Skip to content

CGA Speaker Series: Author Laila Sanguras on “Parenting for Grit: How to Raise Passionate Children Who Persevere”

October 2, 2017

Coppell Gifted Association is pleased to announce that author and former CISD educator Laila Sanguras will give a talk entitled “Parenting for Grit: How to Raise Passionate Children Who Persevere” on Thursday, October 12, at 6:30pm at Town Center Elementary in Coppell. The event is free for CGA members and $5 per family at the door for non-members.

Dr. Sanguras will summarize the evolution of grit as the popular phenomenon it is today and provide a rationale for why the development of this psychosocial skill is so important for our gifted children.

Dr. Sanguras writes that we should think of grit in this way: Imagine a race where every runner begins with the exact same running ability. At some point, fatigue sets in. Some runners slowly falter, fading into the background while other runners continue pushing themselves. After a certain distance, all of the runners will have stopped – leaving one who outlasts the rest. If all runners have the same ability, what is the difference among the first to drop out, the fifth, and the one who never stops? More importantly, can that intangible difference be measured and developed?

Yes, it can.

Grit is a skill, an ability that is malleable and transferable among contexts. Grit, the combination of sustained hard work and resiliency, is the difference between those who give up and those who don’t. Grit can be strategically developed through failure and healthy responses, which can be difficult for students and their parents, but the influence of parents on the development of grit is significant. Luckily, this is an area where we are all on the same page.

To illustrate, ask the dad of a 25 year old if he wants his son to move home. You know… for more opportunities to cook, clean, and financially support an otherwise-able adult. Most would guess that this loving father would like to love his son from afar, even if it’s from the house next door. We raise our kids so they move out. And stay out. And then come visit. The key to this is perseverance. Life is hard – there is no doubt about that. In order to face and overcome life’s challenges, we have to raise our children to be resilient, to see obstacles as opportunities, and to have hope.

Raising gritty kids is painful. It means saying no when your daughter calls to bring the homework she left on the kitchen table. It means teaching your son to advocate for himself instead of stepping in to handle things. It means setting and enforcing rules and expectations. (And sometimes it means hiding in your closet with a box of cookies just to get through it.)

Coppell Gifted Association is committed to promoting awareness of and providing information about the education and social/emotional needs of GT students; supporting the CISD and its teachers in their efforts to meet the needs of GT students; and identifying the unmet needs of gifted students and championing solutions to address them. Click on join to become a member.


September 2017 – Gifted Matters Newsletter

September 21, 2017

(Click on image below to view larger image)


ACTION NEEDED-Funding for Gifted Education in Danger!

April 17, 2017

Please see important message below:


For more details, please visit the following links:

Here is the text of Senate Bill 2145:

 At issue us Section 1.79, Item 22. It repeals Texas Education Code 42.156, Gifted and Talented Student Allotment, a description of which can be found here:



Meet the 2017 School Board Candidates

April 7, 2017

Candidate Information:

There are four candidates running for two school board positions this spring.  We posed several questions to the  candidates running this year.    The questions were:

  1.  Tell us a little about yourself and why you’ve decided to run for a school board position.
  2. What unique qualities would you bring to the school board?
  3. How have you been involved with Coppell ISD prior to running for school board?
  4. What do you see as the biggest challenges for the district in the next five years?
  5. How important is serving the needs of gifted kids?
  6. How does Coppell ISD currently serve gifted kids and how does that compare to other districts?

Thom Hulme and Ron Hansen are running for Place 4.  David Caviness and Vara Kuppam are running for Place 5.    So you can read the complete response from each candidate, we have placed their responses into their own page, and the links are below:

Thom Hulme’s Responses (Place 4)

Ron Hansen’s Responses (Place 4)

David Caviness’ Responses (Place 5)

Vara Kuppam’s Responses (Place 5)

Please note that Coppell Gifted Association does not support or endorse any candidate and offers these responses as a service to its members to help you make an informed decision on Election Day.  Regardless of who you support, please get out there and have your voice heard on May 6th.

Any grammatical or spelling errors within the candidates responses are their own – we’ve simply compiled their answers as submitted.

Voting Information:

Early Voting – April 24th – May 2nd

Election Day – May 6th (Sat)

Early voting locations will be at Coppell Town Center,  Valley Ranch Public Library,  as well as other locations in Dallas County.  To see the complete list of early voting sites,  please click here.  On Election Day, you must vote in your precinct.  To find your precinct, visit the Dallas County Elections website.

2017 Educator Scholarship Opportunity

February 22, 2017

Are you a CISD educator or administrator (and a CGA member) interested in gaining some additional gifted education training and enrichment?

CGA will be offering a limited number of scholarships for professional development programs offered during the 2017 summer months.

If interested, please visit to apply.  Deadline for application is May 1, 2017.   Scholarship amounts awarded will be up to $750.

