2018 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 2018 TAGT State Award Recipients. All recipients will be honored on November 29 at INSPIRE: TAGT Awards Celebration during giftED18, the TAGT Annual Conference in Fort Worth.


2018 TAGT State Administrator of the Gifted 

The TAGT Administrator of the Gifted is Raine Maggio, the Coordinator for Gifted Services for Round Rock ISD. Raine Maggio is currently the Gifted Services Coordinator for Round Rock ISD. Upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin, Raine began her teaching career and became the TAG Specialist at her elementary school shortly after. As her passion grew for this unique group, Raine sought to learn more and completed her master’s degree in educational psychology with emphasis in gifted education from the University of North Texas. During this time, Raine was awarded the 2006 TAGT Region 13 Teacher of the Gifted, and the 2008 Campus and District Teacher of the Year Awards in RRISD. In order to expand her experience, in 2011 she became the campus GT coordinator and Discovery teacher at Lake Travis Middle School. Both as a parent and educator of gifted children, Raine has dedicated herself to equitable identification and service options, and also supporting teachers and parents to best meet the needs of gifted and high ability learners.  
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2018 TAGT Advocate for the Gifted

The TAGT Advocate for the Gifted is Emily Villamar-Robbins. Emily serves as Vice Chair for the TAGT Parent Division and SAGE Chair (Special and Gifted Education) for Richardson ISD PTA Council. She holds a Graduate Academic Certificate (GT) from UNT and graduated from Harvard Law School. She is passionate about supporting public education, meeting the needs of special populations, access and funding for G/T services, and positive parent-teacher-student relationships. She is grateful for G/T educators and for their care and advocacy for student needs.

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2018 TAGT Educator of the Gifted 

The TAGT Educator of the Gifted is Karen Otto, a G/T teacher for Carroll ISD. Karen Otto teaches English II G/T at Southlake Carroll High School. She began her 21-year career in education teaching 6th grade G/T English. Since then, she has taught middle and high school GT in schools of varying socioeconomic diversity. Karen holds an MA in English, an M.Ed., and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English. As a G/T student herself, Karen knows all about the blessing and curse of being a G/T learner. 

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2018 TAGT Parent Group of the Gifted 

The TAGT Parent Group of the Gifted is Grapevine-Colleyville SAGE (Supporting and Advocating for Gifted Education). SAGE is a support group in Grapevine/Colleyville established in 2010 that collaborates with parents and educators to ensure that gifted children in our community reach their fullest potential. SAGE funds educators’ G/T training and materials, and focuses daily on our network of involved and informed G/T advocates. SAGE promotes well-being and academic achievement, and supports 2e, underidentified, and highly gifted populations.