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Fri, Apr 30


Online Event

SENG Online Spring Mini Conference

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SENG Online Spring Mini Conference
SENG Online Spring Mini Conference

Time & Location

Apr 30, 2021, 10:30 AM – May 01, 2021, 6:00 PM

Online Event

About The Event

SENG is thrilled to bring the experience of a regional mini conference to a worldwide gifted, talented, and twice-exceptional community! Join SENG’s Spring Online Mini Conference for two dynamic days packed with keynote presentations, valuable sessions, and making connections - all from the comfort of home! Each day includes 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 full conference registration, the cost is $59 for annual members, and $79 for non-members and non-annual members.  For one day only registrations (Friday or Saturday), the cost is $39 for annual members, and $49 for non-members and non-annual members. To receive the membership coupon code, email


April 30th

Session One: 

10:30-11:45 AM  

Dr. Ross Greene

Title: Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: Moving From Power and Control to Collaboration and Problem-Solving

Description:This is the evidence-based model Dr. Ross Greene described his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Using Beings. The CPS model has transformed thinking and practices in countless families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities throughout the world, and has been associated with dramatic reductions in adult-child conflict, challenging behaviors, disciplinary referrals, detentions, suspensions, seclusions, and physical, chemical, and mechanical restraints.  The model represents a significant departure from discipline-as-usual:  it focuses on solving problems rather than on modifying behavior, emphasizes collaborative rather than unilateral solutions, encourages proactive rather than reactive intervention, de-emphasizes diagnostic categories, and provides practical, research-based tools for assessment and intervention

Learner Outcomes:

Describe the five components of the paradigm shift of the CPS model

Describe the advantages of focusing on problems (and solving them) rather than the behaviors that are being caused by those problems (and modifying them)

Describe the advantages of collaborative (rather than unilateral) problem solving

Describe the importance and feasibility of proactive (rather than reactive) intervention

Describe the three basic mechanisms by which adults handle unsolved problems and unmet expectations in kids (Plans A, B, and C) and what is accomplished by each, and the three steps or “ingredients” of Plan B

Session Two:

12:00-1:15 PM

Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D

Title: Managing Social Emotional Engagement, Effective Communication and Emotion Regulation During the Pandemic

Description: Feeling connected is one of the most important outcomes a 2e child needs to succeed. Ironically, this is one of the hardest things for 2e people. Misunderstanding is the usual outcome for 2e students trying to connect, express their thoughts and feelings, and they often disassociate to avoid conflict or to save themselves from hurt feelings or feelings of failure. To successfully communicate and achieve understanding, three things are necessary: social emotional engagement, effective communication and emotion regulation. In this session, learn why these three skills are often lagging for 2e people specifically, and how to change your response in order to help your 2e learner find connection.

Learner Outcomes:

1. Understand the skills necessary for connection.

2. Learn why it’s difficult for 2e learners to effectively connect.

3. How to shift the adult response to give room for the 2e learner to grow and learn how to connect.

Session Three:

1:30-2:45 PM

Dr. Matthew Fugate, Wendy Behrens, Dr. Joy Lawson Davis, & Dr. Cecelia Boswell

Title: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education: Building Cultural Competence and Serving

Description: Panel presentation

Gifted students from traditionally marginalized populations are at-risk when their instructional, and social and emotional needs are not supported as a result of the implicit bias that exists in our educational system as a whole, and our gifted programs specifically. This session looks at the lived experiences of diverse populations gifted learners including those who are racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse; as well as gifted girls and LGBTQ+ students. Educational advocates and researchers provide their insights to help build cultural competency and understanding through student experiences and practical advice to build a more culturally responsive learning environment.

Learner Outcomes:

Increased understanding effects of the implicit bias faced by diverse gifted populations on their social-emotional well-being.

Increased understanding of the components of culturally responsive practices and their role in building a learning environment that respects and honors the diversity of students that exist in our gifted programs.

Session Four:

3:00-4:15 PM

Debbie Reber

Title: Fostering Self-Knowledge and Personal Strengths in Your 2e Child

Description: Debbie Reber will talk about how to nurture agency and self-direction in 2e kids dive into the role of mindset and motivation, provide strategies for helping parents help their children discover what makes them tick, and offer ideas for helping 2e kids reframe challenges and “fails” as opportunities for self-discovery

Learner Outcomes:

An understanding of why self-direction and agency is so important to 2e kids, and how to help them develop it

Concrete strategies for modeling and building self-discovery and awareness of personal strengths into any challenge or situation

Session Five:

4:30-5:45 PM

Dr. Richard Cash

Title: Getting Out of the Quagmire: A Roadmap for Redirecting Underachievers and Selective Producers

Description: Students don’t naturally underachieve. It is often through misguided and unchallenging learning experiences that lead them to underperform or selectively produce. It may also develop from a learning difference. Helping students develop constructive attitudes towards personal growth has a tremendous effect on achievement. This session will show you how to assist students in applying self-regulating strategies that can increase self-esteem, develop greater self-efficacy and produce a positive self-image.

