4 Days of SENG Online Mini Conference
Time & Location
About The Event
SENG is thrilled to bring the experience of the annual conference to our worldwide gifted, talented, and twice-exceptional community! Join us for four dynamic days packed with keynote presentations, valuable sessions, and making connections - all from the comfort of home! Each day will include 5 unique sessions featuring renowned presenters, and will cover a range of topics focused on the social and emotional needs of the gifted community.
Cost: For single day registration, the cost $75 for annual members and $99 for non-members and non-annual members. For full conference registration, the cost is $120 for annual members, and $150 for non-members and non-annual members. To receive the membership coupon code, email Trent.Cash@sengifted.org.
*SENG is approved as a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider for educators in the State of Texas.
Speakers, Topics, Descriptions and Bios:
Wednesday, April 29
11:00 AM (All times in Eastern)
Speakers: Dr. Dina Brulles, Dr. Kim Lansdowne, and Dr. Jack Naglieri
Title: High Ability Students Who are Not Yet Achieving Highly: Are they really gifted?
Many believe that to be identified and served as gifted, students must have high ability AND high achievement. Therefore, many who have high ability, but not yet highly achieving, are left out of gifted programs. Schools perpetuate underrepresentation of: twice-exceptional students, children lacking opportunities to learn, those in poverty, those lacking family support, ELLs and under-achievers... the groups of students who most need learning opportunities commensurate with their potential! Providing services for those who are not achieving at high levels helps them develop their ability and increase achievement levels.
States dictate their own gifted identification criteria. Many states provide options regarding testing; some allow exceptions for gifted identification. Few states dictate what programs to implement. Most schools have leeway with their identification process & services. When implementing gifted services, schools should consider the following: “Knowledge” is to achievement as “understanding” is to ability. Understanding is innate; while knowledge is learned. Schools or states that require gifted children demonstrate high achievement along with high ability prioritizes knowledge over understanding and contributes to historically underrepresented populations.
Dina Brulles, Ph.D., is the Gifted Education Director at Paradise Valley USD in Arizona where she has developed a continuum of gifted programs, preschool through high school. She is also the Gifted Program Coordinator at Arizona State University. Dina currently serves on the NAGC Board of Directors as Governance Secretary (Interim), and served two terms as School District Representative. Dina received the 2019 NAGC Book of the Year Award (Practitioners), the 2014 NAGC Gifted Coordinator Award and NAGC’s Professional Development Network Award in 2013. Dina co-authored the books: A Teacher’s Guide to Flexible Grouping and Collaborative Learning; Designing Gifted Education Programs: From Purpose to Implementation, Differentiated Lessons for All Learners; The Cluster Grouping Handbook; Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classrooms; Helping All Gifted Children Learn; and the Naglieri Ability Test – Verbal (2021). Dina assists schools in developing and supporting gifted programs with an emphasis on increasing diversity.
Dr. Jack A. Naglieri, Ph.D. is a Research Professor at the University of Virginia and Senior Research Scientist at the Devereux Center for Resilient Children. His main interest is in the development of psychological and educational tests and the implications these approaches have for accurate and equitable assessment. He is the author of tests used for identification of gifted students including the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test and the forthcoming Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal Naglieri Tests of General Ability with coauthors Dina Brulles and Kim Lansdowne. He is also well known for his neurocognitive theory of intelligence referred to as PASS and measured with the Cognitive Assessment System and applied to the classroom instruction using the book Helping Children Learn-Second Edition. Other measures include the Autism Spectrum Rating Scale, Comprehensive Inventory of Executive Function, and the Devereux Elementary Student Strengths Assessment.
Dr. Kimberly Lansdowne is the founding Executive Director of the Herberger Young Scholars Academy, a secondary school for highly gifted students at Arizona State University.
