Gifted Coordinator Award Recipients 2020

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 Gifted Coordinator Award

Photo of Ladona Gorham Gifted Coordinator Award Recipient 2020Ladona Gorham, Advanced Program Coordinator, Fauquier County Schools, VA

Ladona graduated from West Virginia University in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  She started teaching in Stafford, Virginia in the fall of 1991 at A. G. Wright Middle School where she taught 6th and 7th grades for seven years.

After receiving a Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia in Educational Psychology with a specialty in gifted education, she worked as a Gifted Resource Teacher at the same middle school for eight more years.

She returned to graduate school one more time to obtain a Post Master’s Certificate in Administration and Supervision and accepted the job of Gifted Education Coordinator for Culpeper County Public Schools in Virginia. She stayed with Culpeper County Schools for eight years.

She is currently beginning her seventh year with Fauquier County Schools in Warrenton, Virginia. She is the Supervisor of Advanced Programs, which includes the duties of Gifted Education Coordinator.

Lori Leibowitz Image Gifted Coordinator Award Recipient 2020Lori Leibowitz, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented, Norwalk Public Schools, CT

Lori Leibowitz is an experienced administrator and advocate for gifted learners. Having presented about personalized learning and equity of gifted programming all over the country, Lori brings her passion for reaching all learners while challenging and bringing out students’ full potential. She has served as the District Coordinator for the Gifted and Talented Program in the Norwalk Public Schools in Norwalk, Connecticut for the past two years. In conjunction with the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Joseph Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis, Lori has worked to create a more equitable and inclusive gifted program under the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Norwalk.

Lori previously taught in the Advanced Learning Program and general education classroom in Greenwich, Connecticut for twenty years. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and a Certificate for Intermediate Administration and Supervision from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, and a Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut.

Currently, Lori is attending Baylor University’s School Of Education as a doctoral student in the Learning and Organizational Change, Ed.D program.

Kathleen Plott, Advanced Academic Officer, Klein ISD, TX

Kathleen M. Plott, Instructional Officer, Advanced Academics Services, Klein Independent School District, held numerous roles in educational communities across the United States as a classroom teacher and a program instructional resource specialist in the following areas: Instructional Technology, Reading Intervention, Gifted/Talented, Advanced Academics, and College Readiness. As a grant writer and program manager, she secured over one million dollars for research and innovative programming. As a National Professional Development trainer, she met with district leaders and superintendents to secure rigorous instructional materials for mathematics. During her 30 years of experience, she has faithfully served students identified as gifted/talented and helped them to pursue their passionate interests and academic goals. In Klein ISD, she leads the G/T Guiding Coalition and Advanced Academic Architectural

Dornswalo Wilkins-McCorey, Gifted Coordinator, Virginia Beach Public Schools, VA

Dornswalo Wilkins-McCorey (Dorn) is a coordinator in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Office of Gifted Programs in Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). The programs and services Dorn coordinates focus on underrepresented populations, leverages innovative technology, and provides extensive professional learning opportunities.

In her 21 years as an educator, McCorey has worked as a coordinator, gifted specialist, gifted resource teacher, and gifted teacher in Virginia. In 2006, she was selected as a Frasier Scholar for the National Association for Gifted Children.

Dorn serves as an officer in several organizations: the Virginia Association for the Gifted (VAGifted) President-Elect, VAGifted conference chair, Virginia Advisory Committee for the Education of the Gifted (VACEG) secretary, and Project E-Ignite Board. Additionally, she is a Supporting Emotional Needs for the Gifted (SENG) Model Parent Gifted (SMPG) facilitator.  Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.