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Sat, Feb 29


2820 W Rose Garden Ln

SENG Phoenix Mini Conference

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SENG Phoenix Mini Conference
SENG Phoenix Mini Conference

Time & Location

Feb 29, 2020, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

2820 W Rose Garden Ln, 2820 W Rose Garden Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85027, USA

About The Event



8:00-9:00 AM  Registration/Opening Remarks (Foyer Entrance) 

9:00-10:00 AM Keynote: Lecture Hall

Giftedness and Learning Disabilities: Unearthing the Missed Diagnosis (Paul Beljan)

10:15-11:15 AM Session 1 

A. How to Meet the Affective Needs of Gifted Students through Creativity

(Rebekah West Keur) Rm. 102

B. Understanding & Motivating the Gifted 2E Child/Teen (Karen Hudson & ElizaBeth Warner) Rm. 104

C. Strategies to Support Gifted Children and How Trauma Impacts Them (Adam Laningham) Rm. 107

D. What We Practice Grows Stronger: Mindful Practices for Healthy Minds (Laura Wingers) Rm. 108

11:30 AM-12:30 PM Session 2

A. Differential Diagnosis:  A Logical Approach to Understanding Commonly Misdiagnosed Features of Gifted Children (Paul Beljan) Rm. 213

B. Mentoring and Preparing Gifted Individuals for a Digitized and Robotic Future:

NASA ‘s perspective and resources for STEM identification and talent development. (Kristina Collins) Rm. 214

C. Create a Social Emotional Classroom (Randi Posner) Rm. 215

D. Using Gifted Labels For Understanding Not Identity: Teaching Our Children to Value Themselves Beyond Their Accomplishments (Jamie Dana) Rm. 217

12:30-2:00 PM Lunch/Discussion (Panera Bread Orders)

2:00-3:00 PM Session 3

A. High Ability Students Who are Not Yet Achieving Highly:  Are they really gifted? (Dina Brulles) Rm. 102

B. Creating a Positive Classroom Culture for Twice-Exceptional Students (Karen Hudson & ElizaBeth Warner) Rm. 104

C. CHAPY and the importance of identifying the nature and degree of potential in preschool-aged children (Trevor Tebbs) Rm. 107

D. Motivating The Gifted Student: Moving Beyond "Because I Said So" (Jamie Dana) Rm. 108

3:15-4:15 PM Session 4

A. Mental Health and Well-Being: Meeting the Needs of Gifted Children (Laura Wingers) Rm. 213

B. Transforming SENG’s Legacy and 2020 Vision& Mission: Ways to maximize engagement, resources, and support for gifted individuals (Kristina Collins) Rm. 214

C. Gifted Life Skills Groups for Kids (Vicki Massey) Rm. 215

D. Understanding the Imposter Syndrome (Krista Gibson)

4:15-4:30  Closing Remarks  Lecture Hall


Key Note: Lecture Hall


Rooms: 102, 104, 107, 108, 213, 214, 215, 217


Key Note: 

Giftedness and Learning Disabilities: Unearthing the Missed Diagnosis (Paul Beljan)

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. 

Session One:

A. How to Meet the Affective Needs of Gifted Students through Creativity (Rebekah West Keur)

Gifted students have specific needs that differ from their age-leveled peers. These needs extend beyond those of academics and into their social and emotional, or affective needs. There are many ways in which educators can address these affective needs, yet often they are considered as separate from academics and teachers have difficulty interweaving affective education into the content. This session will help educators address the social and emotional needs of their gifted students by embracing creativity in their content areas. Creativity is the freedom of expression of an individual’s unique perspective, ideas, ingenuity, interpretation, or opinion. Creativity is demonstrated in the way one solves problems, makes connections to stimuli and the world around them, and then communicates these connections to others. We as educators can help our gifted students “think creatively, using a wide range of idea creation techniques, creating new and worthwhile ideas, and elaborating, refining, analyzing, and evaluating one's own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts” (Piirto, 2011). When tied purposefully to content, creativity can be a window to improving not only academic skills but also addressing these affective needs of our gifted students.

B. Understanding & Motivating the Gifted 2E Child/Teen (Karen Hudson & ElizaBeth Warner)

"Labels are starting points, not destinations – and certainly not destinies." − Fernette and Brock Eide 

This offering provides practical strategies to better understand and motivate 2E students. This offering explores the following questions: How can we motivate students to complete work? How can we facilitate collaborative and effective group work? How do we redirect students who view classwork as busywork? How do we “reach” and interact with uniquely gifted? 

C. Strategies to Support Gifted Children and How Trauma Impacts Them (Adam Laningham)

Many gifted children, especially highly gifted children, suffer their own kind of trauma as they cope with being different and trying to fit into society and expectations placed on them. Having society, parents, teachers, a school system not understand them and how they think and learn, can have a profound impact on a child. These children are also just as likely to suffer from other traumas as any other child; however, their unique sensitivities and pressures they are already under put them at a unique risk. This presentation will open your eyes to what our children are going through, and also provide you with some strategies to help support them as we continue to learn more and more about this topic.

