From Where I Sit
Expert Speakers Program Gives EVERYONE Access to Inspiration, Knowledge and Support
Jann Leppien, NAGC Expert Speaker
This is my platform . . . my civil rights issue. If I can provide teachers with access to what I know, they can in turn create a better school environment for advanced learners who so desperately need a voice and an advocate.
I am writing to encourage you to consider NAGC's Expert Speakers Program for your next conference or professional development session. Now in its fifth year, this program makes leaders and experts in the field of gifted education, STEM, talent development, and other timely topics available to state affiliates and other conferences for a significant discount off a typical honorarium fee.
I've participated in ESP since 2009, when the program was first initiated, and over the years I've given several presentations to organizations that range from the Florida Association for Gifted to the Orange County Council for Gifted and Talented Education. After working on the Parallel Curriculum Model, serving on the NAGC Board, and conducting training workshops throughout the country, it seemed natural to extend this work to ESP, a program that provides so many benefits to NAGC and its members, both as a means of broadening learning, but also of building good will. Through ESP, organizations and audiences have affordable access to leaders, especially in states where gifted services are not mandated and funded. ESP also advances the field immeasurably by raising awareness and augmenting knowledge, and it is an excellent way to raise funds for NAGC.
It is important for educators to stay current and to have access to those who have been active in gifted education for many years and possess the knowledge to help them brainstorm and implement new ideas. In turn, I've found it very rewarding to give back and to learn firsthand of the day-to-day challenges faced by teachers who want to help their gifted students but often can't.
Help Needed to Support Javits Funding in House Committee
The annual appropriations process is well underway in the Congress. Thus far, the Senate subcommittee that handles education funding has allocated $7 million to fund the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act in fiscal year 2015, an increase from $5 million in 2014. As you know, the Javits program funds demonstration research projects that focus on underrepresented gifted students and also funds the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
The House Appropriations Committee has not yet developed its 2015 spending plan for federal education programs, so your input now is critical.
If your representative is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, please urge him/her to support $7 million for the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act in fiscal year 2015.
If your representative is not a Committee member, it's still important to make contact, urging your Representative to support gifted students by contacting the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee in support of $7 million for the Javits Gifted Students Act in fiscal year 2015.
Javits-funded research projects have helped schools support high-ability students and increase student achievement through the development of rigorous curriculum, improved screening instruments, teacher training on the nature and needs of gifted students as well as classroom strategies shown to work with advanced students. As the nation grapples with global competitiveness issues, it's critical that we focus on developing high achievement in as broad a population as possible. We owe it to the students and to our future.
Contact information for each representative, including phone and online email forms, can be found on the House website. Please send your emails and make calls by July 10.
NAGC Board and Network Elections Now Open
NAGC Individual and Lifetime Members have received an email that provides a link to the annual election ballot. The deadline for your opportunity to vote is July 15. You'll cast a vote for six members to the NAGC Board of Directors:
View Board candidates here.
- At-Large Member (2 positions Available)
- Governance Secretary
- Network Representative
- School/District Representative
You also have a chance to vote for leaders of the Networks to which you belong. Members of these Networks will elect Chairs or Chairs-Elect:
Voting closes on July 15. Once you vote, you have an opportunity to get more involved with the NAGC service community. Be sure to review your options for committee service and how you can best contribute your expertise.
- Arts Network
- Creativity Network
- Curriculum Studies Network
- Early Childhood Network
- Global Awareness Network
- Professional Development Network
- Research and Evaluation Network
- Special Populations Network
- Special Schools and Programs Network
You Came Through!
Thank you to all those who have made recent donations to the annual fund in honor of a favorite teacher or mentor. We've listed those that were recognized and their generous donors below. It's never too late to recognize a great teacher, mentor or leader in gifted education.
And don't miss Bob Seney's wonderful memorial tribute to his favorite high school teacher, Ms. Maurine Tunnell.
- Catherine Brighton (Virginia), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
- Ginny Burney (Indiana), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
- Libby Craig (Connecticut), recognized by Christina Russell
- Shelly Eye (Virginia), recognized by Jacob Haun and Diane Gardner
- Paula Haynes (Tennessee), recognized by Erin Gribben
- Brian Housand (North Carolina), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
- Valerie James (Colorado), recognized by Julie Gonzales
- Sandy Kaplan (California), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
- Tonya Moon (Virginia), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
- Jonathan Plucker (Connecticut), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
- Roberta Reed (Colorado), recognized by Julie Gonzales
- Ayodele Richardson (Georgia), recognized by Jennifer Griffith
- Dolores L. Salisz (Arizona), recognized by the parents and students of her 5/6 self-contained gifted class
- Maureen Tunnell (Missouri), recognized by Bob Seney
- Joyce VanTassel-Baska (Virginia), recognized by Laura Beltchenko
New NAGC Special Interest Group
Racially under-represented populations (e.g., Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, American Indian/Alaska Natives) will be the numerical majority in a few years as they already are in many school districts, cities, and states. Unfortunately, this increase in racial diversity is not equitably reflected in gifted and advanced programs across the U.S., particularly among Black and Hispanic/Latino/a students who are most under-represented. Lack of success in achieving equitable racial diversity in gifted and advanced programs is a function of teacher under-referrals, parent under-referrals, test and instrument selection, as well as screening, identification and placement policies and procedures (e.g., cutoff scores and criteria). The GRACE (Gifted Racial Accountability and Commitment to Equity Purpose) Special Interest Group was created to promote accountability for equitable racial diversity in gifted and advanced programs. It hopes to inspire a commitment to equity from NAGC leadership, committees, networks and SIGs as well as from education professionals, policymakers, business and community leaders, parents and students. Find out more about this SIG and the NAGC Networks. Enroll today.
