Saturday, October 6, 2012

To the Moon: Reaching New Heights in Gifted: 2013 PAGE Conference

Lisa Van Gemert

Keynote Speaker: Lisa VanGemert, American Mensa, Arlington, TX; sponsored by the Mensa Foundation

Lisa Van Gemert, M.Ed.T., is the Gifted Youth Specialist for American Mensa, as well as a popular conference speaker and professional development facilitator. A teacher and school administrator prior to joining Mensa, Lisa focuses on serving those who serve the gifted. Being a product of gifted education and the parent of gifted children herself allows Lisa to bring practical (and often humorous) insight into the needs of gifted youth. Lisa lives in Arlington, Texas, with her husband and the youngest of their three sons.


Other contact:

Keynote Abstract:
The Five-Headed Dragon: Threats to Giftedness
Gifted youth face many threats to their well-being, both cognitively and emotionally, that prevent them from achieving their dreams. We will face five of these threats head-on: Stereotype Threat, Imposter Syndrome, Bullying the Bright, Underachievement, and Perfectionism. These threats distort gifted youths’ views of themselves, create hesitancy where boldness is needed, turn victors into victims, deny gifts, and prevent academic risk-taking. Giving educators and parents the tools they need to ward off the five-headed dragon will allow gifted learners to soar to new heights of personal and academic fulfillment.

Workshop Abstract:
Deliberate Excellence: Embrace the power of effective classrooms!
What does a plane crash have to teach us about effective classrooms? Find out how a well-run classroom benefits the gifted learner, as well as small adjustments teachers can make to what they are already doing that take learning from acceptable to amazing. Take away ten simple, non-threatening ideas you can use to make your classroom a place of deliberate excellence for gifted learners and their peers.

Other Featured Speakers Include:
Erik Schwinger
Dr. Kimberly Chandler, College of William and Mary

Dr. Brian Housand, East Carolina University

Andrew Mahoney, Noted Author, Counselor, Family Therapist

Mary Ann Rafoth, Ph. D. ;
Dean, School of Education and Social Sciences; Robert Morris University 

Mary Ann Rafoth, Ph.D. is Dean of the School of Education and Social Sciences at Robert Morris University. She previously served as Dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 2005 until 2011. Dr. Rafoth served as chairperson of the Educational and School Psychology Department at IUP since 1999. She was also the Director of the Center for Educational and Program Evaluation and coordinated the Educational Psychology Master’s degree program and the School Psychology Certificate program and directed the department’s Child Study Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education at Miami University of Ohio, and her Master’s degree in School Psychometry and Doctoral degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia. She worked as a classroom teacher in Ohio and as a school psychologist in Georgia and Illinois. She held a faculty appointment in the Psychology Department at Eastern Illinois University from 1985 to 1987. A frequent consultant to schools and agencies, her research interests involve strengthening independent learning skills in students, alternatives to retaining students, school readiness issues, and program and student learning outcomes evaluation. Dr. Rafoth has authored several chapters in the frequently referenced Best Practices in School Psychology and Children’s Needs volumes published by the National Association of School Psychologists. She is first author of Strategies for learning and remembering: Study skills across the curriculum (NEA Professional Library, 1993) and the author of, Inspiring independent learning: Successful classroom strategies (1999, NEA Professional Library). Dr. Rafoth has published over thirty publications and made over fifty presentations at state, national, and international conferences.


Thursday afternoon

Risk factors for gifted adolescents: Research and recommendations for prevention and intervention
Anyone who works with gifted adolescents knows that they are at-risk for a number of developmental and psycho-social problems. Underachievement is a common phenomenon. In addition, stress factors that are present for all adolescents may be exacerbated for the gifted student causing alienation and social isolation. Factors that increase vulnerability for gifted children and adolescents will be discussed including the concept of risk and resilience. Changes in classroom and school system-wide practices which encourage achievement for all students including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and from low SES families will be presented. Finally, what parents and teachers can do to help these individuals move toward integrated, mature personalities will be discussed. 

