Special Schools & Programs


The Advanced Scholars Academy: Shining a Light on Giftedness in a Wonderfully Diverse Elementary School

Friday, November 10
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: 201 A

The Advanced Scholars Academy at Riverbend Elementary in Gainesville, GA, is an innovative program for high-ability, self-motivated students in grades K-5. The ASA faculty designs customized schedules and instruction that challenge gifted learners with appropriate pace and complexity. The program balances high expectations for achievement within a nurturing environment that is sensitive to the social-emotional needs of young gifted children. Students benefit from readiness- and interest-based fluid movement within and between grade levels. A waiver from the State BOE allows flexible enrollment for homeschooled students. Come learn how this program has served as an effective talent recognition and development program within a culturally and economically diverse school.

Sally Krisel

Director of Innovative and Advanced Programs
Hall County School District

Dr. Sally Krisel is Director of Innovative and Advanced Programs for Hall County Schools in Gainesville, GA, where she promotes engagement and achievement for all students by developing high-level programming options for gifted students and extending as appropriate the pedagogy once thought to be the exclusive domain of gifted education to a larger group of learners. In the last ten years, the system has implemented three International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs; and it has launched two dozen charter schools and “niche” programs of choice, all of which are based on a philosophy of talent development.

Dr. Krisel served for ten years as Georgia’s State Director of Gifted Education. Previously she was Director of Student Assessment and Gifted Education for Clarke County School District in Athens, Georgia, and Program Coordinator at the University of Georgia (UGA) site of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). Krisel was instrumental in designing and conducting the training sessions of the Staff Development Model piloted by the NRC/GT to help teachers recognize and respond to indicators of potential giftedness in economically disadvantaged and limited English proficient students.

President-Elect of NAGC, Dr. Krisel is also a part-time faculty member in the Department of Educational Psychology at UGA. She is author of numerous book chapters and articles in the field, and she has been recognized by UGA’s College of Education and NAGC for her contributions. In 2004 Krisel was named the winner of the UGA College of Education Professional Achievement Alumni Award and NAGC’s Community Service Award. She was selected as the Career Achievement Award winner from Columbia College in 2017. Sally is a Past-President of the Georgia Association for Gifted Children and winner of the GAGC Leadership Award, Margaret Bynum Award, and Mary Frasier Equity & Excellence Award.


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The Advanced Scholars Academy: Shining a Light on Giftedness in a Wonderfully Diverse Elementary School

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