She received her doctorate at Arizona State University (ASU) in 2008 and has a lengthy career in teaching and administration at universities, colleges, public and private schools. At Scottsdale School District (2000-2010), Kimberly was the Director of Gifted Services and served as a district level administrator overseeing several programs with over forty faculty and staff members. Kim was the 2014 Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) Administrator of the Year and was elected to serve locally, nationally and internationally in organizations that advocate for gifted students: AAGT(2000-2008), NAGC (2003-2010) Diversity and Equity Committee, and Center for Talented Youth (CTY), Ireland Advisory Board (2014-present).
Speakers: Dr. Emily Mofield & Dr. Megan Parker Peters
Topic: Do I Have to Be Perfect? Helping Gifted Children Manage Perfectionism
Why do some gifted children get upset if they earn a grade other than an A? Why might they be consumed with self-doubt after turning in homework or completing a project? Do you notice that some gifted children can sometimes be overly self-critical and insecure, even though they have a long-list of accomplishments and accolades? How is perfectionism related to underachievement? Learn insight about perfectionism as it relates to gifted children and their development of talent. During this session, participants will learn about several ideas to help gifted children tackle fear, shame, and identity associated with the striving for perfection based on current research in the field.
Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor of Education at Lipscomb University and serves as NAGC Chair for Curriculum Studies. She is an award-winning author and educator and is the co-recipient of the NAGC Hollingworth award for research related to perfectionism and underachievement. Emily regularly presents professional development addressing social-emotional learning and implementing effective differentiation strategies for advanced learners for school districts and special groups.
Megan Parker Peters, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Director of Teacher Education and Assessment at Lipscomb University. She is a psychologist specializing in the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional learners. Megan is an award-winning author and is the co-recipient of the NAGC Hollingworth award for research related to perfectionism and underachievement. Megan is also on the board of the Tennessee Association for the Gifted.
Speaker: Tina Harlow
Title: Parenting Gifted Kids in Turbulent Times
There is no manual for parenting during these unparalleled times, yet each family has been thrust in the position of creating one on the fly. This presentation will offer some potential tangible additions to your family's "Parenting in Crappy Times Manual." Together, we will explore avenues for guiding our children through this period of societal transformation and keeping our own well-being intact - all the while navigating many difficult emotions ourselves. Attendees will leave with a lens for viewing these trying times, as well as tools to move beyond simple surviving to fully thriving.
Tina Harlow, MSW, LCSW is a therapist, speaker, consultant, blogger and founder of Guiding Bright in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Tina utilizes creativity and fun to help gifted children and families gain a better understanding of themselves and each other while emphasizing the strengths in their neurological differences. Over the last 25 years, Tina’s work has traversed a variety of settings including outpatient, day treatment, residential, intensive family treatment, child welfare and even a performing arts camp. Tina presents nationally and internationally on the social and emotional aspects of gifted children. In addition to her private practice, she works for Gifted Development Center in Denver and serves as coordinator of the Colorado Consortium of Schools for the Gifted. Tina is a SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) mental health provider and a Certified SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator.
Speaker: Mark Hess
Title: Growing Up Gifted in Generation Z
Generation Z is full of potential, growing up slowly, conscious of emotional and physical safety, beautifully accepting of others, and less likely to engage in face to face interactions than any other demographic. How does broad generational data, including very concerning trends for anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, translate for giftedness?
Abstract: How does broad generational data play out social-emotionally for the first generation of gifted kids never to have known life without the internet? Rising levels of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, a rising suicide rate and real physical threats along with today’s pressures surely present challenges for gifted children who feel life more intensely and experience the world more vividly than others. This generation is protected and kept safe, and they seem to embrace this. Does this tendency go too far—limit them in developing critical thinking and in the opportunities for thoughtful discourse? Yet this is a generation filled with potential, accepting of others’ differences like no other generation before it, and possessing a true desire to be successful and to do well—not just for themselves but also for those who love and care for them. How do we as teachers, parents, and counselors work to guide those we care about so dearly?
