David W. Belin Advocacy Award 2020

Congratulations to the The New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, Advocacy Committee

Roberta Braverman, Educational Consultant, NJ

“Grassroots advocate” is the best description of Roberta Braverman, who has been championing the needs of gifted students, their parents, and teachers for more than three decades. Retired from teaching, Roberta holds a M.A. in Educational Administration from Rider University. She works as an educational consultant to many school districts leading professional development workshops, and helps districts plan, implement, and evaluate their services for gifted students. Her statewide presentations are lively and acclaimed.

Roberta serves as a member of NAGC’s Legislative and Advocacy committee. Several recognitions were awarded from NAGC and NJAGC.Collaborating with leaders in our field, as well as past directors and presidents of NAGC contributed to her zeal and knowledge for this important volunteer work.

Elaine Chesebro, Consultant, NJ

Elaine Chesebro was a gifted and talented teacher for over 25 years, supporting gifted learners by creating curriculum, overseeing competitions, and providing schoolwide enrichment.

Elaine has earned recognition as NJ's Governor’s Teacher of the Year, NJ Association for Gifted Children Educator of the Year, and the Warren-Watchung Rotary Club Teacher of the Year. She was a Gifted Child Society Fellow and a Dana Society for Neuroscience Teaching Fellow.  She was a US Naval Academy STEM program awardee and an American Chemical Society Teacher-Scientist Partner. 

Since retiring, Elaine consults with school districts throughout NJ on curriculum and instructional practices. Additionally, Elaine teaches STEM and public speaking courses to students in a private program in China. In her work with NJAGC’s Advocacy group, Elaine was part of the process that brought the new Gifted law to NJ. She serves as C-Chair of the Identification Subcommittee with the NJ Department of Education's Gifted Advisory Committee.

Michelle Falanga, VP Advocacy for NJAGC and a Teacher Resource Specialist for G&T in the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, NJ

She is also serving as an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University in their Gifted Certification Program.  Michelle participates in the Rutgers University Gifted Education Advisory Board, New Jersey’s Strengthening Gifted & Talented Education Advisory Committee, and has helped to develop an advocacy coalition pursuing the establishment of undergraduate level coursework in gifted education as well as an endorsement for gifted education in the state of New Jersey.  Michelle holds a Masters degree in Educational Psychology with a focus in Gifted Education from University of Connecticut; a graduate certificate in Gifted Education from Rutgers University; and has just completed her first year as a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Gifted Education at Rider University.

Lynne Henwood, Head of School for FlexSchool, NY

Lynne Henwood has dedicated her career to advocating for gifted and twice-exceptional learners. She is currently Head of School for FlexSchool, and has served as President of the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children since 2018. She also serves on the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Committee for the NJ Department of Education. Previously, she was a gifted teacher and program coordinator for Washington Township Schools in Morris County, NJ. 

Lynne earned a B. A. in Psychology from Dickinson College, a Gifted Education Certificate from Rutgers University, and an M. A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education. In 2018, Lynne was named New Jersey's Gifted Teacher of the Year and is the 2019 Mensa Foundation's Gifted Education Fellowship Award winner.

Michael Kaelber, Coordinator Online Course Development for LEGAL ONE NJPSA/FEA

Michael F. Kaelber is the Coordinator for Online Course Development for LEGAL ONE NJPSA/FEA. He is currently an education law consultant, retiring in July 2017 from his position of Director of Legal and Labor Relations Services Department of the New Jersey School Boards Association after over 29 years of service. Mr. Kaelber is currently doing project work for various educational organizations, including but not limited to, NJASBO, NJPSA, LEGAL ONE, NJAGC, and the Rutgers Advisory Group on Gifted Education. Michael was a mathematics teacher and coach in the Woodbridge Township school district from 1973 through 1986. He is a frequent presenter on school law issues at programs sponsored by educational and legal organizations.  

Mr. Kaelber is a 1973 graduate of Lafayette College, A.B. Math, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Rutgers University, M.S. Statistics, 1977 and Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1986. He is a recipient of the New Jersey Association of School Attorneys Distinguished Service Award and is a member of the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children Hall of Fame. Michael’s involvement in gifted education began when daughter Kelli and son Brian were each identified as gifted students in the Woodbridge Township school district; Kelli in academics, theater arts and music and Brian in music. 

Jennifer Madsen, Parent and member Board of Trustees, New Jersey Association for Gifted Children

Jennifer Madsen has devoted the past fourteen years to raising her twice exceptional son.  What began as advocating for her own child’s educational needs quickly reignited her passion and commitment to helping all children. Jennifer serves on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children focusing her efforts on advocacy.  She studied Political Science at Hunter College and has worked on various policy issues and numerous electoral campaigns.  It was this background that enabled her to play an instrumental role in adding important language to gifted education legislation in New Jersey and ensuring its passage into law.  Jennifer is currently working alongside the New Jersey Department of Education in implementing this new law in her position as the Identification Committee Co-Chair on the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Committee with an emphasis on the need to increase equity and access for underrepresented gifted children.