Erik Schwinger, M.A., Davidson Institute for Talent Development 
Erik Schwinger has been working with profoundly gifted young people and their families as a Family Consultant and the Young Scholar Ambassador Program Coordinator at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development since 2007. He received his B.S. in Psychology from Northeastern University in 2000, and his M.A. in Sociology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2007. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife. He can be reached at


Thursday Evening Mini-Session
GET OUT OF THE CLASSROOM! The value of service learning and social entrepreneurship for gifted youth
Being proficient at reading, writing and arithmetic may get you through high school, but as we all know those are only a few of the many skills young people will need to master if they want to succeed personally and professionally as adults. Providing avenues for students to make a positive impact in their communities provides an empowering experience, and a venue for teaching executive skills such as leadership, task commitment, organization, civic responsibility and communication. Sometimes outside of the classroom is where the most valuable learning takes place!

Mr. Schwinger coordinates the Young Scholar Ambassador Program, which includes rigorous online instruction for selected youth launching social enterprises across the United States.

Friday Morning Workshop
Apply Smarter, Not Harder: A strategy for finding (and getting into) the right college for gifted high school students

Finding the right college fit can be challenging, especially in today’s hypercompetitive admissions environment. A common misperception is that selectivity = quality when it comes to higher education, leading many to think the harder it is to gain admission to a college, the “better” that college must be. Not always true. This presentation will address the college planning and application process to help gifted students look beyond brand-name colleges to find the institution not only that they want to attend, but that also that wants them to attend.

Lawrence A.Tomei, Ed.D.,Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Professor of Education, Robert Morris University
Born in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Tomei earned a BSBA from the University of Akron (1972), master degrees in Public Administration (1975) and Education (1978) from the University of Oklahoma, and a Doctorate in Education from USC (1983). He entered the United States Air Force in September 1972 and served on active duty until his retirement as a Lt. Colonel in 1994.

As Vice Provost, Dr. Tomei directs the activities of academic services including the Office of the Registrar, the University Honors Program, and the Veterans Education and Training Services Center. He serves as the dean of Student Academic Programs, internship/ cooperative education programs, first year studies programs, and veteran services. He is also responsible for academic budgets, capital expenditures, instructional technologies, and strategic facility planning.

His most recent articles and popular books include: Designing Instruction for the Traditional, Adult, and Distance Learner (2010), the Lexicon for Online and Distance Learning (2010), ICT for Enhanced Education and Learning (2009), and Taxonomy for the Technology Domain (2005).


Thursday Evening Mini-Session
Preparing Students for the Post-Secondary Demands of an Online Environment

During the 2011-2012 academic school year, more than 600,000 high school students participated in an online course, up nearly 20 percent from the previous school year. (Keeping Pace with K-12 Online and Blended Learning, 2012). Over the past 12 months, more and more students from K-12 schools and school districts throughout the nation have embraced new requirements to take online courses or participate in the online learning experience as an integral part of their required curriculum. A greater number of states and school districts adopted or revised their graduation requirements mandating online courses for high school graduation with the aim to teach students how to operate in a an increasingly digital world.

Whether these students are seeking careers right out of high school or plan to extend their formal education in a university setting, the online-course requirement will better prepare students for the “job market of the 21st century,” so stated Virginia’s Gov. Robert F. McDonnell this past year when he signed into law a bill that will require Virginia high school students to take at least one virtual course to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma.

Alabama, Florida, and Michigan already have laws on the books requiring virtual education for graduation. Indiana, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee are close behind.

Where is Pennsylvania in this process? It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Online education is the wave of the future – actually, it’s the current wave for increasing student learning skills and knowledge while preparing them for the demands that they will encounter in higher education, the workplace, and in personal life-long learning.

So, what’s the holdup? Well, the Idaho Board of Education recently repealed a pending policy that would have required their ninth graders -- and classes in years following -- to take two online courses to graduate from high school. Why?

Preparing Students for the Post-Secondary Demands of an Online Environment will introduce the audience to the status of online learning and how several states across the US expanded their online programs.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Conference Follow-Up

We hope that everyone who attended this year's conference had a fabulous time and came away with new ideas, new friends, and new passion for gifted education!  We thank the presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers for all that you did to make the conference a success.  Please visit the members area of our website for copies of the presenter handouts.

