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Vision & Leadership in 2e Education An Exceptional Weekend for Twice Exceptionality!

Hosted by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy

Hello! On behalf of the Advisory Board for the Center for 2e Research and Professional Development, thank you for joining us for this year’s Symposium: Vision and Leadership in 2e Education. Providing this directory is the first way we can both thank you for your participation and provide a means for you to communicate with colleagues and new friends from around the world. Also, please share the list of 2e-friendly schools and organizations with anyone you know who will benefit. In addition, the Saturday breakout sessions were recorded and have been transcribed. Currently we’re reviewing the hours of input–– deciding how to analyze, synthesize, and disseminate the proceedings. Let us know if you’d like to be part of the team working on the project.

Mark Bade Lois Baldwin Susan Baum Rose Blucher E. Jean Gubbins

Tom Hébert Jann Leppien Dan Peters Robin Schader Kim Vargas

Dear 2017 2e Symposium Participants, This year’s October event represented an important milestone for the field of twice-exceptional education! Our goal for the Symposium was simple: to provide a hub for sharing information and building relationships. Among the diverse group of 130 participants who made this a groundbreaking event were professionals, researchers, educators, and parents from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, and the United States. Yes, 2e education is a global need. Importantly, there were administrators and educators from “2e friendly” schools from Canada and the United States who highlighted the growing interest in creating innovative programs to meet the needs of twice-exceptional learners. Through sharing our collective expertise and discussing the issues we face, we were not only enlightened but also bonded as a community. We hope you were encouraged to form new professional relationships, which are critical to our work. To address the many comments by Symposium attendees about professional development options for those who work with 2e students, the 2e Center is proud to announce “Master Classes in 2e Education” from June 24-29, 2018 on the Bridges Academy campus. Leading experts in the field (including 2e Hall of Fame teachers L. Dennis Higgins Ed.D., and M. Elizabeth Nielsen, Ph.D., along with Ms. Math (Rachel McAnallen, Ph.D.) and children’s literature specialist Susannah Richards, Ph.D.) will join me for the six-day institute. For more information on this class series, please call Kim Vargas at the 2e Center office: (818) 506-1091. Sincerely, Susan Baum Susan Baum, Ph.D. Director, 2e Center for Research and Professional Development

TABLE OF CONTENTS Symposium Highlights 5 Hall of Fame Inductees


Symposium Agenda 10 Attending Schools 16 Attendee Biographies 18 Attending Programs 38 Master Classes Summer ‘18


Looking Forward: Symposium 2019 40

Vision & Leadership in 2e Education October 13-14, 2017

The Garland Hotel, North Hollywood : Bridges Academy, Studio City

Weekend Highlights Friday:

Honoring the Visionaries of Twice Exceptionality

Dinner honoring inductees into the 2e Hall of Fame.

2017 Honorees Lois Baldwin, Linda E. Brody, Mary Ruth Coleman, L. Dennis Higgins, June Maker, M. Elizabeth Nielsen, and Joanne Rand Whitmore Schwartz Welcoming Remarks: Carl Sabatino Head of Bridges Academy

Introduction: Susan Baum Director, The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development On the Shoulders of Giants–with Vision and Leadership for the Future

Scott Barry Kaufman

Scientific Director, The Science of Imagination Project at The Positive Psychology Center,

University of Pennsylvania

Saturday: Symposium Program

• Keynotes from leading scholars on talent development and twice exceptionality

• Luncheon

• Issues and Answers forums on best practices and challenges in

2e education with representatives from featured schools across the nation

• Workshops on hot topics

• Celebratory Garden Reception


“Suite of Tools” All Day Workshop @ Bridges Academy


The 2e Hall of Fame The Advisory Board of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy established the 2e Hall of Fame to honor individuals whose work has had ongoing impact on the education of twice-exceptional students in terms of research, writing, program development, policy development, teaching, identification, awareness, and advocacy. In nominating and selecting the inaugural inductees, the board considered early contributions (prior to 1999) that led to the establishment of the field of twice-exceptional education––a growing field that recognizes students with combinations of high abilities and learning differences that make it difficult to learn in a traditional classroom environment. We’re proud to introduce the seven 2017 Inductees to the 2e Hall of Fame: C. June Maker: After receiving her doctorate with dual majors in educational psychology and special education, Dr. Maker’s book, Providing Programs for the Gifted Handicapped (1977), was among the first to bring attention to the theory that students with special needs could also have intellectual gifts. She was nominated to


the 2e Hall of Fame for her recognition, early research, and pioneering book on overlooked gifted individuals. Joanne Whitmore Schwartz began a program for highly gifted underachievers in Cupertino, California in 1965 This work led to her book, Giftedness, Conflict, and Underachievement (1980). She was nominated to the 2e Hall of Fame for her innovative classroom work, subsequent research, and presentations about


programs that give attention to the gifted potential in underachieving students. Linda Brody, along with Lynn Fox and Diane Tobin, edited Learning-Disabled/Gifted Children: Identification and Programming (1983) with chapters from many who attended the 1981 colloquium at Johns Hopkins—a first in putting together experts from the fields of gifted education and special education. She was nominated to the 2e Hall of Fame for her ongoing research and work



in the comprehensive identification and counseling of gifted/2e students and their families.

Lois Baldwin contributed two chapters to Learning-Disabled/ Gifted Children: Identification and Programming (1983) as a result of her involvement in a White Plains, New York public school program (grades 1 to 12) for students with gifts and handicaps. She then became director of that program. She was nominated to the 2e Hall of Fame for her work in


developing, supervising, and researching programs for twiceexceptional students. M. Elizabeth Nielsen was principal investigator of the first federally funded Javits grant designed to identify and serve gifted students with exceptionalities (1989). Using the title The Twice-Exceptional Child Project, the term “twice exceptional” became more widely recognized. She was nominated to the 2e Hall of Fame for her research and subsequent work that


trained teams of public school and university educators from across the nation in how to advocate and implement programs for twice-exceptional students. L. Dennis Higgins was district coordinator for The TwiceExceptional Child Project––18 programs that served 450 2e students in Albuquerque, New Mexico––and, in 1995, became full-time teacher of a designated 2e classroom. He was nominated to the 2e Hall of Fame as a creative classroom


teacher/consultant who authored and implemented a comprehensive curriculum to meet the social/emotional, gifted education, special education, and academic needs of twice-exceptional students. Mary Ruth Coleman has held leadership roles for over three decades––creating recognition for 2e students in the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC/TAG), and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). She was nominated to


the 2e Hall of Fame for her research, policy development, and tireless advocacy for underserved students.


Hall of Fame Dinner



Saturday, October 14, 2017

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Morning events were held in the Garland Theater

8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Registration (coffee and continental buffet)

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Carl Sabatino, Head, Bridges Academy

Susan Baum, Director, 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy

9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Morning Keynote: Sally Reis “Talent Development as a Key to Success”

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. - Noon

Panel of “2e Hall of Fame” Honorees

Moderator, Scott Barry Kaufman

Garland Ballroom Luncheon

12:15 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

Seated lunch with Honorees & Presenters

Breakouts were held in the Theater and nearby rooms (see descriptions for room names). There were four concurrent sessions from which to choose within each time slot. All sessions were taped and transcribed for later review.

1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Issues & Answers (see descriptions)

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Forums (see descriptions)

Afternoon events were held in the Garland Theater

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Keynote: Jonathan Mooney “Celebrating Diversity”

4:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Presentation of the 2e Newsletter and AEGUS

Lifetime Achievement Award to Susan Baum, Ph.D

5:00 p.m.

Celebratory Reception

1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m ISSUES & ANSWERS (4 Breakout Sessions) 1. Mission Room: Program Development for 2e Students

2. Cabrillo North: Leadership, Branding, Marketing, Labels, & Images

There has been much debate about whether it is essential for programs to address the gifts of 2e students while remediating their learning and attention difficulties. Current research suggests that students make more progress when strengths are a driving force, yet most IEPs are deficit-focused and rarely include the development of a student’s gifts. How can programs support both?

Over the years, terminology and labels have served to both clarify and confuse. In education, common understandings and usage have limited the educational opportunities for 2e students (even the term “2e” or “twice exceptional can be problematic). What marketing strategies and branding could help educators as well as the general public garner support for necessary schools and programs?



Chris Wiebe (Director, High School Program, Bridges Academy, Studio City, CA)

Carl Sabatino (Head, Bridges Academy, CA)

Lori Lepler (President & CEO, BRANDspeak LLC, Lois Baldwin (2e Hall of Fame, former Director of BOCES Trustee, Bridges Academy, CA) program for Twice Exceptional, Westchester County, NY) Delegates: Delegates: 1. Patti Mangan (Creative Director/Owner, 1. Amy Stoios (Director of Education, Imagine That Design Studio, San Francisco, CA) The Grayson School, Broomall, PA) 2. Lara Tinkler (Founder & Executive Director, 2. Heidi Molbak (Co-founder and Head of Flex School, E2 Academy, Edmonton, Canada) New Haven, CT) 3. Ellen Rosen (Board Chair, Bridges Academy, 3. Wendy Weiner (Founder and Principal of Studio City, CA) Conservatory Prep, Davie, FL) 4. Maria Gerea (Social Entrepreneur, Seattle, WA) 4. Rebecca Lopez (Coordinator of Advanced Academics, Cherry Creek School District, Cherry Creek, CO) Room Attendees: 5. Max Melby (Teacher, Arete Academy, Carmen Sevilla (Middle School Director, Bridges Minneapolis, MN) Academy) and Maria Kennedy (Phoenix Division Director, Bridges Academy) Room Attendee:

Laura Bahr (Coordinator, Young Experts Program (Badges), Bridges Academy)

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1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m ISSUES & ANSWERS (4 Breakout Sessions) 3. Cabrillo South: Supporting Social & Emotional Needs of 2e Students When students have both complex challenges and distinguishing strengths, their social and emotional needs differ in intensity and kind. Too often the socialemotional issues and problem behaviors of 2e students are misunderstood, especially when a focus is placed on academics and classroom management. In what ways–– and with what audiences––can we promote a better understanding of these students? Facilitators:

Dan Peters (Psychologist, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Summit Center, Walnut Creek, CA)

Melissa Sornik (Co-founder and President of Twice Exceptional Children’s Advocacy (TECA), Brooklyn, NY)

4. Theater: Setting Research and Policy Agendas It has been argued that the field of twice exceptionality has not been able to provide sufficient evidence that gifted students with learning, attention, and social challenges have needs different from other populations. What research could support the creation of policies that speak to best practices for the twice-exceptional population? In what ways can these policies be established and implemented? Facilitators:

Hank Nicols (Co-founder and Director of the International Center for Talent Development)

Peggy Wenner (Coordinator, Gifted and Talented, and Arts and Humanities, Idaho State Department of Education, Boise, ID)



1. Kim Busi (Founder and Executive Director, The Quad Preparatory School, New York, NY)

1. Geraldine Townend (Education Consultant and Research Fellow, Griffith University, Australia)

2. Andrea Lein (Head of School, John Dewey Academy, 2. Melanie Hayes (Founder and Director, Great Barrington, MA) Big Minds Unschool, Pinole, CA)

3. Beverly Januszewski (Clinical psychologist, Ventura, CA)

4. Ana Miró Mejias (Faculty of Education, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico) 5. Lesli Preuss (Clinical psychologist, Bridges Academy, Studio City, CA) Room Attendee: Will Sherman (High School teacher, Bridges Academy)

3. Nobutaka Matsumura (Professor of Educational Psychology, Kansai University, Osaka, Japan) 4. Corin Goodwin (CEO/Executive Director, GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum) 5. María Leonor Conejeros-Solar (Professor of the School of Pedagogy, Faculty of Philosophy and Education. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile) 6. Mary Ruth Coleman (2017 2e Hall of Fame Inductee, Director, Projects U-STARS and ACCESS, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC) Room Attendee: Vi Huang (Trustee, Bridges Academy)

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3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m FORUMS (4 Breakout Sessions) 1. Mission Room: Strength-based, Talent-focused Learning Strategies

3. Cabrillo South: Measuring Success: Conducting Action Research in Your School

Framing Statement for Panelists: Talk about what you mean by strength-based approaches to meeting the needs of twice- exceptional students.

Framing Statement for Panelists: Define action research from your perspective and discuss how it can help measure program effectiveness.