Challenging K-12 students in an intellectual community through early entrance
and outreach programs:
- Transition School
- UW Academy
- Saturday Enrichment
- Summer Programs
- Professional Development
For more information, visit our website
Power up your gifted child’s learning with an online Gifted LearningLinks course. GLL offers challenging curriculum and flexible pacing for kindergarten–high school. MORE
Explore NAGC's Career Center for New Job Possibilities
At the NAGC Career Center, you'll find the following positions:
Spokane (WA) Public Schools is looking for a Principal for the Libby Center, the site for a spectrum of programs to meet the specialized needs of students and staff in Spokane Public Schools. A Washington state principal credential or the ability to obtain one is required. For more on the Libby Center and candidate requirements, go to the NAGC Career Center.
A Lower School (pre-K – 3) Art Teacher is needed for the Quest Academy, an independent day school for gifted students in Evanston, Illinois. The best candidate will have classroom experience at all levels of artistic expression as well as a master's degree in art education or a relevant subject, though a bachelor's degree will be considered. See more in the NAGC Career Center.
The Department of Educational Studies - Purdue University is looking for an Assistant Professor in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies with an additional specialization. Learn more about the desired specialization and how to apply in NAGC’s Career Center.
Feynman School, an independent PreK-4th grade school for gifted students in Bethesda, Maryland, is looking for a lead teacher. See the full posting in the NAGC Career Center.
GCQ Paper of the Year — Nominations Open Until July 11
NAGC is pleased to recognize an outstanding article from Gifted Child Quarterly as the GCQ Paper of the Year. The award is presented at the NAGC Annual Convention.
Nominations from NAGC members for the Paper of the Year are now being accepted for articles published in Gifted Child Quarterly in 2013 (Volume 57, issues 1-4). Nominated papers should exemplify excellence in topic relevance and importance, innovation, validity of the idea presented, methodology and quality of writing.
Nominations, limited to NAGC members, should be sent via email to Lisa Muller in the GCQ office and must include the following:
Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern on July 11.
- Title of the article (nominations are limited to one article only)
- Article author(s)
- Issue number
- Full name of the person nominating the article
Voices and Viewpoints
Donna Y. Ford, Professor, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
This Compass Points column features NAGC members telling us a little about their "day job" while sharing how their work with an NAGC committee or network relates to the field. This issue features Donna Ford, an NAGC member who, with Mary Ruth Coleman, proposed the formation of the new GRACE special interest group.
We offer unique, fun and engaging games and toys for Families, Homeschoolers and Educators, Special Needs, Fundraising and Head Start programs. Our award winning learning products help Build Smarter Kids and Stronger Families Through the Amazing Power of Play!
The Learning Curve
Try out Your Sea Legs and Board the NAGC Baltimore Website
Take a cruise through the new NAGC 61st Annual Convention website, now sailing! You can cast your net and set your sights on the hundreds of education sessions, view list of exhibitors, special events and more. Chart your course and add sessions by clicking the star.
The NAGC Convention is the largest annual event devoted to gifted education. It's your opportunity to brush up on a little-known subject area, or reinforce your skills and knowledge in another. Join us November 13-16 in Baltimore. Full information is now available online, and online registration opens soon. But no need to delay! Check out registration options.
2014 International Torrance Legacy Creativity Awards
Students are invited to submit their finest creative work to help celebrate the great legacy of educator and creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, author of more than 2,000 tests, articles and books. Submissions are accepted until Aug. 8. Read about it here.
|Disclaimer: The information contained herein, other than organizational news, is not intended to reflect the position or opinion of NAGC nor does NAGC endorse any vendor or product mentioned. These headlines are provided solely for informational purposes. While NAGC makes every effort to be sensitive to our readers, please note that articles might not reflect NAGC’s positions on giftedness or related topics. We encourage our readers to contact those media outlets directly in the spirit of educating and informing journalists.
Gifted Kids: Tips for Summer Fun, Learning
Lissy Wood, a local mom and North Carolina public school teacher with 14 years of experience, writes: "As a resource teacher for gifted children, I am asked regularly by parents, 'What can we do at home for our child?' Just like with any form of parenting, there is no guide book! Parenting gifted children can mimic parenting in general, so these tips and ideas can be applied for all children."
Exercise Helps Kids Get Better Grades
It's not the brain but the heart that may matter more when it comes to excelling at school. Just like other organs, the brain needs to be used regularly to be at its best. And new research suggests physical exercise is correlated with improved mental functions, too.
New York Schools Chief Vows to Preserve Number of Gifted Programs
The New York Times
Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina plans to preserve the hallmarks of New York City's gifted programs, the immensely popular classes and schools that draw high achievers but have been criticized as shutting out low-income children. "What exists right now is serving the purpose of communities, and I have no intention of touching it," she said during an interview at the Education Department headquarters recently.
Gifted Learners' Needs Fall Under the Radar
Massey University via Phys.org
A new study has revealed New Zealand's smartest kids may not be getting the specialist support and programs they need to reach their full potential. Under-achievers receive the bulk of resources, leaving gifted learners in some schools at risk of stagnating, says Massey University gifted education specialist associate professor Tracy Riley.
School Improvement Requires More Than Just a Plan
By Thomas Van Soelen
As educational leaders, we spend considerable time building plans for a variety of stakeholders. After that first, often arduous writing of the initial draft, many leaders struggle with how to revise the plan in meaningful, engaging ways. Chuck Bell, a second-year superintendent in Elbert County, Georgia, created his system's first-ever improvement plan then ran his summer leadership retreat and was stumped with what to do next. He chose to model a process that school leaders could immediately lift and use in their schools.
Karen L. Yoho, CAE, NAGC Senior Director, Marketing and Member Services, 202.785.4268
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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