Mark Hess is the Gifted Programs Specialist in Colorado Springs District 11, the Pikes Peak Association for Gifted Students president, state board member for the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, and an SMPG facilitator. As Portable Gifted and Talented, he presents regionally and nationally, trains teachers, and has published more than 200 units specifically designed for gifted learners. Mark has three social-emotional lesson collections due to be published by Prufrock Press in the spring of 2021.
Speaker: Carol Malueg
Title: Family Collaboration in Stressful Times: Parenting Recipes
Your relationship with your child is always a priority. Stressful times can put a strain on caregivers and children that impacts the whole family. Currently, many families are in close quarters all day every day, but still have work to do and obligations to meet. Add in a variety of learning and working styles and preferences, and you have a very complicated dynamic to manage. Using your past experiences and current resources, let’s talk about how to nurture a positive, collaborative environment that helps everyone do what they need to do. We’ll explore strategies for family collaboration that put your relationship with your child first.
Carol Malueg is the mother of 2 gifted young adults, a professional in the field of gifted education, and an active member of several state and national organizations that support gifted kids and their families. She earned her master’s degree in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Education and a Certificate in Twice-Exceptional Education from the University of St. Thomas. Carol is a Master Facilitator and Trainer for Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). She has worked on three Javits Grant research projects focused on improving identification of and services for traditionally underserved gifted students. Carol is a contributing writer for the GHF Dialogue, works with Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse as a Learning Coach, and is an Independent Educational Consultant in gifted and twice-exceptional education. Carol serves as Past-President of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT), sits on the board of the Minnesota Academic League Council (MNALC), and is Education Chair on the Board of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF).
Thursday, April 30
11:00 AM (Keynote)
Speaker: Dr. Sally Reis
Title: Using Strength-Based Pedagogy to Engage and Challenge All Students
If teachers can be given time to focus on students strengths and provide enrichment and talent development experiences, fewer students will underachieve in school and in life. In this session, learn how lessons learned over four decades of developing an enrichment program can provide a direction about giving enriched learning experiences and talent development opportunities for all students. This session focuses on developing talents in students, as well as the ways parents and educators can provide a broad range of enrichment experiences and follow-up advanced learning based on interests. Using engagement and enjoyable and challenging learning experiences that are constructed around students’ interests, learning styles, and product styles can engage and uplift education for all students.
Sally M. Reis is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and the former Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Connecticut where she also served as Principal Investigator of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented and Department Head of the Educational Psychology Department. She was a classroom teacher in public education as well as an administrator before coming to the University of Connecticut. She has authored and co-authored more than 250 articles, books, book chapters, and numerous monographs and technical reports, and worked in a research team that has generated over 35 million dollars in grants in the last 15 years.
Speaker: Dr. Paul Beljan
Title: Giftedness and Learning Disabilities: Unearthing the Missed Diagnosis
The common characteristics of gifted and talented children can result in incorrect diagnoses, such as overlooking learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can take the form of academics (reading, math and writing) or executive function abilities that negatively affect general learning and may relate to social learning. In this lecture, Dr. Paul Beljan will review some of the basic tenants of giftedness that include intellect and asynchronous development. The lecture will then turn to the nuts and bolts of learning disabilities; what they look like, how to assess them, and what to do about them in the context of the gifted population. The ‘discrepancy model’ of learning disability will be dispelled in favor of understanding the brain basis of learning disabilities. The lecture will be filled with anecdotes and case examples to illustrate the process of learning disabilities.
