Newenka DuMont, President and West Suburban Coordinator
Newenka has two gifted daughters who are now in college and beyond! She became active in the gifted community in order to be a better advocate for her girls and now looks for opportunities such as CGCC to pass on what she has learned. She founded a parent support and advocacy group in her area, she is working with the Illinois Association for Gifted Children (IAGC) as a member of their board, and she is a trained SENG Parent Group master facilitator.
Carole Jones, Vice President and 2E Advocate
Carole is the co- founder and director of SOS of 2e (Supports, Options and Solutions for Twice Exceptional Children) organization in Western Suburbs of Chicago. SOS for 2e empowers parents, educators and professionals to advocate for their unique gifted learners by driving awareness, supporting continued education and developing appropriate accommodations. Carole facilitates all Guest Speaker events for SOS for 2e and this organization has grown from 20 to over 300 members since 2012. Carole is an active mother of two and works full time for Dole Packaged Foods. Carole is honored to join the Chicago Gifted Community Center Board of Directors and will continue to contribute to the Gifted and 2e communities through her new position.
Niamh Muir, Secretary, Social Media Editor
Niamh hails from Ireland and has been an active member of CGCC. She started the Kids Board Game club which meets during the school year. Niamh works in downtown Chicago and is raising her profoundly gifted son with her Scottish husband in the southwest suburbs. Niamh is responsible for our social media and she is looking to help grow a social community for gifted children and their families in the Chicago area.
Linda Zanieski, Treasurer
Linda is the mother of one son. Prior to becoming a mother, she was a consultant with Cap Gemini. She is the quiet driving force behind the scenes; she keeps the calendar full of area events, updates the summer programs information, pays the bills, writes the updates and is in a constant search for enrichment activities for her son.
Rhonda Stern, PhD, Board Member At Large
Rhonda has been in the field of gifted and talented education since 2000. She is also a certified mediator and an attorney. Rhonda, a doctoral student in Curriculum Studies at DePaul University, works with gifted, talented, and twice exceptional students privately. Stern sits on the Social and Emotional Committee of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children and is a lecturer and writer on gifted and talented issues.
Sarah Alexander, LOGYC Leader and North Suburban Coordinator
Sarah is homeschooling her two gifted children in the northern suburbs. Before she realized that being gifted is also a special need, she worked full-time as a Hazzan. She now has a part-time pulpit but is somehow busier than ever as she co-coordinates (and teaches some of) the classes for LOGYC Gifted Coop and tries to stay at least one step ahead of her children. Homeschooled herself, Sarah always swore that she would never homeschool – while she loved it, it was so much work for her mother. Now she has come to realize that it is not only extremely rewarding, it is also much easier than when she was a kid, thanks to resources like the CGCC.
Maria Galo, Homeschool Advocate
Maria Galo is a founder of Teen Learning Lab of Greater Chicago Organization, a non-profit that offers interesting and challenging courses to homeschooled high school students. She is a board member of Home Schooling Gifted Students, a support group of more than 100 homeschooling families in the Chicago area. She is a former board member of a small Catholic school in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. A homeschooler since 2005, two of her children are homeschool graduates—one son attends Wesleyan University in CT, and another son attends the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Her daughter is homeschooling high school.
Pamela Shaw, Social Media Editor, Far North Suburban Coordinator
Pamela is a music teacher and violinist by training. She has multiple part-time jobs which allow her the flexibility to manage the ups and downs that come with parenting two twice exceptional kids. She is a substitute teacher, homebound tutor, private music teacher, virtual school teacher, and online course reviewer. In addition to having her Illinois K-12 Gifted teaching endorsement, she has also served on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Gifted Advisory Council. Currently, she is working toward a M.Ed. with an emphasis on gifted education through the University of Missouri’s online program.
Amy Weaver, Volunteer Coordinator
Amy was a classic "sleeper" gifted girl that wasn't identified until shortly before dropping out of high school sophomore year to go to MIT. A math and computer geek now living in Hinsdale with her profoundly gifted son and her "sleeper" daughter.
Jenn Adams, Chicago Coordinator
Jenn is the parent of one gifted elementary-aged child. She is a Montessori elementary teacher and formerly taught high school science. In 2014, she attended the IAGC conference as a presenter on behalf of Population Education, went to a session about emotional intensity and learned that she herself is gifted. She decided then and there to tell her daughter about being gifted. She also occasionally teaches courses at Center for Talent Development. She initiated and coordinates the South Side Chicago Gifted Parents Suppers. She thinks that the best thing to tell a gifted child is, "Your brain works differently than other people's brains. And that's ok."