About Us | Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

About Us

Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

1500 Farmers Lane
Santa Rosa, California 95405

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The Forward-Thinking High School

Students should be active in and excited about their learning. School is the journey that leads to their futures. Quest Forward Academy challenges them, equipping them with the tools they will need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Combining rigorous academics with a solid framework of real-life, valuable skills, Quest Forward Academy is demanding, exciting, engaging—anything but boring.



Small and Mighty

Small class sizes, typically about 12 students, allow for active, project-based learning, personalization geared toward interests and goals, ample opportunities to accelerate, and the attention each student deserves from a mentor. The school will continue to grow toward a target of 256 students, with 64 students per grade.

Part of a Global Network

Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa is part of a global network of schools that offer Quest Forward Learning to their students. Built on a common vision for quality education and a shared course of study, each Quest Forward Academy is committed to rigorous academics, active learning, and personal growth.

"I value the close-knit, caring community at Quest Forward Academy. Thanks to this community, I am always surrounded by people who I care about and who respect me, making me feel comfortable being completely myself. “

— Lillian S., Student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

"The thing I value most about Quest Forward Academy is the community. We have a community and curriculum that allows me to be myself and thrive. I get to go deep into what I want and I get more creativity to add new things. I also love that the school is so accepting. Having a tough family, this school has helped me tremendously to accept myself and be happy. I often refer to the school as my second family because I can talk to anyone and I know they will help me if I need it. I would never change that. The small community largely helps this because no one is able to disappear.”

— Natasha R., Student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

"I value the mentors because they always attempt to incorporate our feedback and help us improve our work.”

— Austin V., Student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

A Truly Unique High School Experience

Unparalleled Resources

Located in the heart of Santa Rosa, the Quest Forward Academy campus is optimized in design and form for Quest Forward Learning. The campus features:

  • Science Laboratory
  • Makerspace/art studio
  • Flexible Classrooms
  • Cafe space for collaborative work
  • …and more!

Meet the Staff

Karen Kenkel, the Director at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Karen Kenkel

BA German Studies, PhD German Studies

Thalia Becerril, a staff member at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Thalia Becerril

BA Sociology

Jordan Bulger, a mentor at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Jordan Bulger

English and Social Sciences
BA Classics, M.Phil Classics, MA International Relations, MAT Education

Valerie Carpenter, a staff member at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Valerie Carpenter

Director of Recruitment
BA Anthropology, MA Public Service (in progress)

Heather Concoff, a staff member at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Heather Concoff

College and Guidance Counseling
BA English, M.Ed Guidance Counseling

Nicolas Gilmore, a mentor at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Nicolas Gilmore

BS Mathematics

Dana Gundling, a mentor at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Dana Gundling

BA Latin American Studies

Nils Palsson, a mentor at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Nils Palsson

Social Sciences
BA English, BA History, MFA Writing

Max Shafer-Landau, a mentor at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Max Shafer-Landau

Social Science
BA History and Classical Civilizations, MA European and Russian History

Interested in teaching here?

Check out our open positions and apply.

A School Year that Makes Sense

The academic year consists of:

  • Four terms, eight to nine weeks each
  • Two-week fall Intersession
  • Three-week winter Intersession
  • Two-week spring Intersession

This schedule enables innovative, personalized programming for students. The Intersessions provide opportunities for:

  • Intensive work in electives
  • Internships or work experiences
  • Independent projects
  • A change of pace from the core academic content

A five-week Summer Session is also offered. The Summer Session provides students with opportunities to catch up in courses, as well as new opportunities for service learning, internships, project work, and electives.

Days with Structure and Flexibility

  • 8:00 a.m.: Academy opens. Students work on projects, enjoy breakfast, and get ready for the day.   
  • 9:00 a.m.: Classes Begin
  • 12:00 p.m.: Lunch
  •  3:30 p.m.: Classes end. Club activities begin, as well as additional work time and mentor support.
Lydia Felty stands behind two sitting students. Lydia and the students are smiling while the students write on papers in front of them.

During the regular terms, each class meets 5 times every 2 weeks. In addition to regular class meetings, students also have:

  • Planning periods
  • Open quest time
  • One hour each day for electives and project work, which allows students to receive additional support

School lets out after morning classes every other Friday to provide time for professional development of staff and for students to engage in independent work.

Students also have regular opportunities for field trips and other exploratory projects in the surrounding community as part of our City as Campus program.

Within Reach

A Quest Forward Academy education may be more attainable than you think. Our scholarship program ensures that all qualified students, regardless of finances, can attend Quest Forward Academy.

Upcoming Events

Quest Cafe with Nils Palsson

October 26 2020, 7:30-8:30 pm

“Know Your Legend; Sing Your Song”

Join Social Sciences mentor Nils Palsson as he discusses his fascinating path to becoming an educator — from running for Congress to evacuating wildfires — and learn to connect with your own heroic origin story. Free, hosted on Zoom.


Virtual Open House

November 12 2020, 7:30-8:30 pm

Join us to learn all about Quest Forward Academy and how this community of motivated learners could benefit your student, with a skills-focused curriculum, small class sizes, personalized approach, and much more. Free, hosted on Zoom.


One-on-One, On Your Schedule

Take a personalized tour when it’s convenient for you, and tailored to what you are most interested in learning about. Contact Valerie today to schedule.

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