NAGC At-Large BOD Candidates 2019

Two-At-Large candidate positions are open this year.  Candidates for the board were asked to provide:

  • Biography (up to 150 words)
  • Personal Statement (up to 150 words)
  • Answers to the following questions (up to 200 words)
  1. How would your knowledge, experience, abilities, and vision contribute to increasing the public’s urgency to support the needs of gifted and talented children and youth (i.e, Minds)?

  2. How would your knowledge, experience, abilities, and vision contribute to advocating for the adoption of policies that promote programs and service in which gifted and talented children and youth will thrive (i.e, Policies)?

  3. How would your knowledge, experience, abilities, and vision contribute to empowering supporters to implement effective practices for all gifted and talented children and youth in homes, schools, and communities (i.e, Practices)?

Below you will find the candidates and their Statement of Candidacy.  To see the full nomination packet, click on the candidate's name.

Sally Beisser, Ph.D., Levitt Distinguished Scholar, Drake University, IA

My background in gifted education spans a professional lifetime. From dedicated classroom work with gifted and talented elementary students to educating college students about gifted education, I am at a career juncture to move forward with continued service at the national level.

Work as a NAGC Board member with a team of others, whose similar interests and passion are to serve gifted children, would help me contribute or disseminate information to serve gifted and talented students through what I know best…research and practice. I want to support teachers, counselors, administrators who touch the lives of gifted students. In particular, I am an advocate for young gifted children.

As a professor with a passion for gifted students, I think we can better prepare classroom teachers and support work that NAGC is currently doing. Interestingly, for as many times as I have been to the annual NAGC conference, I have never once attended the Pre-Conference higher education meetings, due to my own university teaching schedule and travel limitations. I am eager to learn.

Finally, with the explosion of web-based information and communication technology, I believe we can do a better job supporting the approximately 66% of NAGC members who are practitioners.

Terry Bradley, Past President, Colorado Association for the Gifted

I would be honored to serve NAGC on the board of directors, make an impact, and represent the diverse populations of the gifted community. My goal is to support NAGC's mission of making gifted learners a national priority.  We must remain vigilant in this work, moving forward, and continuing to build bridges among all the stakeholders who have a part in our gifted children's lives. My past 20+ years of experience in gifted education have prepared me to be a respected advocate and leader at the national level. 

I believe that supporting the whole child, including the various facets that entails, is imperative in order to achieve understanding, continuity, and relevance in raising and educating this unique population.  

As a parent of gifted children, I am driven to learn more, advocate more, connect more, support more, and educate more.  I am a founding member and past president of a local gifted affiliate; past conference chair and president of Colorado's state gifted association; and was on the organizing committee for NAGC/Denver in 2012. A member of NAGC since 2005, I've given presentations at many conferences with topics on advocacy and affective education.  I'm ready and excited to serve NAGC!

Richard Cash, Ed.D., Education Consultant, NRich Educational Consulting, Minneapolis, MN

My very first NAGC conference was 1999, Albuquerque, NM. As a new Coordinator of GT Services, without enough funds to bring my fellow staff members, I wandered the maze of sessions alone, overwhelmed by information on gifted education. Seeking refreshment at the hotel bar, the gentleman next to me asked, “How are you enjoying the conference?” I said, “It’s great. It’s like a Renzulli-Love- Fest. By the way, what’s your name?” He replied, “Hi, I’m Joe…Joe Renzulli.” My shock embracement was quickly abated by this generous, self-effacing scholar. He made me feel as if I was one of the gang! Finding a home in this organization, I quickly volunteered for task forces, committees, and networks. I connected with amazing people who were passionate about the needs of gifted and talented children. So much of my work stems from what I’ve learned through NAGC. The organization has made me a better thinker, leader and advocate for the academic and social/emotional needs of gifted learners. I’ve also developed a strong understanding of the lack of diversity in gifted education. Everything I do now has a focus on access, equity and accountability. We can do better for all our gifted/talented and creative students.

Shelagh A. Gallagher, Ph.D., Education Consultant, Engaged Education, Charlotte, NC

All education should engage and challenge children; ideally, gifted education also cultivates higher levels of reason, imagination, and passion for learning--an education that is qualitatively different from the norm. I want to serve NAGC as a member of the Board because the nation still has a long way to go to provide all gifted students with this education. We still lack a national infrastructure: many states have no mandate for gifted education and many states with mandates have little or no funding. All states struggle with inequitable access to gifted programs. Gifted education remains largely unaddressed in preservice teacher preparation; this perpetuates pervasive problems including insufficient high-end differentiation in the regular classroom, infrequent opportunities for gifted students to accelerate, and inaccurate referrals to gifted programs--especially the persistent under-identification of gifted minority and low-income students. We have made progress providing models of effective, rigorous curriculum, but we still need to define the skills and qualities that represent the heart of best practice in instruction for teachers of gifted students. I want to help NAGC promote policies, build relationships, and support research to ensure equitable, accessible, high-quality programs for all gifted students regardless of location, income, or race.

