Mrs. Nord (Kindergarten)
Name: Janel Nord
My Role at Quest: Kindergarten teacher, RTI committee
Teaching, or relevant experience: I have been with the Quest family for the last 2 years, worked with students on the autism spectrum prior, have nannied since I was 18, and tutor on the side to help those ELL learners.
Schooling: Bachelor’s in Child Psychology with an internship in shelters and at the YMCA in curriculum; Pursuing my Masters in Education.
Interests and philosophy for teaching: I believe in the teaching with Love and Logic approach. I want my students to be independent, responsible, caring, humble, and leaders. I believe in a holistic teaching approach and believe students learn in all different ways so I try to accommodate for that using kinesthetic and whole-body approaches, songs, and dance (even yoga) in our curriculum.
What makes me unique:
I love teaching Kindergarten, reading and Minnesota. I love that “Minnesota Nice” Midwest frame of mind.
Mrs. Gladness (1st grade)
Name: April Gladness
Everything you do at Quest: I am a first grade teacher with Quest Preparatory Academy, at the Bridger Campus. I have worked in the educational field for over ten years. I have learned how children develop, as well as, being trained on the new and innovative curriculum that our district uses.
Teaching, or relevant experience which you use in the classroom and relates to a well-rounded education.
Bachelors in ECE, Masters in ECE, B-2 (In progress)
Tutor from K-2 in school/outside and volunteered
Specific interests and philosophy for teaching students or what you want to accomplish more than anything:
I have chosen this profession for two reasons: First, I love children and want to give them a chance to learn in a wonderful and safe environment. Secondly, I want to influence children in a positive way and help them to be all they can be. It has been my privilege, to have had extraordinary teachers, who have influenced and given me a love for education. This gift has inspired me to become the best teacher I can be.
Something that makes you unique or is very important pertaining to who you are as a person.
I am very passionate about my job as a first grade teacher. I enjoy the feeling that I receive, when a child’s face lights up because they now understand what has been taught. That feeling of joy is enough to make me want to teach. As my journey continues my foundation remains the same…Students are the key to our future!
Email: A. Gladness@questlv.com
Ms. ALlen (1st grade)
Name: Rachel Allen
My Quest Role at Quest: First Grade Teacher
Teaching, or relevant experience: I have been teaching with Quest for the last 2 years. Last year I taught high school and middle school physical education and leadership classes. I’ve also worked with developmental programs that focus on a wide range of ages. I’m currently completing my BS in Kinesiology and UNLV and seek to find a harmony between my passion for movement and my love of teaching.
Interests and philosophy for teaching: I am a huge advocate of the connection between movement and learning. Much of what I teach I reinforce with movements and kinesthetic manipulatives. I also believe that each child learns in unique ways, and it’s my job to try to decode their learning style, and facilitate as much comprehension and mastery of the curriculum as possible. I have a passion for literature, history and science, and am big on story telling.
What makes me unique:
I love teaching, playing soccer, hiking, and owls. I’m a mom to 2 young boys and a fur baby. When growing up I spent my summers with my grandmother, who was a retired English teacher, watching birds, writing elaborate stories of adventure, and hiking throughout the Rocky Mountains and Medicine Bow National Forest.
Mrs. Gammage (2nd grade)
Name: Barbara Gammage
Role at Quest Academy: Second Grade Teacher and K-2nd Grade Level Team Leader
Teaching Experience: I have been teaching at Quest Academy for 2 years, prior to working at Quest Academy, I taught with CCSD for 14 years; teaching First Grade and Kindergarten.
Education: Harris-Stowe State University, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and UNLV with degrees in Elementary Education.
Interest/Philosophy for teaching: I’m committed to students maximizing their achievement by doing their personal best to become responsible productive citizens in an ever-changing world.
What makes me unique: I’m a recipient of Strathmore’s Women of Excellence, I was nominated Teacher of the Year in Houston, Texas. I’m originally from St. Louis, Mo., I enjoy teaching in the classroom watching my students’ growth and choreographing routines for our Bridger Campus Dance Team.
Email: B. Gammage@questlv.com
Mrs. Zmak (2nd Grade)
Name: Heather Zmak
My Role at Quest: Second Grade Teacher
Teaching, or relevant experience: I have been with the Quest family for the past year and have also homeschooled to one of my kids.
Schooling: Bachelor’s in IT/ISS and pursuing my Masters in Education.
Interests and philosophy for teaching: Teaching is something that I love doing. I want my students to come to class and know that I love them as if they were my own. I believe in the different aspects of learning. Every student has different learning styles, it is my goal to be able to reach each one of them and meet their needs.
What makes me unique:
I love teaching and doing a lot of outdoor activities with my family.
mrs. perry (3rd grade)
Name: Stacy Perry
My Role at Quest: Third Grade teacher
Teaching, or relevant experience: I have worked at Quest Academy for 2 years.
