QUEST - Gifted and Talented

quest student work

QUEST, West Hartford Public School’s Gifted and Talented Program, has been addressing the learning needs of highly capable students since 1994. The program facilitates an environment for students to become independent, lifelong learners who will know how to act in their interests and talents to become innovators, artists, scientists, political and philosophical thinkers, humanitarians and leaders in our community and beyond.

A purposeful plan to provide programming for the unique educational needs that challenge and motivate students to achieve at optimal levels is the hallmark of QUEST to maximize learning opportunities.

Identified students in grades 4-8 are provided opportunities to advance their learning and understanding of themselves and the world through authentic problem solving and investigative experiences found in QUEST, Math QUEST and Art QUEST. The students are capable of high performance/exceptional production and/or learning behaviors. A multi-criteria identification process is based on a combination of these areas of giftedness: intellectual ability, academic aptitude, creative and productive thinking, leadership and performing arts.

A student centered model, QUEST is founded on the principles of the Enrichment Triad Model (Renzulli, 1977) and the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Renzulli and Reis, 1985). Students adopt challenging and demanding roles that require hands-on learning, first-hand investigations, and the application of knowledge and thinking skills to complex problems. Opportunities, resources, and encouragement are provided to support the continuous growth and development of student involvement in both required and self-selected activities. (Renzulli, 1994/1995).

The selection process for identification of students begins at the end of grade 3 and is a continuous process through grade 8. Identified students explore three types of learning targets, each one guiding the student through greater complexity, depth, and independence.QUEST is committed to providing each student a nurturing and supportive environment that encourages advanced learning, problem solving, and critical and creative thinking, combined with innovative learning in thematic-based studies. We value the open-minded and cooperative exchange of ideas. We seek to positively influence our collaborative team with each member contributing toward our collective success.

The mission of the QUEST Program is to ensure that students have an opportunity to develop their unique gifts and talents by creating a learning environment that encourages students to:

Question the world around them
Understand the need to learn and grow
Explore the past, present, and future
Search for solutions and meanings
Think creatively and critically

Parents/guardians with any concerns about the Quest or Math Quest nomination or identification process should communicate with their child’s teacher, principal, or our Quest Director, Mary Thompson who is available for a phone conference or to make an appointment to meet. Quest teachers in each elementary and middle school are available to answer any questions. Identification of students and subsequent participation in Gifted and Talented services is confidentially held between the school district and the student’s family in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes.

Quest Department

Dr. Mary Thompson

Director of Gifted and Talented

Ed Center: 860-561-6607

Karen Kosovsky

Secretary for Quest Department

Ed Center: 860-561-6608

Lindsay Goltzman

Quest Teacher at Braeburn and Bristow Schools

Braeburn: 860-561-2730 Ext. 2730 

Bristow: 860-231-2100 Ext. 2155

Michele Hadlock

Quest Teacher at Charter Oak International Academy

Charter Oak: 860-233-8506 Ext. 2927

Katherine Hardesty

Quest Teacher at Norfeldt, Smith, and Whiting Lane Schools

Norfeldt: 860-233-4421 Ext. 3257

Smith STEM: 860-236-3315 Ext. 3331

Whiting Lane: 860-233-8541 Ext. 3503

Christopher Kueffner

Quest Teacher at Duffy and Webster Hill Schools

Duffy: 860-521-0110 Ext. 3027

Webster Hill: 860-521-0320 Ext. 3405

Theresa McKeown

Quest Teacher at Aiken School

Aiken: 860-233-6994 Ext. 2612

Julie O'Reilly

Quest Teacher at King Philip

King Philip: 860-233-8230 Ext. 3027

Elyse Post-Perez

Quest Teacher at Bugbee and Morley Schools

Bugbee: 860-929-5500 Ext. 2834

Morley: 860-233-8535 Ext. 3131

Cheryl Stidolph

Quest Teacher at Norfeldt and Wolcott Schools

Norfeldt: 860-233-4421 Ext. 3214

wolcott: 860-561-2300 Ext. 3671

The Quest Office
50 South Main Street, Room 327
West Hartford, CT 06107
Phone: 860-561-6608
Fax: 860-561-6913