Faculty & Leadership
Alex George, the “idea man” approached Donna Underwood in Spring 1997 to help him with one of his historically numerous ideas: he wanted to open a school to help families whose children struggled in school. At that time, Alex owned eleven McDonald restaurants and hoped that corporate would see the importance of his idea of placing educational services centers near their restaurants. Even though that idea didn’t materialize, Alex opened LearningTECH/Quest School next to his 165N McDonald’s in June 1997; in 2000, the center moved to its present location at 2401 Oliver Road. In 2017, LearningTECH/Quest School changed its name to QuesTECH Learning. The Alex George Family has been instrumental to QuesTECH Learning's 20 year history of success.
Donna Underwood has been the director of QuesTECH Learning since its 1997 inception. Having taught in public and non-public schools for twenty-eight years, Donna united with Alex George, QuesTECH Learning's founder, to build the foundation for this educational services center. A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University with a B.A. in English/journalism and of the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a M.A. in Education/English, Donna coordinates all programs at QTL. “My favorite part of the day is instructing middle school students in the language arts. Teaching them the power of words is truly rewarding,” Donna suggested. “Also, student success, teacher development, fundraising, assessments, and after school/summer programs are important to the community, which QuesTECH Learning serves.” In addition, Donna has a passion for ACT preparation including Speed Reading; she and Mary Katherine Murphy do ACT prep for students and teachers in seven Northeast LA parishes. In her leisure, Donna enjoys her family, especially her three grandchildren, and needlepoint.
Kevin Branson has been appointed Principal this year, having formerly served as QTL Asst. Director . Kevin came to QTL from Monroe City Schools where he worked in special education and school administration. Prior to his time with MCS, Kevin was a regular education teacher in Morehouse Parish. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching. Kevin is certified in elementary education as well as special education and will complete requirements for an Educational Leader certification this fall. Kevin also has experience in educational technology deployment, training and consulting. He and his wife Donna have lived in Louisiana for more than 30 years where they enjoyed raising their five sons and one daughter. Kevin and Donna now enjoy spending as much time as they are able with their twelve grandchildren.
Holly Ockman, after tutoring in QuesTECH Learning's after school program for two years, became a full time QTL social studies/science teacher in the fall of 2015. “My first year at QuesTECH Learning has been amazing; I look forward to continuing to change the lives of my students!” Holly enthusiastically stated. Holly remains an after school tutor as well. A graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Holly holds a B.A. in elementary education.
Kari Counselman, a Louisiana Tech graduate in Elementary/Special Education, has taught at QuesTECH Learning for five years. She has taught all subjects during her tenure at QTL but currently teaches math, levels 3-5. Kari recently attended the NICERC training to enable her to better use technology in her classroom. “I love the students I work with because they are all so unique and present me with challenges daily. I couldn’t imagine a day when I wouldn’t welcome the challenge of molding and helping young minds. QuesTECH Learning's staff is full of love and enthusiasm for children and academia, therefore making it a wonderful place to work and learn. We work together as a team to ensure our students receive the best possible education,” Kari commented.
Judy Williamson served as the assistant director at QuesTECH Learning until her recent semi-retirement. We are thrilled that Judy has agreed to teach part-time at QTL. Having taught in Maryland, Iowa, and New York, she continues to bring diversity to the educational programs of our school. Judy has served on the Louisiana Board of the International Dyslexia Association for thirteen years. She has been teaching students with dyslexia since 1980, and has witnessed the progress in teaching that research has supported. Years of teaching different ages and abilities have taught Judy the value of seeing each child as an individual since everyone learns differently.
Toni Hicks, a middle school math/pre algebra teacher at QuesTECH Learning beginning in 2004, is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a B.A. in Elementary Education. Toni enjoys working with the children “to help them reach their dreams through their educati
Pam Jungina earned her B.A. in English education from NLU in 1981. After teaching English and French for 36 years, she is now retired from the Louisiana public school system. With her years of experience in instructing English grammar, literature, written composition, and ACT/LEAP prep, she is excited to begin a new journey of educating young learners at LearningTech/Quest School. She enjoys sharing her passion for reading and writing with students and experiencing the broadening of young minds. For her, the ultimate reward of teaching is seeing students embrace the joy of the written word.
Molly McConnell, a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe in Elementary Education, has been a teacher at QuesTECH Learning since 2013. She currently teaches language to elementary school students. She greatly enjoys working with the students at QuesTECH Learning to help them achieve their goals. During her free time Molly enjoys working in her yard and playing the piano.
Mary Katherine Murphy
Mary Katherine Murphy has tutored at QuesTECH Learning for 13 years. She graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelors in Electrical Engineering, but found teaching to be much more rewarding. Along with Donna Underwood, Mary Katherine teaches ACT preparation classes throughout Northeast Louisiana. She also tutors high school and college students in math and science. “I love watching students’ faces light up when all the pieces fall into place, and the concept that once confused them finally becomes clear.”
Sandra Rousseau, a graduate of Louisiana Tech, taught in the public system for almost thirty years before joining the QuesTECH Learning family in 2008 to teach reading and enrichment classes. After public school retirement, Sandra traveled with her husband. Afterwards she decided she still had much more to give today’s youth. Her school choice was QuesTECH Learning.
Tanya M. Shlosman received her BA from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and her MA from Southern New Hampshire University. She has worked as a tutor with QuesTECH Learning since 2004 helping students with a variety of subjects and test preparation. We are please to now have Tanya on our faculty as a full-time teacher. In addition to teaching, Tanya is also a published author and a regular contributor to the News-Star Newspaper, Delta Style Magazine, the Preeclampsia Foundation, and the American Association of State and Local History. Tanya uses her real-world writing experience to strengthen, and nurture student’s inner voices as writers.
Amy Walker, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, was a tutor here as a college student. Then she taught first and second grade for ten years in Irving, Texas, where she wrote curriculum and assessments for the district. A QuesTECH Learning teacher for six years in grades 2-4, Amy is also an after-school tutor who works with young people enrolled in other area schools.
Board of Directors
QuesTECH Learning is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors comprised of respected community members.
Cyndi Foust - President
Alex George - Treasurer
Donna Underwood - Secretary
Christi Howard, M.A., CCC-SLP
Ann L. Hayward
Dr. Meade O’Boyle
Dr. Terry Thomas