2019 Sept/Oct/Nov Letter

MCGT Members,

Happy Fall!  As many of you are prepping your kiddos for the first weeks of school, I have just dropped off my youngest at UMD for her freshman year. Transition and change is looming large in my world, which seems to fit very well with the beginning of school, fall creeping up on us, and thinking about approving budgets for the next fiscal year.  We are at the end of the 2018-2019 fiscal year in which MCGT was able to help host a national conference, offer 3 mini conferences, feed over 100 people at our summer picnic (thanks CHOICES chapter!), increase our chapter experiences through lots of local activities, and transition our newsletter to its new, easy to use format. Whew!  

This coming year promises to be full of connections and education. We are in need, however, of filling some specific volunteer positions.  Wendi Schirvar, who joined the board last year with tons of energy and excitement toward the legislative position, has moved to the east coast and left the Legislative Liaison state board position vacant.  Renee Bowman, who has worked with the conference committee on the children’s programming for many years, has asked to be able to step down. Additionally, we would be happy to expand the conference committee with those interested in continuing to offer such a positive educational experience for adults and children. If you are interested in any of these positions, please email me at [email protected].

Two major educational events are happening this fall. On September 7, we blast off our school year with our fall mini conference on GT, 2E, School and Advanced Learning. We scored a coup with Dr. Susan Assouline from the Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa and Wendy Behrens from MDE as our speakers. Both have collaborated on the recent national publication, Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy, so have literally written the book to help guide decisions on all types of acceleration options for students. Bring your questions about what is possible in your school or the state of Minnesota. Tania Lyon, the GT Coordinator of Mankato Public Schools and winner of the 2018 Coordinator of the Year through the National Association for Gifted Children will be joining them for the Question and Answer at the end of the morning.

Registration will open on September 1 for our annual Conference. Members will have a two week period to register before we open to the public, so if you have a specific children’s program class you want, put this near the top of your to do list. Remember that teens can volunteer to help in the classrooms or for the conference and MCGT provides certificates for them to put toward volunteer hour requirements.  I’m excited not only for Alonzo Kelly and his keynote address, but we have a large number of new adult presenters who are speaking on topics ranging from preschool to college, anxiety, mindfulness, teaching math, advocacy, writing strategies, motivation, parenting, creativity, and more. Choosing where to spend the three sessions outside the keynote will be hard! If you are an educator, there will be CEUs available from MDE for your time at the conference.

So many great and positive changes have already happened in the last bit of time for MCGT! Thanks for supporting us and continuing to share the journey through your membership!

Teresa Boatman