End of Year Message from the Head of School
Greetings Quest Community,
It is with great pride. excitement and a hint of sadness that I write this letter as we reach the close of another school year at Quest Academy. My pride comes from the amazing things that we have accomplished as a community in the most difficult of times. My excitement is fueled by our prospects for the future, as we continue to grow and add new innovative curriculum that reflects our rapidly changing world. My sadness is shared by all of our teachers and staff as we say a brief goodbye to your amazing children.
I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together this year, but nothing gives me greater pride than our return to hosting so many of the events and activities that make Quest Academy so special. It’s energizing to hear the sounds of our choirs, bands and drama teams in our hallways again as students rehearse and then deliver breath-taking performances. It’s exciting to see the incredible academic accomplishments of our students in Scholastic Bowl, Invention Convention, Science Fair, Debate and so many other competitions. I look forward to nearly every Monday in the Fall and Spring when I can hear about the latest trophy or championship brought home by our outstanding athletes in Cross Country, Track, Soccer and Basketball. And I am really looking forward to re-opening our My Museum Children’s Museum on June 11th.
I want to thank all of you for your support as we navigated the difficult landscape left by COVID-19. For the past two years, thanks to our dedicated teachers and administrators, we were able to remain open without closures, offering in-person, virtual and hybrid attendance, without the loss of academic momentum. We remained deliberate and evidenced-based in our transition to mask-optional attendance as the Delta variant waned in the population. For the safety of our students and our staff, we will continue to be vigilant as we monitor the progress of the highly contagious Omicron variants throughout the summer.
I’m excited about our future at Quest as we continue to add learning options and new curriculum to prepare our students to follow their passions and lead among their peers, no matter what their pursuit. We will continue to give our students glimpses of new and evolving fields such as machine learning, information security and genetics research. We will also provide students with more opportunities to develop the life skills that will enable our Quest Academy graduates to succeed in careers that haven’t even been conceived yet.
In my closing, I wish you all a safe and restful summer. I look forward to welcoming you back to what will be our 40th Anniversary year since the Creative Children’s Academy (later to become Quest Academy) was founded. I look forward to celebrating 40 years of inspiring gifted children and changing lives all throughout next year.
As always, I welcome your comments and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please stay safe, enjoy your summer and we’ll see you in the fall.
Mr. Brian Frank
Head of School
Quest Academy Board of Trustees
The Quest Academy Board of Trustees promotes and safeguards the school’s mission, strategically plans for the future of Quest Academy, appoints and oversees the Head of School, establishes broad policies, and develops and shepherds the capital resources of the school. The individuals on the Board serve Quest Academy with a wide range of experience, interests, and expertise. All board members are volunteers and Quest Academy expresses its gratitude for their guidance and commitment to gifted education.
Board of Trustees Officers
Nader Qaimari – Chair
George Reichl – Vice Chair
Don Mitckess – Secretary
George Reichl – Treasurer
As Chief Executive Officer of Edcetera, Nader Qaimari leads a group of companies in the adult and trade education space across numerous channels and verticals. Nader joined Edcetera in January 2022, hired by Eden Capital to help scale the founder-led business. Prior to Edcetera, Nader worked at ISACA, responsible for ISACA’s learning and certification offerings for individual professionals, as well as all software products and services in 220 countries. Previously, Nader led Follett School Solutions, as Group President, where he launched a digital curriculum business. Prior to Follett, Nader was a senior executive at Cengage, a leading higher education company. Nader earned his undergraduate degree from Kenyon College in Literature and Creative Writing and a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Michigan.
Nader lives in Inverness with his wife Ahlam and two children who attend Quest Academy, Reed and Calla.
Board Member since 2019
Board Committees: Executive Committee (Chair), Admission and Marketing, Finance, and Strategic Planning (Chair).
Jenny and her husband, Steven, are the parents of Quest Academy alumnus Dominic Scheerer. Jenny is the owner of a web-based floral business, Chicago Silk Florist, designing faux floral arrangements for homes, weddings, and businesses. Jenny has previously served in various capacities at Quest Academy, including being a member of the PSA Board, leading the Madrigal Fest committee and running the Teacher Raffle. Jenny strongly believes in Quest’s mission, and she is excited to continue supporting the school in new ways.
Board member since 2020
Matt lives in Cary with his wife, Andrea, and their two young sons, Lucas and Adam. Matt loves camping with the kids, cycling, and dogs. He has over 20 years of local residential Real Estate experience and is the co-owner of MisterHomes Real Estate in Palatine. He has also served on the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors Board of Directors.
Board Member since 2017
Board Committees: Admissions and Marketing (Chair), Committee on Trustees, Development, and Real Estate
Jordan is the founder and CEO of RESTORE Hair Restoration, and the founder/CEO of GoldMax. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where he earned a B.B.A in Marketing. Jordan and his wife, Katie, have two children at Quest Academy and live in Palatine, Il. In his spare time, Jordan aspires to be an average golfer.
