This week, we’re sharing all about a new small business in town, Keating Quigley Educational Advisors. Keating Quigley provides personalized educational consulting services for Nursery through Grade 12 students, and was founded by two local women with a wealth of experience in this arena. Below, read our interview with co-founders Verona Keating and Jacquie Quigley. Through this venture they offer a range of private school search services, essay support, social-emotional mentoring, relocation support and parent and student enrichment workshops—and are ready to help you and your family.
Interested in learning more? Email them at [email protected] or call them at 203 987 5602.
Can you please share a bit more about your backgrounds and how they are helping you in this new venture?
Jacquie: After years at an independent school in Fairfield County Connecticut as the Director of Secondary School Counseling, I decided to return to my roots as an independent educational consultant. While working in schools, I gained an insider’s view of the admissions process, inspiring me to build a secondary school program that was student-centered and holistic. I get to know my students academically, socially, and emotionally which enables me to position them for success.
Through the years, I have developed strong relationships with admissions professionals at independent day and boarding schools throughout the United States with a focus on the Northeast. These relationships along with a deep knowledge of the school programs enable me to achieve a positive outcome for my students.
As a longtime resident of Greenwich and mother of three grown children, I believe my passion for school admissions started in my own home. Having children who attended both public and private schools has had a profound effect on my professional life and interaction with students.
Verona: Before launching Keating Quigley, I was the Director of Admissions at an independent school in Greenwich, where I provided expert and nurturing guidance to families as they navigated their way through the independent school search process.
Through the years, I have developed a deep understanding of the admissions world and built close relationships with peers at schools around the country. As I now sit on the other side of the desk, I’m able to combine my expertise with an individualized approach to help students find success and happiness at their best-fit school. I lived in London for six years and in Tokyo for 10 years, and understand the complexities of domestic and international relocations, and bring this personal perspective as a calming voice to relocating families.
I live in Greenwich with my husband and two dogs. We have three grown children who attended local public and private schools before going on to liberal arts colleges and national universities.
Why did you decide to come together to start this new business? Was there an “aha” moment?
Jacquie: After years of working together at a local independent school, we decided to bring our admissions and school placement experience into a private educational consulting practice to provide a personalized approach to local families embarking on the school search process.
Why are your services so crucial for families right now?
Verona: Given the ongoing disruptions that children have experienced in their educational journeys due to the pandemic over the past year, our services in more demand than ever before. We provide expert guidance and advice to families whether within the framework of their current school environment or as they consider alternative school options. We also work with students to assist them with their application essays, interview preparation, and provide on-going academic and social-emotional mentoring.
Do you both have any advice/mantras you follow as working moms?
Jacquie: As a parent of three grown children, always take the time to listen to what your child has to say and cherish every moment of their time with you. You can’t reclaim those moments.
Verona: It’s so important to stay current in your children’s’ lives! Simple things like staying on top of trends will spark conversations and help you stay connected.
What do you tell moms who are worried about their children falling behind this year?
Jacquie: Take a deep breath and be proactive. Speak to your child’s teacher to understand their perceptions of your child’s academic performance and gauge your next steps from there. Remember, education doesn’t have to be linear and there are many ways to provide enrichment and support for your child.
What are your hopes for your business for 2021? And in 5 years from now?
Verona: We look forward to moving beyond COVID conversations and seeing a return to normalcy! We are a boutique practice and want to maintain our individualized client relationships at all times. But keep an eye out because we have so many great plans to roll out new services in the months and years ahead! For example, on February 25 we look forward to hosting our first Parenting Collaborative via Zoom. The first of four workshops, this informal and complimentary session will be hosted by our Social-Emotional Coach, Erika Brunwasser. More information to come!