SENG Liaisons

SENG Liaisons are respected spokespersons who promote SENG’s vision, mission, and services. As they model effective partnerships between SENG, state gifted associations, and other professional groups interested in the emotional needs of the gifted, SENG Liaisons are a crucial component of our organization. Liaisons’ duties include assisting with SENG committees, acting as a personal contact point for SENG in each state, helping with marketing and promotion of SENG programs, and participating in planning and implementation of SENG’s annual conference.

If you are interested in becoming a SENG Liaison, please complete and submit our SENG Liaison Application Form.

All SENG liaisons are required to maintain their annual SENG membership. 

For more information or to answer additional questions, please email our office.

Search for liaisons by state abbreviation:

ALAKAR AZCACOCTDEFLGAHIIAID, ILINKSKYLAMAMDMEMIMO,
MNMSMTNCNDNENHNJNMNVNYOHOKORPARI, SCSDTNTXUT, VT,
VA, WA, WIWVWYInternational

 

Alabama
Amy Waine

 

Alaska
Kimber Olson 
is the parent of a highly gifted child, and is a psychotherapist specializing in working with children in Anchorge, Alaska. In addition to 15 years of mental health and child protection experience, Kimber has provided trainings nationally and internationally, teaching professionals in the areas of trauma, attachment, ethics, and understanding eating disorders, among others. She has taught at the Kenai Peninsula College.

 

Arizona
We are now accepting applications. Click here to apply.

 

Arkansas
Polly Bakker 
received Retirement Recognition for 34 years of service in education  from Patti Thompson at the 32 annual Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE)  Conference  held in Little Rock at Peabody Hotel February 17-19, 2011.  Mrs. Bakker was a  G/T Supervisor at Arch Ford Education Cooperative in Plumerville for 23 years.  She was also president of AGATE, founder of Arkansas Association Gifted Education Administrators, member of Phi Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega,  Destination  Imagination Board, and Conway First United Methodist Church.  Her husband is Ben Bakker, former Superintendent at Mt. Vernon-Enola Schools.

 

California (Northern)
Kathleen Crombie  
M.A., M.Ed. earned degrees in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University-Teachers College in New York.  She is the SENG Parent Group Trainer, Faciliator and Consultant at Summit Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a special interest in chronic disorganization of gifted across the life span.  Ms. Crombie is a founder and President of Piedmont GPS (Gifted Parent Support) Board of Directors.  She grew up on a research farm in Minnesota. Ms. Crombie and her husband are raising two gifted middle school boys.

California (Central)
Annette Sheely, M.A.

California (Southern)
Deborah Greenspan 
lives in Winnetka, California.  As a former California Community College Chancellor’s Office Articulation and Matriculation Committee Student Representative, and the current Parent Liaison of 2E Network LA, Deborah helps twice-exceptional adults and children navigate systems, referring and supporting parents on their healthcare and education journeys. Deborah also advocates implementing research-based best practice models and encourages mutually supportive parent–teacher collaboration in schools. Using the tools gathered from SENG and the child-centered learning model of ‘lifting in areas of strength with one hand while supporting areas of need with the other,’ Deborah eclectically homeschooled her eight and ten year old twice-exceptional daughters for four and 1/2 years. Her eighteen year-old daughter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology through a university early entrance program and works in psycho-neuro research. Deborah’s sixteen year-old daughter attends community college.

 

Colorado
Kathee Jones
 involvement in, and passion for, gifted issues began as the parent of three gifted children, which has included pursuing a variety of educational options including homeschooling to meet their individual needs and to find “fit”. Kathee is a board member of the Colorado Gifted and Talented Association, has been with CAGT’s local affiliate since 2001, and serves on the Colorado State Advisory Committee for Gifted Education.

