First, let me introduce myself. I am Teresa Argo Boatman, Ph.D., the new president of MCGT. My name may be familiar to many as I was the MCGT president about 10 years ago and have been active in the gifted community of MN for about 20 years. I am excited to lead MCGT right now, as we are in the midst of what feels to be a time of growth in our organization and in the support of Minnesota education initiatives. Our new MN Commissioner of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker has experience working with gifted middle school students and our new MN Governor Tim Walz was a high school teacher. Feels like a good start to help make education (and gifted education) a focal point in Minnesota.
At our last state board meeting, we started with a loud cheer after hearing we received a $500 anonymous donation! What a great boost for our meager coffers right now. The money will be used toward partially funding our keynote speaker at the MCGT Annual Conference this November. Our grateful thanks to this generous donor. As a reminder, you can make a tax deductible donation to MCGT and designate the Betty Johnson Scholarship Fund or our General Fund. The money is spent very wisely and with great thought to benefiting gifted learners and their families.
Legislatively, Wendi Schirvar recently traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the NAGC Leadership and Advocacy Conference. She has great enthusiasm for legislative issues and has started to partner with MEGT, legislators, and other stakeholders to support gifted initiatives. We will probably be setting the stage this fall for a legislative push next year and Wendi will be communicating with our members as we move forward with any initiative.
Our education offerings continue to be humming along. We have a Mini Conference on April 27 Sensory Experience and Supports for Gifted and 2E kids and have already started planning our Back to School Bursts for September 7 by securing Wendy Behrens, Minnesota Department of Education Gifted Specialist to talk about Acceleration and Talent Development Opportunities. We are supporting the Parent Day at Hormel with scholarships for parents who want to attend but financially might have difficulty. We were also told that there are funds available through scholarships provided by USBank for teachers who have never attended to participate the the whole Hormel Symposium. If you know of any teachers who might want to attend this excellent professional development experience, have them contact Wendy Behrens at [email protected]. Also, mark your calendars for November 2 as that will be our statewide conference. More details to follow this summer!
Finally, we are developing a sponsorship option for the MCGT website, transitioning over from having sponsors in our newsletter. This is a new way for businesses, organizations, and gifted programs to support MCGT. If you have questions about this, contact [email protected] and check out the first couple sponsors who have been added to the sponsorship page on mcgt.net.
Thank you for your MCGT membership and I look forward to serving you as the MCGT president.