2021 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 2021 TAGT State Award Recipients. All recipients will be honored during giftED21, the TAGT Annual Conference.
2021 TAGT Educator of the Gifted
The TAGT Educator of the Gifted is Jessica Fair, G/T Math & Science Teacher, McKinney ISD. As a parent of two gifted children, Jessica Fair was inspired to change trajectories in life and become a gifted education teacher and advocate in her community for gifted children and their unique needs. In her 6th year as a 3-5 grade math & science Gifted and Talented teacher in McKinney ISD, Jessica has spent the past 5 years as the curriculum and instruction and identification and assessment team lead for MISD's Gifted and Talented Department. Jessica has fostered many initiatives such as social and emotional daily community circle lessons specifically targeted for gifted students, has created the Culture Club to create student opportunities for diversity and equity in our world, MISDGT Communication and Accommodations Improvement Plan, grant writing to support STEAM and social and emotional tools for MISD's GT community. Jessica completed a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction for Gifted Education in 2017 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at SMU. Her dissertation focus is on how educational leaders can advocate for and support twice-exceptional learners in their schools and districts.
2021 TAGT Advocate for the Gifted
The TAGT Advocate of the Gifted is Colin Seale, Founder & CEO, thinkLaw. Colin Seale was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where struggles in his upbringing gave birth to his passion for educational equity. Tracked early into gifted and talented programs, Colin was afforded opportunities his neighborhood peers were not. Using lessons from his experience as a math teacher, later as an attorney, and now as a keynote speaker, contributor to Forbes, The 74, and Education Post and author of Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students (Prufrock Press, 2020), Colin founded thinkLaw, a multi-award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based instructional strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure they teach and REACH all students, regardless of race, zip code or what side of the poverty line they are born into. When he’s not serving as the world’s most fervent critical thinking advocate, Colin proudly serves as the world’s greatest entertainer to his two young children.
2021 TAGT Administrator for the Gifted
The TAGT Administrator of the Gifted is Tina Moore, Executive Director of Advanced Academics, Grand Prairie ISD. Tina is the embodiment of fortitude. The second of seven children and a first-generation college graduate from Texas Tech University (1994) with a Master of Education at Southern Methodist University (2008). She is grateful for the new legacy of her daughter sharing the alumni status of Tech (2019) and even her son who has changed her household "Wreck 'Em" chant to "Hook 'Em" as a senior at the University of Texas. She and her husband Philip are proud parents! As an educator for twenty-seven years, Tina has forged great friendships with former students and colleagues in five districts across the state of Texas as a Secondary English teacher, starting in Lubbock, Tina's hometown of Houston, and a few cities in the Dallas metroplex before discovering her leadership path in Grand Prairie. Tina leads with service and fecundity (her favorite word) and is grateful for the opportunity to coach, collaborate, and mentor others in the noblest profession that exists.
2021 Parent Support Group of the Gifted
The TAGT Parent Support Group of the Gifted is McKinney Gifted and Talented Alliance (MGTA). MGTA is the support group for the McKinney Independent School District’s Gifted and Talented Program and aspires to connect members with the people, programs and information necessary to enhance awareness, effectiveness and sense of community in parenting and educating gifted and talented children. For over 40 years, they have brought their community together where they learn about what giftedness means, what it looks like, and how they can best support one another. With over 100 member families, MGTA is able to strongly support McKinney ISD’s G/T program, teachers, students and families with events, expert speakers, scholarships, camps, and classroom needs. MGTA has hosted podcast chats, Family Nights, game nights, Lunch & Learns, buddy parties with their special needs community, and offer local SENG Model Parent Groups. MGTA feels very supported by their district coordinators and their community.