D. What We Practice Grows Stronger: Mindful Practices for Healthy Minds (Laura Wingers)

Social-emotional and intellectual learning are inextricably linked. Drawing from current neuroscience research and clinical experience with diverse gifted learners from preschool to middle school, Dr. Wingers will describe essential skills parents can promote and practice with children. It IS possible to train attention and awareness, help children develop flexibility of thought, and learn to take others’ perspectives. These skills are protective factors in dealing with adversity, and enhance learning. Dr. Wingers will describe practical, everyday ways we can promote key skills, recognizing that small moments and dinner table discussions matter. Early attention to developing these skills can be helpful, but it is never too late – for them or us. 

Session Two:

A. Differential Diagnosis:  A Logical Approach to Understanding Commonly Misdiagnosed Features of Gifted Children (Paul Beljan)

ADHD, ODD, OCD, Short term memory deficit, Sensory Integration Deficit, and Auditory Processing Deficit represent the most over-diagnosed disorders among the gifted population. Some of the most under diagnosed problems have to do with academic learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. This lecture will discuss how easily gifted children are over or under diagnosed and what to do about it, as well as why gifted children are commonly overlooked for learning disorders. 

B. Mentoring and Preparing Gifted Individuals for a Digitized and Robotic Future: NASA ‘s perspective and resources for STEM identification and talent development. (Kristina Collins)

In this presentation, Dr. Collins outlines the social, emotional and cultural contexts for preparing gifted students in an advanced technological society. She offers implications for educators, parents, and mentors that go beyond their own training and preparation. Free NASA resources, content, and curriculum considerations for talent development throughout the STEM pipeline are provided. 

C. Create a Social Emotional Classroom (Randi Posner)

My passion and focus in the classroom has now shifted to include the social and emotional development of my students.  We all need to understand this aspect of giftedness. If the social emotional needs of a gifted child are not met, they will never be able to perform to their full potential academically. In this presentation we will discuss the many traits of gifted children that create social emotional issues including asynchronous development. I will give you simple strategies to incorporate into your classroom tomorrow to strengthen the community and address the social emotional needs of gifted children.

D. Using Gifted Labels For Understanding Not Identity: Teaching Our Children to Value Themselves Beyond Their Accomplishments (Jamie Dana)

There are important neurological differences inherent in processing information above the norm that allow a gifted individual to accomplish tasks that their peers may not.  Identifying, understanding and acknowledging these differences is important.  But if we, as parents and educators, focus too much on what they are accomplishing, we can lose sight of other important aspects of their personality that go unmeasured, leaving these insightful children vulnerable to measuring their value, worth, and identity by scores and conditional awards, increasing their risk for anxiety, depression & burnout. Helping the gifted people in your life shift their focus from "what they can do" to "who they are" can make all the difference.



Session Three:

A. High Ability Students Who are Not Yet Achieving Highly: Are they really gifted? (Dina Brulles)

Many believe that to be identified and served as gifted, students must have high ability AND high achievement. This means that many who have high ability, but who are not yet achieving highly, are left out of gifted programs.  Schools perpetuate underrepresentation of: 2e, students lacking opportunities to learn, those in poverty, those lacking family support, ELLs and under-achievers... the groups of students who most need appropriate opportunities to learn!  Providing services for those who are not achieving at high levels helps develop their ability and increase achievement levels. States dictates their gifted criteria. Many provide options regarding testing; some allow exceptions for gifted ID and few dictate what programs to implement. Most schools have leeway with ID process & services. Consider: “knowledge” is to achievement as “understanding” is to ability. Understanding is innate; while knowledge is learned. Achievement w/ ability prioritizes knowledge over understanding.

B. Creating a Positive Classroom Culture for Twice-Exceptional Students (Karen Hudson & ElizaBeth Warner)

Social and emotional needs are paramount to the well-being of all students and foundational for achievement. Twice-exceptional children thrive from the intentional social and emotional curriculum and strategies that address peer relationships, perfectionism, asynchronous development and identify situational stressors. Explore how to lead gifted learners to apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to understand and manage emotions, how to set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

C. CHAPY and the importance of identifying the nature and degree of potential in preschool-aged children (Trevor Tebbs)

Slovenia is a small EU country with a population of only two million, positioned on the Adriatic coast surrounded by neighboring Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. While Slovenian universities are dedicated to preparing a teaching force fully capable of catering for the diverse needs of children of traditional school age, like many other institutions worldwide, they are also interested in determining the personal and social benefits associated with early education, especially as it pertains to children having the potential for gifted behavior. Motivated by a recent trip to Europe, Dr. Tebbs shares his insights regarding arguments in favor of early education advanced by leaders in gifted education; the identification of children who may derive particular benefit from experiencing a preschool education; and research, including his own, that helps parents and teachers to understand and best provide for the intellectual, creative and social emotional needs of a preschool child. 

