Distinguished Service Award

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) annually presents the Distinguished Service Award to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of gifted education and to the development of the organization. This award is given to an individual who has been in the field for more than 10 years and has shown evidence of making major contributions in at least two of the selection criteria areas, or a significant contribution with lasting impact on the field of gifted education in one of the areas. These contributions must have been ongoing and must demonstrate a continued commitment over time.

Submission Procedure
The NAGC national office will make every effort to contact those who have nominated a colleague, or those who have nominated themselves, to let them know of any missing materials, provided the nomination packet arrives at least two weeks before the deadline.

  • One letter of support from the person submitting the nomination that details why the nominee would be an appropriate recipient of the award.
  • Two letters of recommendation (from other than the person submitting the nomination) from persons who have the ability to judge the significance of the nominee's contributions.
  • List the significant contributions the nominee has made to the field of gifted education and to the development and support of NAGC.
  • Vita and/or supporting documents for the nominee.

Selection Criteria
Evidence submitted should represent work in at least two of the areas below, or a significant contribution with lasting impact on the field of gifted education in one of the following areas:

1. Evidence of contributions to the field of gifted and talented over time.

  • Significant advocacy contribution resulting in a change of policy at the state or national level.
  • Significant legislative contribution at state or national level resulting in increased funding, mandates, teacher certification, or endorsement.
  • Served in an advisory capacity at the state or national level with demonstrated results.

2. Evidence of continued contributions to NAGC over time.

  • Has completed a successful history of leadership roles, such as committees, Board of Directors, or Networks.
  • Created and coordinated initiatives that provided increased service to members of the organization. Examples could include coordinated special events; contributed to the development and funding for ongoing awards; led an academy; or made major contributions to organization events, such as the affiliates conference, the annual convention, or other special events.
  • Received grant funding for and successfully completed several projects related to giftedness, which enhanced the field.

3. Evidence of long term service to the field.

  • Demonstrates career-long involvement in gifted education.
  • Developed unique contribution to the field in a leadership role at the local or state level, such as the creation of a Governor's School or ongoing Professional Development Academy.
  • Ongoing contribution to the field through journal articles, administration of a school for the gifted, or leadership positions in an organization.
  • Is recognized for having expertise in a particular area such as advocacy, curriculum, or program development that benefits the field.
  • Invited speaker at state and national conferences to share recognized expertise.
  • Serves as a mentor to early leaders in the field.

4. Evidence of long term service to NAGC.

  • Attended on a regular basis NAGC conventions and participated as a speaker or in other roles.
  • Served as editor of one or more NAGC publications.
  • Served as an officer for NAGC or one of its Networks over an extended period of time.


  • An individual may receive this award once.
  • The nominee must have actively served in the field for more than 10 years and NAGC for at least four years.

The recipient(s) of the award and the other applicants, will be notified of the Awards Committee's decision in writing no later than August 31. The award recipient will receive a plaque presented at the NAGC Annual Convention in November.