Schooling: Associates in Nursing, Associates in Nutrition, Bachelor's in Social Science with an emphasis in Education, and ELL. I am currently working on my Master's in Education with an Administration Endorsement.
Interests and philosophy for teaching: First of all in my classroom, I teach from my heart. I pride myself on teaching with my heart and soul in each and every lesson. I want each student to take at least one thing away from every lesson that is taught. Each child is unique, and that is what makes learning and teaching fun! I pride myself on the creative methods that are implemented into my classroom everyday.
What makes me unique: I am a kind hearted and loving teacher. I believe each child can do what they put their mind too. I am always there for my students past, and present. I am originally from Nebraska and I try hard to hold onto my Midwestern Roots- Honesty, Integrity, Always Lending a Helping Hand, Hard Working, and Creativity. I love spending time with my Husband of 16 years, three children, and four fur-babies.
ms. kanston (4th grade)
Name: Sandra Kanston
My Role at Quest: Grade 4 teacher, Teacher mentor, RTI committee
Teaching, or relevant experience: I have been at Quest since November 2016. I have 36 years experience in education. After retiring from New York City in 2004, I taught in CCSD and in a another charter school in Las Vegas. During my career in New York, I taught elementary as well as middle school students. I was a dean, a teacher mentor, special ed consultant on students with neurological issues such as autism, tbi, learning disabilities in my District . as well as an Arts liasone
Schooling: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Howard University, Master in Education from The City University of New York (Queens College), Certificate in Traumatic Brain Injury and other neurological issues from Hunter College (CUNY). I also studied at Bank Street College where I was part of a group that wrote a social studies guide for teachers in my district.
Interests and philosophy for teaching: I love art, reading and poetry. I believe that all children are different and that all children are capable of learning. I try to students in all learning styles(visual, logical, verbal, aural, physical, social, and solitary.
What makes me unique: I love children and teaching. When I retire from Quest, it will be my 3rd retirement.
mr. oberlander (5th grade)
Name: Eli Oberlander
My Role at Quest: Fifth Grade Teacher, Drama Club Leader
Teaching, or relevant experience: This is my first year at Quest. I have taught computers and drama for the past five years at Southern Highlands Prep School, and subbed for a year in CCSD before that.
Schooling: Bachelor’s Degree in Education from UNLV. Go Rebels!
Interests and philosophy for teaching: I am a firm believer in doing whatever it takes in order to make sure the students understand the concept. I will sing, dance, wear funny costumes, lie on the floor just for instance. I believe all students learn differently and it is important to make sure to address each child’s needs. I also have an extensive background in drama which I bring into the classroom.
mr. taylor (art)
Name: Marvin Taylor
My Role at Quest: I’m the art teacher and have been here for two years since the opening of our Bridger campus. I also coach, serve on the safety team, marketing team, and website design.[
Teaching, or relevant experience:
I’m a self-taught artist who has made it a point to learn professional drawing, painting, watercolor, sculpting, and crafting techniques to broaden my knowledge to expand the horizons of the students.Although I do not have a degree in art or education. I have years of experience of working with children in after school programs and as a family counselor.
Education: I have a Bachelors and Masters degree in social work.
Specific Interests and Teaching Philosophy:
I’m a bit of a history nerd and I love to bring history and geography into as many art lessons as I possibly can, but don’t worry! I try to tell stories and facts from history in the most entertaining ways possible. Don’t tell anyone, but I may or may not have jumped onto a few tables to grab the kid’s attention.
What makes me unique: I want my classroom to be a place that exposes students to different ways of thinking and encourages critical thinking to challenge the world around them.
coach Soifua (p.e.)
Name: “Coach” Lito Soifua
My Role at Quest: Physical Education, Safety and Compliance, Marketing
Teaching, or relevant experience: This will be my 3rd year being with the Quest Bridger Ohana. I’ve taught at Waiakea High School in Hawaii and at Saddleback Community College in Southern California. I just completed my 3rd year coaching football at Chaparral High School here in Las Vegas and my 21st year of coaching overall. I’ve experienced many years of volunteer work for multiple youth organizations from being in a counselor and assistant roles, not excluding leadership positions.
Schooling: BYU-Hawaii Bachelors of Sciences, Exercise Science emphasis Teaching/Coaching, Pursing Master’s Degree in Education
Interests and philosophy for teaching: Teaching gives me the opportunity to inspire, develop and encourage students to perform at their highest level through personal goals in exercise, functional movements and in team/group competition. Through educational instructions students can gain an understanding of motor and non-motor skills, dynamic and static stretching, proper nutrition, proper rest and recovery time and more importantly teamwork and cooperation.
What makes me unique: I enjoy various types of music, it soothes my soul and inspires me to dance!