Learner Outcomes:

During this session, participants will learn research-based strategies to help students develop healthy personal beliefs, and successful learning habits. Also, a design of enrichment, extension and enhancement (E3) that can be applied to all disciplines K-12 will be demonstrated. Addressing the need of students who are gifted and/or twice exceptional to be challenged early can significantly reduce underachievement/selective production and increase self-regulation for a positive personal growth.

May 1st

Session One:

10:30-11:45 AM

Dr. Joy Lawson Davis

Title: Being Bright Talented & Black in today's schools

Description: Participants will be engaged in discussion and reflection around the challenges facing Black gifted students in our schools today. Our nation is currently in the midst of social justice movement that is bringing the needs of culturally diverse communities to everyone’s attention, in particular, those who have experienced a disproportionate share of injustice and trauma at the hands of school and community professionals whose job it is to protect, teach and serve. Among these communities are African American students who have demonstrated repeatedly that they are highly capable, bright, gifted and should have access to programming that meets their intellectual and academic needs. However, for far too many, these programs are still out of reach. In this session, we will discuss the unique strengths and needs of Black gifted students, share current case studies, and provide evidence-based strategies to increase access and retention of Black students in gifted services.

Learner Outcomes:

1. An update of research & evidence based practices focused on improving access to gifted services for  Black gifted students and engagement of their families

2. Strategies to help administrators and teachers design effective culturally responsive services to increase the retention of Black students (including those from rural, 3E backgrounds) in gifted programs

Session Two:

12:00-1:15 PM

Dr. Matt Zakreski

Title: Perfectionism: How to Stop Moving the Goalposts

Description: But it's not perfect yet!! Perfectionism can be a major aspect of being gifted and twice-exceptional. This presentation will define perfectionism as an aspect of anxiety and how it manifests in and outside of the classroom. It is important to understand the personality factors and reinforcement patterns that maintain perfectionism in gifted individuals. We will also give practical solutions for managing these feelings and related behaviors.

Learner Outcomes: What perfectionism is and the various types it takes

Why gifted people are more susceptible to perfectionism

Three strategies on how to manage perfectionism at school

Three strategies on how to manage perfectionism at work

Session Three:

1:30-2:45 PM

Dr. Marlo Payne Thurman

Title:Exhausted: Energy and Wellness for the Twice-Exceptional Learner

Description: Using her own traumatic brain injury for inspiration to this topic, Dr. Marlo Payne Thurman will discuss the relationships between energy, heightened stress responses, and the physical and mental health needs of twice-exceptional learners.  This session will detail the largest energy consumers for the twice-exceptional population and provide a step-wise approach to assessing, identifying needs, and targeting interventions for today' s cognitively exhausted and emotionally wiped out gifted kids. Framed within a lens of wellness and holistic, child-centered learning, Dr. Thurman will then share the tips and strategies that have helped her client's most across her 25-year career of specialization with twice-exceptional populations

Learner Outcomes: Participants will learn how cognitive fatigue differs from other forms of fatigue and understand why it is a unique attribute in twice-exceptionality.

Participants will learn how cognitive fatigue triggers stress responses in the body that feed into physical and mental health conditions

Participants will learn about "energy consumers" and receive step-by-step instructions on how to assess these to identify individual needs and target interventions for exhausted and unhealthy 2e learners.

Session Four:

3:00-4:15 PM

Alonzo Kelly

Title: Where Do I Belong?  A tale of identity and reality

Description: What do you need to feel like you belong?  What happens when what you need is not present in the current environment?  What options do you have when you have no control over the situation?  These are a few of the questions we will explore during this session.  We will also engage in dialogue about strategies to sustain our mental health through this difficult time.

Learner Outcomes:



Healthy Mental Health Techniques

Session Five:

4:30-5:45 PM

Susan Baum

Title: Gifts come in different packages: It's all about style

Description: Gifted students are more different than they are alike. The unique personality styles explain why some of these students are organized, punctual, and great at following directions; while others are more creative and require options in their lives. At this session you will "take" the QPI-quick personality indicator if you bring your laptop or tablet.  Learn how differences in personality profiles of family members can cause conflict and misunderstanding. This is fun-filled session is both informative and enlightening.

Learner Outcomes:

1. Be able understand personality profiles and how they impact relationships and expectations

2. Understand how differences in style can lead to conflict and misunderstanding of social and emotional needs of youngsters.

