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Coppell ISD Well-Represented at TAGT

January 10, 2015

A record 56 educators received scholarships from CGA to take advantage of this year’s local Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) Professional Annual Conference in Fort Worth. There were one-, two-, and three-day options to attend. Many of the 56 educators had never participated in a TAGT conference before.

Additionally, TAGT invited local Superintendents and School Board members to attend at no charge. From Coppell, Dr Waldrip (CISD Superintendent), and (School Board members) Tracy Fisher, Anthony Hill, and Thom Hulme attended sessions.

On Wednesday, CGA treated CISD attendees to a luncheon in their honor at the conference. It was conveniently held in the convention center between sessions so that all could attend.

The two keynotes for the conference can best be described as “gifted young men on their life’s journey, reflecting on education.”

Nikhil Goyal is a 19-year-old, American advocate against “old school education.” In 2012, Goyal was named one of the “World Changers” for Dell #Inspire 100. In 2013, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Freedom Flame Award. His passionate, outspoken manner was infectious but may have fallen into the category of “preaching to the choir” for most of our Coppell group, although it was nice to hear a student produced by “the system” making these comments.

The other keynote speaker, Dr Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist, author, and popular science writer known for his research and writing on intelligence and creativity shared his personal life story about being in special education for an auditory processing disability until the 9th grade when his teacher asked him why he was in special ed. He started taking pre honors classes and then moved to honors, while simultaneously learning how to play the Cello in the school orchestra.

This twice exceptional young man was finally identified as being gifted when he was a senior in high school and at graduation, received the highest award given by his high school for his musical accomplishments. He had a lot to say about resiliency, labeling students and his work as a researcher.

Watch for more reflections and comments from this school year’s TAGT conference from our CISD educators. Next year’s TAGT Professional Annual Conference will be held in San Antonio.

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