Moderator: Daphne Pereles (Educational Consultant specializing in twice-exceptional and Multi-tiered Systems of Support)

Moderator: David Wildkress (Director of Program Development and Student Support, Bridges Academy, Studio City, CA)

Panelists: 1. Mary McInerney (Teacher, Phoenix Program, Bridges Academy, Studio City, CA)

Panelists: 1. Jann Leppien (Associate Professor/Margo Long Chair, Gifted Education, Whitworth University, Spokane, WA)

2. Terry Neu (Asst. Professor, Coordinator of Special Education Concentration, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT) 3. Melinda Gindy (Co-founder and President of Gifted Families Support Group, New South Wales, Australia) Room Attendee: Laura Bahr (Coordinator, Young Experts Program (Badges), Bridges Academy) 2. Cabrillo North: Improving Relationships with Parents Framing Statement for Panelists: Describe a practical vision for parent/school partnership. Discuss ways it can become a reality for parents of 2e students. Moderator: Linda Neumann (Editor and Co-publisher of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter)

2. E. Jean Gubbins (Professor, Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT) 3. Kristin Berman (Head of School, The Quad Preparatory, New York, NY) Room Attendee: Will Sherman (High School Teacher, Bridges Academy)

4. Theater: Understanding the 2e Learner: Implications of a Dual Diagnosis Framing Statement for Panelists: What makes twice-exceptional students unique? Moderator: J. Mark Bade (Writer and Co-publisher of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter)

Panelists: 1. Julie Skolnik (Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, LLC)

Panelists: 1. Carol Barnes (Visiting Fellow, Gifted Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, National Convener of GLD Australia)

2. Lisa Zaretsky (Licensed social worker and teacher, TECA, Brooklyn, NY)

2. Dan Peters (Psychologist, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Summit Center, Walnut Creek, CA)

3. Anne Jackson (Founding Director, Kids Like Us, Beaumaris, Victoria, Australia)

3. Susan Baum (Director, 2e Center at Bridges Academy, Studio City, CA)

4. Kim Vargas (Outreach Coordinator, 2e Center, Bridges Academy, Studio City, CA)

4. Leah Brezenski (Founder, Arete Academy, Minneapolis, MN)

Room Attendees: Carmen Sevilla (Middle School Director, Bridges Academy) and Maria Kennedy (Phoenix Division Director, Bridges Academy)

Room Attendee: Vi Huang (Trustee, Bridges Academy)

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More photos online

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“2e Friendly” Attending Schools Attending founders, administrators, educators, and parents representing “2e friendly” schools and programs from Canada and the United States highlighted the growing interest in creating innovative programs to meet the needs of twice-exceptional learners. Working together, this newly formed alliance has the capacity to develop and share programs based on successful practices and experience. This group’s combined expertise will help establish a robust foundation for twice-exceptional education in schools everywhere.


















































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SYMPOSIUM SPEAKER/ATTENDEE BIOGRAPHIES J. Mark Bade is a long-time professional writer who provided corporations and other organizations with what he called “structure and language for media” for purposes such as marketing and staff development. For the past 14 years, he and partner Linda Neumann have published 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter for those who raise, educate, and counsel high-ability children with learning challenges. He holds a bachelor’s in social sciences and an MBA from the University of Illinois. He is the father of two grown boys. Laura Bahr works in the fields of arts, media, and education. As a teacher

at Bridges Academy, she has taught middle school mathematics and theater, and she currently coordinates the Young Expert (Badges) program, a highly personalized learning model. She has been selected as the writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House for the Kerouac project in the spring.

Lois Baldwin is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree. She is a former su-

pervisor and principal of special education for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Southern Westchester in White Plains, N.Y. She directed, supervised, and provided comprehensive educational and support services for students in Grades 1-12 who have average or above-average/gifted intelligence and are learning disabled and/or emotionally disturbed. In addition, she supervised a wide variety of special education services, coordinated staff development for the Special Services Center, and coordinated mainstream efforts with public school administrators and staff. Lois received her doctorate in gifted, special education, and educational administration from Teachers College at Columbia University. Lois is the current president and one of the founders of AEGUS. She is a member of NAGC, AGATE, CEC, and ASCD. She currently consults nationally.

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Paul Bamberger is the principal of Junior Academy, a private school in Toronto, Ontario, and he has a keen interest in student-centered learning. Prior to joining Junior Academy last year, Paul was a vice principal and then co-principal of a small private school based on Adlerian psychology and positive discipline. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and has been working in education since 2001. Paul has a wealth of classroom experience and was nominated as Educator of Character for the Region of York in 2015. In addition, Mr. Bamberger holds many qualifications, including Principal’s Qualification as well as Special Education qualifications.

Carol Barnes is an honorary Visiting Fellow (gifted education) at GER-

RIC within the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She is national coordinator and Sydney meeting convener for GLD Australia, a not-for-profit online learning community/support group focusing on 2e children. Carol is also vice-president/parent support group convener of the Queensland gifted association’s branch on the Gold Coast, where she is a PhD candidate in law at Bond University. She has provided 2e training for parents and teachers for a wide variety of gifted and disabilities associations and schools in Australia. Since 2009, she has made over 100 presentations at gifted, disability, medical, and legal conferences. She has consulted on 2e to government departments, and has testified on the needs of 2e children before parliamentary inquiries.

Jon Baum is manager of content development and communications at Bridges Academy. Prior to joining Bridges in 2016, he spent 15 years in online sports journalism, focusing mainly on creating original content, developing and implementing editorial plans, and managing content

teams for the web’s top-trafficked sports sites. Having worked at Yahoo! Sports,, and GOOD Magazine, Jon has covered events such as the Super Bowl, the NBA Draft, the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the final games at Yankee and Shea Stadiums, Pacquiao-Hatton, the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and a café down the street in Studio City being turned into a replica of the diner from “Gilmore Girls” upon that show’s Netflix resurrection. Susan Baum, PhD, is director of the 2e Center for Research and Pro-

fessional Development at Bridges Academy and is co-director of the International Center for Talent Development. Professor Emeritus from the College of New Rochelle, Susan is widely published in the areas of twice-exceptional students and gifted education. The third edition of her seminal work, To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice Exceptional Students with LD, ADHD, ASD, and More, has just been published. She earned her doctorate at the University of Connecticut in educational psychology with a concentration in the education of gifted and talented students. Dr. Baum has been acknowledged for her work in twice-exceptional education as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Weinfeld Group (2011), the Connecticut Association for Gifted’s Friend of the Gifted Award, and the 2015 Distinguished Professional Alumni Award from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Baum served on the board of directors of the National Association for Gifted Students and is the past president and founder of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS). Susan serves on the advisory boards of 2e Newsletter, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, and The Quad Preparatory School for Twice Exceptional Learners. Kristin Berman assumed the position of head of school at The Quad

Preparatory School in June 2016 after serving as associate professor of education in the Graduate School at The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, N.Y., for 15 years. Dr. Berman’s academic work focused on differentiated curriculum and instruction, enhanced teaching methods in diverse classroom settings, gifted education, and arts integration in content areas. Dr. Berman has also taught in elementary and middle school classrooms for over 20 years, and later served as director of enrichment and talent development in New York City Public Schools, implementing initiatives for gifted students in a district of 47,000 students. She has been a speaker, consultant, and professional developer for teachers, administrators, and parents both throughout the United States, and in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. She served on the Advisory Committee for the Development of Education for All Students for the Bhutan Foundation, and worked extensively with Bhutanese educators and policy makers on developing special education for the country. Dr. Berman is on the board of The Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students and has counseled parents and teachers on the unique needs of children who are both gifted and have specific learning differences. She has a broad background in the performing arts and is a faculty trainer for Lincoln Center Institute’s Aesthetic Education methodology. She has authored publications on various aspects of arts integration and creativity. Research projects have included several federal Javits grant awards focusing on strength-based teaching and schoolwide enrichment, as well as program evaluations for arts and gifted programs in private, public, and community institutions. She has also written curriculum for gifted programs for both public and private schools using an integrated framework of science and humanities. Rose R. Blucher, MEd is the director of Blucher Educational Services

for Boundless Potential and an award-winning educator in the field of learning disabilities. She provides teacher training, advocacy, and direct services for students and families. For more than 20 years as a 2e

specialist in Maryland, she conducted instructional strategies workshops, developed services and programs, and developed the first high school program for 2e students. She has written numerous articles, resources, and curriculum guides in this field. Ms. Blucher serves nationally and internationally as an educational consultant to school systems, schools, and parents, and has presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences. For several years at Johns Hopkins University, she taught a course entitled Teaching the GT/LD Learner. The Maryland State Superintendent appointed Rose to serve two terms on the Gifted Education Advisory Council. She serves on the boards of AEGUS and the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development, and is a member of the Coalition of Parents, Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA). Connect at Allison Burgess Brandt, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Santa Monica, CA, who works with parents of different- and special-needs children, as well as adults and teens challenged with anxiety, depression, separation/divorce, trauma, chronic pain, grief/loss, anger management, affect regulation, and life transitions. She teaches mindfulness strategies, somatic awareness, and nervous system regulation. She also offers co-parenting coaching and psychoeducational groups for parents of different- or special-needs children. Allison is also the proud parent of one 2e child, one neurotypical child, and a third with different needs. Shane Brennan is a development associate and enrichment teacher for

the Phoenix program at Bridges Academy. Shane is a grant writer and seeks funding from corporate and family foundations. Over the past four years Shane has taught classes in entrepreneurship, comic books, and journalism. Prior to Bridges, Shane wrote for a screenwriting trade publication and covered the Los Angeles Kings. | 19

Karen Breslow , a litigation attorney, received her BA from Cornell Uni-

versity and her JD from Columbia University. She practiced in New York at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; in California at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown; and Irell & Manella; and was vice-president of litigation and assistant general counsel for Sony Pictures. She is married to Robert Schwartz, a litigation partner at O’Melveny & Myers. Their son, Ben, graduated from Bridges Academy in 2017. Karen currently serves on the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees.

Linda Brody is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree. She directs the

Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) and the Diagnostic and Counseling Center (DCC) at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). SET provides counseling services to students who score exceptionally high on the SAT before the age of 13, studies their progress over time, and publishes Imagine, an award-winning magazine that spotlights opportunities and resources for academically talented students. The DCC specializes in offering psychoeducational assessments to bright students experiencing learning difficulties, i.e., twice-exceptional students. Linda has also supervised numerous special projects at CTY, including programs funded by the Jack Kent Cooke and Templeton Foundations. Her research focuses on evaluating strategies that facilitate talent development, particularly acceleration, and studying special populations of gifted students, e.g., the highly gifted, gifted females, and twice-exceptional students. Linda has edited several books and published numerous book chapters and articles in professional journals. Having earned her doctorate from Johns Hopkins, she taught graduate courses there for many years. She presents regularly at conferences, is a reviewer for journals in the field, and has served on several advisory boards. 20 |

Leah Brzezinski was born in New York, went to college and graduate school in Florida, and has been living in Minnesota for the past 18 years. She has a BA in elementary education, an MS in speech language pathology, and an EdD in child and youth leadership with a focus on special education. She has worked with children and adults in various settings, including schools, hospitals, and clinics. Her last position was the coordinator of the Autism Clinic and diagnostician at the University of Minnesota. She was home for 10 years raising her five children who were born in Korea and joined her family through adoption. During those 10 years, she volunteered at the University of Minnesota and events related to adoption. She has also volunteered with children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and with special needs in the U.S., South Korea, and Costa Rica. In 2014, Leah founded Arete Academy, a school for twice-exceptional learners. The school was inspired by her two amazing sons, both of whom are twice exceptional. Leah hopes to share her love of animals, nature, music, and different cultures and languages with the students as the executive director at Arete Academy. She hopes Arete Academy will provide bright students who learn differently an educational environment where they can reach their fullest potential. Edee Burke “Edee” is a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona

and works as adjunct faculty at SUNY Buffalo. She has a life-long interest in supporting all students and the impact that their educational experiences have on their futures. With over 30 years of teaching experience, she has worked with students of all ages and abilities from very diverse backgrounds in rural, suburban, and urban classrooms,. Her core belief is that each person has a dream for their future and the right to access their destinies. She seeks to clear the pathways to those dreams through the development of supportive educational programming.