Speaker Biographies 

Susan Baum, Ph.D., is the Director of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy, a school for twice exceptional and Provost of the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. A popular speaker and workshop presenter, Susan is the author of many books and articles primarily focusing on understanding and nurturing the needs of gifted and special populations of gifted underachieving students including the award-winning 3rd edition of her seminal work To be gifted and learning disabled. Her research and experience in the field of twice exceptional education have earned her much recognition: 2010 recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award granted by the Weinfeld Group, 2011 recipient of the Connecticut Association for the Gifted “Friend of the Gifted Award; the 2015 Distinguish Professional Alumni Award from the Neag School of Education; Lifetime Achievement Award from AEGUS and the 2e Newsletter in 2017, and the Alexinia Baldwin Award from National Association for Gifted Students in 2019.

Wendy A. Behrens, M. Ed.,a graduate of Bradley University and Hamline University, is the Gifted and Talented Education Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education, where she advises educators, administrators, parents, and policymakers. Prior to her service to the state, Wendy worked as a district K–12 gifted services coordinator and a consultant for the Science Museum of Minnesota. In 2009, her vision for professional learning led to the creation of the Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium, an annual event attracting attendees from around the country and the world. Recently, Wendy was the director of Project North Star, a Jacob K. Javits grant designed to elevate the identification and programming approaches provided for disadvantaged and underserved rural populations. Her current Javits grant work, Universal Plus, focuses on creating a two-step process for equitably identifying computer talent. Wendy is a past-president of the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted. In 2013, she received the President’s Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Wendy is an active member of, and has held leadership roles in, NAGC, the Council of Exceptional Children, The Association for the Gifted (CEC-TAG), and World Council on Gifted Children. Additionally, Wendy serves on several education related advisory councils, and the Gifted Child Today Editorial Board. She has published several books, chapters, and articles related to the education of gifted learners and frequently presents to national and international audiences on comprehensive service design, acceleration, underserved populations, and policies that support highly able learners.

For 17 years, Cecelia Boswell, Ed.D., taught migrant and gifted students in a rural school. During that time, she was a finalist for Texas Migrant Teacher of the Year. After public school, Cecelia began work for a Texas Education Service Center (ESC) as the Director of Gifted Education and State Director of AP/IB Projects. She received the award for Gifted Advocate of the Year and, upon completion of her doctorate, the National Rural Education Association’s award for Dissertation of the Year. She founded Austin Creek Education Systems, developed curriculum for the Texas and Florida Departments of Education, led research projects for International Baccalaureate, and audited gifted programs across the state. During this time, she served on the board and as President of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT). Cecelia next became the Executive Director of Advanced Academics in an urban school. While there, she developed a middle school Academy for gifted learners. She was awarded the Texas Administrator of the Year by TAGT and was elected to the board and became president for Council for Exceptional Children / TAG. Cecelia has published in juried journals and written teacher guides for children’s novels. She coauthored 5 books on gifted education. Cecelia coconducted a rural research study with a colleague and an article is at press. Currently, she works with a school district’s efforts to revamp services for the gifted students, facilitates online classes, contracts with TAGT, and presents sessions for teachers of the gifted.

Dr. Richard M. Cash is an award-winning educator who has worked in the field of education for more than 30 years. His range of experience includes teaching, curriculum coordination, and program administration. Currently, he is an internationally recognized education consultant ( His consulting work has taken him throughout the United States, and internationally. Richard has a doctorate in Educational Leadership, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, a bachelor’s degree in Education, and a bachelor’s degree in Theater. His areas of expertise are educational programming, rigorous and challenging curriculum design, differentiated instruction, 21st century skills, brain-compatible classrooms, gifted & talented education, and self-regulated learning. Dr. Cash authored the books Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21stCentury; Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Going Beyond the Basics (co-author Diane Heacox); and Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn.

Richard lives in Minneapolis, MN, and Palm Springs, CA, USA.

Dr. Cash may be reached at:


Joy Lawson Davis, Ph.D.,is an award-winning author, scholar, professional learning trainer, and independent consultant. Her areas of expertise include culturally responsive teaching, cognitive diversity, and equity and access in Gifted Education programs with a focus on meeting the needs of Black gifted students and their families. She holds two degrees in Gifted Education from the College of William & Mary. Dr. Davis has provided training (for educators and families) across the nation and internationally—in South Africa, the Caribbean, Dubai & Turkey. Dr. Davis’ earlier experiences include serving for 5 years as the K–12 Gifted Education Specialist for the state of Virginia; as Assistant Professor, The School of Education at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette where she taught coursework in Teacher Education and Gifted Education; and Associate Professor & Chair, Dept of Teacher Education at Virginia Union University. She also served five years on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children. Davis is the author of numerous publications, including two books, “Bright Talented & Black: A Guide for families of African American gifted learners” and “Gifted Children of Color around the World” (coedited with J. L. Moore). In addition to her work as an independent consultant, Dr. Davis also serves on the Duke Precollegiate Programs advisory board and the Board of Trustees of The Roeper School for the Gifted in Michigan.

