Board of Directors
SENG Board of Directors
From a family of educators, Kate has been teaching and learning alongside children and teachers for as long as she can remember. She has served diverse gifted students in a variety of contexts and school settings. Kate founded SoulSpark Learning, an education innovation firm, to support youth and educators dedicated to accelerating positive social change. Prior to launching SoulSpark, she co-led the successful opening of a K-8 school with a holistic vision for educating gifted learners. Kate has also worked as a talented and gifted education advisor within her local public school district and as a director of a summer program for gifted youth. Her teaching and leadership practices have been recognized with speaking invitations at various conferences and events across the country. As a result of her community contributions, Kate was awarded a full scholarship for her master’s in education at University of Colorado at Boulder where her studies focused on educational equity and culturally diversity. In addition, Kate is a doctoral candidate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in gifted at University of Denver. She is grateful to parent two complex, empathic and highly curious children and has yet to meet a student who is “too much” for her. Kate is wholeheartedly dedicated to supporting each individual within the SENG community in thriving.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Rose Blackett is a registered educational psychologist with over twenty years experience in the education system. She is currently working in private practice with adults and children presenting with severe behavior challenges. Rose has worked at the primary, intermediate, secondary, and tertiary levels. She has extensive experience in working with children who are challenged by the education system as a classroom teacher, a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), and a specialist educator in settings for children with significant special needs. Rose is the current president of the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC), founding president of Christchurch Explorers, and an advisor for the NZ Centre for Gifted Education. Rose has presented at national and international conferences and workshops on a range of educational topics. Her special interest areas include: learning disabilities, children’s social and emotional development, parenting, giftedness, and sensory processing.
Carolyn Kottmeyer is the founder and director of Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and Hoagies’ Kids and Teens Page. She is a software engineer by training and trade, with degrees in software engineering. She developed an interest in gifted education a few years after the birth of her first child, when she noticed how different her daughter was and how the “normal” path through education didn’t seem to work for her. Since 1998, she has written for gifted newsletters and journals around the world, including Our Gifted Children, Gifted Education Communicator, The SENGVine, and a variety of state and local gifted newsletters. Carolyn frequently speaks at conferences including World Gifted Council, National Association of Gifted Children, Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, New Jersey Association of Gifted Children and many other state and local gifted associations, National Association of Gifted Children in Malaysia, and others.
Wenda Sheard, J.D., Ph.D, is an emeritus board member and past president of SENG. She recently served four years on the board of Potential Plus UK, formerly known as the United Kingdom’s National Association for Gifted Children, while she was teaching middle school students and serving with her husband as a dorm parent for high school boys at TASIS The American School in England from 2009-2014. Before moving to England, she taught middle school and high school in the United States and China, practiced law in Ohio for nearly two decades, and worked in Connecticut as a disability policy researcher exploring the educational and workforce lives of people with disabilities. She has keynoted at gifted conferences and received awards for her gifted advocacy work. She has helped teach the highly gifted portions of online gifted education courses, has presented at teacher in-service days, and has written extensively about gifted children and education. She has also worked, presented, and published in the political science field, and has served in numerous volunteer and professional capacities in the legal field. She is currently spends her days with a delightful combination of legal and educational pursuits, including representing the best interests of children in court actions, serving as a court-appointed mediator, and speaking at conferences and other gatherings of parents and educators.
Tracy Riley, PhD
Pohangina Valley, New Zealand
Dr. Riley specializes in gifted and talented education at Massey University in New Zealand. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field in addition to supervising postgraduate research. Tracy is the co-editor of APEX: The New Zealand Journal of Gifted Education and is on the editorial board of Gifted Child Today. An active advocate for gifted and talented students, Tracy has served on numerous Ministry of Education advisory groups and has co-authored the Ministry handbook, Gifted and Talented Students: Meeting Their Needs in New Zealand Schools (2000, 2012). She publishes and presents widely at both national and international levels. In 2007, Tracy was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching and was the recipient of a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award. Tracy is a past member of the executive committee of the Ako Aoteoroa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence and is chairperson of the board for giftEDnz: The Professional Association for Gifted Education. Tracy was a keynote speaker at The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) 20th Biennial World Conference, August 2013 in Louisville, KY.