Kim Busi is the founder and director of The Quad Preparatory School

and The Quad Manhattan, a psychiatrist in private practice in Lower Manhattan, and a former clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. She left her faculty appointment in 2009 to found The Quad Manhattan. She received her medical degree from the Brown University School of Medicine in 1997. After completing a year’s training in pediatrics at the New York Hospital-Weill Medical Center, Dr. Busi finished her residency training in psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine in 2001. At NYU, Dr. Busi designed curriculum, and taught and supervised residents. She served on the Curriculum Committee for the Department of Psychiatry, and as the director of education for the NYU/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture, a not-for-profit multidisciplinary treatment center within the Bellevue Hospital Center. Best of all, she is the mother of two wonderful boys, 15 and 11.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a joint appointment with the School of Education, where she is an associate professor of special education. Mary Ruth has taught in general and gifted educational programs in both public and private schools. She served as the associate editor for the Journal for the Education of the Gifted for over 10 years, has guest-edited special issues for the Journal of Secondary Education, is a contributing editor to Gifted Child Today, and serves on the advisory board for Gifted Child Quarterly. She is also past president of the Association for the Gifted, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Jacqui Byrne is the visionary behind FlexSchool, learning communities

for gifted and 2e students. She loves all of the creative, quirky, asynchronous minds and figuring out how to reach each child is very satisfying to her. Jacqui has deep experience in education, teaching, counseling, and writing. She is the co-founder of the widely respected Ivy Ed college preparation and counseling firm. Jacqui developed her own verbal test prep curriculum and also wrote a test prep book for McGraw-Hill. She is an acknowledged expert in education: training school district guidance counselors, speaking at college parent nights throughout New Jersey and presenting at professional conferences. Prior to founding Ivy Ed, she taught creative writing to gifted students at Milton Academy, completed an operations management training program on Wall Street, and started a boutique marketing company. Jacqui earned a B.A. from Yale and has children who are twice-exceptional and gifted. jacqui@flexschool.ent

Nancy Coleman served as a classroom teacher for 25 years, during which

she developed a passion for working with gifted students. She co-created the role of Differentiation Specialist for her district and designed and delivered professional development for that district and others. Now retired from classroom teaching, she takes her passion for gifted and twice-exceptional students to a wider audience as a consultant, helping districts in Silicon Valley to improve and expand their gifted services. Nancy holds a master’s degree in educational psychology with a specialization in gifted education from the University of Connecticut.

Cristhian Camacho is an event management veteran with over a decade of experience in managing events for high-end hotels. He currently manages facility operations at Bridges Academy, and is also the assistant to the Head of School. Before coming to Bridges Academy he was part of the event team at the JW Marriott & Ritz-Carlton in L.A. Live, and oversaw the execution of all major events, most notably the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles. Kayla Campa is in her eighth of teaching in the San Luis Coastal School District (San Luis Obispo, CA). She received her teaching credential from Cal Poly SLO. She started her teaching career working with autistic students who were mainstreamed into the regular classroom. She then taught general education kindergarten and 3rd grade. Kayla completed her Masters at Cal Poly in Educational Leadership in 2014. Over the past three years she has acted as an instructional coach for teachers at a specific school site in her district. This current school year she returned to the classroom to teach 2nd grade. Her connection to this conference was the honoring of her aunt, Joanne Whitmore Schwartz. Therese Clifford, M.Ed./Rehabilitation Counseling is parent to a 2e

son and advocate for Gifted/2e. She served on the SENG (Supporting the Emotional needs of the Gifted) board and serves on Edufest board. Therese has worked on committees on the local and state level, including initiating formation of a writing group to produce the 2e Manual for the State of Idaho. Mary Ruth Coleman is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree. Dr.

Coleman has conducted research focused on students with exceptional learning needs, especially those with learning disabilities and those with gifts; served as co-principal investigator for the Early Learning Disabilities Initiative; and co-director of North Carolina’s Statewide Technical Assistance for Gifted Education Center. Mary Ruth is the director of Project U-STARS (Using Science Talent and Abilities to Recognize Students) at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, the

Recognized for its research-based practices, Discovery School at Bellwood consistently ranks in the top five schools in the state and is annually recognized as a state Reward School because of its students’ level of academic achievement on TCAP tests. In addition, the Discovery Robotics team has consistently progressed to the BEST Robotics regional competition - an amazing feat for an elementary school. Several Discovery teachers blog or write for national education organizations particularly in the area of gifted education.

To creatively challenge students to explore, discover, and develop their personal and academic potential. Murfreesboro, Tennessee | 21

María Leonor Conejeros Solar is Doctor in Education and Psychologist

at the Escuela de Pedagogía at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. Currently she is the Director of the Master’s Program in Education and Associate researcher of the Research Center for Inclusive Education (Conicyt CIE160009). She serves as co-editor of the Perspectiva Educacional Formación de Profesores Journal. Other experiences include Head of the Special Education teacher program and Director of the Academically Talented Education Program BETA for talented children and youth from disadvantaged communities in the same University. Her research interests are gifted and twice-exceptional students, especially those from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds. She has published articles and book chapters on these topics.


classrooms allow

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Mara Contarella is the Executive Director, Twice Exceptional Children’s Advocacy (TECA). Since joining TECA in 2014, Mara has worked to expand the grassroots organization into a vibrant online resource and community for parents of twice-exceptional (2e) children. As a mother of a 2e child, she experienced first-hand both the scarcity of resources and information available to help parents raise these uniquely challenging children and the sense of isolation that comes from having a differently wired child. After years of struggling to put together a team of knowledgeable educators, related service providers and mental health professionals to help her son thrive, she became determined to help other families by providing them with empathy, validation, and information.

Fusion Academy is a revolutionary, accredited private middle and high school

Realizing that 2e children come from disparate communities across the country and socio-economic spectrum, Mara has worked to create numerous web-based parent support programs and resources that are easily accessible to families, including online parent support groups and workshops, a nationwide database of professionals experienced with twice exceptionality and a weekly newsletter aggregating articles relevant to the 2e community. TECA also holds an annual Building 2e Awareness & Community conference, which brings together parents, educators, medical, and mental health professions, advocates and other experts to provide families with a full day of workshops and tools that they put to use immediately. Before joining TECA, Mara spent most of her professional life as a development consultant working for numerous local, national, and international organizations addressing such issues as human rights, education, mental health, social justice, medical research, leadership development, and the arts. Mara received her BA in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and amazing teenage daughter and son. Michael Dennis is a native of New York State, where he worked in film and art before completing an MA in humanities at SUNY Buffalo. After moving to California he began pursuing a career in education through CalState TEACH program, later taking a position at Bridges Academy in the newly-formed Phoenix Program (grades 4-6). Michael’s humanities class at Bridges combines the study of ancient cultures with English-language arts fundamentals. Graham Douglas Upon graduating from Bishop’s University with a

degree in Drama and English he ventured to South Africa where he ran a shelter for street children. He became involved in music there, running a recording studio and singing in a popular local band. Returning to Canada he taught Drama and English at Metro Prep a local private school. Since completing his teaching diploma at D’Youville College in Buffalo he has had opportunities to teach at Crestwood Preparatory Academy as well as run his own businesses in a variety of fields including elevator contracting and fine carpentry. When he’s not teaching Graham other interests include; canoeing, yoga, running and reading, as well as spending time with his wife and two sons. 22 |


where all classes are one-to-one: one student and one teacher per classroom. Scheduling is customized and curriculum is personalized to each student’s individual strengths, interests, and learning style. Students may enroll full-time, take a class for credit, or utilize our tutoring services any time of the year. Connect with our campus to set up a tour! Fusion Academy Pasadena 323.258.2012 825 Colorado Blvd., Suite 118 Los Angeles, CA 90041

Donna Drake Over the past 25 year, Donna Drake has been an elementa-

ry educator in St. Paul, Minnesota. She currently teaches second grade at Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet. It is only in the past three years that she has worked in a classroom where everyone has been identified as gifted and talented. It is at the same time she became aware of the twice-exceptional student. As she began this journey in the classroom, she discovered her son was also identified as twice exceptional. This coincidence has started her on a journey to find or create materials that positively explain what it means to be twice exceptional. In a society that seems to seek conformity, her goals are to encourage the independent, creative thinking of these amazing students, help create a space where they feel accepted and valued, and to educate others about twice exceptional learners.

Helen Dudeny is a private consultant who has been actively involved in

working with gifted children since 1988. Helen originally trained and worked as an accountant and in her spare time spent many years as a leader in the Scout Association. Since 1990 she has completed the Certificate of Gifted Education at University of NSW, a Master of Adult Education and Diploma of Counseling. She is also a qualified Cogged Working Memory Training Coach. Combining her past experience and this study she has progressively undertaken a career change and is now a private educational consultant specializing in the needs of gifted children. During this time she has designed and run hundreds of programs for 3 – 16 year old children and their families and conducted seminars, workshops and in service training for parents and teachers about understanding and meeting the needs of gifted children and young people. This work has extended to all parts of New South Wales, metropolitan and regional, as well as other states of Australia. Helen is a regular presenter and attendee at State, National and International Gifted Conferences.

Due to her belief in supporting gifted children in all parts of the state she has been actively involved in supporting the establishment and on going activities of many local support groups. She has been a lecturer at Australian Catholic University – Stratified for 4 years and Murdoch University in Perth for 7 years. In addition to her consultancy work she has been involved in the NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children. For 17 years she was a member of the Association’s Committee holding the position of President for 8 years and Treasurer for 4 years. She was also Events Coordinator for the Association for 12 years and responsible for many of the events that are run including the residential camps. Charlotte Elberfeld Juan Carlos Escudero (Bridges Parent) Liliana Escudero (Bridges Parent) Catherine Gairdner Chris Gamble Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, Chris has

always been drawn to working with youth and young adults. With a B.A. in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Social Science and M.A. in Educational Leadership, he has taught at the high and middle school levels at both public and private schools in Minnesota and Colorado. He has also been able to work with youth outside of the classroom as a wilderness guide, camp counselor, ski instructor, and youth director. In the classroom, Chris has taught high school and middle school level social studies as well as middle school language arts. He is also currently back in school pursuing his administrative license. Now in his second year at Arete, Chris is teaching high school human geography, middle and high school leadership, and lower school movement. He also helps Arete with coordinating the school’s technology and facilitating the accreditation process. Outside of school, Chris loves to play outside with his wife and dog, including mountain biking, skiing, and whitewater rafting.

Diane Rowen Garmire is now retired and working as a consultant and teacher after a career spanning four decades of teaching art and g/t education. She has provided professional development for educators for the past 15 years at Summer Deafest in Boise, Idaho, as well as other venues for teachers in gifted education. She teaches annually at Whitworth University, a graduate level course: “Creativity and the Common Core.” In the fall of 2016 Diane delivered two keynotes on Creativity for the Kansas State G/T convention in Kansas City, KS. She repeated this presentation at the 2016 WATAG conference in Tacoma, WA and again at NAGC in Orlando, FL. Most recently, Diane is named as Artistic Director of a program sponsored by the Idaho State Department of Education: Future Design Academy. An arts infused STEAM program that focuses on design and engineering for young students. In July 2017, Diane was presented the 2017-18 GEM (Gifted Education Milestones) by ITAG-SAGE for her contributions to the field of gifted/talented education. Maria Gerea is a social entrepreneur leading the exploration to form an Innovation School in Seattle for gifted and 2e children. www. Her passion stems from her quest as a mother to find education that engages creative minds in their area of strength and empowers them by teaching them collaboration and proven innovation processes (i.e. Human Centered Design). The goal is to prepare them for a meaningful and productive life in the real world. Finding out that what she was looking for doesn’t exist lit a fire in her to bring together Seattle’s greatest minds on this journey and create what is possible. She brings to this project her leadership skills, multidisci-


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plinary background working for 15 years in legal, product marketing, consulting and organizational development roles in organizations such as Philips, Microsoft, Seattle Children’s Hospital, her global thinking, intuition, and program management rigor. Melinda Gindy is a music teacher (B.Arts (mus), Grad. Dip. Ed (mus),

Grad. Cert. Gifted Ed., M.M.T.A.) with experience across both primary and secondary settings. She is the co-founder and President of Gifted Families Support Group Inc. (the New South Wales association represented on the Australian national gifted association). As well as the national association’s Vice-President, Melinda is National Facilitator of Gifted Awareness Week Australia. She served on the organizing committees for the 2016 National Gifted Conference, the 2017 Gifted Awareness Forum for Educators, and the 22nd Biennial World Gifted Conference. An invited speaker on 2e at the Special Needs Education Summit, Melinda has also presented on 2e at several conferences, including 2017 World Gifted. Melinda has three gifted children, two of whom are 2e. Jolene Gleason has a MS degree in Electrical Engineering as well as BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Iowa State University. She was named ISU’s Outstanding Senior in Electrical Engineering in 1987 and received a Research Excellence Award for her graduate research. She worked as an electrical engineer for 15 years before becoming a full-time homeschool parent to her highly gifted son. Early in her career she also taught Power Systems Analysis and Technical Calculus at Bradley University while working for a power company in Peoria, Illinois.

