1 of 7 Model Middle Schools

The International Center for Leadership in Education names Quest Junior High a 2023 Model School for Inspiring Greatness to Impact Student Learning.

ICLE Press Release
May 30, 2023

The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), whose mission is to celebrate, inspire, and support today’s K-12 educators, has named Quest Jr. High a 2023 Model School for its focus on relationships and rigorous and relevant academics to impact students. The team at Quest Junior High recognizes opportunities for growth, fosters a strong culture, and holds high expectations for all students.

Quest Junior High is one 7 Model Middle schools and one of 30 Model Schools from across the United States that will share best practices at ICLE’s 31st Annual Model Schools Conference. The event provides the inspiration thousands of passionate teachers and leaders need to validate and affirm the great work they do, and to challenge them to share replicable and creative strategies that can produce results in any school.

“Model Schools are passionate about kids—and their educators are persistent about creating effective learning environments to benefit the students and communities they serve,” says Dr. Linda Lucey, Program Chair and ICLE Associate Partner. “Each of the 2023 Model Schools is proud to share its story of perseverance and strategies others can take away and make their own.”

Nicki Slaugh, Junior High Principal, said it well,


I absolutely love my job! There is no better job out there. I believe that it is our job as leaders to be the energy that we want to attract. We need to be our school’s permanent hype guy or gal. 

School needs to be a place where teenagers want to go. It is important for us as leaders to create a culture of learning where students support, challenge and inspire each other! 

Unity is our goal.

Nicki Slaugh Bio

Nicki also stated, "We take pride in allowing our students to move at their own pace, and be in the driver's seat of their education.  Gone are the times where everyone had to move at the same pace or learn the same way!  Our students are engaged, not just compliant.

At Quest, we focus on student learning vs points. We use mastery-based instruction. Our school is learner focused, we have removed the boundaries that traditional school offers, allowing students to have autonomy in their learning. Students have voice and choice in their learning and can move at their own pace. Our educators meet every student’s needs through a blended learning model. We take pride in our students being engaged vs compliant while at school.”

“A passion for learning is what makes the Model Schools Conference a celebration for educators,” says Dr. Lucey. “The energy attendees bring to the conference—as well as the concrete and tangible strategies they learn from others—inspires impactful student learning."

The International Center for Leadership in Education is a division of the learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

To learn more about the 31st Annual Model Schools Conference, please visit ModelSchoolsConference.com.

About the International Center for Leadership in Education

The International Center for Leadership in Education, established in 1991, is one of the most influential education consulting companies in America. It is best known for identifying and disseminating successful practices to assist all students in achieving higher standards. The leadership team and consultants at ICLE have assisted numerous state education agencies and hundreds of schools and districts in their improvement initiatives. For more information, please visit www.hmhco.com/ICLE.