 

Connecticut
Fran McGovern
is a mother, parent advocate and singer. Before becoming interested in gifted education, she studied Opera and Voice Performance at the Indiana University School of Music and with coaches at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She currently works for the Congregational Church of Stamford, Connecticut as section leader and soloist. She enjoys volunteer work where she can use her creative and photographic talents and currently serves on the board of the Connecticut Association for the Gifted. She is Coach of an Odyssey of the Mind team. She is Board Member of the Darien League of Women Voters as an editor of their electronic newsletters. She resides in Darien with her husband, two children and three cats.

 

Delaware
Sandra Williamson, 
Ph.D., earned an Educational Psychology degree with a concentration in Instructional Technology at Kent State University. She has taught in higher education for twenty years. Currently she is the chair of M.Ed. in Instruction: Gifted and Talented Learners degree program offered at Wilmington University. Dr. Williamson is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the International Society for Technology in Education. She is co-editor of book reviews for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning. Dr. Williamson serves on the Delaware Department of Education Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Learners. As a psychologist and instructional technologist, her passions and research focus on designing and developing computer-based instruction to study authentic problems. She has worked with numerous gifted and talented programs in Ohio studying problem-based learning with virtual reality computer-based instruction and presented her research at national and international conferences.

 

Florida
Pamela Sudzina 
is the former facilitator of the Gifted Education Program of Service Options in Polk County Schools, Florida. She designed and facilitated online endorsement classes for teachers who added gifted to their teaching certificates.   Pam has also served on committees related to gifted and has acted as an advocate and resource for the district and the state.  She recently retired after 38 years of service to the Polk County School District. Her major research interests include the social and emotional issues of students who are gifted, online learning and underrepresented gifted children and youth. Pam is an advocate for parents of gifted children who are looking to build successful relationships with the school. Ms. Sudzina is also the mother of an adult daughter and grandmother of a middle school age grandson. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Florida Southern College, M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Development from the University of South Florida and is currently working in the proposal phase of the dissertation at the University of South Florida.

 

Georgia
Traci Harden

 

Hawaii
Christine Ohtani -Chang

 

Idaho
We are now accepting applications. Click here to apply.

 

Illinois
Newenka DuMont is Vice President of the Chicago Gifted Community Center, a 501(c)3 not for profit with the mission to facilitate educational and emotional support for gifted children and their families in and around Chicago. She founded and served as the first president of the Gifted Education Cooperative (GECO), a parent support and advocacy organization in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Newenka is a member of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, has volunteered on IAGC’s advocacy and affiliates committees, has spoken at IAGC annual conferences, and organized IAGC’s first Please Don’t Leave Our Children Behind Day in Springfield. She has been leading SENG style guided reading groups since 2003. Newenka has two gifted children who have attended public schools, whom she and her husband also homeschooled for a year to travel around the world.

 

Indiana
Toni Szymanski

 

Iowa
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Kansas
Sheri Stewart 
has been an educator for nearly forty years, primarily in gifted education. Sheri’s doctoral work in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies emphasized both district level school administration, staff development and gifted education.  Currently she is the coordinator of an exemplary gifted program in the Blue Valley School District in the Kansas City area and consults with other school districts. She has served on the board of directors for state gifted associations in Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas and on the executive committees of two National Association for Gifted Children Divisions. When she was State Director for Gifted Education in Nebraska, she directed the writing of new state regulations for gifted education.  She is also a former professor of gifted education where she was graduate advisor to over 200 teachers of the gifted. Dr. Stewart’s focus throughout her career in gifted education has been the social-emotional needs of gifted students.  She has written and presented on this topic, serves as a SMPG facilitator and organizes groups in the Overland Park area, and continues to connect with past gifted students…some of whom have become gifted education teachers themselves.

 

Kentucky
Joy Navan is Professor Emeritus at Murray State University as well as a consultant.  She has been a popular presenter at SENG’s national conference.  Ms. Navan is bi-lingual in Spanish and proficient in French.  She is the author of the book Nurturing the Gifted Female.