In addition to her work at Arete, Jolene also teaches middle-school math enrichment classes through the Edina Center for Academic Excellence, and she serves on the board of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented. Jolene is also the creator of the Virtual Math Club (http://vir-, a website for students who are interested in developing their mathematical problem solving skills using problems similar to those found on math contests such as AMC, MATHCOUNTS, and other middle-school math contests. “I love to see the sense of empowerment kids feel when you can lift the curtain to reveal the inner workings behind the magic of mathematics. Many people think that mathematics is a bunch of hocus-pocus; memorize these facts and algorithms and you magically get the right answer. But, mathematics makes sense — it’s all built on the foundation of very simple ideas — and once you understand those ideas and how they fit together, you can create your own magic!” Kristen Baird-Goldman is the parent of a 2e child. She is a teacher and is currently completing her doctorate in educational leadership with a dissertation topic focusing on 2e issues. Kristen empowers individuals to overcome personal obstacles and improve their lives using evidenced-based and mindfulness interventions. Art has always been a healing force in her life and has become a valuable addition to her work in the field of psychology. Kristen has presented to local counseling professionals, parents and teachers on the education and understanding of ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorders. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, registered art therapist, ADHD specialist and certified perinatal mental health clinician. Kristen has a master’s degree in Psychology and a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Philips Graduate University. She offers individual, relationship and group counseling for anxiety, ADHD, gifted/talented (2e), parenting and women’s issues including postpartum mood disorders. Kristen’s private practice location is in Sherman Oaks, CA. Corine Goodwin did her graduate work at Georgetown University

in Public Policy. Her career included stints in policy analysis and in

INTEGRITY | COURAGE | WISDOM | EXCELLENCE Located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, we offer an individualized and comprehensive education in a non-traditional therapeutic boarding school setting. Our peer-based approach leads students to high levels of achievement and inspires them to develop in ways that promote self-esteem, maturity, and respect for others. For more information contact Andrea Nathans, Psy.D. (Admissions) at 413.528.0084, or our Head of School, Andrea Lein, Ph.D. at 413.200.7897, 389 Main Street, Great Barrington MA 01230 | 24 |

communications at KPMG Peat Marwick, 3Com, Steelwedge, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. She served as Gifted/SpEd Advisor for the HomeSchool Association of CA. Corin founded GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum in 2004. Her work has been seen in all the usual publications and a textbook. Corin serves on the SENG Editorial Board and the Advisory Boards of Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund and GRO – Gifted Research & Outreach. She is co-author with Mika Gustavson of Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child, Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development.

the Charter School Facility Committee Prop Z Bond, which awards $350 million of bond funding to charter schools, and reviews and approves all charter facility development applications. She has been a Reading and Educational Specialist, providing customized educational programs and interventions for students, families and schools. denah@thewinston-

Melanie Hayes Dr. Hayes has made it her life’s work to help 2e people find their niche and work to their strengths. She has worked as a 2e specialist for the past 16 years. Stories of her work can be found in her book, We Tried Normal. She also created Big Minds, a school that focuses on mentoring 2e children’s intellectual, social, and emotional well-being. She is a past winner of Comcast’s I4E contest for her work using technology to help 2e students overcome educational roadblocks. Her work with 2e people has also been recognized recently with the Jefferson Award for Public Service. Big Minds will be featured in the upcoming documentary, The G-Word, You can see what Dr. Hayes is doing at and

E. Jean Gubbins is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the Uni-

versity of Connecticut and Associate Director of the National Center for Research on Gifted Education (2014 to present) and former Associate Director of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (1990-2013). Dr. Gubbins is an expert on evaluation and talent development models. She is a former classroom teacher and teacher of the gifted. In addition to her teaching experiences with elementary and secondary students, she has been an instructor at the college level, a consultant on gifted and talented education throughout the country, and an evaluator for several school districts. Dr. Gubbins is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Jeannette Parker Advocacy Award for the University of Louisiana, the National Association for Gifted Children Service Award, the Falk Foundation Award for Excellence, the Connecticut Foundation Award for Excellence in Education, the Council for Exceptional Children Award to The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, and the 12th World Council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Children Award.

Cindy Hansen, MEd, ET/P, delights in mentoring creative gifted students and adults to embrace their unique, asynchronous, learning profiles which may include executive function delays or dyslexia. Ms. Hansen is an Educational Therapist in private practice, a SENG Model Parent Group facilitator, and a consultant to public and private schools. Cindy is on the Board of the California Association for the Gifted, the Director of Marketing & Outreach for the Association of Educational Therapists, and an Advisory Board member for the documentary film, The G Word. Career highlights include being honored by her community through the Tri-Counties GATE Council and included on the SENG Honor Roll for her work with 2e students and their families. Ms. Hansen received her Masters of Education and Teaching Certificates from UCLA and earned her post-masters certificate in Gifted and Talented Education at UCSB. Connect with Cindy at and @FractalThinker on Twitter. Dena Harris, MEd, became Head of School of The Winston School, a

small non-public program specializing in college prep programming for students who learn differently, in 2016. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Dena went on to earn teaching and specialist credentials from SDSU and the USD. She was recently accepted into the San Diego State University Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, where she is focusing on mental health and wellness programs for students. Dena was CEO of a non-profit public charter school organization serving 320 elementary and middle school students. She was a board member and vice chair of

L. Dennis Higgins is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree. Dr. Higgins worked directly with twice‐exceptional students in the Albuquerque Public School System in self‐contained, full‐day sessions. He authored and implemented a comprehensive, three-year cycled curriculum designed to meet their social/emotional needs, gifted education, special education, and academic needs. He works as a consultant for twice-exceptional programs to many school districts across the nation. Dr. Higgins served as co‐coordinator for New Mexico’s Technology SPOTLIGHT project – a project that connects gifted children from the state of New Mexico with enriched classes and mentors via internet and online services. He is former coordinator for the Albuquerque Public Schools Summer Programs for the Gifted and Talented and former president of Albuquerque’s parent organization for gifted children. He served as the Chairperson of the Futures Studies Division for the National Association for Gifted Children, is a former faculty member of the Texas Governor’s Honors Program, a summer program for highly gifted high school students in Texas, and the Summer Enrichment Program in Colorado. He has authored and co‐ authored numerous articles, two chapter books and has produced several music and video recordings that focus on twice‐exceptional children.

Shama Hinard has over 20 years of experience in teaching and school administration. Shama joined Athena Academy in 2013 in the role of Director of Faculty and Curriculum; she was appointed Head of School in November 2015. Shama has spent her entire career working with students who learn differently and is passionate about creating educational experiences for students that celebrate their uniqueness and play to their strengths. She earned her B.S. in Education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. | 25

Nathalie Hites has a Bachelor’s of Science, with an emphasis in Zoology, and a Master’s of Science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. She returned to the Bay Area in the fall of 2005, after 10 years abroad, and joined the TRIS Elementary team in the spring of 2006. In 2009, Nathalie completed her AMI Elementary Montessori Training in Minnesota and opened an Upper Elementary classroom at TRIS. Then, in 2013, she completed the AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Ohio, and opened the Junior High at TRIS. She is currently teaching in the Junior High and working as Interim Program Coordinator for the Elementary and Junior High. Nathalie enjoys any activ­ity which takes her into nature and spend­ing time with her four chil­dren, all of whom attend TRIS. Kimberly Hopwood is the parent of a 2e child. She is a teacher and currently is completing her doctorate in educational leadership, with her dissertation topic focusing on 2e issues. Vi Huang was born in New Jersey and raised in Hong Kong. Prior to

graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College, Vi passed the State of Pennsylvania NCEES fundamentals of engineering examination. She was one of the founding members of the Society of Women Engineers Lafayette College Student chapter, as well as serving as President of the International Students Association. She was also both a student and Professional Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Vi has worked for the petrochemical, contracting, and aerospace industries, specializing in the areas of mechanical equipment design, waste treatment, and project engineering. Vi is married to David, a retired engineering manager who previously worked in the aerospace industry and holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of California at Berkeley. Their son Nick graduated from Bridges Academy and is attending the College of Wooster in Ohio. Vi currently is a member of the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees.

Anne Jackson is a Founding Director of Kids Like Us Australia Lim-

ited, a teacher, counselor and grandparent. Anne’s journey to support and advocate for 2e students in Australia has involved many tussles and challenges within schools and with educational experts. She believes that the difficulties, in educating 2e students adequately, are intrinsic to the system rather than a ‘fault’ in the student. Anne, along with her team of exceptionally keen and caring teachers, advocate for, with and on behalf of 2e students every day. In this manner, Kids Like Us validates that 2e students exist, live and go to school in Australia; are identifiable and underserved yet are deserving of curriculum modification. Beverly Januszewski is a clinical psychologist who has been licensed for

more than 18 years. She specializes in psychological and psychoeducational evaluations of gifted and twice-exceptional children, adolescents, and young adults. She enjoys evaluating complex diagnostic presentations including giftedness, ADHD, social/emotional issues, and sensory sensitivities. She helps her patients learn more about their strengths and resiliencies, as well as their areas of challenge. She also helps them identify their team of providers and social support. Dr. Januszewski is active in the Ventura County Psychological Association. She is a member of the Assessment of Giftedness Special Interest Group of the National Association for Gifted Children.

Shima Kassirian is a mother of three boys. She trained as a surgeon at

the university of Toronto. In addition to her clinical practice, she teaches medical students and residents at the university. Her two school-aged boys attend the Junior Academy and the 14-month-old baby is home schooled for now.

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Kyle Kahuda Transformed by gifted programs and unconventional teachers during his own education, Kyle has devoted his life to creating challenging and safe environments for students. He takes particular pride in having helped many who struggled in the more traditional schools in which he has worked. Kyle is an educator and administrator with deep and varied experience building school communities, developing curricula, and supporting holistic student development. He has worked in independent schools since 1999 as a science teacher and department chair, program coordinator, college counselor, dean of students and residential director at Chatham Hall in VA, and then as Head of Upper School at Chase Collegiate School in CT. Kyle has established and sustained programs and cultures that provide an empowering balance of challenge and support for learners of all abilities, interests, and personalities. He believes strongly in the power of experiential and student-directed learning, and grounds his work with learners, faculty, and parents in authentic and collaborative relationships. Kyle earned his B.A. in Biology from the University of Richmond, and an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia. Deeply concerned with finding the best school environment for each of his own two unique children, Kyle identifies strongly with FlexSchool parents. Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, is an author, researcher, speaker, and public

science communicator who is interested in using psychological science to help all kinds of minds live a creative, fulfilling, and meaningful life. He is a professor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and author and/or editor of 8 books, including Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Brights and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined and Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (with Carolyn Gregoire). His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and Harvard Business Review, and he writes a blog at Scientific American called Beautiful Minds. Kaufman is also host of The Psychology Podcast.

Maria M. Kennedy joined the Bridges Academy staff as Phoenix division

director after more than 20 years as an educator. While attending the Manchester Youth Theatre, Maria was encouraged by the program director to go to drama school. While there working with elementary students, she discovered her passion for teaching. Maria received her B.Ed. and M.Ed. in education from Manchester University, as well as several advanced teaching certificates and diplomas. Early in her career she created a new curriculum for a student in her class who was struggling to learn the same way as his peers. This led her to search for innovative teaching methods for other students with educational challenges. She has traveled and worked in different parts of the world in order to gain more insight into how children learn. Maria taught for 10 years in Manchester where, because of her abilities to develop new curriculum and her skills in the classroom, she was awarded Advanced Teacher Status by the Department of Education. As a result of her work, she has received several awards: Teacher of the Year in North Carolina; Golden Apple, Elementary Teacher of the Year in the Cayman Islands; and New American Hero, an award for teaching and leadership excellence in Louisiana. Maria believes that to be an effective educator you must continue to learn and grow as a person. With this in mind, she currently is working toward a Ph.D. in special education.