D. Motivating The Gifted Student: Moving Beyond "Because I Said So" (Jamie Dana)

Gifted children and adults alike are often hindered by weaknesses in executive functioning (the ability to plan, organize and follow through with tasks). If you've ever found yourself driving to Target at 10:00pm for posterboard and AAA batteries when you believed your son "didn't have homework" for the previous three weeks, then this workshop is for you. Learn how identifying strengths, weaknesses, and out-of-the-box motivational strategies can help you understand and work with your child rather than feel you're repeating 6th grade for the second time.

Session Four: 

A. Mental Health and Well-Being: Meeting the Needs of Gifted Children (Laura Wingers)

The intellectual, emotional and behavioral intensity common in young gifted students can be both laugh-out-loud awesome and head-in-hands horrible! If not well-understood, it can result in difficulties at home and school. What are expected behaviors in young gifted children? And what are “red flag” behaviors that may indicate more serious concerns? 

In this engaging, interactive presentation, Dr. Wingers will shed light on essential skills parents can promote and practice with children. She will provide tips for addressing anxious, defiant and avoidant behavior at home and school.

Learn more about healthy emotional development in gifted children and practical, proactive approaches to handling life’s difficulties. There is much that can be done. Learn when to take action – and how to get help.

B. Transforming SENG’s Legacy and 2020 Vision& Mission: Ways to maximize engagement, resources, and support for gifted individuals. (Kristina Collins)

In this presentation, Dr. Collins will unpack SENG’s mission and commitment to guide the gifted experience. The workshop will include a question and answer session designed to help participants identify ways to best utilize SENG as a partner and resource for their individual needs. 

C. A. Gifted Life Skills Groups for Kids (Vicki Massey)

Social and emotional well-being are critical for our gifted children and adults to understand.  Come learn how I facilitate weekly, after-school life skills discussion groups for school-age children with such topics as:  the gifted brain, over-excitabilities, asynchronous development, anxiety, mindfulness, change, making friends, and self-advocacy. 

D. Understanding the Imposter Syndrome (Krista Gibson)

The Imposter Syndrome is a highly prevalent occurrence amongst our gifted kiddos. Chronic feelings of self-doubt pervade their thoughts and create feelings of inadequacy, despite their many successes in school or other areas of life. Where do these feelings come from, and how can we help defeat Imposter Syndrome before it takes over the social and emotional lives of our gifted children?


Paul Beljan

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. 

Dina Brulles

Dina Brulles, Ph.D., is the Director of Gifted Education at Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona where she has developed a continuum of gifted education programs, preschool through high school. She is also the Gifted Program Coordinator at Arizona State University. Dina serves on the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Board of Directors as the Governance Secretary. Dina was a co-recipient of the 2019 NAGC Book of the Year (for Practitioners), the 2014 NAGC Gifted Coordinator Award and also NAGC 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; and Helping All Gifted Children Learn.

Dr. Kristina Collins

Dr. Kristina Henry Collins is the core Talent Development faculty and LBJ research fellow at Texas State University. Dr. Collins earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology  and Ed.S. In gifted and creative education from the University of Georgia. She holds a M.S.Ed. degree in mathematics (Jacksonville State University) with certifications in technology education and computer science; a B.S. degree in engineering (University of Alabama); and a military science diploma (USN) in cryptology and electronic surveillance. Dr. Collins is the proud recipient of the 2011 Mary Frasier Equity and Excellence Award presented to her by Georgia Association of Gifted Children (GAGC) for her work in advancing educational opportunities for under-represented students in gifted education. She currently serves as president of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) and member-at-large for the NAGC’s (National Association for Gifted Children) board of directors. Her research foci include multicultural gifted education, STEM identity development, and mentoring across the lifespan.

Jamie Dana

Jamie Dana, MC, LPC, helps teens and adults overcome mental roadblocks and achieve their goals to live an elevated life. Specialties include research-based interventions to address stress and anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, eating issues and struggles of the gifted and high-achieving population. For more information about her team, techniques, services, and additional resources to help you succeed, check her out at or follow us on facebook.

Krista Gibson

Krista Gibson has been a teacher of gifted students for the past 8 years. She worked in self-contained gifted education within the Peoria School District and just recently joined Deer Valley USD as a gifted specialist and math teacher. She has three gifted daughters (who have helped her develop personally and professionally!) and a very loving and tolerant husband. Krista has her Master's Degree from ASU in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Gifted Education. She's a member of AAGT and is currently working on becoming a Nationally Board Certified Gifted Teacher.

