Minnesota Council for the Gifted & Talented

Connections. Advocacy. Resources. Equity. Support.

Annual Conference 2016


Online Registrations are now Closed but Adult Registrations are available on site the day of the conference.

Registration form

Host and co-sponsor: Robbinsdale Area Schools
When: November 12, 2016

Where: Robbinsdale Middle School, 3730 Toledo Ave N, Robbinsdale

The Day’s Schedule

8:30 – 9:00 Check-in and pick up program

9:00 – 12:00 Children’s morning session

9:00 – 10:30 Welcome, MCGT Friend of the Gifted Award,

Keynote Address

10:45 – 11:45 Adult Breakout Session I

11:45 – 1:00 Lunch for adults and students

1:00 – 4:00 Children’s afternoon session

1:00 – 1:20 MCGT Annual Meeting

1:30 – 2:30 Adult Breakout Session II

2:45 – 3:45 Adult Breakout Session IV

4:10 – 4:30 Book Swap session for students

All day Vendors & information


Conference Flyers for download:

Main Conference Flyer   (includes Children’s Program Descriptions)

Adult Program Descriptions

Adult Program Schedule

Exhibitor Information Letter

Exhibitor Registration Form


Keynote Speaker – Lisa Van Gemertgg

The Five-Headed Dragon – Gifted individuals aren’t just regular people with higher intelligence. They have their own sets of “dragons” that present their own challenges. Gifted youth face many threats to their well-being, both cognitively and emotionally, that prevent them from achieving their dreams. We will face five of these threats head-on: Stereotype Threat, Imposter Syndrome, Bullying the Bright, Underachievement, and Perfectionism. These threats distort gifted youths’ views of themselves, create hesitancy where boldness is needed, turn victors into victims, deny gifts, and prevent academic risk-taking. Giving educators and parents the tools they need to ward off the Five-headed dragon will allow gifted learners to soar to new heights of personal and academic fulfillment.

Using a combination of neuropsychology, pedagogy, humor, technology and sheer fun, Lisa Van Gemert shares best practices in gifted education with audiences around the world. Lisa is an expert consult to television shows including Lifetime’s “Child Genius,” writer of award-winning lesson plans, and author of the children’s and teachers’ guides to the National Book Festival, as well numerous published articles on social psychology and pedagogy. A former teacher, school administrator, and Youth & Education Ambassador for Mensa, she shares resources for educators and parents on her website giftedguru.com.

About the 2016 MCGT CONFERENCE

Saturday, November 12

MCGT’s  2016 Annual MCGT Conference, co-sponsored by MCGT and the Robbinsdale Area School District, will be held at Robbinsdale Middle School.  There’s  lots of space and the parking is free; see the maps and directions on the first page of the registration information in this issue of Outlook.

The 2016 Conference keynoter will be Lisa Van Gemert.  She is an educator by training, shares best practices with businesses, schools and education conferences, specializing in the gifted.  She’s known as the Gifted Guru and the Ambassador of the gifted, and what she’s learned from knowing gifted she translates into solutions for everyone. She’s learned that GT stands for “Good Teaching” and “Good Thinking” as much as “Gifted and Talented.” She is a frequent conference keynote speaker, facilitator of educational and business professional development, expert consult to television shows, and author of articles published in magazines and peer-reviewed journals.

Lisa Gemert’s keynote address: The Five-Headed Dragon.  Gifted individuals aren’t just regular people with higher intelligence.  They have their own sets of “dragons” that present their own challenges.  Gifted youth face many threats to their well-being, both cognitively and emotionally, that prevent them from achieving their dreams. We will face five of these threats head-on: Stereotype Threat, Imposter Syndrome, Bullying the Bright, Underachievement, and Perfectionism. These threats distort gifted youths’ views of themselves, create hesitancy where boldness is needed, turn victors into victims, deny gifts, and prevent academic risk-taking. Giving educators and parents the tools they need to ward off the five- headed dragon will allow gifted learners to soar to new heights of personal and academic fulfillment. 

Lisa’s Breakout Sessions:

—  The Delicate Balance of Boundaries with the Gifted.  While gifted youth need more leeway and independence at earlier ages than do their typical learner peers, that doesn’t mean they need less parenting. Identifying and sustaining appropriate boundaries with peers, adult interaction, and even electronics can challenge the best and most dedicated of parents. Using a metaphor of fences, learn the key ideas parents need to find and maintain suitable guidelines for their children without dampening the child’s spirits or feeling like they’ve surrendered all control to their kids. This session was designed with Dr. Dan Peters, Executive Director of California’s Summit Center.

—  Lit from Within: The Secrets of Internal Motivation

Ever wonder what to do with a gifted child not living up to his or her potential? Learn the secrets behind enhancing achievement drive in gifted students. What does the research say? Find out the pitfalls of rewards, and take away seven strategies you can use right now to light the fire within any child.

—  Van Gemert will also host a third breakout:  Conversation with Lisa.  This informal open-ended session will allow participants to  discuss related topics with the keynoter.

Registration deadline: October 28.