Dr. Paul Beljan is a pediatric neuropsychologist in private practice at Beljan Psychological Services in Scottsdale AZ. The Arizona Psychological Association selected Dr. Beljan in 2016 for the Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology Award. Dr. Beljan served at the Governor’s pleasure on the Arizona Board of Psychological Examiners. He holds child and adult diplomate certifications with the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ABPdN) and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN). Dr. Beljan is a past president of the ABPdN and held nearly every executive office for ABPdN. In 2016, Dr. Beljan completed a post-doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmacology from New Mexico State University. Dr. Beljan’s professional focus is on Gifted Intelligence, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), Learning Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, Physical and Emotional Trauma, and Attention and Executive Functioning Deficit and associated interventions. His hospital based work in pediatric psychology and pediatric neuropsychology has included traumatic brain injury assessment, pain management and trauma recovery with children suffering from burns, various forms of cancer, sickle cell anemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and learning disorders. He also evaluated thousands of infants in neonatology clinics. Dr. Beljan is an expert in evaluating and understanding gifted children and their common misdiagnoses and dual-diagnoses. Along with Dr. James Webb, Dr. Beljan co-authored Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, BiPolar, OCD, Depression, and Other Disorders. Dr. Beljan co-authored Large Scale Brain Systems and Neuropsychological Assessment: An Effort to Move Forward. He has published numerous chapters and articles in various publications about gifted children, learning disorders and executive functioning. Dr. Beljan is a past president of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology and serves on the 2e Newsletter editorial board.
Speakers: Stacy Hawthorne, Jessica Potts & Erica Shumaker
Title: Supporting the Social/Emotional Needs of Gifted Students with Online Learning
With numerous schools recently shifting to an online mode, it is critical that the unique educational and social emotional needs of profoundly gifted students continue to be met. Davidson Academy Online (DAO) is well positioned to offer insights on supporting gifted students' transition into online learning, particularly from a social and emotional perspective.
Stacy Hawthorne, Director of Online Learning (Davidson Academy) As the Director of Online Learning, Stacy Hawthorne led the design of Davidson Academy Online programs, which now include a la carte middle schools courses and a full-time online high school for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. Davidson Academy online courses offer students live, synchronous sessions; quality interactions with intellectual peers; small class sizes; responsive, caring instructors; Personalized Learning Plans; and embedded opportunities for socialization. Hawthorne was awarded a 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award in the Teaching and Learning category for the unique and personalized model of online education used at the Davidson Academy. Hawthorne is currently a doctoral candidate at Boise State University. She is working on her dissertation in the field of online learning with an emphasis in gifted education. She holds an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Ashland University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Georgia. She has been a licensed educator and administrator in Ohio and Oregon and currently holds licenses in mathematics, social studies, gifted and talented, and school administration in Nevada.
Jessica Potts, PhD – Curriculum Coordinator & Humanities Instructor (Davidson Academy) Jessica Potts PhD holds a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in Secondary Education, with an emphasis on gifted education and online learning. Her MA is in English Literature, with an emphasis on the English Renaissance. She has spent most of her teaching career at the Davidson Academy of Nevada, both at the Reno and online campuses. Currently, she teaches online courses for the Davidson Academy, develops online content, and previously taught graduate courses on gifted education at UNR. Her research is focused mainly on furthering the burgeoning field of online learning for gifted students. She has been published in Gifted Child Today, Gifted Child Quarterly, Education Week, and has contributed chapters to books on gifted students. Jessica and her husband live in the Czech Republic with their three sons.
Erica Shumaker, Counselor (Davidson Academy) Erica Shumaker has worked as a counselor and teacher for over a decade at the secondary and college level. Before moving to Reno in 2017 she earned her MAEd in School Counseling and English Teaching Credential from Azusa Pacific University and a Masters in English Literature from Northern Arizona University. Her main goal is to help students engage with the world around them in meaningful ways that will extend past their time at the Davidson Academy online campus.
Speaker: Dr. Chris Wiebe & Carmen Sevilla
Title: Using technology to support cognitive skill building and social-emotional development for 2e Students
In this session, presenters examine the pedagogical foundations of technology integration to provide educators and counselors with practical strategies for using tech tools to cultivate students’ academic and social-emotional growth. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer an abundance of opportunities for enhancing student learning, but many educators are unprepared to make use of familiar technologies in creative ways. Used wisely, technology allows students to manage their own educational paths. This sense of agency can minimize anxiety and create an environment that allows their unique abilities to manifest, bolstering self-regulation, productivity, and self-confidence. Attendees will depart this session with a sound model for designing purposeful plans for technology use, examples of those plans in action, and a list of recommended tech tools.