We look forward to seeing you at next year's conference in the Pittsburgh area!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Please join us in congratulating the 2012 PAGE Award Winners:

The 2012 Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award:
Emily Laurore, 10, is a sixth grader at Coudersport Elementary School and has participated in Gifted and Talented programming since kindergarten.   She is already one-year full grade skipped but Emily and her family are exploring the school district’s recommendation for further academic acceleration for the 2012-13 school year.
Emily placed first in the school science fair, health division; after placing first in the school Spelling Bee, she competed in the Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee for two consecutive years, finishing 6th in 2011 and 3rd in 2012; she consistently achieves highest or second highest point total in the Accelerated Reading Program for her entire school; she is a member of the Sixth Grade Choir and Show Choir and has organized school dances to benefit St. Jude Hospital, among other things.
Emily takes extra courses online through the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University and studies French.  She is a pianist and competitive gymnast who placed third on the Floor Exercise at the USAG Pennsylvania Level 4 States competition.  She is on her church flag team and volunteers at a local nursing home assisting dementia patients.  Emily wants to become a neurosurgeon, and is eager to continue her accelerated studies so that she can “start saving lives sooner.”

The 2012 PAGE Service and Scholarship Award:
Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz, 15, of Wexford, is the founder and CEO of Origami Salami, an original program which inspires learners to think outside the book about STEM subjects by studying folding (proteins, DNA, RNA, the brain, robotics, and computer applications), and its community service spin-off, Folding for Good, through which she and her affiliate chapters in Ohio and Texas engineer events highlighting the fun of STEM through origami. Calista wrote an engineering course for middle schoolers called Investigation: Paper Engineering, which was published in June 2011 by a national curriculum provider. Origami Salami has been recognized nationally, regionally, and locally; the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance has cited Calista as “…a pioneer and a leader in advocating for STEM education.”
Calista is a Davidson Institute Young Scholar Ambassador and 2011THINKer; a second year member of the NASA Online Learning Community; a 2012 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computer Science National Runner-Up; and a 2012 Kids are Heroes honoree. She has lobbied for gifted education in Harrisburg twice by paging for House Leader Mike Turzai and making staff visits. She is a pianist, violist with the Three Rivers Young Peoples’ Orchestra, and nine-time State Taekwondo Champion. Calista volunteers as a musician for various organizations; as a Junior Taekwondo Instructor; and at Animal Friends, a no-kill shelter in Pittsburgh, where she organizes groups to make safe toys for shelter cats out of recycled socks in a program called Operation Happy Sock.
Calista is a student at the PA Cyber Charter School and is a dual enrollee at Robert Morris University, School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science.
Visit Calista on the web: 

2012 PAGE Distinguished Parent Award:

First and foremost, Kimm Ebersole is a wife and mother of two sons. She also founded the Radnor chapter of PAGE. She used her skills as a small business owner to draw interest in our chapter from the community and to organize meetings with RTSD administrators to discuss issues regarding gifted services. For about five years, she led Radnor PAGE over many hurdles as it became a voice for students and parents in Radnor. Her optimism and professionalism shaped the image of Radnor PAGE as a thoughtful group of parents with a desire to be part of the solution. Kimm’s early leadership as a parent advocate set the tone of cooperation and commitment that continues to this day.

2012 PAGE Outstanding Educator Award:
Dana Boyd, Marshall and Ingomar Middle Schools (North Allegheny School District), has been a teacher and administrator in the Gifted and Talented Programs for 23 of her 25 year professional teaching career.  Mrs. Boyd received her B.S. degree from the University of Kansas and also has a certificate in Gifted Education from Carlow College. 
Mrs. Boyd consistently creates innovative, customized Individualized Options (IO’s) for her students; designs or implements, and coordinates, large extracurricular enrichment events and programs, including Globe Quest, Word Smith, Write On!, Book Bonanza, and Back in Time; networks gifted programs, including Olympics of the Mind, to include gifted students of surrounding school districts; and continues to develop several student lunchtime learning adventures, notably Anagram Lunches.
For the past two years, Mrs. Boyd has served on the North Allegheny Gifted Review Committee; she chairs the Research Committee on Best Practices in Gifted Education. She assists in district staff development in the field of gifted education, and has taught Differentiated Instruction for Very Able Learner, a course she co-developed, in her district.