C. Matthew Fugate, Ph.D.,is assistant professor in Educational Psychology and Assistant Chair of Urban Education at the University of Houston-Downtown. He received his doctorate in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies at Purdue University. Prior to this, Matthew worked as an elementary teacher in the Houston Independent School District where he also served as a Gifted Coordinator and Magnet Coordinator. During this time, Matthew received his Master’s in Educational Psychology, Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut. His research has examined the relationship between working memory and levels of creativity in gifted students who also have characteristics related to ADHD. He has also examined the coping mechanisms of twice-exceptional girls in secondary school as they navigate both their academic studies and interpersonal relationships. Matthew was also part of a team that looked at the benefits of the Total School Cluster Grouping model, a Javits Grant funded project. He has presented to parents, teachers, and schools across the United States and internationally on topics such as creativity, curriculum compacting, identification, twice-exceptionality, underserved populations, and Total School Cluster Grouping. Matthew currently serves on the Board of the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented and as Chair of the Special Populations Network for the National Association for Gifted Children. Additionally, he serves as a reviewer for several journals, and is the Associate Editor of Teaching for High Potential. He has published several articles, book chapters, and books related to his work.

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the originator of the innovative, evidence-based approach called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), as described in his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. He also developed and executive produced the award-winning documentary film The Kids We Lose, released in 2018. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance in 2009. He is currently adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Greene has worked with several thousand behaviorally challenging kids and their caregivers, and he and his colleagues have overseen implementation and evaluation of the CPS model in hundreds of schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities, with dramatic effect: significant reductions in recidivism, discipline referrals, detentions, suspensions, and use of restraint and seclusion. Dr. Greene lectures throughout the world and lives in Freeport, Maine.

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, WI.

Find more at

Dr. Marlo Payne Thurman  began her career as a public-school, School Psychologist.  Early on, she also worked in various mental health centers, group homes, and in private therapeutic hospitals and day schools, as well as in a behavior treatment center for children with autism.  In 1994, Ms. Thurman opened her first private practice to provide assessments, advocacy, special education consultation, sensory and behavior support, and socio-emotional coaching to meet the needs of all gifted learners. Then in 1999, Marlo expanded her learning and teaching models to own and direct the Brideun School for Exceptional Children, which was a play-based, therapeutic day school serving over 150 children in grades 1-8 who were identified as “twice-exceptional.” Marlo later created 2E Consulting Services to expand her testing services and to train and support individuals and programs working with a wide range of asynchronous  learners. Holding doctoral level degrees in both School Psychology and Special Education, Marlo continues to see clients in her private practice, while also serving as President and Chairwoman for the US Autism Association. Marlo has been recognized for her work by People Magazine, the Special Educator, ADDitude Magazine, the New York Times, and National Public Radio.  She writes regularly for Psychology Today and most recently completed a landmark study proposing an alternative Sensory-Cognitive Difference Theory in the field of high functioning autism, based on her extensive discussions and interactions with gifted, diagnosed adults. This research is the foundation for her newest book, Autism is the Future.

Debbie Reber, MA, is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and the founder of TiLT Parenting, a top podcast, community, and educational resource for parents raising differently wired children.The TiLT Parenting podcast has more than 3 million downloads and features a slate of guests that includes high-profile thought leaders across the parenting and education space. A certified Positive Discipline trainer and a regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s most recent book is Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. After living abroad in the Netherlands for five years, Debbie, her husband, and 16-year-old twice-exceptional son relocated to Brooklyn, NY in 2019.

Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D., Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, LLC, passionately guides parents of gifted and distractible children, mentors 2e adults, trains educators and advises professionals on how to bring out the best and raise self-confidence in their 2e students and clients. Julie produces Let’s Talk 2e! virtual conferences, hosts the Let’s Talk 2e! Parent Empowerment Series, maintains the free listing service,, and publishes “Gifted & Distractible,” a free

monthly newsletter. A frequent speaker and prolific writer, Julie is also the mother of three twice exceptional children who keep her on her toes and uproariously laughing.  Subscribe to “Gifted & Distractible” monthly newsletter at, find resources at and learn more about our conferences and parent series at Follow Julie on social media: Facebook: WithUnderstandingComesCalm, Let’s Talk 2e – Parents, Let’s Talk 2e – Teachers’ Lounge, Instagram: @LetsTalk2e, Twitter: @JulieSkolnick, LinkedIn: Julie Rosenbaum Skolnick, and YouTube: Let’s Talk 2e.

Matthew Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologist who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his neuro-diverse clients. He is proud to serve as a consultant to schools, a professor, and a researcher on 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. Dr. Zakreski is the co-founder and lead clinician at The Neurodiversity Collective. His website is


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