Board Member since 2022
Dr. Seema Awatramani
Dr. Seema Awatramani is a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Naperville,
Illinois. She earned her B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and received her medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
Seema and her husband live in Barrington and are the parents of two Quest students.
Board Member since 2022
Dominique is Vice President, Technical Operations for West Therapeutic Development, LLC. Ms. Kendrick holds both a B.S. in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and B.S. in Environmental Health from Purdue University; a Master’s in Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and is a Licensed Pharmacist. She and her husband Kevin have one child at Quest Academy.
Board Member since 2019 Board Committees: Committee on Trustees (Chair), Strategic Planning, Curricular Innovation, and Admissions and Marketing
Dr. Vicki Phelps
Dr. Vicki Phelps is a faculty member of Milligan University and a nationally-acclaimed expert in the field of gifted education. With over 20 years of experience in gifted education, Dr. Phelps has authored four books and multiple articles focused on gifted pedagogy. She regularly presents at international, national, and state gifted conferences and enjoys sharing her passion for equitable practice and meeting the unique learning needs of gifted and high-potential students.
Board member since 2022
Board Committees: Curriculum
Sedhu serves as the Great Lakes Region Digital Transformation Leader for Microsoft. Sedhu holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Guindy Eng. College, MS in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA in Strategy and Finance from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He is passionate about the role of education in shaping the society. Sedhu & his wife, Radha, have one child, Vedant, at Quest Academy and they reside in Long Grove, IL.
Board Member since 2018
Board Committees: Admissions and Marketing, Curricular Innovation (Co-Chair with Head of School), Development, and Strategic Planning
Don lives in Bolingbrook with his wife Lora and their two children, Maya (Quest alumna) and Julian. Don has been a therapist in the behavioral health field for over 25 years, receiving his MSEd in Counseling from Northern Illinois University and BS/BA in Psychology/Theater from Loyola University of Chicago, and currently is the Director of Business Development for Banyan Treatment Center in Naperville. Don most recently served as Quest PSA Vice-President during the 2017-18 school year and was on the PSA Board for two years prior to that. He is the Cookie Dad for Quest Girl Scout Troop #41592 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern Illinois Employee Assistance Professional Association.
Board Member since 2018
Board Committee: Audit
George Reichl is the parent of a Quest Academy alumna who is now attending Fremd High School. He chairs the Finance Committee and serves on the Strategic Planning Committee. George has worked in wealth management and financial advisory services for over 30 years and also serves as a director for his homeowners association. He has a B.S. from De Paul University and resides with his wife Cathy in Palatine, IL.
Board Member since 2014
Board Committees: Finance (Chair), Strategic Planning Committee
Valerie has been a Real Estate Broker with Baird & Warner in Barrington since 1992, specializing in residential real estate sales. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Quincy University in Business Management. She and her husband Roy, are the parents of one child attending Quest Academy and two alumni of the school. She has been actively involved with the school since 2007 and has volunteered at numerous levels within Quest including the “Knight of all Knights” Auction & Gala, Knights on the Run and various other activities at the classroom levels. Valerie also holds a seat on the Council of Messiah Lutheran Church and serves on the Advisory Committee at her office in Barrington. She enjoys spending time with her family, boating and attending her kids’ sporting events.
Board member since 2015
Board Committees: Development (Chair), Executive, and Admissions and Marketing
Jorge Seone, PhD
Jorge is an Engineering Manager with IMC Financial, a proprietary, high frequency trading firm. He holds a PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and a BS from Louisiana State. He and his wife Jennifer reside in Palatine, and have one Quest alumna, and a current 7th grader attending Quest.
Board Member since 2015
Board Committees: Audit and Finance
Brad is an attorney at Motherway and Napleton, LLP where he specializes in medical malpractice litigation. Mr. Schulman graduated from Lehigh University, where he played baseball for four years. He continued his education and obtained his J.D. at The John Marshall Law School where he graduated Cum Laude. He and his wife have one child at Quest Academy and they reside in Deerfield, Illinois.
Board Member since 2019
Luke is the father of two Quest Academy alumnae, one of whom is an officer in the US Navy and the other is an insurance broker, after having been a high school math teacher for six years. Luke has had three stints as a trustee; first from 1997 to 2003, then from 2006 to 2015, then rejoining the board in 2016. He has served on or chaired every committee at Quest, but has always served on the Development Committee, chairing it a few times over the years. He also served on the school board at Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic School in Arlington Heights, IL, chairing the board in 1996-1997. Luke is president and partner of Corkill Insurance, an independent insurance agency in Elk Grove Village. As an insurance agent, Luke served as the president of the Independent Insurance Agents of IL in 2009-2010. Luke is perhaps best known, however, for his award-winning, organically grown tomatoes in his suburban garden. He has a BS from DePaul University and resides with his wife, Carol, in Palatine.
Board member since 2016 (second term)
Board Committees: Real Estate Committee (chair), Finance Committee, and Development Committee