2012 Neuber-Pregler Award:
The 2012 Neuber-Pregler Award winner Dr. Mary Ann Swiatek personifies this year’s conference theme of Unwrapping Gifted Potential: every day, everywhere, every school. While earning her B.A. from Oberlin College and M.S. and Ph.D from Iowa State University, her professional activities included being a predoctoral Fellow for Educational Testing Service in New Jersey; a graduate research assistant for the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Iowa State University; and a psychology intern at the Hutchings Psychiatric Center, Syracuse, New York.  Mary Ann then became a professor of psychology at SUNY, Fredonia, New York, and Lafayette College in Easton, PA.  From 2000-2004 she also worked as a research specialist for Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary and Secondary Students (C-MITES), where she designed, conducted, wrote and published research studies on various aspects of giftedness in school-age children and provided workshops for teachers and parents.
A member of the National Association for Gifted Children and the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, Mary Ann served as PAGE’s Higher Education Liaison from 2004-2007.  When other commitments prevented her from serving on the PAGE Board, she continued as a member of PAGE’s Speakers Bureau to travel around Eastern PA talking to the parents and teachers in local affiliates.  Her professional expertise, warm personality, and dedication to gifted children make her a popular speaker at workshops and conferences across the state and nation.  In addition to this and other PAGE conferences, Mary Ann has been a participant in the biennial Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development, Iowa City, IA; the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development Opportunities for the Future Parent Conference, Evanston, IL; National Association for Gifted Children conferences in Cincinnati, OH and Kansas City, MO; the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA; and the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
Unbeknownst to many she is a wonderful, willing resource for the volunteers who answer the PAGE Helpline and for other PAGE Board members.  She was a key contributor of ideas and language that were incorporated into the most recent revision of Chapter 16 and has been a stakeholder in other meetings with the PA Department of Education.  A facilitator of online seminars for the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Mary Ann has written articles for not only PAGE publications (UPDATE and Bulletin), but also for Gifted Child Quarterly; Journal of Educational Psychology;  Journal for the Education of the Gifted; Journal of Secondary Gifted Education; Journal for Research in Mathematics Education; Journal of Youth and Adolescence; and Roeper Review.  Other articles of hers have appeared in Encyclopedia of giftedness, creativity, and talent; Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talent; and Gifted Child Today; as well as in materials used by the Oregon Association of Talented and Gifted; the New South Wales Association for Gifted and Talented Children in Australia, and the Tasmanian Association for the Gifted. She recently opened a private practice in Center Valley, PA, that includes evaluations and counseling for gifted children and adolescents.
It is with great pleasure that PAGE recognizes the professional and personal contributions Mary Ann Swiatek has made every day to gifted children, their parents, and educators in every school everywhere—across the region, state, the nation, and the world.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 PAGE Conference Full Schedule

Unwrapping Gifted Potential: everyday, everywhere, every school

Wyndham Garden Exton Valley Forge Hotel
815 North Pottstown Pike Exton, PA 19341

Half-Day Sessions, Thursday, May 3
(register for individual workshops)

A Model for Success: Using Cluster Grouping for Differentiation ~ Susan Winebrenner
Technology with Purpose: The Gifted Learner Connection ~ Dr. Brian Housand
Understanding Executive Functioning: Unlocking Potential for the Gifted Underachiever ~ Dr. Lori Lennon
Mentoring Young Mathematicians: How to Challenge the K-5 Gifted and Advanced Learner ~ Dr. Linda Sheffield
The Peak in the Middle: Developing Mathematically Gifted Students in the Middle Grades ~ Dr. Linda Sheffield

Mini-Conference, Thursday Evening, May 3
(register for the mini-conference; pre-selection of individual presentations is not necessary)


Pre-session: Basic Boot Camp for Gifted~ Jim LoGiudice and Dawn Settle


So Your Student is Gifted:  What’s Next? Effective Advocacy and Resources ~ Rebecca Coleman, Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Gifted Children and Adolescents: Social and Emotional Issues ~ Dr. Mary Ann Swiatek
PLEPs and GIEPs That Make Sense ~ Tanya Morret

(*included with the price of any full-day conference registration)

Friday, May 4th Conference Agenda
(register for the conference; pre-selection of individual presentations is not necessary.)

