestern University Knox College Miami University of Ohio Grinnell College Lafayette College Harper College Brown University Not Reported Syracuse University

Andrew Mack Alexandrea Messner Sabine Miller Mitchell Mamon Alexis E. Noel Elizabeth Posdal Joseph Roberti Nigel Rolfe Abigail Rosenson Parker Samata Elizabeth A. Sanscrainte Zachary Stewart Mitchell Zielinski Alexandra Zimay

Purdue University DePauw University Grinnell College University of Wisconsin - Madison Not Reported Miami University of Ohio Cornell College Not Reported Rollins College Colombia College Chicago University of Illinios Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Purdue University Knox College

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 - Fall 2011

Quest Academy WHO’S WHO Bernice Lau Paredes

Shin-Shin Lin

Laura Nadeau

Class: Second Grade, Tiger Class Hometown: Northbrook, IL

Class: Middle School Mandarin Chinese Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.

Class: Fifth Grade, Phoenix Class Hometown: South Windsor, CT

Why I Teach: I teach because of the children that enter my classroom everyday. I hope to inspire a love for learning within each of them.

Why I Teach: I like teaching because I like to have more people understand my language and culture. I believe the world would be more peaceful if everybody tries to understand and respect other cultures. Another reason is because I don’t like to have a fixed routine in my daily life. I love the freedom and flexibility to design my curriculum at Quest.

Why I Teach: I have always loved to learn. When I was a school-age student, ALL the subjects were my favorite! As a college student and as a parent, I studied how people learn best.

Why I like Quest: Teaching at Quest not only fulfills my passion for teaching, but it provides an environment that promotes creativity and differentiation for each individual. Hobbies & Interests: I love to travel anywhere and everywhere. I am a “foodie” at heart and love trying new restaurants. Sweets are my specialty. Spending time with my family and friends is what really makes me happy! Favorite Music: I love listening to anything that makes me dance or sing! :) Favorite TV Shows: I love comedies, especially Modern Family, The Office, and of course Glee! I like dramas too, such as Castle and The Good Wife. I can’t resist reality t.v... Favorite Movies: Anything that’ll make me laugh out loud. Will Ferrell movies do a good job at it. :) Favorite Books: Anything that inspires or pulls me in! Favorite Quotation: Love, Learn, and Laugh...A lot! About Me: I’m an identical twin! She does live close by so if you see “me” and I don’t say hello, please know that it’s just my twin sister, Alice!

Quest Academy Choir performs at Palatine Oktoberfest.

Why I like Quest: Quest is like a big family to me. Everyone cares and helps each other. I feel welcomed. Hobbies & Interests: Photography and flower arranging. Favorite Music: Chinese pop songs by Jay Chou and Leehom Wang. Favorite TV Shows: None, I like the computer better. Favorite Movies: Totoro and all other Japanese animations created by Miyazaki.

Why I like Quest: Teaching is a great profession for anyone who loves learning. And there is no greater place to find teachers and students who share my interests than Quest Academy! Hobbies & Interests: Family, piano, concerts and shows, new places. Favorite Music: Broadway show tunes. Favorite TV Shows: I don’t watch regular TV but I do go through marathons of watching old shows on Currently, I’m watching “Standoff”, a series about hostage negotiators. Favorite Movies: “Doctor Zhivago”; all the James Bond movies

Favorite Books: Jin Yong’s fiction. They are the wuxiz (martial arts and chivalry) genre.

Favorite Books: An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott. Anything by Agatha Christie. And about 1,000 other books.

Favorite Quotation: “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

Favorite Quotation: “To thine own self be true, and . . . thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare

About Me: I like trying new things like exotic cuisine but I don’t like to cook. However, the “prettiness” is the key.

About Me: I have a son and a daughter who both attended Quest Academy and are now in their twenties. My ancestors settled on a small Maine island in the 1700s and I have visited there almost every summer of my life.

