CGCC and Quest Academy bring you:
Understanding Gifted Middle School Students
Join us as we discuss the unique educational needs of Middle School gifted students.
We will be welcoming the following middle grade teachers from Quest Academy to lead us in our discussions:
Jeff Ryder has been teaching gifted learners for 15 years and has found the balance between the gifted learner and the benefits of gross motor movement in his PE class. He has 25 years of coaching and training experience, is an active member of Positive Coaching Alliance, and enjoys "observing the students recognize skill sets they otherwise didn't know they had, both physically and mentally. Through differentiation small successes become big smiles and boosts confidence."
Laura Nadeau received a B.A. in Psychology from Bates College in Maine and a Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University in Illinois. She is in her eleventh year of teaching gifted fifth-graders at Quest Academy, a school her own two children attended. Laura's approach to teaching gifted learners is to act as a facilitator and coach. She especially enjoys giving her students creative freedom and guiding them to greater self-awareness.
Becky Leff has taught gifted students at Quest Academy for 22 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music in Horn Performance from Northwestern University, and a M.Ed in elementary education from DePaul University. She has an Illinois elementary teaching certificate with a gifted endorsement. Becky was a NASA fellow in 2002 for a two-week immersion program at the Kennedy Space Center. She was also a Gilder-Lehrman fellow in 2007, participating in a seminar on learning and teaching history. “In teaching gifted children, I believe in offering students a combination of creativity, challenge, and critical thinking. It’s important to meet the child where he or she is and mentor him/her towards independent thinking and learning.”
Brian Frank began his career in business and IT before choosing to become a teacher of mathematics. He possesses a BS in Mathematics, a BS in Computer Science, and an MS in Education. Brian has worked with gifted students for seven years and currently teaches Pre-Algebra through Calculus at Quest Academy. "Quest allows me to teach gifted students high school-level mathematics while supporting their middle school social and emotional growth."
The panel will be moderated by Amanda Davey, an advocate for gifted children who has spent her career in gifted-missioned schools. She holds an MA in Gifted Education, an MA in Organizational Leadership in Education, and a BA in Psychology. Amanda is active in both the Chicago Gifted Community Center and is a former committee chair for the Illinois Association for Gifted Children. She frequently presents on topics in gifted to audiences at conferences, universities, and the Illinois State Board of Education.