    Registration information is included in this issue of Outlook. Kids can also sign up for their desired classes; registrations with postmarks of October 14 or earlier will count as first-day registrations.  The last page of the registration information includes a description of the keynoter’s background and titles of the 30 breakout sessions by other presenters.  Adult breakout session descriptions will be on the website by October.   Adults do not have to choose their sessions before the day of the  conference. The registration page is a fillable form should anyone want to fill it out and print it or email to the office.  All of the pertinent information will be posted for downloading on the MCGT website: www.mcgt.net

    The Kids Program classes for those in kindergarten through seventh grade are also described in the registration form.  Coordinators LynMarie Berntson and Renee Bowman, have put together an interesting assortment of classes — some are new, some are previous favorites and some include a wider range of ages.  They’re all on the second page of the registration brochure. Many classes in the Kids Program fill quickly, so don’t wait!  No class will exceed 20 students (most will be smaller); volunteers will assist teachers as needed. Postcards will be sent on November 1 to confirm each child’s classes. Parents who are coming at the conference and bringing their children must pre-register for their child’s choice of both a morning and afternoon class.  

     Adults who are members pay $55 for the first adult in a family and $25 for the second adult.  Kids pay $35.   Nonmembers pay $70, but may join MCGT that day and  pay the member fee. Those fees include lunch and all materials.  The cost for adults and kids to attend the conference has remained the same since 2007; that’s when we lowered the fee for a second adult.  

    Those who register by October 14 (postmark) receive in their registration packet a coupon for $2.00 off a purchase made at the MCGT book table.  


    Some of the exhibitors and vendors are listed on the first page of the registration form. The window for reserving a space in the exhibitor area is still open, so look for additional exhibitors/vendors at the conference. Information will also be available from a variety of organizations and programs.

Book Swap for Kids

    Bring your used, good condition, children’s and adolescent books to swap for something your kids haven’t read.  (No textbooks, adult or preschool books, please).  It’s easy to do.  After you check in at the registration table on the morning of the conference, go to the Book Swap table and exchange the books your brought for coupons which will allow you to select an equal number of different books.  (If you like garage sales or the used book sales that libraries conduct, you may find suitable books to purchase to bring for the MCGT Conference Book Swap.)  

    Return to the Book Swap room in the afternoon and redeem the coupons for books your fellow conference attendees turned in that morning.  We hope this service will bring kids and adults together over similar tastes in literature.  Maybe you will even leave with satisfied readers – at least for a week or two!!!  

Financial assistance available

    Families with gifted and talented children should not be restricted in their participation in MCGT activities because of limited funds.  Therefore, the MCGT Board will accept requests for financial assistance which would enable members to attend events sponsored by MCGT, such as the annual conference.  Call or email the MCGT office for more information, 952-848-4906 or [email protected].

Spread the word!

    When school begins, we encourage you to make copies of the conference flyer or the entire four-page conference registration information (also found on MCGT’s website, www.mcgt.net) and make it available to parents and educators of gifted kids in your schools as soon as possible so they have time to register before the October 28 deadline.  Remind them of that deadline.  Questions?  Check MCGT’s website, www.mcgt.net, or ask [email protected]

    Past conference attendees have said the MCGT annual conference is stimulating, informative, helpful, and a good opportunity for learning, networking, and making connections.  They enjoy being able to talk about important educational and parenting issues with others who are knowledgeable and who care about and understand gifted kids.  We expect this year’s conference to live up to that reputation for parents, educators, counselors, psychologists, other professionals and anyone interested in gifted kids.  Hope to see you there!


Volunteers Needed for the Conference


    The continued success of MCGT’s Annual Conference depends on volunteers. Let us know what you would like to do, and you won’t miss any of the conference activities!

    We encourage you to volunteer now to join Shari Colvin and Betty Johnson, conference co-chairs, and LynMarie Berntson and Renee Bowman, co-chairs for the Kids Program, to help with a conference activity before November 12 or that day: kids’ program, adult program, publicity, or vendors and exhibitors. We’d be pleased to add you to the team as we prepare for this annual event.  Your reward will be the satisfaction of making it possible for a highly-anticipated MCGT activity to come together.  Contact Shari Colvin, [email protected]  or 320-587-7519, Betty Johnson, [email protected]  or 952-544-6979 or Jolene Gleason, [email protected]   

    We’re looking for folks who can spend a few hours helping either before or during the November 12 MCGT Conference.  Tasks include preparing attendee folders the day before the conference, setting up and taking down on conference day, putting up (and taking down directional signs), being a guide that day, working at the registration table or the MCGT book sales table, helping distribute lunches, recording the keynoter’s sessions, taking photos of attendees, and supervising the Kids Book Swap.

    We also need someone to help with the MCGT book inventory before the conference, and then assist at the sales table at the conference.  This year, we’ll be able to accept credit cards for purchases, as well as checks and cash.  Contact Carol Malueg, [email protected], if you’re interested.  

    We also invite mature junior or senior high school students to help with the above tasks or assist teachers of kids’ classes (morning, afternoon, or all-day.  Several  kids from the Robbinsdale School District are already signed up to help. Look at the Kids’ courses in the registration form and tell us where you might like to help.  In return, we’ll provide your lunch.  These student volunteer activities count as Community Service, so we’ll give you a certificate for your wall or scrapbook plus a letter verifying your work that you can give to your school’s counselor for your resume or school file.

    Contact Shari Colvin, [email protected], or Betty Johnson, [email protected].  Or contact the office at 952-848-4906 or [email protected].  We’d like to add you to the team.