Evelyn Metcalf currently teaches second grade at the Barringer Academic Center, Charlotte, NC. She has taught in regular and gifted education for the past 20 years in both Ohio and NC. Evelyn is a facilitator for SENG Model Parent Groups and represented SENG as NC’s state liaison. She has presented at OAGC and NCAGT conferences, in addition to the New Hanover County School system in Wilmington, NC. For the previous four years she taught third grade at a charter school for highly gifted in Charlotte, NC and served on its Vision Committee. Evelyn earned her masters degree and gifted license at Kent State University.
Dr. Michael Postma
Fort Mill, SC
Dr. Michael Postma is a consultant, speaker, and author dedicated to the holistic development of twice-exceptional children and other non-typical learners through his company Agility Educational Solutions. Born and raised in the Toronto area, Dr. Postma received his Bachelors Degree in Classical History at McMaster University before enrolling at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI to obtain his teacher licensure. He lived and worked briefly in Vancouver, British Columbia before moving to Minnesota where he enrolled at the University of St. Thomas in the Gifted, Talented & Creative Education Masters Program. After completing his M.A., Dr. Postma continued his education at St. Thomas and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Critical Pedagogy). Over the last two decades, Dr. Postma has worked as both a teacher and administrator in the public school system and is the architect of the Minnetonka Navigator Program, a magnet school for highly and profoundly gifted students. He currently lives in Fort Mill, SC and is the father of four children, two of whom have Aspergers.
Edward R. Amend, PsyD
Edward R. Amend, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist at Amend Psychological Services, PSC, his private practice in Lexington, Kentucky, with a satellite office in Blue Ash, Ohio, where he focuses on the social, emotional, and educational needs of gifted and talented youth and their families. Dr. Amend facilitates both child and parent discussion and education groups and offers consultation and training for school personnel. He is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences. He addresses issues including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and other common misdiagnoses, as well as underachievement, perfectionism, educational planning, and social/emotional needs of gifted. In addition to his years of service on the SENG Board of Directors, Dr. Amend served as a District Representative for the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education (KAGE) Board of Directors for six years and is Past-President of KAGE. He served as Chair for the National Association for Gifted Children Counseling and Guidance Division and remains active in the association. Dr. Amend is a consultant for the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), APA’s Division 53 (Child-Clinical Psychology), and the Kentucky Psychological Association.
Windsor Heights, IA
Arlene DeVries, a private consultant in gifted education, retired after 24 years as a consultant with the Des Moines Public Schools gifted/talented program. She recently completed nine years as a member of the board of directors of the National Association for Gifted Children, serving for many years as chair of their Parent-Community Division and was instrumental in launching their magazine, Parenting for High Potential. She is Past President of Iowa Talented and Gifted Association and the 2003 recipient of their Distinguished Service Award. She was president of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) and continues to serve on their editorial review board. In 2009 SENG awarded her their outstanding leadership award for promoting the social and emotional needs of gifted children. In 2005 she received the Drake University School of Education Outstanding Alumni Award. She currently is an Adjunct Professor at Drake University, teaching an on-line class, Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted. Arlene DeVries is a frequent presenter at state, national and world conferences including presentations in The Hague, Toronto, Hong Kong, Barcelona and Adelaide, Australia. She has facilitated more than seventy ten-week series of guided discussion groups for parents and trains facilitators across the country to lead the SENG model parent groups. She is co-author of two books published by Great Potential Press: Gifted Parent Groups: The SENG Model (Second Edition), and A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.
James T. Webb, PhD
Dr. Webb established the SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted Children) at Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology in 1981. This led to the publication of the award-winning book, Guiding the Gifted Child, and later, Gifted Parent Groups: The SENG Model. He was previously President of the American Association for Gifted Children, on the board of directors for the National Association for Gifted Children, President of the Ohio Psychological Association, and a member of the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association. He has authored 16 books and several DVDs including six books about gifted children and adults, four of which have won “Best Book: awards. His newest book is Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope. Dr. Webb has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Association for Gifted Children, the Community Service Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, the Upton Sinclair Award from Education Views, and the Heiser Presidential Award from the American Psychological Association. Formerly Professor and Associate Dean at the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Webb is president of Great Potential Press in Tucson, Arizona, an award-winning publisher of books for parents and teachers of gifted children. He has been recognized as one of the 25 most influential psychologists nationally on gifted education in a national survey published in Gifted Child Today.
Contact the Board
To contact a Board Member, email: [email protected].