Session A (8-9 AM):

How to Successfully Advocate for Highly Gifted Students

Successful advocacy includes parents, educators, and students working collaboratively. Discover strategies and techniques for supporting and extending learning for these students through the experiences and work of the Davidson Institute. This nationally recognized institute has been a leader for more than a decade in addressing the unique and often neglected needs of this population.

Rebecca Coleman, Family Consultant at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Reno, Nevada

Goal Setting and the Gifted Student: Using Interdisciplinary Units to Address and Monitor Students’ GIEP Goals

Do your students understand their GIEP goals, actively work toward meeting these goals, and ultimately unlock their potential? This session will provide an overview of effective goal setting strategies that will enable teachers and students to identify and monitor GIEP goal progress. Participants will be provided with concrete examples of how to foster student ownership and monitor progress on harder to measure goals, through the use of interdisciplinary extension/enrichment units that can be used in pull-out, core, and seminar class settings.

Elizabeth Santucci, K-6 Gifted Department Coordinator, Susan Cattie, 7-12 Gifted Department Coordinator, and Kate Clark, 5-6 Gifted Specialist, Methacton School District, Eagleville, PA

Understanding Underachievement in Gifted Students

As parents and educators know, gifted ability does not ensure academic achievement.  Underachievement can be a real problem and, in some cases, can have far-reaching implications.  Unfortunately, it can be difficult to even define and recognize underachievement.  This presentation will start with these issues, then move on to identify possible causes and discuss ways to intervene.

Mary Ann Swiatek, PhD, Psychologist, Former PAGE Board Member, Author, PAGE Bulletin: Academic acceleration: An overview. Research bulletin published by the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE).

RtII and the Gifted Student

Where does gifted education fit into the Response to Instruction and Intervention framework?  Everywhere. In this session, explore how a building or district can plan to meet the needs of their gifted and high ability students in a developed RtII framework. This session will describe how the components of RtII support the child find process for the gifted, as well as how tiered levels of support can be implemented for enrichment and acceleration.  This session will include a brief overview of the components of RtII and an overlay of how gifted fits into the framework.

Tanya Morret, Educational Consultant, Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cheryl Everett, Christine Lay, Assistant Superintendent, Gettysburg Area School District, Pennsylvania

Why are There so Few Women in Science, Technology and Mathematics?

Girls and boys have separate, but equal intelligences. So, why is it that boys more often pursue STEM jobs?  Why do girls lose interest in these areas over time? The AAUW Research Report, “Why So Few?” highlights the issues that affect the involvement of girls and women in STEM. The report also notes recommendations for guiding girls and for changing the culture that influences their participation in STEM education and careers. Learn some of the truths about girls and women involved in STEM and what can be done to encourage them to pursue a role in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Colleen Smith, Outreach Coordinator, Penn State Electro-Optics Center, Freeport, Pennsylvania

Awards Presentation and Keynote Speaker, Susan Winebrenner:


Historically, our country has provided gifted education services in several ways. Separate full time classes served only a small percentage of gifted students. Pull-out programs were part time - with very little connection to what the students were experiencing in their regular classrooms. Cluster grouping solves those problems and represents a paradigm shift in making gifted education an integral part of the regular school programs. The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model is a cost-effective and highly successful method to deliver full time educational programs for gifted students without significant additional cost to the district. Included are strategies for compacting and differentiating both content that is unfamiliar to students, as well as content they have previously mastered.

