Meet Director of Elementary Education, Jennifer Sajovec

New to Concept Schools' academic team is Jennifer Sajovec, Director of Elementary Education.


Jennifer has spent 16 years in education serving in the roles of Kindergarten teacher, Kindergarten Interventionist, First Grade teacher, Second Grade enrichment teacher, and Reading Specialist.


She has many years of experience serving as a district teacher trainer and in other leadership roles. In 1998, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University and in 2007 she graduated from Roosevelt University with a Masters in School Administration.


Jennifer lives in Grayslake, IL with her husband Pete and her two sons, Jack (9) and Will (6). 

$2,500 Grant Winner-Quest Charter Academy

We are sure the Quest Charter Academy in Peoria is proud of one of their own: 5th Grade English Language Art's Educator, Sarah Gordon-Church. Farmers Insurance announced the winners of its "Thank A Million Teachers Program" in August and Ms. Gordon-Church received $2,500 to use in her classroom on the Write to Learn: Handwriting Without Tears program. 

We want to congratulate Ms. Gordon-Church, and encourage you to ask her, how this program helps her students.

Ms. Gordon-Church has a dual degree in Special and General Education from Eureka College and has been the 5th Grade Language teacher for 3 years at Quest.

HSA-Cleveland Alum Lands 1st Job with Concept!

Kathleen Spikes-Bias is a native of Cleveland, OH and a 2010 graduate of HSA-Cleveland High School. Kathleen expresses her time at Horizon as "Some of the best years I've ever had in school." This shows through her many years of involvement in the school's JROTC program, the athletics program as Dragonfire


Kathleen also participated in PSEOP, a post-secondary college preparatory program where she took college classes for transferable credits. She was also able to graduate with honors. This habit was well embedded as Kathleen took to Kentucky State University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications and journalism, graduating cum laude in Spring 2014.


She now works as the alumni relations coordinator at Concept Schools. "It is an honor to be working with Concept Schools. I am excited to now only help build a strong alumni network, but I am an alum and it means everything to be able to be able to give back in such a way."

Celebrating a Huge Success!

The 2013-2014 school year was a huge success for the Concept Schools College Counseling Department. The Class of 2014 was 380 seniors strong, graduating from our 8 high schools across the Midwest.


The following numbers show just how busy our students and college counselors have been. Last school year, there were:

  • 800 one-on-one interviews
  • 1,600 college applications
  • 100 college trips
  • 160 college representative visits
  • 25 parent nights
  • 4 in-house college fairs

This hard work and dedication, from all across the Concept Network, resulted in a 95% 4-year college acceptance rate, a 5% increase over the previous year.


The Class of 2014 seniors were awarded a total of $24 million in merit-based scholarships (compared to $18 million the previous year).


The schools with the greatest amount of scholarship money awarded were:


Chicago Math and Science Academy: $8 million

HSA-Columbus High School: $6 million

HSA-Cleveland High School: $4 million


Congratulations to all!

Student Scientists "Do Us Proud" at State and World Competitions

We didn't get a chance to tell you the good news before summer vacation!


Horizon Science Academy Cleveland High School

Sophomores Yoly Rodriguez and Oscar Rivera competed in the 66th Annual State Science Fair this May following their advances at regional fairs. Their projects made quite an impression.


Yoly Rodriguez

  • "Excellent" rating for her science project
  • $2,000 scholarship to attend the Ohio State University Department of Food & Science Technology 
  • 2nd Place and $75 award from the Ohio Section of the American Water Works Association

 Oscar Rivera

  • "Good" rating for his science project
  • $2,000 scholarships renewable 3 times from Heidelberg University

Quest Charter Academy

Freshman Lindsay Spigelmyer

  • Honorable Mention, International Sustainable World Environmental Engineering (ISWEEP) in Houston this May
  • Honorable Mention, Genius Olympiad in Oswego, New York this June

 Sophomore Nathaniel Zietlow

  • Participant in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF).

Gateway Science Academy (St. Louis)

Sophomore Deshawna Flesch

  • Honorable Mention, ISWEEP
  • Bronze, Genius Olympiad

 Keep up the excellent work, everyone!

STEMCON Returns 

STEMCON is a weekend dedicated to the teaching and learning of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), including a conference, project fair, STEM expo, and robotics competition known as ROBOCON.  


This past March was the first-ever STEM Conference, a full-day conference for STEM education and industry leaders and innovators to share their ideas and best practices in advancing and improving STEM education. With over 300 STEM professionals in attendance, we look forward to another great turnout in 2015. 


Details and registration are at


Finishing out this weekend of stimulating discourse on STEM topics will be multiple expos and fairs designed to encourage student interest in these subjects.   


The deadlines for these children based activities are as follows:


School Registration: Aug 1- Dec 19, 2014

Design Contest Deadline: Dec 19, 2014

Project Application: Aug 1, 2014- Mar 6, 2015

STEM EXPO Application: Aug 1, 2014- Feb 20, 2015

Day of the Event: April 16-18, 2015

Strive for Success

The Office of Specialized Services has just completed a busy first session of regional professional development in all seven of our states.  

Staff collaborated in sessions about: Case Management; Overviews of Procedural Compliance; IDEA Part B Indicator awareness; School-based Problem Solving Design; Differentiated Curricula and Effective Co-teaching Practices. Our quality time together also involved team building with one another, so that we will continue to be our best for the diverse students with whom we work.  

We are proud representatives of Concept Schools and are enthusiastic for this 2014-2015 school year!

New This Year: Math Demonstrations Club

We may not realize this, but mathematics plays a direct and fundamental role in our daily lives. Many disciplines such as computers, telecommunications and electronics, science, and economics have always depended on math. Last year's Concept Schools STEM Exposition was expanded to include math demonstrations and showcase the studies of our talented students.

Our schools this year are initiating another venue to enable our students to show off their math skills on a very exciting platform: Math Demonstrations Club. The purpose of these Math 
demonstrations is to apply the knowledge and understanding of mathematics to conduct in-depth, "real-world" investigations.


The math demonstrations will include fun concepts and projects such as 

  • Hanoi Towers 
  • Golden Ratio
  • Brain Teasers 
  • Building Bridge 
  • Soma Cubes
  • Building a Geodesic Dome
  • Napier's Bones (The world's first practical calculator)
  • Wood Puzzles: Katamino, Origami-Paper Architecture, Visual Illusions, Mathematics behind GPS

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