A whole child is curious, creative, caring, empathetic, and confident!

When developing the whole-child as educators and parents, it’s important to nurture all areas of children’s development and learning–from social-emotional and cognitive skills to literacy, math, and science understanding–and is a powerful strategy for children of all ages!

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Schedule of Events

8:00 AM • Doors Open at all Venues!

8:30 AM • Welcome

President’s Welcome

Overview of the day

8:55 AM • GifTED Talk

Charissa Dubin Juarez – Student Keynote Speaker
The Necessity of Gifted Education: A Former Student’s Perspective

When human beings are restricted in their development, we run the risk of creating both physical and psychological dysfunction.” – Barbara Clark
Special provisions for gifted students are necessary for these students to optimally develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally. This presentation will discuss the necessity of gifted education from perspective of a gifted student. 

9:05 AM • Panel Discussion ``How to Navigate Your Child’s Gifted School Experience``

Gifted Directors/Mentors will focus on commonly asked questions, areas of clarification for parents, and compare/contrast different Gifted and Talented education models.

Panelists Include:

  • Karen Brown, Scottsdale Unified School District
  • Rowe Van Meter, Washington Elementary School District
  • ElizaBeth Warner, Paradise Valley Unified School District
  • Adam Laningham, Deer Valley Unified School District

9:55 AM • GifTED Talk

Jill Petersen & Mary Francis

SEL and Supporting Child’s Mindset

This talk will specifically touch on perfectionism & how to support kids & their families in the season they are in; especially in terms of learning, if a child feels like they are too advanced for the material being taught, how do they handle that & how do we equip parents to empower & support their kids in that season.

10:15 AM • BREAK

10:30 AM • Panel Discussion `` Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Our Schools``

This panel will focus on the social emotional needs of our diverse Gifted & Talented children and how we as a community can support them.

Panelists Include:

Colin Seale, ThinkLaw

Dr. Jason McIntosh, Avondale Unified School District

Jamie Dana, MC, LPC, Owner & Clinical Director of Elevate Counseling

11:20 AM • GifTED Talk: Emotional Awareness & Regulation

Francine Sumner

Kid in the Corner, The Penny Pledge

Kid in the Corner is a grassroots organization started by Zach’s family and friends shortly after he died by suicide. During his journey, Zach often said that although he was fighting so hard to conquer his mental illness, he felt alone, like nobody cared. Kids at school or youth groups or extracurricular clubs never asked him where he had been after he’d been gone for weeks. It was as if mental illness had made Zach invisible. After a two week stint in the hospital, he felt deflated he felt like he didn’t matter. Zach was a funny, smart, well-liked kid. But he was convinced that he was the Kid in the Corner. This sense of isolation and insignificance fueled his depression and enabled his decision to end his life. If only he could have seen the outpouring of love and support for him after his passing. It wasn’t that nobody cared. It was that nobody knew what to say, and when people don’t know what to say, they say nothing.

In this session parents will:

  • Hear Zach’s story and the role that stigma played
  • Learn about the Penny Pledge, an individual call to action
  • Gain Resources for themselves and youth

11:40 AM • GifTED Talk

Cymry DeBoucher 

Gifted Brains and Gifted Intensity

The structure of gifted brains leads to different needs and behaviors in gifted students. This presentation will discuss Dabrowski’s theory of Overexcitability

12:00 PM • Lunch

1:00 PM • Panel Discussion ``The Importance of Play & Movement for All Ages``

This panel will be created with educators and practitioners who will focus on the benefits of unstructured and structured play for children and adults

Panelists Include:

  • Dr. Otto Siegel, Genius Coaching
  • Lisa Roddy, Paradise Valley School District 
  • Rebekah West Keur M.Ed., Paradise Valley Unified School District

1:55 PM • GifTED Talk

Hudson Roddy – Student Keynote Speaker
In and Out of Gifted: The Journey of a Gifted Learner

In this presentation, Hudson will be sharing his experiences as a gifted learner in both a non-gifted and gifted environment. Join him as he shares his journey with you from Pre-K to his junior year in high school and how his experiences have influenced his life and attitudes toward learning.

2:05 PM • BREAK

2:15 PM • GifTED Talk

Eryn Frank

Tech Safety for Families

Technology is one of the most powerful tools a teacher has to engage students. Exposing students to tech in the classroom allows them to find a voice through choice. Additionally, EdTech can stimulate students thinking beyond paper and pencil and allow them to express themselves in an engaging and meaningful way. In this GifTED Talk, you will learn how educators determine what tech is appropriate for students, how much tech is too much, and some resources to ensure your student is using tech appropriately in the classroom at home.

2:35 PM • GifTED Talk

Dr. Rick Courtright

The Social and Emotional Side of Giftedness

Gifted and talented children and youth have intellectual and academic needs that have been well-researched. However, they also have needs in the realm of social and emotional factors – emotional being the domain of inner feelings and relationship with self, and social being the domain of engagement and relationships with others. While there are needs that all humans share, there are social and emotional factors that are inherent in giftedness. Some of these are beneficial and represent good news, but some present challenges to the gifted child and adult. Parents often find that these factors explain not only things observed in their children, but quite often in themselves!

2:55 PM • AAGT News and Resources

Updates on AAGT Advocacy, Parent Resources and Affiliate Groups

3:15 PM • Mindful Yoga

Mindful Yoga to Reflect on the day 
3:30 PM • End of Day!

Parent Institute Archives

AAGT Members can access slide decks and handouts from previous Parent Institutes by logging into their account and visiting the Members Only Page.