Carmen Sevilla, M.S. is in her seventh year as the middle school director at Bridges Academy, a school for twice-exceptional students. She previously taught mathematics and reading in addition to athletics, varsity sports, and media technology for over 15 years in independent schools. Being a teacher and administrator at Bridges Academy has given Carmen the perspective of the 2e child and the 2e family from the admissions process to life after Bridges. Carmen has many areas of interest including the social-emotional development of children through curriculum integration and holds a master’s degree in educational technology and instruction. When not at Bridges, Carmen continues to play tennis and softball recreationally and enjoys sharing her love of technology and athletics with her three sons.
Chris Wiebe, Ed.D. is the high school division director at Bridges Academy. He also serves as managing editor for Bridges Media, publisher of 2eNews.com and Variations2e magazine, which provide information, perspectives, and resources about 2e education and neurodiversity. Chris’s doctoral dissertation explored the barriers that teachers’ beliefs about technology can pose for schools and districts pursuing technology integration policies. A paper based on this dissertation was a finalist for an American Educational Research Association (AERA) award in 2016 from the Technology as an Agent of Change, SIG. His other published works include a critical discourse analysis of diversity statements at public universities, and a piece that excavates neoliberal ties between national policymakers and major technology corporations. With a co-author, he wrote a chapter about institutional programming for twice-exceptional students, which was published by Oxford University Press.
Speaker: Dr. Nicole Tetreault
Title: A Lens into Neurodiversity– In and Out of the Classroom
Neurodiversity and twice-exceptionality go beyond learning in the classroom, neurodiversity is a way of being and navigating in the world. The journey begins from birth and continues through life. Twice-exceptional children express great gifts and challenges where their efforts do not match their imagination and original ideas. Often these children are asynchronous and test all over the map, leaving them deflated, anxious, and demotivated. Understanding the brain processing and nontraditional learning styles of twice-exceptional students opens the development of creative teaching strategies and solutions. With advancements in neuroscience and psychology research, we can design education specific to the individual while meeting the needs of the whole person. Join this session to understand ways to activate and encourage positive neural pathways and mindful techniques to nurture a divergent thinker and mind. Guide your twice-exceptional student to thrive with compassion and understanding. Teach them to be liberated and empowered along their life journey.
Nicole Tetreault, Ph. D., is a neuroscientist, author, meditation teacher, and international speaker on topics of neurodiversity, neurodevelopment, creativity, mental health, and wellness. Dr. Tetreault received her PhD from Caltech specializing in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders. As the founder of Awesome Neuroscience, she translates the most promising neuroscience and positive psychology for people to live their best life. Dr. Tetreault has authored numerous academic papers on intelligence, autism, brain evolution, neuroinflammation, and behavior. As a Milton Career Exploration Prize recipient from Caltech, Dr. Tetreault is creating Beyond the Cell, a transformative program to rehabilitate incarcerated women through teaching guided meditation, neuroscience, literature, and expressive writing. Her forthcoming book, Insight into a Bright Mind, explores groundbreaking research examining the experiences of unique, creative, and intense brains through interviews, storytelling, and literary science, while advocating for new directions of human and neurodiversity. For more about Nicole, please visit nicoletetreault.com.
Friday, May 1
11:00 AM (Keynote)
Speaker: Dr. Matt Zakreski
Title: It’s Not Like Sheldon: When Giftedness and Autism Spectrum Disorder Interact
There is significant overlap between the traits of a gifted child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. These similarities can be confusing to families, teachers, and even mental health professionals and can impede access to correct services. This session will seek to explain the differences between giftedness, Autism, and twice-exceptionality involving both.
