Signature Series

Signature Session

Engaging Families of Students of Color to Increase Equity and Retention in Gifted and Advanced Learner Programs

Friday, November 10
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: 207 D

As school districts work to make gifted programming more equitable, families of color are a group often left out in the planning process. This special session provides effective strategies and methods for informing, enfranchising, and engaging families of gifted students of color to improve recruitment and increase retention of students of color in gifted and advanced learner programs. The presenters speak from their own experiences as researchers, practitioners, professional development providers, and university faculty. Strategies and information shared are designed to enhance advocacy skills of families and cultural competency of educators who work specifically with families of color.

Joy Lawson Davis

Associate Professor & Chair, Dept of Teacher Education
Virginia Union University


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Dina M. Brulles

Director of Gifted Education
Paradise Valley Unified School District

Dina Brulles, Ph.D., is the Director of Gifted Education at Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona where she has developed a continuum of gifted education programs, preschool through high school. The programs and services Dina oversees incorporate innovative uses of technology, enfranchise underrepresented populations and provide extensive professional development opportunities. She is also the Gifted Program Coordinator at Arizona State University.

Dina currently serves on the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Board of Directors as the School District Representative. She has also served as president of her state gifted association, vice president of SENG, on NAGC Task Forces and on leadership teams of NAGC Networks. Dina was a co-recipient of the inaugural 2014 NAGC Gifted Coordinator Award and also the first NAGC Professional Development Network Award in 2013.

Dina co-authored the books, Differentiated Lessons for All Learners, The Cluster Grouping Handbook: How To Challenge Gifted Students and Improve Achievement For All, Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classrooms, and Helping All Gifted Children Learn, along with other publications and teacher training courses. Dina assists school districts in developing, supporting, and evaluating gifted programs with an emphasis on integrating current educational initiatives. Having implemented and supervised the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model, she has become a recognized expert in that practice.


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Tiombe BISA. Kendrick-Dunn

School Psychologist and Adjunct Professor/Clinical Supervisor
Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Barry University

Tiombe Bisa Kendrick-Dunn holds an undergraduate degree from The Florida State University and completed graduate school at Barry University. She has over 15 years of professional experience in the field of children’s mental health. Mrs. Kendrick-Dunn has been employed as a school psychologist with Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 2005 where she continues to be a strong advocate for children and young adults. Mrs. Kendrick-Dunn is an adjunct faculty member at Barry University. She holds a license to practice privately as a school psychologist in Florida and holds the nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP) credential administrated by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Her clinical experience includes providing counseling, psychological evaluations and assessment, educational planning and treatment planning. She provides comprehensive evaluations for a wide range of educational disabilities including autism, executive function deficits, learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyscalculia, written language disorders) and medical conditions suspected of impairing the learning process and social-emotional development. Additionally, Mrs. Kendrick-Dunn provides a variety of services to gifted and talented students (area of sub-specialization). Ms. Kendrick-Dunn was recently chosen to be a Fellow for the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) of the Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests (CNPAAEMI) and the Society of Counseling Psychology – Division 17 of the American Psychological Association!

Mrs. Kendrick-Dunn serves on the board of directors for the Children's Trust of Miami Dade County Florida and the Dade Association of School Psychologists (DASP). She is a member of the Diversity/Equity Committee for the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC). Mrs. Kendrick-Dunn is also involved with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) where she is the coordinator for the Gifted/Talented Interest Group. Ms. Kendrick’s professional interests include gifted/talented students, diversity, and the competent psychological assessment of culturally diverse students.


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Engaging Families of Students of Color to Increase Equity and Retention in Gifted and Advanced Learner Programs

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