Dr. Karen Hudson

Karen Hudson, Ed. D has a wide variety of K-12 experience as an elementary classroom teacher, a reading specialist, as a special education teacher and for the past 12 years in the 7th and 8th-grade program for Twice Exceptional students. She holds an M.S. on Education Administration and an Ed.D in Child and Youth Studies/ Curriculum and Instruction.  Karen offers a unique perspective of 2E students’ challenges and success stories building creating awareness for all in the field of Education. 

Adam Laningham

Adam Laningham has over 20 years of experience in the field of education. He is the Manager of Gifted & Advanced Academics for a large school district in the Phoenix area providing a wide range of services to over 5,000 gifted identified students. The 2014 Arizona Gifted Teacher of the Year, Adam has taught at several schools and multiple grade levels and run numerous gifted programs, he currently serves on the Executive Board for the Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented, is the Arizona SENG Liaison, a published author, and an adjunct professor.

Vicki Massey

In Vicki Massey's 30 years of public school teaching, 10 of those years were teaching gifted education for Mesa Public Schools. Vicki is Arizona Gifted Endorsed and now works as a consultant and trainer, helping teachers get their gifted certification. Most recently she worked with teachers in Bogota, Colombia to help in their understanding of gifted children. Vicki does Gifted Life Skills groups with elementary through high school students. These weekly, after school, groups help students understand their gifted brain and raise awareness of their unique social and emotional needs. Vicki also teaches STEM education courses for Arizona State University.

Randi Posner

Randi Posner is a gifted specialist for Paradise Valley Unified School District.  Randi has facilitated professional development trainings for gifted teachers throughout Arizona.   She has presented at the National Association for Gifted Children and at the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented. Randi believes that a teacher’s influence goes beyond the curriculum that they teach.  She is passionate about educating the whole child. In her classroom she focuses on the social-emotional needs of her students as well as the academic needs. Randi is strongly committed to helping students navigate life by addressing the whole child.  

Dr. Trevor Tebbs

Dr. Trevor Tebbs has accumulated over fifty years of field experience in education and educational psychology in the UK and USA. For the last thirty plus years his focus has been primarily on matters pertaining to the population of highly able and creative individuals. 

Dr. Tebb’s experience includes professional engagement as an educator and, or educational psychologist with individuals of all ages and levels of ability, i.e., kindergarten through to graduate students, adult and professional workshops. Over the years he has been involved in many opportunities related to regular and special education; art education and exhibitions of his own art; program development and administration; research, writing and publishing; assessment and evaluation and the development of software for data management; editorial work, speaking engagements and workshops associated with specialized international conferences in twenty countries. Company: Chandelier Assessments LLC. Vermont, USA

ElizaBeth Warner

ElizaBeth Warner is the Gifted Program Mentor for the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona. In this capacity, she coaches and mentors educators to provide daily differentiated instruction that accommodates advanced learners, including twice-exceptional students. Warner supports students and families participating in K-12 district gifted programs. She facilitates district staff professional development that promotes teaching gifted students in the regular classroom as well as meeting the needs of all learners. Warner is a former cluster grouping teacher and Gifted Specialist in which she provided content replacement accelerated and enriched instruction in reading and mathematics for students in grades 4-6 while supporting cluster teachers at the school level. Warner is a National Board Certified Teacher. She is also a Khan Academy Ambassador who recently was one of 15 educators worldwide invited to Khan Academy’s first-ever teacher leadership summit. With 15 years of education experience, she has presented at the National Association of Gifted Conference and Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented conferences.

Dr. Laura Wingers

Laura Wingers, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and the founder of CENTER Psychology & Consulting, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. She works closely with parents, teachers, physicians and other treatment providers to identify and meet the needs of school age children and adolescents. Dr. Wingers’ professional focus includes: 

· highly and profoundly gifted intellect and related developmental asynchrony

· dyslexia and other learning differences

· ADHD and executive function impairments, and 

· anxiety and mood disorders. 

With nearly 20 years’ experience, and expertise in pediatric neuropsychology, clinical psychology, and school psychology, Dr. Wingers’ services include: 

· gifted assessment

· neurodevelopmental and neuropsychological assessment, and

· psycho-educational assessment for children from preschool through high school. 

Dr. Wingers and CENTER clinicians also provide solution-focused therapy and consultative services for parents and children as well as mindfulness-based intervention approaches.

Dr. Wingers also provides training and consultation services for school districts and parent groups locally and nationally.


  • Member Registration

  • Non Member Registration

  • Turkey Sandwich Box Lunch

  • Ham Sandwich Box Lunch

  • Salad Box Luunch

  • 1/2 Turkey, 1/2 Salad Lunch

  • 1/2 Ham, 1/2 Salad Box Lunch




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