2016-2017 Creative Writing Book Purchase Link

February 17, 2017

If you had trouble with the link to purchase your 2016-2017 Creative Writing book, the link has now been fixed.

The link is:

Click here to pre-order the 2016-2017 Creative  Writing Book

Thank you for your patience!



2016-17 Creative Writing Competition: RESULTS

February 17, 2017

Congratulations to all of the passionate student writers who entered the 9th Annual CGA Creative Writing Competition! Over 37 judges have spent the last two months reviewing the story and poetry entries. We wholeheartedly thank the judges for their time, dedication and effort.

1st Place and Honorable Mention recipients listed below will be published in a book to be released on April 12, 2017. The judges have narrowed down the 618 entries to the 113 finalists listed below.

All students who receive 1st Place or Honorable Mention must have a Parent Permission Form completed to have their work published in the book. Please click HERE to fill out the form. The forms must be completed by March 9, 2017 for the story/poem to appear in the book. Books contain the entries from the finalists: ALL 1st place and honorable mentions.


Books are $17, including tax. Deadline to pre-order books is March 9, 2017.

1st place winners receive 1 free copy of the book.

All pre-ordered Finalist Books will be distributed at the:

CGA Book Release Party

April 12, 2017

at CHS Commons

5:45p start

Books are available for pickup starting at 5:30p

  • 1st Place recipients will have the opportunity to read a brief (4 minute) excerpt of their winning story.
  • Honorable Mentions and 1st place winners will be called to the stage for recognition and photo opportunities.
  • Students who are published in the book may enter a drawing at the party for a GoPro Hero video camera. Must be present to win.


We will need your parent’s permission for your entry to be published in the book. They can go to


