Professional Development

Roundtable

Stories that Superintendents Tell about Gifted Education - What They Mean and Why You Should Care

Friday, November 10
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Exhibit Hall Roundtable 7

The superintendent started my interview with an emotional story about his own son who had struggled to stay in college because his school's gifted program had done little to prepare him for the academic intensity he now faced. My clear marching orders were to "remember that" while I made ours a district where "gifted was done right." I realized at that moment that my superintendent's gifted philosophy was the result of an intense personal experience that would influence every decision he made about gifted priorities, resources, and personnel. Participants in this session learn how to elicit, analyze, and use administrator stories for powerful program advocacy and rock-solid support.

Linda S. Conlon

Secondary Academic Specialist
Quaker Valley School District

Dr. Linda Shaw Conlon is a Secondary Academic Specialist for the Quaker Valley School District, a small system in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Her job in the district’s high school involves designing opportunities for talent development and academic excellence, customizing the educational experiences of high-end learners through creative scheduling and classroom interventions, and increasing the capacity of teachers to differentiate instruction and accommodate advanced students, including twice exceptional learners, through formal and informal staff development. She serves as the Advanced Placement Program Coordinator, her department’s coordinator, and manages the sophomore Personal Projects, which are highly creative individualized versions of a graduation project, for each student in her school.

Dr. Conlon began her lengthy career first as an elementary teacher, holding a B.S. in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She later completed an M.A. in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut and most recently an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught all grade levels in the regular classroom and in gifted education, and has worked in Missouri, Alabama, Maryland and upstate New York before returning home to Pennsylvania. Dr. Conlon’s research interest is in examining the role of district leadership in supporting gifted learners.

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