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Wednesday, December 4

9:00am CST

Identifying Giftedness Among ELL Populations
Identification of gifted students, particularly English Language Learners and students from diverse backgrounds, must become more inclusive to serve the gifted population. Participants will learn how using multiple measures to identify is beneficial and more accurate to identifying giftedness within a diverse population and far more accurate than traditional measures.

avatar for Anna Payne

Anna Payne

Doctoral Student, Baylor University
Anna Payne is a doctoral student at Baylor University in educational psychology, with a focus on gifted students in mathematics. She has supervised student teachers, as well as working with innovative options for professional learning at the Belin-Blank Center (University of Iowa... Read More →
avatar for Yasmin Laird

Yasmin Laird

Doctoral Student, Baylor University
Yasmin Laird is a doctoral student at Baylor University in educational psychology with a focus in foreign language acquisition. She has worked with gifted students at all levels, as well as taught AP Spanish courses. Yasmin is also passionate about working with students from low socioeconomic... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Goldenrod JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

9:00am CST

Challenge Accepted: Practical Approaches to Equitable Identification
The gifted community wants equity in identification...challenge accepted! Let’s begin to actively evolve the identification process in our classrooms. By taking a bold look at barriers to access, we’ll then explore varied approaches that teachers can use--including a hands-on experience in active identification. Join the cause and take solutions back to your classroom!

avatar for Justin Vawter

Justin Vawter

NuMinds Enrichment
Justin Vawter lives on the fringe of education, a creative spark working tirelessly to redefine the educational narrative and make the learning experience more impactful and meaningful. He holds a Masters degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction from the University of North Texas... Read More →
avatar for Ben Koch, M.Ed.

Ben Koch, M.Ed.

CEO, NuMinds Enrichment
Ben Koch is driven to unite people to a greater vision and cause in education and self-development. Through coaching, teaching, and delivering progressive workshops and talks he seeks to expand horizons in education, leadership, and personal development. Driven to make a broader impact... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 12:00pm CST
Cibolo 5 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:00pm CST

Embrace the G/T Space: Get Techie With It
Get techie with the G/T digital generation through websites and apps that will engage students in using these digital tools to embrace their learning in English and Spanish. Get ready to inspire students and ignite projects, using empowering technologies, as used in our Connecting Worlds/Mundos Unidos Two-Way Dual Language G/T Magnet Program.


Laila Ferris

Prinicpal/Interim Chief, Division of Connecting Languages/Dual Language, Mesita ECDC/Elementary School, El Paso ISD
Laila Ferris is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, with both a Bachelors of Science and Masters in Education Administration degrees. She has been the Principal of Mesita Early Childhood Development Center and Elementary School, in El Paso ISD, for 24 years and is also... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm CST
Cibolo 6 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:00pm CST

G/T and ELL . . . Now What?
Discover the common characteristics of English language learners (ELLs) who are gifted and talented and how to nurture the high abilities of students with limited English proficiency. Attain numerous strategies and free online resources for creating an optimal learning environment for gifted and talented ELLs.

avatar for Tracy Dennis

Tracy Dennis

Director of Instruction, Flour Bluff ISD
Tracy has served in education for over 25 years as an elementary and a middle school teacher, a campus instructional specialist, a campus administrator, an educational specialist at Region 13 Education Service Center, instructional coach and a district administrator.

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm CST
Bluebonnet/Dogwood JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel
Thursday, December 5

11:00am CST

Get Them Thinking! Keep Them Thinking!
One of the key challenges in serving gifted students is to move them beyond learning the content to thinking about the content. This session will focus on skills and strategies that need to be developed in gifted students to help them operate successful in the 21st century.

avatar for Joyce Juntune

Joyce Juntune

Instructional Professor, Texas A&M University
Dr. Joyce Juntune is an Instructional Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Dr. Juntune was a classroom teacher and served as Executive Director for the National Association for Gifted Children. She currently teaches... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm CST
Grand Oaks PQ JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

1:00pm CST

In Search of Equity: Removing Barriers to the Identification of At-Risk Populations
The identification of students for services is challenging for even the most experienced professional. In this interactive session we will explore root causes that lead to under-representation and solutions that remove barriers, increase equity, and opportunity for students who may live in poverty and/or are English learners or twice exceptional.

avatar for Wendy Behrens, M.A.

Wendy Behrens, M.A.

State Director/Gifted Education Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education
Wendy Behrens is the Gifted Education Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education and Director of Project North Star, a Javits Grant. Previously she worked as a district gifted services coordinator and consultant for the Science Museum of Minnesota. She frequently presents... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 1:00pm - 4:00pm CST
Bluebonnet/Dogwood JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

2:30pm CST

Supporting Undocumented Students and Families From K-12 to Higher Education
Educators have the legal and moral responsibility to educate and support students regardless of their immigration status. This session will provide an overview of policies affecting undocumented students, best practices for creating safe and welcoming schools, and resources designed for K-12 educators supporting undocumented students.

avatar for Viridiana Carrizales

Viridiana Carrizales

Co-Founder and CEO, ImmSchools
Viridiana was born in Michoacán, Mexico and immigrated with her family to the United States when she was 11 years old. In 2017, Viridiana co-founded ImmSchools, an organization that partners with K-12 educators to support undocumented students and families. Her passion for education... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm CST
Goldenrod JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:30pm CST

Literature That Connects to G/T Students
Research shows that when students "see" themselves within the pages of a book, their mind is more open and receptive. Our gifted population is certainly no exception. Participants will be exposed to a variety of texts with gifted characters. In addition, twice-exceptional students will be highlighted.

avatar for Melissa Saphos

Melissa Saphos

Region 6 ESC
Melissa Saphos has always been a teacher at heart, although she took a twisty path to get there! She has enjoyed a career in journalism, marketing, banking, and education and considers herself fortunate for the experiences that allow her to advocate for teachers and learners. She... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Bluebonnet/Dogwood JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

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