2023 TAGT Award Recipients
The TAGT 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 2023 TAGT Award Recipients. All recipients will be honored during giftED23, the TAGT Annual Conference.
2023 TAGT Educator of the Gifted
The TAGT Educator of the Gifted is Elizabeth White, G/T Coordinator, Engineering Teacher, Hawkins Independent School District. Elizabeth White, an esteemed educator at Hawkins ISD, serves as the G/T Coordinator and Engineering Teacher, with a unique background in software design. With 15 years of teaching experience spanning 1st to 12th grade, she is committed to inspiring students of all ages and abilities to excel. Elizabeth's notable achievements include her role in establishing award-winning programs in Robotics, Engineering, Digital Media, G/T, and Art, as well as earning recognition as a TIA Recognized Teacher, Region 7 Master Teacher, and a Finalist for Region 13 Teacher of the Year in 2013. Her most significant contribution lies in designing the G/T program at Hawkins, improving the testing and admission process, and teaching G/T students across three campuses. Under her guidance, Hawkins ISD saw outstanding success with more students excelling in national competitions and academic contests than any other school in East Texas. Elizabeth's unwavering dedication to education and her students' success sets her apart as a transformative educator.
2023 TAGT Advocate for the Gifted
The TAGT Advocate of the Gifted is Kelsey Karcher, Advanced Learning Teacher, Richardson Independent School District. With nearly 20 years of public education experience, Kelsey Karcher has found her passion in advocating for gifted learners, their teachers, and their families. In her classroom, she champions gifted kids to understand their giftedness and grow into the fullest versions of themselves. As a professional, she is a proponent for equity in identification and services at the campus and district levels, as well as the state level through her work with TAGT's Equity Resource Committee. She is a coach and professional learning leader for teachers and administrators, a former TAGT Emerging Leaders Program mentor, and a frequent presenter for TAGT conferences and webinars. As a part-time facilitator at her regional service center and annual guest speaker at her alma mater, she builds understanding and compassion amongst teachers and administrators for the unique academic and social emotional needs of their gifted students while also ensuring knowledge of state law and policy. Through her work with Growing Up Gifted, she helps parents understand, support, and empower their gifted kids. Gifted education isn't just Kelsey Karcher's work--it's her privilege and her calling.
2023 TAGT Administrator for the Gifted
The TAGT Administrator of the Gifted is Cheryl Beard, Gifted and Talented Education Administrator,
Garland Independent School District. Cheryl Beard has served as a student-centered educator for 32 years in Garland ISD as a classroom teacher and campus and district administrator. With both elementary and secondary experience, she has led and participated on numerous campus and district committees and teams. Currently in her eleventh year in her role as Gifted/Talented Education Administrator, Cheryl oversees K-12 G/T services and diligently works with administrators, counselors, teachers, parents, and various departments to ensure that gifted learners on every campus receive high-quality, engaging services in both academics and fine arts. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Louisiana State University-Shreveport and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she is currently enrolled as a doctoral student focusing her dissertation on an exploration of the lived experiences of Black males in G/T and advanced academics. Cheryl serves on the TAGT Board of Directors, participates on multiple committees and conference planning teams, mentors others, and has presented and advocated for gifted education at a variety of community events and district, regional, and state conferences. As a parent and educator of gifted children, Cheryl is a visionary leader who believes passionately in equity, access, and opportunity for all gifted learners.