Doug Lenzini has served as Director of Admissions at Bridges Academy since 2001. Prior to joining Bridges, he was director of Sylvan Corporation learning centers in the Compton, CA. public school district. The centers are designed to help inner-city students improve their reading and math skills. For several years, Doug was Director of the Theatre of Arts, Los Angeles’ oldest school for the performing arts. He has worked as a professional actor, writer, producer and director in film, television, radio, commercials and industrial films and was president of Benson Productions, a Denver-based entertainment corporation. He conducts acting and workshops across the country. Doug spent the first decade of his career as a journalist working in virtually every medium—newspaper, magazine, wire service, advertising, marketing, and public relations. At age 23, he was the youngest managing editor of a daily newspaper in the U.S.

Catherine Kirby is a social entrepreneur and founding partner of Australia’s only not for profit organization, KIDS LIKE US, that caters for both the mental health, and social and academic needs of the 2e student. Melissa Knepper is a Pennsylvania Middle School Educator and leader, pursuing her PhD in Educational and Social Change. Susan Krause is a lifelong fan of children’s literature and bookstores. After a 25-year career in marketing, she now writes children’s and YA fiction. Her first novel, BACKGROUND NOISE, is based on the experiences of her oldest son at age 12 after his diagnosis with ADHD-Inattentive type. A parent of two 2E boys, she blogs about the experience of raising gifted and learning-disabled kids and supports the efforts of authors writing for and about 2E readers at She lives with her family in Gilbert, AZ. Andrea Lein, PhD, is the Head of School at The John Dewey Academy, a therapeutic college preparatory boarding school in western Massachusetts. She is passionate about helping creative, bright young people get in touch with their dreams and learn the hard and soft skills to make those dreams a reality. For the past 15 years, she has pursued several of her own dreams, weaving together interests in the psychology of the gifted, positive psychology in psychotherapy, developmental psychopathology, and alternatives to the medical model. She earned her M.Ed. (Educational Psychology, Gifted) and Ph.D. (Clinical & School Psychology) at the University of Virginia, where she also worked at the National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented. Heather Lembcke has been a development associate at Bridges Academy

for four years, specializing in advertising and social media outreach. Additionally, Heather teaches a high school art class at Bridges. She received her Masters of Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University in 2008 with an emphasis in painting and drawing, and her BA in Fine Arts from Humboldt State in 2000. She has continued to pursue a rigorous studio art practice for the last 20 years that she enjoys sharing with her students. Her time in the classroom gives her a fresh perspective on the needs of the 2e student. Her professional background previous to her time at Bridges includes commercial art, museum and galleries, and administration in the non-profit and corporate worlds.

Lori Lepler is founder and President of BRANDspeak LLC, an executive

coaching and leadership development firm. Lori founded BRANDspeak in 1999 after serving in senior leadership roles at some of the world’s largest advertising and marketing firms. One of her greatest passions has been developing and unlocking the potential of those working with her. During her corporate career, Lori has launched many individuals into the executive positions they hold today. Lori is the mother of two sons, one of whom is a student at Bridges Academy. Lori currently serves on the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees.

Jann Leppien, PhD, is an associate professor at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. She is the recipient of the Margo Long Chair in Gifted Education, an endowed chair funded by James P. and Wanda Cowles Whitworth’s Center for Gifted Education, which supports and develops policies and practices that encourage and respond to the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. To this end, the center supports and engages in research, staff development, advocacy, and communication and collaboration with other organizations and agencies that strive to improve the quality of education for all students. In this new position, she will teach courses in gifted education for teachers who are seeking endorsement credits and obtaining master’s degrees in gifted education. Prior to this position, she taught courses, at the University of Great Falls in Montana, in curriculum and assessment, gifted education, educational research, and social studies methods. She also teaches curriculum and thinking skills courses online and in the Three Summers Program at the University of Connecticut. Before joining the faculty at the University of Great Falls, she worked as a research assistant for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). | 27

She has been a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of a gifted education program in Montana. She is the co-author of The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum, and The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High-Ability Students. She conducts workshops for teachers in the areas of differentiated instruction, curriculum design and assessment, thinking skills, and gifted program development. She has served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children and currently is a board member of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS). Rebecca Lopez, MA, EdS holds a BA in English Literature from Eastern Washington University, a MA in Special Education/Gifted emphasis from University of New Mexico, and an Education Doctoral Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from University of Northern Colorado. She holds a Principal and teacher license with endorsements in Language Arts, Special and Gifted Education. As District Coordinator of Advanced Academic Services for Cherry Creek Schools, a large suburban school district, in Denver, Colorado, she is responsible for the alignment and development of gifted/2e identification and programming district-wide and facilitation of on-going staff development for 65 teachers of the gifted. She speaks nationally on 2e topics and was inducted into The Colorado Academy of Educators for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative in January of 2017. C. June Maker, PhD., Litt.D., is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree.

Dr. Maker is Professor Emerita in the Special Education Program, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Her specialty areas are education of the gifted, early childhood education, and preparation of doctoral students for their roles as professors. She taught courses in research in education of the gifted and early childhood education, and in curriculum development and teaching methods for gifted students. She also taught professional writing, grant writing, and preparation for the professoriate for doctoral students in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies. She has been active in the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Students (WCGTS). She is interested in early childhood education, curriculum development, development of talents and gifts in exceptional students (2E), education of gifted minority students, and teaching gifted students in regular classrooms. She is associate editor of Gifted and Talented International (GTI) and serves on editorial boards for other journals in education of the gifted, special education, and general education in the USA and other countries, such as The Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ). She is an internationally known writer, researcher, teacher educator, consultant, and keynote speaker, and has published many books and articles in her interest areas. Most of her work has been focused on creating and validating an assessment and curriculum model for development of talents in children from culturally diverse groups in a project called Discovering Intellectual Strengths and Capabilities while Observing Varied Ethnic Responses (DISCOVER). It has been translated into several languages in projects in Australia, Chile, Mexico, France, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand. One of her current passions is implementing the Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS) model, in which DISCOVER is combined with other models and expanded for use in science and interdisciplinary contexts in both regular and special programs. Projects are on-going in New Zealand, Arizona, and Australia. A recent research project, in cooperation with the Colleges of Science and Pharmacy and the Bio5 Institute at the University of Arizona, funded by The National Science Foundation, is to develop and evaluate new performance-based assessments to identify high school students with exceptional talent in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

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With Usanee Anuruthwong in Thailand, she developed the Prism of Learning Model based on experiences with assessments for over 25 years. The Prism has similarities to both Gardner’s and Sternberg’s theories, but is different from both and based in educational experiences of both authors and other collaborators. Her most recent project is a collaboration with long-time colleague, Randy Pease, and funded by the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates, is to develop play-based assessments of problem solving abilities for children ages 4, 5, and 6 in all 10 ability domains in the Prism Model. In 2015, she received the International Research Award from WCGTS and a Doctor of Letters Degree from Western Kentucky University. The website for her project, DISCOVER, is, and she can be reached at .

Kids Like Us Australia Limited is the only organisation in Australia to offer a comprehensive support structure and a sense of belonging for twice-exceptional students (gifted students with differences which inhibit school-based learning), through the provision of social and emotional support, wellbeing, advocacy, learning support, extension and peer-to-peer opportunities. Our philosophy: Kids Like Us is dedicated to enabling and empowering twice-exceptional (2e) students. We aim to achieve our mission by providing a student-cantered, talent and strength-based development model to optimise each student's intellectual, academic, and social development. We know what it’s like to be twice-exceptional: We recognise

that the cognitive, psychological and physical needs of 2e students are often profoundly different from those of their age peers * We understand that often their asynchronous development brings different challenges * We recognise that difficulties in one or more areas do not in any way preclude the existence or the scale of their gifts and talents in other areas.

Therefore, we believe the following: 2e students thrive academically and socially when teaching is differentiated, and their environment provides acknowledgment and respect for both their gifts and their differences * 2e students need intellectual, social, and emotional peers to stimulate learning and create friendships * Communities that value these students for who they are and define them not by what they cannot do, but by the extraordinary things they can do, best facilitate social, emotional and academic development for 2e students * Collaborative processes involving parents, schools, and professionals best support student progress. Find us at:

Patti Mangan is the owner and creative design director of Imagine That

Design Studio in San Francisco, established in 1985. Her firm has provided design and marketing services to domestic and international clients for 33 years, providing insightful and rewarding results. She currently serves on the Bridges Marketing Committee.

Nobutaka Matsumura is a professor of educational psychology at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan. His research interests include the education of gifted and twice-exceptional students, and the author of the most comprehensive book on gifted education written in Japanese. Nobu was a visiting researcher in 1992-93 and 2003-04 to the NRC/GT at UConn. He has visited schools with 2e programs and introduced them to Japanese readers and audience. Nobu hosted a symposium on 2e education held by the Japan Academy of LD in 2016, the first one of its kind in Japan. He is now affiliated with a 2e resource room program in a public elementary school, and editing a 2e book in Japan.

Caroline Maxwell is an artist and a teacher. During her early college years, she studied art and art history in Italy, and has continued to follow these passions in her teaching and in her own artistic practice. In 2005, Caroline received an M.A. in Art History from Cal State University, Northridge, with a Master’s thesis on Contemporary Art in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and in 2006 she earned an M.F.A. for Interdisciplinary Studio Art from Claremont Graduate University. She has taught art to all age groups, although she currently teaches art and photography to Middle School and High School students at Bridges Academy, and art history at Rio Hondo College. In addition to teaching, Caroline still maintains a regular studio art practice, participating in a biennial artist residency in Italy and exhibiting her work internationally. Rachel McAnallen, known simply as “Ms. Math” to children across the country, has devoted her life to sharing the joy and beauty of mathematics with learners of all ages. A professional educator for over half a century, Rachel travels the world teaching her subject at every grade level. In addition to her experience in the classroom, Rachel has served as a department chair, a school board member, and a high school administrator; she claims the latter position is responsible for the majority of her gray hair. Rachel has a passion for teaching, golf, and mathematical modular origami, though not always in that order. As a lifelong learner, Rachel completed her PhD at the University of Connecticut at age 75. Rachel approaches the world around her with a boundless curiosity and a playful sense of humor that is reflected in her teaching style.

What a wonderful gathering of invested, thoughtful, caring doers! I am so grateful for this community and feeling inspired, validated and energized…. [an] incredible springboard that will undoubtedly catalyze much needed efforts on behalf of the 2e community— J.S. Mary McInerney teaches in the Phoenix Program at Bridges Academy.

Mary received her BA in Elementary Education at the City College of New York, and her MA in Gifted Education at the College of New Rochelle. She holds Certifications in both Gifted Education and in Teaching Literacy. Mary previously was a classroom teacher in New York, and she also has extensive experience in consulting for numerous school districts in the area specializing in identifying and accommodating for gifts and talents in students. Prior to Bridges, Mary spent several years as an educational consultant specializing in working with 2e students and their families.

Kellye McKinna is owner/Director of the McKinna Learning Center in

Malibu, Calif., a day school program for children with learning differences. She has a PhD in Educational Psychology from UCLA and has been an educational therapist specializing in children with learning disabilities for 25 years.

Ana Miro Mejias: Dr. Ana Miró is Professor at the University of Puerto

Rico. She is a pioneer in her country in the 2e field. She carries out a service and research project to support 2e students and their families as well as professionals. She coordinates a support group to empower families to contribute to their children’s healthy development, within an interdisciplinary teamwork. Direct interventions with students are designed, implemented and evaluated emphasizing the development of social emotional skills, gathering data to determine gains in each participant. Case studies are conducted to determine if the educational process is appropri-

ate and to offer educational and clinical recommendations. In addition, she works with professional development and has also been involved in the creation of public policy. Max Melby: Throughout childhood, Max received tons of subtle (and

some not so subtle) hints about what he should do when he grows up. There are a handful of teachers in his family and it seemed perfectly clear to them that Max was destined to teach. Max earned a BAS in Teaching Life Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2013. Living in Duluth, volunteering at the Great Lakes Aquarium, and watching raptors fly over Lake Superior, he received some more subtle hints that the right classroom for him might be a unique and alternative setting. Max spent two years as a naturalist at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, where he built his teaching foundation on experiential education, providing authentic scientific experiences, and making sure that everyone went home with dirty hands and muddy shoes. Science is more than big words in a big book- it is about moving, doing, creating, and critical thinking. Max also works as an interpretive naturalist at the Minnesota Zoo. In his free time, Max enjoys woodcarving projects, camping in Northern Minnesota, and bird watching.

