Greater Than the Mind: Strategies for Serving the Whole Gifted Child

Friday, November 10
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: 219 B

Gifted education often focuses on the cognitive needs of students, leaving little time to be responsive to the social, emotional, physical, and cultural needs of gifted children. This session focuses on the domains of the Whole Gifted Child and provides “take-away” strategies that can be easily implemented in classrooms, schools, and homes.

Thomas P. Hébert

University of South Carolina

Thomas P. Hébert, Ph.D., is Professor of Gifted and Talented Education in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Hébert has more than a decade of K-12 classroom experience working with gifted students and 20 years in higher education training graduate students and educators in gifted education. He has also conducted research for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). He served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Hébert is the author of Understanding the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students.


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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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Theresa Y. Newsom

Gifted Resource Teacher
Colorado Springs School District 11

Theresa Y. Newsom, Ph.D., currently works as a Gifted Resource Teacher in Colorado Springs School District 11 and as a member of NAGC’s Whole Gifted Child Task Force. Theresa provides instruction through an integrated curriculum intertwined with creativity and leadership using state standards. She has a dual emphasis on children of color and the development of leadership skills in identified gifted students, and high ability/ high potential students as well. Her article Developing African-American Leaders in Today's Schools: Gifted Leadership, the Unfamiliar Dimension in Gifted Education (2010) was featured in the Black History Bulletin. She also holds a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction and is the CEO/ Educational Consultant for Children with Promise Educational Services and is an Educational Events Coordinator. This includes creating a city- wide literacy festival for her local community as the Founder of the Black Educator’s Network, a grassroots cross-district organization of educators in Colorado Spring. This festival has given away over 4,000 books to 500+ attendees.
Dr. Newsom has held positions in leadership including principal of a Title I Elementary School, as an Assistant Principal in three different identified high and low social economic status middle schools and as the Language Arts Curriculum Leader for an International Baccalaureate Middle School. She has presented at the Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented (CAGT) Conference several times; at NAGC in New Orleans, LA and Baltimore, MD and at the Council of Exceptional Children’s (CEC) Conference in Denver. Theresa has most recently presented at NAGC in Orlando, FL November 2016, and the African American Youth Leadership Conference March 2017. Theresa’s exuberance, knowledge and ability to create a learning environment to foster divergent thinking with real life application advances the concept and services for the whole gifted child.


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Ellen Honeck

Academy Program Director; Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Laurel Springs School; The Knox School of Santa Barbara

Ellen Honeck, PhD is currently the Dean of Laurel Springs Gifted and Talented Academy; Director of Curriuclum and Instruction at The Knox School of Santa Barbara, California; and Director of Curriuclum Development at Nasri Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has taught children ages 3 to graduate level, been a speaker at numerous conferences, serves as a consultant for gifted schools and districts, and has published articles ranging in topics from physical education and giftedness, creativity, highly gifted, social emotional needs of learners and project based learning for young gifted students. Her book publications include the “Smart Start Series” for 3-5 year old children focusing on creative, critical and mathematical thinking as well as “Teaching Gifted Children in Today’s Preschool and Primary Classrooms” designed for teachers and parents, Teacher Compendium for Human Rights Education and various integrated curriculum units. She is currently serving on the Whole Gifted Child Task Force and is the past Chair of the Special Schools and Programs Network and Early Childhood Network.

Her doctoral degree is in the area of Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate of Gifted Education from the University of Denver. Her doctoral dissertation was on the topic are of Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction in relation to Intellectually Gifted Students specifically focusing on the social emotional aspects of the curriculum and instruction.

She has presented at numerous gifted conferences locally, at the state level, nationally, and internationally including the Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented, National Association for Gifted Children, California Association for the Gifted, Texas Association of Gifted and Talented, and the World Council for Gifted.

She has her Gifted and Talented Specialist endorsement for her Colorado Teaching license and was nominated and accepted into the Colorado Academy for Educators of the Gifted, Talented and Creative.


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Greater Than the Mind: Strategies for Serving the Whole Gifted Child


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