Session B (10:40-11:40 AM):

Parenting and Teaching Strategies for Children’s Lifetime Success

Successful people are those who have learned the benefits of working hard to achieve short and long-term goals. This session will help you discover what can be done to encourage children to welcome challenges in school and life.  Parents and teachers will learn easy to implement strategies that will increase bright children’s’ willingness to take risks and engage in creative and challenging learning situations.

Susan Winebrenner, author, Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom, San Diego, California

Battling the Myths of Gifted Education

Through an understanding of these myths and misinterpretation about the specialized educational needs of the gifted student, you can become a more informed and effective advocate for these students.

Rebecca Coleman, Family Consultant at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Reno, Nevada

Myths, Misconceptions, and Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Acceleration

While it is important to consider both pros and cons of any educational decision, many of the worries about acceleration are based on misinformation.  In this session, research findings will be used to answer common questions about acceleration, including those focused on academic issues, such as, "Will accelerated students have gaps in their knowledge?" and social/emotional issues, such as, "Will acceleration hurt gifted students' self-concept?"  Important factors to consider when making an acceleration decision will be summarized and the key resources available to make this decision will be noted. Also, information and guidelines for the development of district-wide acceleration policies will be shared.

Mary Ann Swiatek, PhD, Psychologist, Former PAGE Board Member, Author, PAGE Bulletin: Academic acceleration: An overview. Research bulletin published by the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE).

Using the Classroom Diagnostic Tools (PDE) to Inform GIEP Planning

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has provided middle and high school level teachers with a valuable classroom diagnostic tool. This tool will potentially aid educators in determining a student’s instructional level in literacy, math, and some areas of science. This session will review how this tool fits into the Pennsylvania Standard Aligned System (SAS) of assessment, and how this particular tool can inform more precise present educational levels (PLEPs) in relation to grade level/course level standards.

Tanya Morret, Educational Consultant, Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cheryl Everett, Science Staff Development Specialist and Gifted Education Liaison, Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

The Stewardship of Potential:  Helping Gifted Students Navigate the Social and Emotional Challenges They Face

Gifted students possess wonderful talents and perceptions, but they can also struggle with social and emotional problems that are directly related to their giftedness.  During this workshop, we will explore a number of the affective issues that gifted students may face and describe ways to help them work through these challenges in order to become happier and more successful people.

Peg Solitario, former state officer for the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, a site director for the Summer Institute for the Gifted.

Session C (1:40-2:40 PM):

Differentiating for Gifted Students in Cluster Grouping Classes

This session will help you become more knowledgeable about the techniques that may be used to adapt grade level curriculum and standards to meet the learning needs of your most academically capable students in Cluster Grouping classes.  Included are strategies for compacting and differentiating content for both content that is unfamiliar to students, as well as content they have previously mastered.

Susan Winebrenner, author, Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom, San Diego, California

Great Books for Growing Thinkers

This session is an exploration of outstanding literature, past and current, to engage and challenge the gifted reader. Dr. McGovern will introduce and comment about specific titles and strategies that can connect to both curriculum and high-level skill development. He will also share models of mentor text, both fiction and nonfiction, that may serve to improve student writing.

Dr. Jack McGovern, Former Teacher, Headmaster, and Professor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Testing and Assessment of Gifted Children:  What Does it Mean?

We talk about testing gifted children, but what do the tests actually tell us? What are they assessing, achievement or intelligence, and does it matter?  YES! Learn about what various tests measure and how they inform decisions, how their results apply to the day-to-day reality of the gifted child in the classroom, and how they should be used to frame Present Levels and develop appropriate goals in the GIEP.

Carolyn Kottmeyer, Founder and Director of Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

What Works at the High School for the Gifted: A Panel Presentation

This workshop session will describe a range of programs and options for challenging the gifted student in the high school, ones that may also meet Chapter 16 requirements for specially designed instruction. Learn about alternative and learning extensions that connect to student interests, and often go beyond classroom and school walls. Where do A.P courses, honors, dual enrollment, and accelerated courses fit - and what more challenge or gifted education programming is needed or not?  Not easy questions to answer, but let's try our best.