Mike Mellema received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the

University of Minnesota in 2005. After working in the nuclear power industry for three and a half years, he had the opportunity to pursue teaching! He began by substituting and tutoring, and loved it! Since then, he went back to school for a Master of Arts in Education through Arizona State University and Augsburg College and began teaching at Arete Academy in the spring of 2015. Mike enjoys contributing his experience with woodworking, taking things apart and creatively putting them back together. He wants to share his passion to investigate an endlessly curious world with students. He thoroughly enjoys being a part of the amazing Arete Academy team and the opportunity the school offers this unique population of students. He is married and has two young children and enjoys spending time with family and friends, working with his hands, games, reading, outdoor activities, and playing the drums with fellow teachers and musician friends.

Kim Miller, PhD, is an educator, researcher, and 2E parent. After receiving her PhD from UCLA, she taught at CSUN and CSUSB. She has worked in the field for over 25 years and is currently a teacher and administrator at Bridges Academy. Sheri Rand Miller has been a general education teacher for 39 years in the Upland Unified School District (Southern California). She received her teaching credential from the University of La Verne (La Verne, CA) and her Masters in School Administration from Cal State Fullerton (Fullerton, CA). The majority of her teaching experience was focused on primary grades: K-3. She retired this past June and currently live in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her initial connection to the conference was due to the recognition of her sister Joanne Whitmore Schwartz’s contributions to 2E education. Heidi Molbak is a co-founder and Head of Schools at FlexSchool Inc., a

nationally expanding network of small schools started in the New York tri-state area serving gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) middle and high school students. Her personal gifted story includes supporting her three sons through sixteen schools in seven states and three countries. Heidi has trained faculties including Stanford Online High School and Davidson Institute for Talent Development on the challenges of working with parents of high ability children. Her educational consulting company, Seed Starter, works with families to find appropriate educational options around the country. She holds an A.B. in English from Stanford University and an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University New Orleans. | 29

Jonathan Mooney is a dyslexic writer and activist who learned to read

when he was 12 years old. He since earned an honors degree in English Literature at Brown University and has written and published two books. The first, Learning Outside The Lines (now in its 14th printing) hit bookshelves when he was 23. Coupled with his most recent book, The Short Bus, Jonathan has established himself as one of the foremost leaders in LD/ADHD, disabilities, and alternative education. Jonathan also founded and is President of Project Eye-To-Eye, a mentoring and advocacy non-profit organization for students with learning differences. Project Eye-To-Eye currently has 20 chapters in 13 states and is working with more than 3,000 students, parents, and educators nationwide. Leanne Muir: Being the parent of a 2E child has driven my passion for discovering the best avenues to serve him both academically and emotionally. Currently I work in program development of a 2E program to support the growth and well being of this exceptional population. Kayla Mullen is a kindergarten inclusion teacher from Nashville, Ten-

nessee. She teaches at a K-5 campus for students who are gifted, high achieving, and twice-exceptional. Her passion for twice-exceptional students has driven her to become a leader in instructional strategies, social and emotional support tools, behavior modification, talent and interest development, and communication/relationship building with families. Mrs. Mullen attended an accelerated elementary school until grade 6, then went on to a math and science magnet high school. She struggled through both. After high school she attended the University of Tennessee, where she continued to struggle. She discovered the Early Childhood Education program at Middle Tennessee State University and discovered her aptitude for special education in grades Pre-K to 3rd, especially in the field of giftedness. Mrs. Mullen’s hobbies include: making memes, listening to music, playing with small mammals, and teaching. Terry W. Neu, Ph.D. received his Ph.D. from the Talent Development Program at the University of Connecticut and currently serves as Director of Special Education on the faculty of the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Terry is the vice President of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS). Terry’s book “Helping Boys Succeed in School” is based on his years of experience working with young men in a variety of different settings. He has also done extensive research in the area of twice exceptional students. Terry taught in the Arkansas public school system. He was a secondary science and history teacher as well as working with secondary gifted and talented students. Terry is very involved in International Education and has taught and consulted in over 20 countries. Linda C. Neumann, a professional writer, is the editor and co-publisher

of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter and the author of the Spotlight on 2e series of booklets The newsletter, a bi-monthly publication launched in 2003 with her co-publisher and husband Mark Bade, is aimed at parents, educators, advocates, and other professionals who help twice-exceptional children reach their potential. The booklets, aimed at the same audience, explore the combination of giftedness and learning deficits in children. Hank Nicols, a former high school social studies teacher, military police officer, police chief, is a former adjunct professor for Buffalo State, SUNY. He is co-director of the International Center for Talent Development. He has presented across the United States, in Europe, Japan, Asia, Africa, 30 |

The Quad Preparatory School located in Lower Manhattan is dedicated to the education of twice-exceptional (2e) students in grades K-12. Founded by Dr. Kimberly Busi, Quad Prep currently serves 80 students. An innovative learning environment that is based on the principles of personalized education, full integration of academics and clinical strategies, and flexibility and dynamic adaptation of learning spaces and instructional strategies. An independent, 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

and South America. Hank has done significant research on social and emotional issues, and is the author of four books. Hank is an Eagle Scout who enjoys hiking, backpacking, canoeing, mountain climbing, and presenting programs around the world. He spent a six-month sabbatical solo hiking 2,174.9 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States. M. Elizabeth Nielsen is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree. An Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of New Mexico (UNM), she serves as the coordinator for the Gifted Education Teacher Training Program. Dr. Nielsen has served as a UNM College of Education Assistant Dean for Research and is the recipient of the Burlington Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching. Since 1985, Dr. Nielsen has focused much of her university work and research on the unique populations of gifted learners with learning disabilities. She has published numerous articles and textbook chapters regarding these twice‐exceptional students. Additionally, she has been a keynote speaker at various state conferences and has made over 50 presentations at national, regional, and local conferences and has assisted in the production of nationally disseminated audio and video recording on this topic. She has been the principal investigator for two university and public school district collaborative projects focused on gifted students with disabilities, has served as a reviewer for several gifted education/special education journals, and is an active member of the National Association for Gifted Children’s Special Population Division. Dr. Nielsen holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in Education from the University of Louisville. Her Ph.D. is in Educational Psychology from Purdue University. enielsen@

Harriet O’Kelley has an AA in Psychology and Education from the

University of South Florida, and a BA in Film from Cal State Northridge. For the last 35 years, she has been an actor and a script supervisor in film and TV, but by far, her most challenging, rewarding, and inspiring role has been as a mom to her three 2E children. Harriet loves education, and as a mom of three special-needs kids, she has become passionate about therapies and approaches to improve education. To promote community connection with public schools, Harriet created “Education Heroes,” which acknowledges individuals, organizations, and businesses making a difference in public education on a neighborhood level. Her informal, self-named “O’Kelley Lab” supports grassroots ideas such as Terry Hart’s award-winning “Mime as Therapy” program. Her latest project, “Trauma Mommas,” is a support group for moms who have suffered trauma from years of advocating for their special needs children. Harriet is excited to be actively involved in the 2E community, and she loves teaching her kids to embrace their exceptionalities and advocate for themselves.

Eric O’Rafferty: Three years ago, a starkly perplexing crisis descended

upon our family. Our son, who’d previously exhibited mild Tourette Syndrome, underwent a rapid breakdown as emerging adolescence wildly exacerbated dormant co-morbidities. On a journey of Odyssean proportions, we struggled to comprehend him. A twisted path lead us to Bridges where he currently finds understanding, compassion, and celebration of his beautifully complex humanity. Simultaneously, I found myself reviving a decades-long personal Odyssey: sometimes rowing; sometimes stuck; always moving forward, albeit non-linearly. Comprehending my son taught me to comprehend myself. I have been a young scholar of classical philology, an accidental 30-plus year participant in early-phase Silicon Valley startups, an outdoor retailer, and a 13-plus year full-time dad. Currently I’m at Pacific Oaks College pursuing an M.A.Ed. with special education credential.

Randy Pease is a faculty member at the University of Arizona,

Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies. He is C. June Maker’s dinner guest.

Daphne Pereles, MS, is an educational consultant specializing in twice-exceptional and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Her 30-plus year career has included positions as a teacher (general, special, and gifted education), district level special education/gifted coordinator, and as the Executive Director for Learning Supports at the Colorado Department of Education. Her career has centered on students with disabilities and gifts and the development of more effective educational systems to support learning needs of all students. Daphne has published multiple articles on twice-exceptional as well as response to intervention and MTSS, including Teaching Exceptional Children (March, 2015), and Gifted Child Today (October, 2015). She is a member of the National 2e Community of Practice, a group founded to create a consistent message regarding the support of 2e individuals. She is a lifetime member of the Colorado Academy of Educators for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative, and a member of Council for Exceptional Children. Dan Peters is a psychologist, author, co-founder and Executive Director

of the Summit Center. Dr. Peters has devoted his career to the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families, specializing in overcoming worry and fear, learning differences such as dyslexia, and issues related to giftedness and twice-exceptionality. Dr. Dan is also co-founder of Parent Footprint, an interactive parenting education community and website that offers Parent Footprint Awareness Training with the mission to make the world a more compassionate and loving place — one parent and one child at a time. He is host of the “Parent Footprint Podcast with Dr. Dan” and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

Greg Pincus is a writer whose work has appeared on the big screen (Little

Big League), on the TV screen (Alley Cats Strike, Quints, and more), on the page (most recently the middle grade novel The Homework Strike (Scholastic, 2017) and the poetry anthology One Minute till Bedtime (LBBYR, 2016)) and in the inbox of countless 2E professionals since he is the father of both a Bridges Academy alumni and a current Bridges student. When he’s not catching up on missing sleep, you can find him somewhere near coffee or online at or as @gregpincus on Twitter.

Tony Poole: Dr. Tony Poole is in his 29th year as an educator in the

Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Over the course of his career he has been a teacher, a dean, an assistant principal, and a principal charged with building and running a brand new middle school. Over his nine years as principal at Sky Vista Middle School, he implemented the Parallel Curriculum Model school-wide, leading the staff in a schoolwide gifted mindset and instructional approach for all students. He moved to the district level in Cherry Creek five years ago and is currently the Executive Director of Student Achievement Services. Julie Porter: During her time in the classroom, Julie taught AP European History and AP Art History, World History, Humanities, Composition and Religious Studies. She has 22 years of experience in education along with administrative, teaching and coaching experience in both middle and upper school programs. Currently, Julie is the Principal at The Crossroads School in Houston, Texas. Crossroads School, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit school that prepares students with learning differences (K-12) to integrate into a conventional school or college by facilitating maximum academic and social potential in an emotionally safe and supportive environment. The school employs individualized curriculum, targeted teaching strategies and multi-sensory approaches to learning. Specializing in the education of children with learning differences since 1977, Crossroads accepts students with learning difficulties such as ADHD, dyslexia, expressive/receptive language disorders, auditory/visual processing disorders and gifted and talented.

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Lesli Preuss, PhD, is a licensed clinical child psychologist based in Los

Angeles, CA. Dr. Preuss is the Director of Psychological Services at Bridges Academy in Studio City, CA and the Owner and Director of Buddy Building, LLC – a summer camp for 2e kids focused on developing social and self-regulation skills. Dr. Preuss also has been in private practice for over 15 years specializing in the needs of twice-exceptional (2e) children and their families specifically working with gifted children with ADHD, Anxiety and social challenges. Her latest endeavors have led to owning a therapeutic ranch and utilizing animal-assisted therapy with these populations. Moreover, she serves on the Advisory Board for the 2e Center for Research at Bridges Academy and is on the nominating committee for the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine. For more information go to

Randi Rasco received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology

with a minor in Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Counseling from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2002, and her Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2007. In 2012, she obtained her teaching certification. She has an EC-12 Special Education certification and a School Counseling certificate. She has worked in education as a professor at the collegiate level, as well as a special education teacher, school counselor, and gifted and talented teacher at the elementary campus level. She is now serving as a Gifted and Talented Education Implementation Specialist (GATEIS) at the district level. She currently works for San Antonio ISD in San Antonio, Texas. She has published articles in professional journals in the areas of cognitive dissonance and self-esteem. Randi has a passion for GT students, in part, because she is a twice-exceptional student herself.