Character Education - Continued from page 1

develop leadership opportunities for students. These discussions led to conversations about the “path to Knighthood” with this group of faculty and parents: Matt Bardoe, Mary Lynn Bernacchi, Angie Carr, Nancy Cohn, Balazs Dibuz, Shannon Holub, Mark Jurewicz, Heidi Senetra, and Barbara Stubing. Mary Lynn Bernacchi (Quest Academy trustee and alumni parent) recalls that none of the pre-packaged programs available at the time were quite right for Quest’s community of independent-minded gifted students. “We knew our character education program had to be reality-based and to offer our students the ability to create their own path toward our shared values and their own character growth and development.” As a school, we have expectations of safety and courtesy for all students to follow. Once a week, lower school students participate in Character Education class which provides an opportunity for all of us to discuss and act on topics of importance to ourselves and our community. Honor codes at each grade level are established by students at that grade level. The purpose of honor codes is to allow students to define for themselves what good character at their grade level should look like. References to the honor codes

are made throughout the school day as related situations crop up in each class. To encourage students as they strive for excellent character, we have established several levels of honor to acknowledge their growth – Page, Squire, and Knight. Each individual student may decide to start his/her own path through knighthood, and we as a school community are there to help all students on their way. Middle school students continue character education through service learning. In 2001, Quest “knighted” a student for the first time; that student was Carmen Aiken. (See page 2.) We asked Carmen what the Knight program meant to her. “The Knight program was a way for my youthful altruism to find form. Now that I’m older, I think children naturally want to do good and serve. By acknowledging my skills and my power to serve, the Knight program helped me truly understand what values I wanted to develop in adolescence. While we all want to be self-disciplined or compassionate, doing work outside of ourselves helps us understand how our values actually work. I felt engaged with a community, and truly proud others could see this. I still try my best to live a life that holds service and thinking outside myself first.”

Above: The Round Table featuring the symbols of the twelve character traits. The table was made by Mr. Jurewicz (LS Science) and Ms. Senetra-Bass (GR 5).

Quest Academy Code of Honor As a Quest Academy Knight I promise to Respect the community of learners to which I belong, and to accept Responsibility for all my words and deeds. Hannah O’Brien Knighting Ceremony.

Mr. Jurewicz (LS Science) with Knights (left to right) Julia Smith, Hannah O’Brien and Megan Ford.

I will strive with ever-greater Self-discipline, to be Industrious and Patient in my studies; to be Loyal to my peers, my elders, and my ideals; to be Courageous in Hardship, yet Modest in success; to be Grateful for what I receive and Generous with what I have to give; and, at all times, to be Honest and Compassionate.

Mr. Jurewicz (LS Science) with Carmen Aiken ‘01 and Akiko Slaughter.

As a Quest Knight, I choose to join with others in a collective search for truth as part of my life-long learning adventure. Character trait banners.



The Quest - Fall 2011

Welcome New Faculty & Staff Look who’s been added to our line-up...

Spot Auction Update The new stage lighting and speakers have arrived! There is still work to be done but we are seeing progress.

Andrea Dotoli Middle School Drama Teacher

Amanda Blum Middle School Assistant Teacher Trisha Cohn Second Grade Teacher

Danielle Menacker Preschool Assistant Teacher

Tanya Soares Preschool Assistant Teacher

Jeff Oremland Preschool Assistant Teacher

Ekaterina Vinogradova Lower School French Teacher

Mr. & Dr. Vadim Balannik Ron, Grade 4 Arlington Heights

Mr. David Phillips & Ms. Lisa Schultz Quinna, Grade 8 Long Grove

Mr. Kumar Venkataraman & Ms. Chitra Nair Nikita, Grade 4 & Sanjana, Kindergarten Lake Zurich

Mr. David Qian & Dr. Hong Luo Andrew, Pre-Kindergarten Barrington

Mr. & Mrs. Jae Lee Allison, Grade 2 & Abigail, Pre-Kindergarten Deerfield

Dr. and Mrs. Paul Robison Emma, Grade 6 & Caroline, Grade 2 Barrington

Mr. Kevin Li & Mrs. Liya Wu Sean, Grade 3 Lake Zurich

Mr. & Mrs. William Sexton Matthew, Kindergarten & Amelia, Pre-Kindergarten Kildeer

Mr. & Mrs. Leon Linton Gregory, Grade 4 & Max, Pre-Kindergarten Northbrook

Mr. & Mrs. Mike Zuccaro Madden, Preschool Lemont

Mr. & Mrs. Scott Maricich Eli, Grade 7 Addison

IN MEMORIAM: Mr. Tom Staley

The Quest Academy community mourns the loss of Middle School Assistant Teacher, Mr. Tom Staley, who passed away suddenly in July. Tom joined Quest Academy in August 2008. He came to us with great teaching experience from both nearby public and private schools. We remember Tom as the kind of teacher who worked closely with individual students. He often tutored in both Mathematics and Language Arts - his oneon-one work not only led to great results, but also personified Tom’s ideals about teaching - highly personalized, challenging, and always supportive of the student. Tom was a valuable and beloved member of the Quest Academy community and is missed.

