(Peoria, IL) – As it prepares to open its high school program, Quest Charter Academy has announced administrative changes for the 2012-2013 school year.

Due to the growth of schools being managed by Concept Schools, the organization has restructured to create three distinct geographic regions and appointed superintendents who will oversee the schools and school principals in their respective region. Engin Blackstone, who has been the principal at Quest Charter Academy since opening in August of 2010, has been promoted to Superintendent of the Southwest Region which is comprised of Quest Charter Academy in Peoria and two Concept Schools-managed schools in St. Louis, Missouri. A third charter school is planned for St. Louis for the 2013-2014 school year.

“Mr. Blackstone has done a tremendous job of establishing Quest Charter Academy as the public school of choice in the City of Peoria,” said Glen Barton, President of the Peoria Charter School Initiative Board of Directors, the governing body of Quest Charter Academy.

As a result of Mr. Blackstone’s promotion, the PCSI Board appointed Mr. Ali Kuran, as the new principal at Quest Charter Academy at their July 24, 2012 meeting.

Mr. Kuran was most recently the Director at Horizon Science Academy, a Concept Schools-managed community school in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Kuran has spent his entire educational career at Horizon Science Academies in Ohio. He started as a Mathematics teacher in 2003 at Horizon Columbus and became the Dean of Academics in 2005 at the Horizon Columbus High School. From there, Mr. Kuran transferred to Horizon Dayton in 2006 as the Dean of Academics. He took over the Directorship position in February 2009 and has been serving as a school leader since then.

Ali Kuran graduated from Bosphorus University in Istanbul where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. He later continued his education at University of Dayton and earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Mr. Kuran currently holds an Ohio 5-yr Professional Principal License and a 5-yr Professional Teaching License in Mathematics.

As a committed educator, Mr. Kuran is dedicated to seeing youth receive a quality education in a caring community school while learning the importance of shaping their own future. He has a great deal of passion for working with students, parents, staff and the entire community. Over the past three years, he played a key role in the expansion of Horizon in Dayton. Number of schools increased from one to three and enrollment increased from 175 to almost 600. Mr. Kuran has built relationships with area colleges and Horizon is now partnering with University of Dayton, Wright State University and Cedarville University.

“The Peoria Charter School Initiative could not be more excited to welcome Ali Kuran as the new principal of Quest Charter Academy,” Glen Barton shared. “This is an exciting and critical point for Quest as it opens its high school program. We were very impressed with Ali’s background and experience and are confident he will continue to lead Quest Charter Academy on its path towards being the premier educational provider for 5th – 12th grade students in Peoria. We are pleased Concept Schools recognized the leadership qualities of Engin Blackstone and that Quest will continue to benefit from his wisdom and guidance in his new role as Superintendent.”

At a later date, Quest Charter Academy will hold a press conference to introduce Mr. Kuran to the community in conjunction with a ribbon cutting at its newest location, the former Columbia Middle School on Bootz Avenue.

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