Ellen T. Richer Dr. Ellen Richer, Founder and Head of School of The

Whole Child Academy, the first school of its kind on Long Island and dedicated to twice-exceptional learners, earned her doctorate in gifted education and the psychology of motivation from Teachers College Columbia University. Her passion to understand the motivational barriers in at-risk youth weaves through her more than twenty years of work. She is committed to the belief that children will thrive when we invite them to thrive and will invest in their own success when we invest in them, and integrates motivation and behavior change methods into curriculum, program design, instruction, and individualization for students across the academic and psychosocial spectrum. Jade Ann Rivera: For over ten years, Jade Rivera has made educating

gifted and twice-exceptional children her mission. She is the founder and lead educator of Sunnyside Micro-School for gifted and twice-exceptional children in Oakland, CA. She is a proud Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Ambassador and author of Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget. In 2016 she was honored by the California Association for Gifted Children for her distinguished service on behalf of gifted families.

Ellen Rosen, the Chair of the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees, is an attorney who received her JD from Villanova University School of Law and earned her BA with honors in psychology at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. She was associated with the law firm of Simke Chodos in Los Angeles where she practiced in commercial and business litigation. Prior to her tenure at Simke Chodos, she was associated with the firm of Lamb, Windle & McErlane in Pennsylvania and practiced in

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business, real estate, and municipal and governmental law. She currently is a professional photographer who specializes in portraiture. She is married to Martin Rosen. They have three children, one of whom graduated from Bridges Academy. Sally Reis is the former Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a Board of

Trustees Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology at The University of Connecticut. Dr. Reis holds the Letitia N. Morgan Chair and is best known for her work on academically talented students. She was Principal Investigator for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented for 20 years and has authored or co-authored over 250 articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports. Her administrative responsibilities include all academic programs as well as Honors and Enrichment, Student Success, Career Development, Institutional Research and Analysis, Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and Summer Programs. Her research interests are related to special populations of gifted and talented students, including: students with learning disabilities, gifted females and diverse groups of talented students. She is also interested in extensions of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model for both gifted and talented students and as a way to expand offerings and provide general enrichment to identify talents and potentials in students who have not been previously identified as gifted. She is the Co-Director of Confratute, the longest running summer institute in the development of gifts and talents. She has been a consultant to numerous schools and ministries of education throughout the U. S. and abroad and her work has been translated into several languages and is widely used around the world.

Tom Ropelewski, a graduate of Dartmouth College, has written and directed for both film and television. He wrote and made his feature directorial debut with the comedy “Madhouse,” starring John Larroquette and Kirstie Alley. Other film credits include “Loverboy,” “Look Who’s Talking Now,” and “The Next Best Thing.” In 2010, he produced his first documentary, “Child Of Giants: My Journey With Maynard Dixon And Dorothea Lange,” which has screened on public television and at film festivals around the world. His latest documentary, “2e: Twice Exceptional,” focuses on the challenges and rewards of twice-exceptional education and features staff, teachers and students from Bridges Academy. It was named “Best Documentary Feature” at the 2015 Richmond International Film Festival, “Audience Choice: Best Feature Film” at the 2015 Silver Springs International Film Festival and “Best Social Benefit Documentary” at the 2015 Eugene International Film Festival. Tom currently serves on the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees.

Robin Schader holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology, with a focus on talent development and the role of parents, from the University of Connecticut. She was the Parent Resource Specialist for 10 years at the National Association for Gifted Education. She was also the founder and director of Music House, a non-profit “home away from home” for highly gifted pre-college music students who needed to live near the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has served on the boards of several public and private institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Neag School of Education Advisory Board, the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, the Butte Valley, California Public School Board, and Apple Computer’s National Dealer Advisory Board (she owned and operated an independent Apple dealership for 15 years prior to graduate school). She currently serves on the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees.

Carl Sabatino has served as the Head of School at Bridges Academy

Dr. Schwartz is former Dean of the College of Education, Kent State University. She authored Giftedness, Conflict, and Underachievement in 1980 and co-authored Intellectual Giftedness in Disabled Persons in 1985. Her early work was grounded in the motivation of gifted children and the extreme variance in achievement and motivation among students classified as gifted. She studied students whose test scores qualified them for gifted programs but were excluded based on assessments of maturity, delayed social and emotional development, and failure to perform above the norm for the first two grades and in basic subjects. After several years of experimentation, Joanne proposed the district creation of a special class designed to provide a therapeutic classroom environment for young and highly gifted students who struggled in school.

since 2005. Prior to that, Carl was Head of the Upper School at Lawrence Woodmere Academy in Woodmere, N.Y., on Long Island.

Dayana Sanchez is a school psychologist, social and emotional intelli-

gence coach, and the founder of 2e Minds. She is dedicated to supporting the optimal cognitive, creative, and social-emotional development of gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) children. Day’s experience with gifted children began with her younger brother, who is now a successful and thriving young adult. She has worked with hundreds of students presenting a wide range of learning and social-emotional difficulties. Day has experienced learning and processing challenges herself and has developed a variety of strategies to help children with similar needs. Her approach draws on social and emotional learning, positive psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive behavioral techniques. She created 2e Minds to provide guidance and support to twice-exceptional (2e) children and their families. Her goal is to assist 2e children in identifying their strengths, embracing their learning differences, and building essential skills to thrive and tap into their highest potential. Joanne Whitmore Schwartz is an inaugural 2e Hall of Fame honoree. Michael Schwartz served as President of Cleveland State University since

November 13, 2001. Prior to that, Dr. Schwartz served as Interim President of Cleveland State University. He came to Cleveland State University from Kent State University, where he is President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus. He began his academic career at Wayne State University, later moved to Indiana University at Bloomington, and then moved to Florida | 33

Atlantic University as Chair of the Department of Sociology. He then served as Dean of the College of Social Science at Florida Atlantic before moving to Kent State in 1976 as Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research. Dr. Schwartz served as Acting President of the university briefly in 1977, and then as Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. He was given the title “Provost” in 1980, became President of Kent State University in 1982, and served in that capacity until 1991. He stepped down from the presidency to return to the classroom, teaching graduate courses in higher education administration and statistical methods at Kent State. He serves as a Trustee of Ohio Aerospace Institute. Dr. Schwartz has published in the area of the social psychology of adolescent deviant behavior and, with Sheldon Stryker, was the author of the first monograph published by the American Sociological Association in the Arnold and Carolyn Rose Monograph Series. In 2005, he co-authored “The Chief Purpose of Universities”. Youngstown State University awarded him the Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities has given him its Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Schwartz is a native Chicagoan who received three degrees from the University of Illinois: the B.S. in psychology (1958), the M.A. in labor and industrial relations (1959) and the Ph.D. in sociology (1962). Dr. Schwartz is married to the 2e Center’s Hall of Fame Inductee, Dr. Joanne Rand Schwartz.

of Outreach for Camp Summit for the Gifted East. Julie is also the mother of three twice-exceptional children who keep her on her toes and uproariously laughing. Julie publishes a monthly online newsletter, “Gifted & Distractible” and broadcasts a monthly LIVE Facebook conversation, “Let’s Talk 2e!”, on Instagram @letstalk2e, on Twitter @JulieSkolnick, and on Facebook @WithUnderstandingComesCalm.

Carmen Sevilla has been the Middle School Director at Bridges Academy

Jeremy is very smart, but his teachers say he doesn't listen, doesn't pay attention, doesn't care. Everyone has given up on him. Even his dad.

for the past five years. She previously taught athletics, varsity sports and media technology for over 15 years in independent schools before moving from the classroom to administration. Being a teacher and administrator at Bridges has given Carmen the perspective of the 2e child and the 2e family from the admissions process to graduation to life after Bridges. Carmen has many areas of interest including the socio-emotional development of children through curriculum integration and a specialty in technology and instruction.

Will Sherman is a New Yorker raised in the Midwest and recently trans-

planted to California, Will possesses a wide range of schooling experience–private, public, religious, secular, and preparatory. In retrospect, he sees himself as having been a twice-exceptional learner; he excelled as a self-taught linguist while ​struggling to attend​​​​ to his required course ​work​​​​​​​ . In a research-intensive program at New York University, Will studied cultural anthropology, sociology, and linguistics. He spent two of his four college years abroad in France and Spain, studying at local universities and working for private companies, nonprofit volunteer organizations, and a law firm. Since 2014, he has been a teacher and student advisor at Bridges Academy in Studio City, California. Will hopes to continue study at the graduate and doctoral levels, and, eventually, to pursue a career in university research and teaching. Candace Siegle is Director of Admissions and Outreach for Fusion

Academy Pasadena; a private, non-traditional high school that educates all students one-to-one. Fusion is honored to celebrate trailblazers in 2E education, and happy that our ability to customize teaching and learning makes Fusion an excellent fit for many 2E students. Before joining Fusion in 2013, Candace was Admissions Director at an independent high school, a journalist in Mexico City covering international economic issues, and a teacher of ESL to adults.

Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D. is the Founder of With Understanding Comes

Calm, LLC, guiding parents of gifted and distractible children, collaborating with educators and professionals, and mentoring 2e adults. Julie is an SMPG trained facilitator, SENG’s Maryland liaison and was in the first cohort of the Suite of Tools workshop at the 2e Center. She serves as Secretary on the Maryland Superintendent’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Council, is a policy advisor to UPP (the Untapped Potential Project), is on the Advisory Council for “The G Word” movie, and served as Director 34 |

Being different from other kids is one thing. But learning differently is another.

Then, a new school gives Jeremy opportunities he never dreamed possible. For the first time ever, Jeremy has a chance at success. If only he can keep his past mistakes from ruining everything. For that, he’ll need to take a risk: trust others, or he may never find the possibilities within himself. BACKGROUND NOISE: A Novel About Twice-Exceptionality is for youth & adult readers, available on Amazon.

Amy Spitler is the Director of Admissions and a teacher at The Winston School in Del Mar, California. Amy has a degree in Comparative Literature from UC San Diego and completed her Multiple Subject and Education Specialist Credentials through CSU San Marcos. She continues to support new educators as a master teacher for students completing credentials through CSU San Marcos, National University and Azusa Pacific University. She has worked with students with learning differences since 1998 in a variety of subjects from elementary art to high school physics. In addition, she has been trained in Lindamood-Bell’s language processing programs and provided additional support for students with dyslexia as the reconstructive language teacher. Her goal is to support both the academic and personal growth of her students and to cultivate and nurture passions for learning. Amy Stoios: Ms. Stoios directs all of The Grayson School’s educational

efforts, from curriculum development to assessing student progress. Most recently, she has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses at Eastern University’s School of Education. Her classes emphasize children who need special support in their learning, and her coursework includes key components of teaching gifted students. A staunch advocate for students who require accommodation in the classroom, Ms. Stoios’ professional experience and academic background

have always centered around maximizing the educational experience for students whose needs fall outside the “typical” learning style of most classrooms. To this end, she holds a certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a Supervisor of Special Education as a capstone to her additional certifications as a Reading Specialist, Elementary Education (K-6), and Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped Students. Ms. Stoios has also worked as an Elementary Special Education Liaison for the West Chester Area School District, where she acted as a Local Education Agency (LEA) in meetings for students identified as special education and/or gifted learners. In that role, she served as a resource to teachers, aiding them in differentiating instruction, and helped parents of these students with different learning styles navigate the school system. Her role also included serving gifted students who were dually identified as having additional needs. Her career prior to her LEA work also reflects her lifelong commitment to helping children with special educational needs. She worked as an early intervention specialist for children aged birth to three years and for children aged three to five years, in various locations including Drexel Hill, Springfield, and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She has been part of a therapeutic support team for Central Montgomery County and has acted as a behavioral health worker in Flourtown, Pennsylvania. Ms. Stoios has also sought out training in all aspects of special education, covering topics ranging from disabled students under No Child Left Behind and social skills programming to autism spectrum disorders and behavioral intervention strategies. Ms. Stoios’ educational philosophy is that each student should have the opportunity to develop his or her unique potential through access to a

quality educational program in a supportive learning environment. Ms. Stoios holds a Master’s degree from Eastern University in Multicultural Education with a focus in reading. During her graduate study, she was awarded membership in Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in the field of education. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. She has also completed graduate-level certification courses as well as over 100 hours of professional development in gifted education Corinne Taylor-Cyngiser is a nonprofit consultant specializing in infor-

mal education, girls’ self-esteem, and mentorship for educators and other role models. She is also a real estate investor, full-time mom of two gifted/ neurodiverse children, certified parent educator, board member of Echo Parenting and Education (, and co-president of the Parent Association at Bridges Academy (