Program: One of the areas of giftedness that is highly complex is diagnostic labeling. There are many aspects of having a “gifted brain” that appear similar to a person on the Autism Spectrum; there are also many people who are gifted who are also on said Spectrum. This session will explain and define the relevant aspects of giftedness and Autism. We will explore what behaviors and traits are linked to which underlying neurological factors and how to tell them apart such that your child can get the correct support at school and in the community. We will also explore what twice-exceptionality looks like for giftedness and Autism, and discuss how to meet the needs of that specific group.
Matthew Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologiust who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his clients. He specializes in working with children and adolescents, as well as their families, in providing therapy and conducting psychological evaluations. He is proud to serve as a consultant to schools, a professor at the university level, and a researcher and author on his specialty, Giftedness. Dr. Zakreski is a member of Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC). He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) Board of Directors. He is currently in private psychological practice outside of Philadelphia, PA.
Speaker: Emily Kircher-Morris
Title: Understanding Executive Functioning in Gifted/Twice-Exceptional Children
Gifted students may struggle with executive functioning skills due to being twice-exceptional or experiencing asynchronous development. During this talk, Emily will share strategies to help kids at home and in the classroom to take control of their executive functioning skills by teaching them how to use the Metacognitive Cycle - a process that involves self-monitoring, self-evaluating, and self-regulating.
Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC is a clinical mental health counselor specializing in gifted and twice-exceptional learners. She is the host of the Mind Matters podcast which explores the development of gifted and neuro-diverse individuals through the lifespan and author of the forthcoming “Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners” (Free Spirit Publishing, 2021).
Speaker: Alonzo Kelly
Title: Black and Gifted is not a Paradox! Hidden Gems In Distressed Communities
Sometimes the environment dictates the societal definition of normal. The environment therefore also determines and labels what is determined to be ‘odd’, ‘weird’, or ‘defiant’. Someday we may not have to remind ourselves that the Gifted are found in ALL communities. Distressed communities have a unique challenge of overcoming bias, identifying giftedness early, and creatively utilizing limited resources to meet the unique needs of Gifted children. This session will explore such theories as Nigrescence, Scholar Identity, and Multiple-Self, to assist with supporting and partnering with our youth is less than ideal societal environments.
A dynamic Executive Coach, Professor, 3x Best Selling Author, and Radio Host, Alonzo Kelly has gained international and global attention as a premier consultant and strategist. Alonzo is recognized as one the nation’s leading experts on leadership development, strategic thinking, planning, and acting which results in individual and organizational goal achievement. He has appeared on America’s Premier Experts which airs on major networks across the country including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. He holds a bachelor’s in Accounting, three master’s degrees (Public Administration, Human Resource & Labor Relations, Business Administration), and is nearing completion of a PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Services. He is also currently in the process of obtaining his Doctorate in Business Administration. He currently serves on the State Board of Directors for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), National Board of Directors for SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), and the Fire and Police Commission for the City of Howard. Find more at www.alonzokelly.com
Speaker: Christine Turo-Shields
Title: Calming the Calamities: Navigating Anxiety, Angst, & Anger Among the Gifted
From generalized worry to heart-pounding panic attacks to raging outbursts, these emotional struggles can range from bothersome to debilitating. This session highlights experiential techniques to manage the emotional intensity of gifted children, teens, and adults. Agitation and relaxation cannot physiologically exist in the body at the same time. Create confidence in your children, students, and by yourself by tapping strengths, power and tools to impose a relaxed body posture by over-riding mental agitation, over-excitabilties and existential depression. These strategies successfully benefit children and adults for managing emotional distress related to anxiety, anger, and angst.
