Global Awareness


The Art of Empowerment

Friday, November 10
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: 201 B

Sadly, few schools have been established with the expressed intent and requisite expertise to support gifted youth in thriving. Systemic oppression of gifted youth in traditional schools results in disenfranchisement. Yet, how can teachers be responsive to aspects of student development they can not see or do not understand? All students deserve equitable growth opportunities, inclusive of gifted students. This study utilizes Eisner’s Educational Connoisseurship research approach to explore the intentions and practices of a holistic ​school program designed explicitly to empower diverse gifted learners. This session grows understanding of the intricacies of this innovative program which supports societal evolution in the direction of peace.

Kate Bachtel

Founder & President
SoulSpark and Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

From a family of educators, Kate has been teaching and learning alongside children and teachers for as long as she can remember. She has served culturally, linguistically, economically, and cognitively diverse students in a variety of roles and school settings. Kate founded SoulSpark Learning, an education innovation firm, to support youth and educators dedicated to accelerating positive social change. Prior to launching SouSpark, she co-led the successful opening of Mackintosh Academy’s Boulder campus, a K-8 school with a holistic vision for educating gifted and creative learners. Kate has also worked as a talented and gifted education advisor within her local public school district and as a director of a summer program that cultivated innovation skills. Since 2014, Kate has also served on the board of directors at Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG).

As a result of her community contributions, Kate was awarded a full scholarship for her master’s in education at University of Colorado at Boulder where here studies focused on educational equity. In addition, Kate earned at doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in gifted from the University of Denver. Her dissertation used a positive psychology approach to studying what is working in practice to support diverse kindergarten through eighth grade gifted youth in thriving.


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The Art of Empowerment

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