Jamie Teigen enjoys the many roles she plays as a teacher, mom, friend,

and life-long learner. As a teenager, she began to pursue jobs and experiences that allowed her to work with children of various ages and abilities. Her jobs as babysitter, tutor, after-school program staff member, and personal care attendant assured her that she was meant to teach. Jamie Teigen received her B.S. in Secondary Education and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. She received her K-12 reading teacher certificate and a Master of Arts in Literacy Education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2017. After her first job teaching middle school in MN, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked

Bridges educates gifted students who learn differently. Our College-Prep Program is strength-based, studentcentered and life-changing. Music Composition & Production l Animation Robotics l Theatre Technology l Graphic Design Micro-Credentialing l Badges l Film Studies Programming l Photography



* RALPH WALDO EMERSON is believed to have been twice-exceptional, or 2E, referring to the fact that he was a literary genius (one exception) and was thought to be challenged with ADD / ADHD (the other exception).

| 35

at an urban private school for five years. Her last job in D.C. area brought her to The Siena School, a school which serves bright students with language-learning differences. When her family moved back to Minnesota, she was drawn to the mission of Arete Academy and has since enjoyed sharing her passion for history, government, current issues, geography, and reading with the students at Arete since it’s founding year. She currently works as the school’s upper school literacy specialist, accreditation team member and professional development coordinator. Jamie loves to spend time with her two boys and husband. They enjoy being outdoors and traveling to historically and architecturally significant places whenever possible. Lara Tinkler is the Executive Director at E2 Academy, where she is

passionate about maintaining an environment that allows 2e students the freedom to thrive. Lara originally trained as an official court reporter, worked in the Ontario Superior Court and the Federal Courts of Canada, then took a position with one of the largest communications and entertainment companies in Canada, managing all human resources departmental needs in the field of training and development. Lara moved on to a leadership role with a group of global entrepreneurs while she raised her three twice-exceptional children. Frustrated by the challenges her children faced in the public school system, and inspired by the work being done at Bridges Academy, in 2015 she founded E2 Society for Twice-Exceptional Learners and opened E2 Academy, an accredited private school in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Geraldine Townend has over a decade of experience in the field of

gifted education with special interest in the area of twice exceptionality. Geraldine completed her PhD at Griffith University and is now a research fellow at the Griffith Institute of Educational Research. Her research

interests focus on supporting gifted and twice-exceptional students to aspire to their potential in education, which includes the development of positive academic self-concept. Her research findings indicate that there are several sociological and psychological influences on academic self-concept including social comparison theory, which can inform the academic success of 2E students. Geraldine is currently working with schools and supporting the development of support and programs for gifted and 2E students. Kim Vargas received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. She began her teaching career as a bilingual first grade teacher, before leaving to study under noted Gifted and Talented expert, Dr. Barbara Clark at California State University, Los Angeles, where she completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education for the Gifted and Talented. Kim taught in the South Pasadena Unified School District as the visiting teacher for students requiring inhome educational services. Over the years, Kim provided differentiated high school courses to accommodate the unique needs of her students, which ensured their academic success and satisfied credit requirements. She recently returned to Cal Poly University, Pomona to acquire a special education teaching credential for mild to moderate learning disabilities. In addition to her work in admissions and outreach at Bridges Academy, Kim is the site administrator for the 2e Center. Her son Douglas is a Bridges Academy graduate, class of 2011. Wendy Weiner: Dr. Wendy Hirsch Weiner earned her B.A., Tulane,

M.J.C.S., Brandeis, and her Ed.D., Florida International University. She is a curriculum developer and is the founder and principal of Conservatory Prep Schools, a 2E school for grades in 7-12 in South Florida. Her passion for understanding how 2E students process information and the

Gifted and 2e Learning Communities

FlexSchool is designed for those gifted and twiceexceptional students who are not thriving in their current learning environment. Accredited school for middle, high school, and postgraduate students. We focus on our students' strengths through academically rigorous courses and then provide any support they need. Faculty receives regular professional development in supporting gifted and 2e learners. Ability to attend class in person or via Cloud Classroom, our live online learning portal. 36 |

Berkeley Heights, NJ (908) 322-0554 New Haven, CT (203) 628-4018 Cloud Classroom

most successful strategies in the classroom, began with meeting the needs of her own two daughters who were put in a gifted class half the day and LD the other half. Dr. Weiner was determined to find a better way to educate and is thrilled to be part of the “Vision and Leadership Symposium” where best practices for 2E students can be explored. Peggy Wenner has acted as the Idaho State Department of Education

Arts and Humanities Coordinator since 2000. In 2012, she added the responsibilities of gifted education. One of her central interests centers on integration of arts into the curriculum; She wants to see increased identification of gifted and talented students in the areas of arts, creativity, and leadership. Peggy’s current professional reading heavily involves the topics of creativity and visual/spatial learners. After attending Dr. Susan Baum’s Institute at Edufest in Idaho, she envisioned a five-day academy for twice-exceptional students called Future Design Academy. Funded for the second year, the work has expanded as an elective course at a local charter school and a winter six-day session that will include students from four surrounding districts. Peggy hold degrees in literature and the arts, earning degrees from Bread Loaf and the University of Kansas, though her recent focus includes gifted education and the arts. Julie Widman is the mother of a 2e son, aged 10, and active member of

the Twice Exceptional/2E Network International Facebook group, which she joined after relocating to Los Angeles from the San Francisco Bay Area in April 2016. She also works as a Community Facilitator for Jay Nolan Community Service.

Chris Wiebe, EdD studied philosophy and literature before spending

seven years in print journalism. He began teaching high school English in 2008, developing an interest in multimodal literacy and curriculum design. He received his doctorate in education in 2016 and has been the high school director at Bridges Academy for three years. His paper comparing technology policy and teacher belief was a finalist for an AERA “Best Paper” award in 2016 and he is a co-author of a book chapter about twice-exceptional education.

Stephanie Wieland, PhD, is a former research biochemist turned IB Chemistry teacher turned PhD graduate student turned mom of two elementary-aged 2e boys. Searching for a local school that would support our boys’ exceptional abilities and help them to thrive and develop a lifelong love of learning led to an awareness of the lack of options available to the 2e community in Seattle. As a former educator of gifted students, Stephanie wants to provide options for 2e learners that are not receiving even an adequate education in our local schools. To this extent, she currently is involved in the development of two independent schools in Seattle, one an elementary school and one a middle school.

Sustainability & Transformative Processes from the University of Veracruz - Jalapa. He also has certificates in Permaculture, Holistic Health, Community Mediation, and Youth Restorative Justice. Curtis has worked in schools as a conflict resolution facilitator through the MN Conflict Resolution Center, an after school program coordinator and an Education Director at the nonprofit Spark-Y Youth Action Labs developing and managing experiential education programs. Before landing at Arete, Curtis also worked to develop garden programming that promoted food equity and ecological wellness in St. Louis Park. Curtis is clearly passionate about ecology and sharing his knowledge of individual, community and global wellness. Rachel Williams Rachel is delighted to be working as a class teacher, Special Education coordinator and Principal at E2 Academy. She has been working in the field of Special Education for 25 years and has a Bachelor of Special Education from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Education in Special Education - Autism. She has worked as a respite worker, camp leader, education assistant, teacher, PUF Coordinator and school consultant in England and Canada. Rachel is passionate about promoting training and understanding about neurodiversity as well as creating opportunities for inclusion. Rachel has worked on a variety of parent advisory councils, volunteer boards and is currently the president of the Edmonton Chapter of Tourette Canada. Additionally she has two children of her own who are twice exceptional. Lisa Zaretsky is a NYS licensed social worker and teacher, certified in

reading, elementary, and special education. She specializes in the mental health and educational well-being of 2e, gifted, and special needs populations. Lisa works with Melissa Sornik, LCSW, using her extensive clinical and classroom experience to provide comprehensive consultations and treatments as well as create educational programming, profe ssional development, and parent workshops regarding 2e, cognitive diversity, social-emotional development, and compassionate parenting. Lisa’s multidisciplinary background informs her national conference presentations and collaborations with TECA. Her writing is featured in Auditory Processing Disorders: Assessment, Management, and Treatment (Geffner & Ross-Swain, 3rd Edition). After raising three 2e children and her professional journey, Lisa works to expand best practices for metacognitive asynchrony within education and mental health systems.

David Wildkress, who is trained as a learning specialist, is currently

working on the Bridges faculty as the high school director of program development and student support. In this capacity, he heads the school’s Young Expert program, a highly personalized learning model, and provides academic support to students as well coaches faculty on intervention strategies. His professional interests involve program design, the intersection between differentiation and educational technology, and the demystification of learning interferences.

Curtis Wilson received a bachelor’s degrees in Social Sciences and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas. While at UST he studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, Kiev, Ukraine, and Heredia, Costa Rica. Curtis then lived in Mexico for five years earning two master’s degrees, one in International Relations from Alliant University in Mexico City and another in | 37

“2e Friendly” Attending Programs & Publications

Big Minds is designed to help 2e children reach their full intellectual and creative potential, while giving them the necessary skills to be socially competent in the world. This research-based model was thoughtfully created to provide an appropriate education for 2e children. It is an attachment and community-focused school designed to give 2e students the time and support necessary to grow into thoughtful, articulate citizens. Our goal is to help our students acquire five key skills:

1937 San Pablo Avenue Pinole, CA 94564 510-964-7184

38 |

the ability to engage in creative inquiry and investigation

the ability to research and critically analyze others’ research

the ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing

the ability to maintain a clear connection to their passions and areas of strength

the ability to successfully navigate social interactions

Committed to the social, intellectual, and creative growth of 2e students. After all, we could be teaching some of this generation’s greatest minds.

Master Classes in 2e Education June 24-29, 2018

on the Bridges Academy campus, Studio City, CA Leading experts in the field including 2e Hall of Fame teachers L. Dennis Higgins Ed.D., and M. Elizabeth Nielsen, Ph.D., along with Ms. Math (Rachel McAnallen, Ph.D. ) and children’s literature specialist Susannah Richards, Ph.D., will join Susan Baum, Ph.D., Director of the 2e Center, for a week of learning.

Register now to reserve your spot among 25 select participants


“Strength-based, Talent-focused Instruction;” “Creating Meaningful Curriculum;” “Engaging Students in Literacy by using Books as Hooks;” and “Math for the 2e Learner.” Additional Guest Mini-Sessions: “Executive Functioning and Prompting” “Anxiety-free Writing” “Self-regulation Through Enrichment” “It’s All About Relationships” Each evening there will be one-night “Strand” options such as enjoying a Dodgers baseball game (Mon), attending an outdoor concert at the Hollywood Bowl (Tues), or a showing of Tom Ropelewski’s movie 2e2 with popcorn (Wed).

$1200 per person for the entire week.

Register by March 15th to take advantage of the Early Bird rate of $1000.00

Sunday night to Friday noon includes daily breakfasts and lunches, as well as a Sunday “Getting to Know You” barbeque, and a Thursday field trip to Bridges school psychologist Lesli Preuss’ Buddy Building Camp for 2e children ages 8 to 13, and dinner at the camp. Attendance for the week is limited to 25 participants. For more information, please call Kim Vargas at the 2e Center office: (818) 506-1091 Campus dorms are limited. First come first served.

On-campus dorm rooms can be reserved, but there are only 8 twin bedrooms (16 total dorm beds) available, so please reserve quickly. (A “suite” is comprised of two rooms, each with 2 single beds, and a shared bath). Each “bed” (of the 4) is $50 per night ($100 per room, or $200 per suite). | 39

See you at our next Symposium

It will be Another Exceptional Weekend for Twice Exceptionality!

Hosted by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy

Vision & Leadership in 2e Education - An International Symposium  

An Exceptional Weekend for Twice Exceptionality! Hosted by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy in Nov...

Vision & Leadership in 2e Education - An International Symposium  

An Exceptional Weekend for Twice Exceptionality! Hosted by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy in Nov...