2017 State Award Recipients
The TAGT state awards are presented in recognition of service, contribution and commitment to gifted education. Collectively, those being recognized are champions who are working to advance the world of gifted education. Individually, they are each making a difference in their communities and we are proud to recognize their efforts as the 2017 TAGT State Award Recipients. All recipients will be honored on November 30 at INSPIRE: TAGT Awards Celebration during giftED17, the TAGT Annual Conference in Houston.
2017 TAGT State Administrator of the Gifted
The TAGT Administrator of the Gifted is Karen Green, the Gifted Coordinator for McKinney ISD. Green has spent the past 18 years in McKinney ISD as a fierce champion of gifted and talented students. As her nomination form notes, she “has tirelessly worked to provide gifted education services for the McKinney community and has been a mentor for teachers and surrounding districts alike.” Her experiences include elementary gifted educator and coordinator for K–12 students. Whether it is a ISM business symposium for high school students, a study program for Duke TIP scholars, or parent nights, Green carefully crafts and executes each event with precision and flair. Green holds a Masters of Educational Psychology from Southern Methodist University. She is finishing her last year as McKinney ISD’s Gifted Coordinator and will retire in August 2018. She notes that education was not her first career, but the one she was born to.
2017 TAGT Advocate for the Gifted
The TAGT Advocate for the Gifted is Caroline Winfield, a gifted specialist in Richardson ISD. Advocating and advancing support for gifted learners is truly Winfield’s passion. As an educator for more than 22 years, Winfield has served as a gifted specialist for 18 years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, earned master’s degree from the University of North Texas, and received her Gifted Supplemental from Southern Methodist University. Winfield was an inaugural member of the Richardson ISD Kindergarten Gifted Team, developing curriculum and teaching, and works with the QUEST Talent Pool program to identify students from underserved populations. She provides professional development to elementary staff and has partnered with two RISD schools on an equity in identification project. She has presented at TAGT for the past 10 years and enjoys working with other educators to empower them to advocate for their students.
2017 TAGT Educator of the Gifted
The TAGT Educator of the Gifted is Robin Johnson, a G/T teacher for Aransas County ISD. Johnson has been teaching for more than 19 years at the elementary level, and has been involved in gifted education for most of her teaching career. She has a bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Her passion for gifted education is evident in the work she does with her gifted students, working with students in grades 1–5 on two different campuses and developing new programs for them, including a Challenge Lab and a lunch bunch program to meet their social and emotional needs. Johnson truly gets to know her students and brings out their strengths in end-of-year G/T Showcase events. As her nomination form notes, Johnson “gently infuses knowledge and inspiration into her students” and fellow staff members everyday.
2017 TAGT Parent Group of the Gifted
The TAGT Parent Group of the Gifted is Southlake Association for Gifted & Talented (SAGT). SAGT was organized in 2001 as a volunteer parent advocacy group and academic booster club in Carroll ISD. The group partners with parents, educators, administrators, and legislators to promote an appropriate education for G/T students and their exceptional needs. SAGT dues, donations, and fund-raising fulfill teacher grant requests for G/T classrooms and send teachers to G/T training. The group’s members organize speakers and events to support appropriate parenting of G/T children and arrange educational social activities and scholarships for the district’s G/T students. SAGT is very honored to be chosen as the 2017 TAGT Parent Group of the Gifted and looks forward to many years of productive partnership with TAGT in its efforts to help G/T students reach their fullest potential.