Christine Turo-Shields, LCSW, LCAC is EMDR certified and has a personal and professional passion of working in the world of the gifted. . . raising two 2e children (one gifted and one profoundly gifted). She is the co-owner of Kenosis Counseling Center and has worked with a plethora of gifted children, teen, and adults, and she currently facilitates a gifted women’s anxiety group. She knows the blessings and burdens of the minds of our brightest! With specialty in the GT/HA world, she consults with school districts on case consultations regarding gifted students as well as conducts and coordinates trainings and presentations for educators and parents. She coaches gifted parents, introducing them resources which will aid in navigating their children’s world emotionally, socially and behaviorally. Christine has been an integral part in the development of the Gifted Family Program for Central Indiana Mensa – a program so successful that it won the American Mensa Gifted Children Program Award for 2010. Her article, "The Rocket Science of Raising Gifted Kids" has been published in the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) newsletter, and she has been a presenter at the NAGC and SENG national conferences, most notably on trauma healing and anxiety management among gifted individuals. She co-facilitates SENG 2e online parent groups, and is proud to have been named as SENG State Liaison for Indiana. Additionally, she has served as a member of the Behavior Team with PGR (Profoundly Gifted Retreat) as well as a webinar facilitator for the Davidson Institute.
Speaker: Austina De Bonte
Title: Smart is not Easy: What Grit and Growth Mindset Mean for the Gifted Student
What predicts success? Do gifted kids always become eminent adults? What role do grit and growth mindset play? What does IQ actually predict about later life? This session starts with a 360 degree research review, starting with Terman, the Study for Mathematically Precocious Youth, Carol Dweck's work on "growth mindset," and Angela Duckworth's research on "grit" - including the original research results as well as more recent meta-analyses and critiques - and pulls it all together with the popular "James and Susie" cartoon. Along the way, we'll discuss the many causes of underachievement, why the smartest kids on average have the least grit, and most importantly, how to guide our gifted students.
Austina De Bonte is a family and school consultant at Smart is not Easy, LLC (www.smartisnoteasy.com). Since 2012, Austina has also served as the President of the Northwest Gifted Child Association (www.nwgca.org), the Washington State support and advocacy non-profit for families with gifted children. A dynamic and engaging presenter, Austina speaks regularly at conferences, as well as conducts parent education talks and professional development workshops for educators about the unique social and emotional development of highly capable (HiCap) or “gifted” children. She also works with school district teams to develop and fine-tune their HiCap program models, especially concerning equitable identification strategies. Austina's signature style combines her experience as a parent and parent coach along with synthesized research, current district practices across Washington State, and cutting edge neuroscience. She has a Masters degree from MIT, and did her thesis work in the MIT Media Lab's Epistemology and Learning Group, where Lego Mindstorms was invented. Austina is a certified SENG Model Parent Group facilitator. Contact Austina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, May 2
11:00 AM (keynote)
Speaker: Dr. James Delisle
Topic: Gifted and Teenage, Too: Striking the Right Balance at Home and School
Intellectually gifted students have many academic strengths. However, they are also teenagers, intent on enjoying their brief years as adolescents with all the zeal they can muster. School is important, but so are friends, fun and everything electronic. How do you, as parents, and they, as students, balance the rigors of school life with the need for relaxation and personal growth? Come learn about some strategies and attitudes
Dr. James (Jim) Delisle has taught gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more than 40 years. Jim retired from Kent State University in 2008 after 25 years of service as a Distinguished Professor of special education. Throughout his career, Jim has taken time away from college teaching to return to his “classroom roots”, volunteering as a 2nd, 4th, 5th and 8th grade teacher in 1991, 1997 and 2006. Too, Jim taught gifted middle school students one day a week between 1998-2008 in the Twinsburg, Ohio Public Schools. For the past seven years, Jim has worked part-time with highly-gifted 9th and 10th graders at the Scholars' Academy in Conway, South Carolina.
The author of more than 275 articles and 23 books, Jim’s work has been translated into multiple languages and has been featured in both professional journals and in popular media, such as The New York Times, People Magazine, and on Oprah! Two of Jim's books, Doing poorly on purpose: Strategies to reverse underachievement and respect student dignity, and, Understanding gifted children from the inside-out: A guide to the social and emotional lives of gifted kids were both published in 2018. Creating strong kids through writing is his latest book, published in 2019. A frequent presenter throughout the U.S., Jim has also addressed audiences in nations as diverse as England, Greece, China, Oman, the Netherlands, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Jim’s wife, Deb, served as the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC for three years in the Obama administration, Currently, she is CEO and President of the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4ED). Their son, Matt, is an Emmy Award winning video editor in New York City and the source of many of their stories about raising gifted and creative kids.
