Transforming LEGACY: A Reflection of Promises Made, Promises Kept, and Promises of Tomorrow

By Dr. Kristina Henry Collins.

Wait here, she said, I’ll be right back. It was her first promise to me; A small one, yes, but She gave it, kept it; left and returned. I smiled watching her saunter away, Grinned as she seemed to gravitate back. She gave me five more, Each like the first, a tiny sparkling word Brought to life in the keeping, Planting in me a seed of hope, Cast on rocky soil, but each took, This one and the next one too, And soon I hoped, and still I hope. Since then she has surely placed A million more, back to back, Giving them first, then keeping them, Until I wonder now whose hope this is:

Mine, because she gave it to me Or in the keeping still hers?

~Gary Witt

Two years ago, as president-elect, I spent much time reflecting on how might I best serve SENG. I laid out what became my vision for transforming SENG’s legacy during my 2020-2022 presidency. Promises made, I outlined four (4) major goals framed within existing, streamlined programming situated within new opportunities for growth and development. It was my goal to lead our organization in a way that ensured preservation, sustainability, and expansion of the mission and vision of SENG, aimed at transforming its legacy and leading the charge to create a synergy of personnel to maximize our potential to see a broader and more global community.

Two years later, here I am, as your outgoing president, reflecting on promises kept, and once again thinking how might I best serve SENG as immediate past president with promises of tomorrow.

Promises Made and Promises Kept

  1. The strategic expansion of our existing board of directors with the selection of four new directors over the next several months.

Over the course of two years, we have added ten (10) new directors, and for the first time in decades, maximized our number of director seats with champions inspired to lead efforts toward our transforming legacy goal. Each of these ten directors are still serving SENG with a retention rate of 100% thus far. Together, we completed a five year strategic plan outlining goals for the board to focus its work through 2025.

2. Formalize a collegiate student co-operative intern program with an extensive

mentoring component.

We had two undergraduate interns earning an income and collegiate credit for their service to SENG. Both of them graduated with one, Trent Cash, moving onward to start his doctoral program and to remain on-board as our first doctoral fellow. He was joined by an additional doctoral student, Nicole Mattingly--joining our ranks with plans to create opportunities for them to integrate their academic studies

3. Re-engage our Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) with specific

transformational responsibilities.

Dr. Ed Amend, Director Emeritus, rejoined us on the board as the PAC chairperson and representative on the board in a non-voting advisory role. His historical value to the grassroot efforts in SENG offered a great framework for transforming SENG’s legacy. He has been joined by Lifetime Achievement Winner, Dr. Joy Lawson

4. Increase our organizational depth chart with “champions” that guide the

direction of our existing programming.

As part of our new membership process, each new member of SENG has an opportunity to identify a committee with which they are interested in joining. In addition, each director chairs and/or co-chairs one of SENG’s committees, serving as mentor and building capacity for further engagement from the membership.

It was through the collaboration of the above mentioned stakeholders that we pursued four (4) major legacy goals of the past two years.

  1. Lead the Gifted Community in Unparalleled Outreach

  2. Broaden SENG’s Scholarship & Editorial Position

  3. Transition our Champion-based Leadership Model

  4. Develop Socio-Emotional Standards to Guide Educational Practices