As of 09-01-2011

UPDATE FROM THE HEAD Dear Quest Academy Community: Since I only started blogging this summer and since many of you were traveling, enjoying the great Chicago summer weather, or engaged in other outdoor and leisurely pursuits, I thought I would share with you my first entry of August 3, 2011. As we approach Opening Day of the 2011-12 school year at Quest Academy, I thought it wise to review our school’s Belief Statements. For this initial “Gifted Education Perspectives” entry, I have chosen the statement below in bold -- it may well be my favorite one! (For a complete list of our Belief Statements, please see our web site.) “Giftedness is exceptional intellectual, physical, creative, and/or affective capacity that can be transformed into extraordinary ability.” This statement is closely tied to the work of gifted education theorist Francoys Gagne, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology at the Universite du Quebec. Gagne developed the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), offering what I consider to be the clearest and most common-sense distinction of the terms ‘giftedness’ and ‘talent.’ By offering this distinction, Gagne makes a clear case that gifted learners require a special education to lead to superior talents. “Giftedness designates the possession and use of untrained and spontaneously expressed superior natural abilities (called aptitudes or gifts), in at least one ability domain, to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of his or her age peers.” “Talent designates the superior mastery of systematically developed abilities (or skills) and knowledge in at least one field of human activity that places an individual within at least the upper 10% of age peers who are or have been active in that field or fields.” Gagne outlines four basic giftedness areas: • intellectual

• creative

• sensorimotor

• socioaffective

These gifts are developed into talents. Thus, I prefer to think of school as a place of talent development. School most certainly is among the most influential environmental catalysts to facilitate the successful development of talent. Certainly parents, coaches, and other mentors can play a significant part in talent development. But Gagne also points out that intrapersonal catalysts play a significant role in the development of talent. Motivation, volition, self-management, temperament, and acquired styles of behavior definitely influence the development of talent. It is my personal belief that we can help students develop and identify the optimal intrapersonal attributes required to develop talent. I call this area of teaching the “magic” that teachers possess.

Ben Hebebrand

For more information on Gagne’s work, please see http://www.sfu. ca/~kanevsky/428/Gagne.pdf



The Quest - Fall 2011

Office of Institutional Advancement

Quest Academy Inspiring & Challenging Gifted Children

500 North Benton Palatine, Illinois 60067 847.202.8035

CALENDAR OF EVENTS October October 20-21  | THU - FRI Parent Teacher Conferences October 28  | FRI Pumpkin Fest 6:00-8:00pm October 31  | MON Halloween Parties 2:15-3:30pm

November November 09  | WED PSA Book Fair 9:00am-9:00pm Barnes & Noble, Deer Park Center November13  | SUN Admissions Open House 11:00am-1:30pm November 15  | TUE Quest Ahead 8:30am-2:30pm November 16  | WED Immersion Day Parent Ed. Night - Dr. Webb (SENG) November 21-25  | MON-FRI Fall Break - NO SCHOOL November 30  | WED Middle School Orientation for Fifth Grade Parents

December December 1  | WED Band Concert 7:00pm December 3  |SAT Middle School Winter Dance 7:00pm December 9  |FRI Madrigal Fest 7:00pm December 10  |SAT Madrigal Fest 2:00pm December 13  |TUE Lower School Choir Concert 6:30pm

Pumpkin Fest Friday, October 28 - 6:00-8:00pm Quest Academy Gymnasium Join us for one of the most popular family events of the year! Bring your pumpkin and decorating supplies, enjoy some games and pizza.

December 18  |SUN FIRST LEGO League Tournament December 21-30  |WED-FRI Winter Break - NO SCHOOL

THE QUEST ACADEMY 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 Fall 2011  

Quest Academy Fall 2011 magazine

The Quest Fall 2011  

Quest Academy Fall 2011 magazine