The 2014 AAGC conference is quickly approaching and I wanted to send you a few quick reminders:
1. AAGC Election-
There will be an election held at the AAGC business meeting during the conference for the board positions listed. Please read the following bios submitted for consideration. Ballots will be handed out at the meeting and you must be a member who is in good standing and present to vote.
Candidates for AAGC Board
Dr. Dylan Ferniany is the coordinator for gifted education in Birmingham City Schools.
Dylan taught gifted education at the elementary and middle school levels in Homewood
City Schools for seven years. Dr. Ferniany earned an Ed.D. in Leadership, Policy, and
Organizations from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College where she gained an
understanding of gifted education in a broader policy context. Dylan is involved in a
number of extracurricular civic organizations. She founded and led Young Education
Professionals-Birmingham and now serves as the Vice President of Development. In
addition, she serves on the production team at TEDxBirmingham as the K12 Relations
Coordinator. Dylan is passionate about identifying and nourishing talent of both students and teachers in Alabama.
LaRita Giles is a graduate of Birmingham Southern college and received a Masters of
Gifted Education from Samford University in 2013. She is a National Board Certified
Teacher and a school based volunteer mentor for National Board candidates. LaRita
served as a BEA representative for her school for six years and is presently initiating a
community based outreach program for Women in the Woodlawn Community (Women
Wellness) and volunteers her services for Kairos Outside Ministries. Other professional
accomplishments include National Writing Project Fellow (2010), member of Central
Park Elementary Literacy Team, and published author (“101 ways to use Time” for Kids Magazine). She continues to write and respond to various professional publications and is researching board and meeting policies to gain insight into meeting procedures and organizational setups for success. She is interested in working to provide more
opportunities and to augment the programs made available to the gifted students of
Rita Sparks is a veteran gifted specialist of eight years. A wife and the mother to two
gifted young adults, she is currently employed at Thompson Intermediate School in
Shelby County, where she teaches gifted students in Grades 4 and 5. After ten years as a
general education teacher, she found her life’s purpose when she began teaching 4th and
5th grade gifted education classes. She received her gifted education certification from
Samford University in 2008. Having two gifted children inspired Rita not only to
challenge the well-adjusted gifted child, but also to provide support to gifted students
who struggle academically and social-emotionally. Rita is loyal, dedicated and hard
working. She embraces challenge and is always ready to learn something new!
Debbie Dumais has taught gifted education classes at Fultondale Elementary School for
nine years, previously teaching fifth grade science for nine years. She was also
Laboratory Supervisor at UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hematology
Laboratory Instructor for the Medical School before her public education positions. She
is a graduate of UAB, BS and MA, and received her gifted certification from Samford
University. She is a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), one of only eight statewide. She currently serves as AAGC By-Laws Chairperson. She also is FES Science Olympiad Coach, Jefferson County Master Gardener, North Arts Council, National Science Teacher Association (NSTA), Birmingham Audubon Society, Environmental Educator Association of Alabama; to name a few. She is a published author of over twenty professional genealogical articles and six professional medical abstracts in Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). She has received over $10,000 in educational grant monies and various awards, such as UAB’s Outstanding Alumni Award and Boy Scouts of America’s “Outstanding Scouter Award” for volunteerism. As a gifted child, parent of gifted children, and gifted specialist, Debbie is passionate about gifted education and driven to help others across the state of Alabama who inspire future generations and to create a collaborative effort to “unfold” the gifts and talents of gifted students, enabling them to reach their potentials.
Teresa Lucas, a graduate of TR Miller High School located in Brewton. AL, attended
Jefferson Davis Community College, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn at Montgomery with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, earned a Master’s
degree in Gifted Education from the University of South Alabama. She currently serves
as the enrichment teacher in the Brewton City School where she is also Coach of the Scholars’ Bowl, Gifted Network Secretary, and serves as the Historian and President of Alpha Delta Kappa. Having been the Secretary of the Gifted Network for four years, Teresa feels that this experience would provide an avenue to promote common goals, share varied experiences, and voice statewide concerns with a group dedicated to meeting the needs of gifted students.
2. Contests, Awards & Grants
Just a reminder to be mindful of approaching deadlines for several contests! For more information please visit www.alabamagifted.org. If you know a teacher, administrator, coordinator or student who needs to be recognized please read the nomination instructions on our website. Thanks to all who submitted grant proposals and awards so far!
3. Tutwiler Hotel
Do you need to book a room for the conference? The Tutwiler is the official conference hotel that has plenty of rooms reserved for the conference! Please call Roxanne for more information!
4. Parent Day
Please invite parents of gifted children on Friday, September 19th because we will be celebrating Parent Day during the conference! There will be special sessions and activities dedicated for parents!
5. Door Prizes
Fabulous door prizes will be given away each day of the conference! You must be present to win with a matching ticket. Cameras, I Pads, and more to be given away!
I look forward to hearing informative keynote speakers, special guests, and Dr. Bice at the conference! If you haven’t gotten your registration form and payment submitted… hurry! The conference will be here before you know it!