Winners: 1st Place and Honorable Mention

Judging Category Student First Name Student Last Name Title Results
Poetry 11-12 Katrina Fisher The Color Yellow 1st Place
Poetry 11-12 Hiran Buyyanapragada Designer Products Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Vivek Chilakamarri Hope Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Akshaya Kannan Fall Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Deepa Ravindra Between the Mountains Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Nathan Sims Romance Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Varshini Suresh The Light Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Jharna Sutaria I Dreamed of a Nightmare: A poem of a mother losing her daughter Honorable Mention
Poetry 11-12 Christine Young Love…Unspoken yet unforgotten Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Alexandria Goodwin I Will Never Forget You 1st Place
Poetry 10 Jayashree Ganesan Wistful Remembrance Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Mercedes Hoyos My Ocean Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Rishi Lekkala A Descent into Darkness? Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Akila Muthukumar Ode to a Dove Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Manasi Ramadurgum A Woman’s Hands Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Kanishka Shah Thorns, Roses, and A Little Bit of Perfection Honorable Mention
Poetry 10 Kelly Wei American Oxygen Honorable Mention
Poetry 9 Eva Theel My Beating Heart 1st Place
Poetry 9 Mikaela Ashton I Honorable Mention
Poetry 9 Ayush Roychowdhury HIM Honorable Mention
Poetry 9 Emilie Sangerhausen Language Barrier Honorable Mention
Poetry 9 Casey Webb If I Had One Wish Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Neha Desaraju Falling 1st Place
Poetry 8 Shreya Beldona Over the Fields of Tall Grass I Looked… Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Jordan Cohen Table of Contents Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Ananya Jain Cows Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Fiona Lopez Clothes Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Neira Radoncic Her Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Ananya Sampathkumar Fear Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Shivi Sharma Puppeteering Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Swetha Tandri Humanity Shall Prevail Honorable Mention
Poetry 8 Akash Vijay Fire Hazard Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Mira Jiang Beautiful Creatures 1st Place
Poetry 7 Tvisha Garg Self-Doubt Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Akhila Gunturu Scribble to Story Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Mya Keys A Nobody Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Aditi Krishnan The Hatter’s Tale Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Trisha Srinivasan Two Realities Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Noel Valstan Positivity Honorable Mention
Poetry 7 Varunika Vijay The Wind Honorable Mention
Poetry 6 Nick Searight The Twelve Days of Camping 1st Place
Poetry 6 Muskaan Agrawal Winter Honorable Mention
Poetry 6 Chinwe Anwah Hope Honorable Mention
Poetry 6 Ananya Mukund The Photograph Honorable Mention
Poetry 6 Nandini Muresh A Day in the Rainforest Honorable Mention
Poetry 6 Raj Krishna Nallanthighal Words Honorable Mention
Poetry 6 Malkam Wallace Seasons Honorable Mention
Poetry 5 Scarlett Rose Bliobenes “Looking For My New Best Friend” 1st Place
Poetry 5 Nalini Agnihotri Dolphins Honorable Mention
Poetry 5 Nanditha Diggikar THE 11th HOUR EFFORT Honorable Mention
Poetry 5 Arman Juma The Dark Night Honorable Mention
Poetry 5 Weina Lu The Hurricane Honorable Mention
Poetry 5 Tanya Nikam Just Run Honorable Mention
Poetry 5 Aditi Prakash Owl’s Dream (A Haiku) Honorable Mention
Poetry 4 Ananya Pilla The Land of Stories 1st Place
Poetry 4 Aneesh Gadkari Coding (Synonym Diamante) Honorable Mention
Poetry 4 Lynlee Graves The Tree Honorable Mention
Poetry 4 Tarunikasai Kulasekaran Night Time Honorable Mention
Poetry 4 Aria Miller The boat and the tsunami Honorable Mention
Poetry 4 Ethan Schuy Let it Snow Honorable Mention
Story 11-12 Alec Bush Round and Round We Go 1st Place
Story 11-12 Aidan Harris Sunset Honorable Mention
Story 11-12 Seth Holst The Death of Life Honorable Mention
Story 11-12 Rachel Kruse Perspective Honorable Mention
Story 11-12 Lauren Lee The Perturbation of Susannah Moll Honorable Mention
Story 11-12 Shruti Vellaturi The Test Honorable Mention
Story 10 Hope Braafladt Echo 1st Place
Story 10 Jayashree Ganesan A Breath of New Beginnings: An Analysis on Mao Zedong Honorable Mention
Story 10 Akila Muthukumar Empowering future generations with technology Honorable Mention
Story 10 Ishita Rastogi Why Do Dreams Occur? Honorable Mention
Story 10 Saksham Sangraula Fortem Animam Honorable Mention
Story 9 Nicolas Reyes The Neglected Voices 1st Place
Story 9 Shravya Mahesh Gray Honorable Mention
Story 9 Maya Mohan Put the Genie Back in the Lamp Honorable Mention
Story 9 Sona Selvamani The Color Red Honorable Mention
Story 9 Eva Theel The Tell-Tale Witness Honorable Mention
Story 9 Bhumika Upmanyu The Bucket List Honorable Mention
Story 9 Nimra Usmani Alvina Honorable Mention
Story 9 Isabelle Hernandez Comforting Ben Honorable Mention
Story 8 Marc Hatanpaa Seasons of the Earth 1st Place
Story 8 Rith Bhattacharyyya Running Different Courses Honorable Mention
Story 8 Zahra Chopra The Execution Honorable Mention
Story 8 Aashi Lala Fenced In Honorable Mention
Story 8 Gavin Osteen Breaking the Chains Honorable Mention
Story 8 Anusha Panda The Blackout That Struck The World Honorable Mention
Story 8 Lomash Sisodia Cerberus The Guard Dog of Hades Honorable Mention
Story 8 Swetha Tandri The Wonderful World We Live In (And The Part We Play) Honorable Mention
Story 7 Mira Jiang Your Sister, Vienna 1st Place
Story 7 Akhila Gunturu The Masterpiece that is our Earth Honorable Mention
Story 7 Justine Oduguwa The Purple Button Honorable Mention
Story 7 Arwyn Sullivan Two Loops Honorable Mention
Story 7 Shriya Mukkavilli The Trials Honorable Mention
Story 7 Karthik Ponnapalli Free From Betrayal Honorable Mention
Story 6 Ivan Flores The Fight of My Heart 1st Place
Story 6 Renee Chen What’s the Point? Honorable Mention
Story 6 Yaamini Jois Teddy Alive! Honorable Mention
Story 6 Farah Kadrr Adopted Honorable Mention
Story 6 Roma Patel Lost Honorable Mention
Story 6 Claire Wang Together Honorable Mention
Story 6 Ashley Zhang Wiped Out Honorable Mention
Story 5 Roma Jani Tomorrow is a new day 1st Place
Story 5 Anushree De The Twist and Turns of Friendship Honorable Mention
Story 5 Sarang Goel Escaping the Unpredictable Honorable Mention
Story 5 Sadie Klement My Adventure in the Magic App Honorable Mention
Story 5 Weina Lu Questions With No Answers Honorable Mention
Story 5 Tanya Nikam The Unknown: A Future Fantasy Honorable Mention
Story 5 Rishika Porandla The Friendship Tree Honorable Mention
Story 4 Akshaya Ashokanand The Tree of Hope 1st Place
Story 4 Aishi Biswal The mysterious eye Honorable Mention
Story 4 Harumi Hayakawa Negrete Through the Eyes of Erika Honorable Mention
Story 4 Nrithya Mahesh In The Blink of An Eye… Honorable Mention
Story 4 Amal Sameel “Houston, we have a problem!” – featuring Apollo 13 and Starring Jack and George Honorable Mention
Story 4 Aarav Kansupada Perfect To Be Imperfect Honorable Mention