Carol V. Horn, Ed.D., Education Consultant, Young Scholars in Action

As a longstanding member of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), I would like to serve on the board of NAGC because I believe in the importance of its mission and have experienced the rewards of its work.

Through my experiences as a general education classroom teacher, a teacher of gifted children in a self-contained classroom for gifted, and a coordinator of gifted education for a large school district, I have gained first-hand knowledge of the importance of gifted education and the critical role it plays in nurturing talent and potential in children who can think, create, reason, and problem-solve at very high levels. Advocating for gifted services has been a passion of mine for over thirty years and I have seen children flourish when gifted services are provided. Through my central office work, I had the opportunity to collect data and conduct extensive research to support and advocate for the needs of gifted children. I understand the important role that leadership plays in not only advocating for gifted children but in building community that respects and values the practices and contributions that gifted education has to offer.

Serving on the board would give me an important opportunity to join the efforts of gifted educators and advocates on a national level.

Scott L. Hunsaker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Utah State University, Logan

NAGC seeks to support the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research. I have worked in each of these ways over my career and believe that, as an NAGC board member, I would bring a perspective that respects our past efforts, while address present concerns and guiding us toward a vibrant future. I have been active in teacher preparation for over 30 years. I have initiated and/or developed innovative approaches to gifted teacher education through two federal grants, two state legislative-funded initiatives, and numerous state-board-funded projects, that have brought together the goals of government, higher education, and state and local educational leaders. As NAGC moves forward, we must strive to work in concert with each of these entities, as well as with other professional organizations, to find the most effective means of supporting gifted and talented learners. For example, teaching is no longer seen by many as a valued profession, creating shortages in the nation’s teacher ranks and teacher preparation programs.

If we want high-quality teachers for gifted learners, we must have high-quality teachers for all. I believe my experience, perspective, and voice would be useful as NAGC addresses such issues.

Paul James (PJ) Sedillo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM

I want to serve NAGC because I believe that all gifted children have a right to an appropriate education grounded in the recognition of their individual differences and unique learning needs. Children of all races and socioeconomic levels must be provided equal access to gifted identification and service opportunities so that every effort is made to create a dynamic and diverse learning environment. Gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, cultural, and socioeconomic differences must be embraced and treated equally, including in the development of the curriculum for gifted students. The unique social and emotional needs of gifted children, including the profoundly intelligent, must be recognized, valued, and supported through a continuum of services, including counselors and teachers trained to understand and support them. My expertise as an educator and advocate for 30 years has made it a passion to ensure that gifted children have a right to an appropriate education which has been supported by introducing legislation to protect gifted children in the State of NM, serving as President for the NM Association for the Gifted, member of the NAGC Legislative and Advocacy Team, Chair Elect for the NAGC GLBTQ Network, and the current Co-Chair for the 2019 NAGC Convention.

Ann Smith, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Gifted Support Center, San Francisco, CA

My children sent me on the path to research characteristics of giftedness and appropriate interventions to advocate for their academic, intellectual, social, and emotional needs. I quickly realized that what applied to my children applied to many children in my community and that we had a responsibility to meet the needs of these children. In response, I created a support center in my community for families raising gifted children. I reached out to experts in the field of gifted education across the nation to help with implementation of appropriate services to identify and modify learning experiences for gifted children. I have deepened these relationships across the nation over the past decade by joining efforts on various organizational boards so that I could be on the front lines of working on the challenges and successes of implementing best practices and policies at local, state, and national levels to support gifted children and gifted education. I am grateful for the opportunity to submit my application for the NAGC At-Large board position. My goal is to continue working in my local community, at the state level, and to broaden my work at the national level of advocacy for gifted children and their families.

Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Executive Director Programs for Talented Youth, Vanderbilt University

Investment in human capital is critical. Not too long after I started teaching, I was elected to the board of the Ohio Association for Gifted Children. My work on the board taught me how organizations comprised of knowledgeable, passionate, and energetic individuals who work together can create positive changes when focused on a common goal. I have served in a variety of roles during and since my state board service including teacher of gifted, administrator of gifted programs, director of pre-collegiate programs, curriculum developer, researcher, and professor. In each of these roles I have relied on and contributed to the work and influence of NAGC. NAGC is a place to share ideas and resources, discuss empirical evidence and theories including how those translate into practice, and to invest in human capital. I want to contribute my energy, creativity, knowledge and experience toward shaping

NAGC’s ongoing efforts to equip others in providing appropriate and equitable educational opportunities for all gifted children.