Jeff Bugenhagen, Upper Merion High School; Jane Ferris, Director University Scholars Program, PA Leadership Charter School; Maria Geffers, East Stroudsburg School District; Taryn S. Kilbert, Director of High School Experiential Learning-PA Virtual Scholars Academy; James LoGiudice, PAGE Past President and  former Board Member, Gifted Education Advisor and Panel Moderator; Karie Walaan, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, PA Cyber Charter School

Creativity:  The Much Needed Ingredient for Challenging the Gifted

Innovative, original thinking is a necessary tool for writing, mathematical problem solving, and scientific process skills. It is one proven way to increase the levels of engagement and achievement for the gifted. This session will help teachers understand creativity and the stages in the creative process to achieve it.

Linda Deal, Gifted Education Consultant, Adjunct Professor, Millersville University

Session D (2:50-3:50 PM):

Finding the Best College Fit for Gifted Students

Once, a meritocracy in which talented students were justly rewarded for their efforts, the college admission’s process has become a highly strategic and commercialized exercise. Institutions jockey for rankings and wrestle with meeting internal agendas. This workshop de-mystifies the college acceptance process by revealing those agendas, and interpreting the various admission and financial aid strategies used to attract students. Relevant tools to assist talented students in finding and gaining admission to colleges that fit them will be offered.

Peter Van Buskirk, President, The Admission Game, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Cultivating Gifted Enrichment Within the Community

The local community is often overlooked as a component and integral partner to school enrichment programs.  Alternative enrichments within the community provide gifted students with opportunities to exchange traditional school experiences for more authentic and hands-on learning. This awareness and application of investigative and other high level thinking skills is an effective way to connect learning for gifted students to their local environment.

Abby Alexander, Gifted Education Facilitator, School District of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Paradox with Promise; The Gifted Child with Asperger Syndrome

This session will examine the Gifted Child on the Spectrum as a unique learner in both the gifted community and in the PDD community.  This student offers the world a new perspective while being challenged by the world they live in.  We will consider methods to help him reconcile their experience with the real world to create a better world for everyone.

Cheryle Radcliffe, Gifted Support Coordinator of Gifted Services K-12, Souderton High School, Lansdale, PA

Make Your Online Classroom “Bloom” With STEM!

In this session, participants will learn how to transform their classroom into an actual STEM lab! Learn how to reach out to organizations like NASA, Engineering Go for It, and PBS Design Squad to bring real world engineering problems into your online classroom, allowing gifted students to access higher order thinking skills and truly “Bloom.” This session is particularly useful for anyone looking to create a virtual STEM lab, but is equally as beneficial for any classroom teacher interested in creating a STEM lab in their school. 

Tara Park, Teacher, Cindy Wilts, Teacher, Amy Markle, Family Support Coordinator, Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

Current Legal Issues and Practical Tips About Gifted Education Law

This interactive session will focus on current decisions and trends in gifted education law in Pennsylvania, and other Chapter 16 implications. This presentation will include case studies based on recent hearing and appeals decisions, and offer some tips on how to minimize liability.

Gabrielle Sereni, Raffaele & Puppio Law Firm, practicing school attorney and PAGE Legal Advisor

Gifted Education Advocacy Training

Thursday Evening Mini-Conference 7:00-8:30 PM in the Malvern Room.
Parents, students, teachers, and Friends: Learn how to be an effective voice for appropriate services that meet the needs of gifted learners.

Ian Moran of Education Voters PA; Dawn Settle-PAGE’s President; Rose Jacobs-PAGE’s First Vice President; and Judith Mosse-PAGE’s Past President

Thursday, April 12, 2012

PAGE Conference Keynote Address -Susan Winebrenner

PAGE Conference, Friday, May 4, 2012

A keynote by Susan Winebrennner

Historically, our country has provided gifted education services in several ways. Separate full time classes served only a small percentage of gifted students. Pull-out programs were part time – with very little connection to what the students were experiencing in their regular classrooms. Cluster grouping solves those problems and represents a paradigm shift in making gifted education an integral part of the regular school programs. The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model is a cost-effective and highly successful method to deliver full time educational programs for gifted students without significant additional cost to the district. Included are strategies for compacting and differentiating both content that is unfamiliar to students, as well as content they have previously mastered.