 

Louisiana
Mary Hidalgo, PhD 
is a highly qualified veteran teacher who has 19 years of experience teaching and advocating for gifted youth. She is also a parent to such children. Dr. Hidalgo’s earned LSU degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Gifted Education enabled her to research lived experiences of mothers raising G/T children. Her ongoing and expanded research and writing provides a platform for such parents to have a voice and share personal narratives. Dr. Hidalgo further supports parents of G/T children and youth as a SENG Parent Group Facilitator and is focused on building a vast state-wide and national community of support for parents of G/T children. 

 

Maine
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Maryland
Julie F. Skolnick, M.A., J.D. 
is the Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, LLC, a service supporting parents of gifted and distractible children.  As a consultant, coach and advocate, Julie meets with parents one-on-one, lectures and writes about the true meaning of giftedness and twice exceptionality, leads Parent Empowerment Groups and provides workshops for parents and teachers.  The mother of three gifted children, two identified as also having ADHD, Julie has focused her energy on understanding behaviors through gifted and learning disabled lenses for a long time. Her passion is to help others thrive, not in spite of exceptionalities, but through embracing and understanding their unique gifts and needs.  Julie is called upon as a resource for parents, teachers, administrators and professionals all serving and seeking to understand the gifted population.  Learn more at WithUnderstandingComesCalm.com,  or reach Julie directly at [email protected]

 

Massachusetts
Aimee Yermish

 

Michigan
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Minnesota
Wendi SchirvarPhD, is a licensed School Psychologist and researcher, who devotes her assessment and consulting practice to the socio-emotional needs of gifted learners, using this information to help parents, students and practitioners better understand and serve the needs of gifted students. She is a well sought after speaker who combines witty anecdotes with current research to provide practical information on various topics related to gifted learners. With a background in Child Development, Attachment Research, Parent Education and Educational Psychology, she brings an eclectic blend of theory and practice to her work assisting families of gifted students with assessment of intellectual and socio-emotional functioning; addressing parenting issues, testing, school advocacy, educational planning and family goal setting; and assisting students with managing life transitions and issues arising from developing as a gifted learner. She maintains membership on various local and national boards to support the attention to the needs of gifted students.

 

Mississippi
Royal Toy, is an Assistant Professor of Education at Mississippi University for Women, coordinator of Gifted Studies, Director of Summer Discovery, and Assistant Director of Mississippi Governor’s School. Royal is a Model Parent Group Facilitator and is working to expand the services for social and emotional needs across the state.

 

Missouri
Virginia Lennon

 

Montana
Estee Aiken

 

Nebraska
John Thomsen is the Communication Coordinator for Nebraska Association for the Gifted. He has made multiple contributions to the area of gifted including: being the recipient of Extra Mile Award, Gifted Nebraska Award for Lifelong Work for Gifted and the Destination Imagination Service Award. He frequently presents at the Nebraska Association for the Gifted Conferences. John is currently Talented and Gifted Consultant to 18 schools districts for the Educational Service Unit #3 in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

Nevada
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

New Hampshire
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

New Jersey
Anna Kress is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Princeton, NJ.  She primarily provides psychotherapy to gifted adolescents and adults and specializes in working with college students.  She was an intern at the counseling center at The College of New Jersey, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, and a staff psychologist at Rutgers University.  Dr. Kress’ interests include overexcitabilities and diagnostic issues in the gifted.  Her article on gifted introverts was recently published.

 

New Mexico
Bryan McCuller

 

New York
Dr. Rebecca Mannis is a learning specialist with over 25 years of experience developing and implementing customized instructional programs for gifted and twice exceptional students at her learning center, Ivy Prep Learning Center, www.ivy-prep.com. She consults to schools, parents and organizations in designing programs that match individual learning goals to  complement each school’s approach. She has a Masters in Reading from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University in Developmental Psychology with specialization in Neuroscience and Education. . She recently founded a nonprofit foundation to address the instructional needs of students who are not sufficiently served.

