Special Schools & Programs


Program Development: What is the Most Critical Element in Ensuring ALL Gifted Learners are Appropriately Served?

Friday, November 10
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Location: 207 D

This session explores how one district achieved its goals for addressing the needs of gifted learners, those with demonstrated high performance and those underserved learners with high potential. In 2 1/2 years, this K-12 program has managed to validate a defensible identification process, provide research-based curriculum in the major academic areas, train/support all teachers working directly with these learners, and bring a community (both teachers and parents) together in valuing the importance of focusing on both academic and psychological needs that make these learners "different." The audience will explore what the most critical element in this district's transformation has been and how well the NAGC program standards have been implemented.

Karen B. Rogers

Professor Emerita of Gifted Studies
University of St. Thomas

Karen Rogers is Professor Emerita of Gifted Studies in the Teacher Education Department, College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she has taught and conducted research since 1984. She is author or co-author of 5 books (with another 4 in the works), many journal articles, multiple publications, and book chapters. She took a 3-year hiatus from her work at St.Thomas to become Director of Research for the Gifted Education Research and Resource Inforrmation Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia and has lectured at universities all over the world. Her research interests include twice exceptionality, research synthesis techniques, cognitive development, gifted program design, development, and evaluation, student assessment, and arts education. She has served CEC/TAG, the AERA Research on Gifted, Creative, and Talented SIG, and NAGC in various leadership and task force roles over the years and attended all but 3 NAGC conferences since 1980. Currently, she is a Co-Principal Investigator on a 3-year Javits grant focusing on collaborative program identification and service restructuring and a Contracted Developer on a second Javits grant focusing on professional development for teachers of rural gifted learners through the Minnesota Department of Education.


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Karen L. Westberg

University of St. Thomas

Dr. Karen L. Westberg is a Professor at the University of St. Thomas (UST) where she teaches graduate coursework in the Gifted, Creative, and Talented education program. Before joining the faculty at UST, she was a principal investigator at The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented and a faculty member in gifted education at the University of Connecticut. She has been actively involved with the National Association for Gifted Children by serving as Member of the Board of Directors, Finance Secretary, and member of the Editorial Boards for the Gifted Child Quarterly and Teaching for High Potential. She has published articles in several journals including Parenting for High Potential, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Gifted Education International, Gifted Child Today, and the Gifted Child Quarterly. Earlier in her career, she as a teacher and gifted education specialist in the Burnsville/Eagan/Savage school district in Minnesota.


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Tania Lyon

District Talent Development Coordinator
Mankato Area Public Schools

Tania Lyon is the Talent Development Coordinator for Mankato Area Public Schools. Tania has her doctorate degree in Critical Pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas. She spent 24 years as a secondary English Language Arts Teacher. In 2011, Tania was recipient of the statewide WEM Foundation’s Outstanding Educator Award in Ethics in Education. Tania also taught Advanced Placement Language and Composition, served as an AP exam reader, and table leader.


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Heather Mueller

District Director of Teaching and Learning
Mankato Area Public Schools


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Program Development: What is the Most Critical Element in Ensuring ALL Gifted Learners are Appropriately Served?


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