In his retirement, Jim plans to walk as many beaches as possible and to write children’s picture books where the main characters are based on young people he has taught or counseled during his career. And, of course, to spend as much time as possible with their new grandson, Wyatt.
Speaker: Jen Merrill
Title: Write Your Own Operating Manual: Life Design and Self-Care for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Adults
Wouldn’t it be great if we were all born with an operating manual, complete with troubleshooting tips and a 24-hour hotline? Sadly, that’s not the case, but we can design one specific to our lives and needs. Jen has spent the last several years creating such a manual for herself; drawing from that work (and that of writing a book on self-care for parents of gifted and 2e kids), she’ll help you determine what needs to be in your manual, complete with troubleshooting tips…24-hour hotline not available.
Jen Merrill is a writer, music educator, and gifted family advocate. The mom of two boys, she homeschooled one twice-exceptional son through high school while happily sending the other out the door every morning. Her book, If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?, struck a nerve with families; her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and self-care, is in progress. In addition to writing on her long-time blog, Laughing at Chaos, Jen has presented at SENG, NAGC, and WCGTC. Jen brings both her acquired wisdom and her experience as a teacher and mentor to her work in the service of parents, teaching them techniques and mentoring them into their own versions of success. Her goal is to support parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, because they are the ones doing the heavy lifting and are too often ignored, patronized, and discredited. It is her hope that her sons never have to deal with these issues when they raise their own likely gifted children.
Speaker: Christine Fonseca
Title: Developing Healthy Empathy and EQ in Gifted Children
Gifted children are prone to intense emotions and high levels of empathy, often leading to emotional distress. In this workshop, the presenter offers a unique model of empathy with specific strategies to teach gifted children to balance their intensities leading to increased resilience, better mental health outcomes and reduced emotional distress.
Christine Fonseca is a licensed educational psychologist, critically acclaimed author, and a nationally recognized speaker on topics related to educational psychology, mental health, and giftedness. Using her experience consulting and coaching, Christine brings her expertise to Psychology Today, authoring the parenting blog Parenting for A New Generation. She has written articles for Parents.com, Johnson & Johnson, and Justine Magazine. Her appearance on the popular podcast, “Mind Matters”, was one of its most downloaded episodes.
Speaker: Day Sanchez
Title: How to Talk to Gifted Children about the Ecological Crisis.
The ecological crisis is having significant emotional and mental health effects on children and youth. While many adults struggle to grasp the scope of the crisis and understand its fine details, gifted children are becoming acutely aware of its challenges and potential long-term impacts. This presentation will provide key background details of the climate crisis. We will explore resources for parents of gifted children to translate the science, prepare for difficult questions, and share clear information with their children without overwhelming them. Parents will learn about effective approaches and communication tools to address this complex topic and receive practical strategies to talk about the crisis with gifted children of various developmental stages.
Day Sanchez is a school psychologist, education specialist, and emotional intelligence facilitator dedicated to supporting the optimal cognitive, creative, spiritual, and social-emotional development of gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) children. She has over a decade of experience working with 2e children, from preschool through high school, presenting a wide range of learning, behavior, and social-emotional difficulties. She has been collaborating with families to help neuro-diverse children channel their creative energy effectively and reduce social-emotional and behavioral challenges. Day has experienced learning, processing, and executive functioning challenges herself and has developed a variety of strategies to help children with similar needs.
Speakers: Dr. Kristina Collins & Dr. Michael Postma
Title: This Session is Designated as an Open Forum to Discuss the online conference and other SENG related topics. Please join us and submit your questions and comments.
- Friday Only Registration$99$990$0
- Saturday Only Registration$99$990$0
- Registration for All 4 Days$150$1500$0