 

North Carolina
Evelyn Metcalf lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and teaches 3rd grade at a charter school for the gifted (Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy). Evelyn is also a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator and a member of the North Carolina Association for Gifted and Talented.

 

North Dakota
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Ohio
Toni Viscounte holds an M.Ed. specializing in gifted education from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Toni is a superintendent and gifted coordinator.   She is the former Region 9 Representative for the Ohio Association of Gifted Children and remains as an active member of the organization. She has presented at the state and local level on gifted services, differentiated instruction, and the social and emotional needs of gifted children. She works with general education and gifted staff to develop rigorous curriculum and conducts ongoing professional development on the nature and needs of gifted children. She was previously a teacher of gifted children and is a published writer on gifted issues.

 

Oklahoma
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Oregon
Judy Smith is the parent of three adult children who were identified as gifted and who participated in GATE programs in their public school district in California. She was active with both the local parent group and a regional educator/ parent group. Judy was a regional parent representative on the board of directors for the California Association for the Gifted (CAG) from 1995-2000 and was CAG-Political Action Committee Chair from 2004-2006. She was employed by the school district in a support position for the GATE office from 1996-2006. In 1997 all CAG board members were trained as SMPG facilitators and Judy had the privilege of facilitating groups in her local area until 2006.  She is also certified as a trainer of facilitators. In 2006 Judy and her husband moved to Oregon to be near their two married children and their families. She now serves on the board of the Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted (OATAG) as the Parent Meet-up Coordinator.

 

Pennsylvania
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Rhode Island
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

South Carolina
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

South Dakota
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Tennessee
Kristy Mall is a veteran teacher of gifted and high achievers. She is a former Tennessee Teacher of the Year Finalist, the Tennessee Horizon Award Winner for outstanding teachers of gifted students, and Tennessee Outstanding Young Educator. She is an active member of NAGC and serves on several committees for them, and is a member of TAG as well. She has presented about gifted education at the state and national levels. In addition, she is the parent of a gifted daughter and a twice-exceptional son (gifted and autistic). She is currently working on her doctorate and focusing on gifted relationships as her dissertation topic. She works in a school for gifted and high achieving students.

 

Texas (South)
Stacia Taylor

 

Utah
Sally Lyon is an educational consultant and founder of Our Gifted Online Conferences. Sally’s passion is providing a safe harbor for those who are seeking to understand and advocate for gifted children. Sally is the founder of a national twice-exceptional #2E twitter network. Sally is a recipient of NAGC Professional Achievement Certificate Program 2003, UAGC’s Sally M. Todd Local Leadership Award 2006, and Top Online Educator Award 2007. She serves on SENG’s Editorial Board, NAGC’s Parent Advisory Committee, helped develop the Mile Marker Series and is published in UOG – Understanding Our Gifted. Sally is married and a parent of two grown sons.

 

Vermont
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Virginia
Tracy Whitaker

 

Washington
To be updated soon

 

Washington DC
Mary Killay Lavayen, M.A. brings over 20 years of experience in education both in the US and overseas. As an education consultant since 2008, she works with gifted children in the DC metropolitan area. She is passionate about helping families to identify school options (public and private) & enrichment activities  that are a good fit. She encourages families to advocate for their children’s needs in a positive way. Mary is fluent in Spanish and has a special interest in both diversity issues and the needs of the gifted. She is the mother of three children (her best teachers!) who receive gifted services from public schools.

 

West Virginia
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

Wisconsin
Terry Petrenchik, PhD, OTR/L, is a licensed occupational therapist and founder of Ready2LiveandLearn, a private therapy clinic and family education center located in Appleton, WI. She has held several faculty positions and childhood disability research positions in both the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Petrenchik currently provides services to a range of children, youth and families, including those who are gifted and twice exceptional. Her interests include the promotion of social-emotional health and quality of live for exceptional individuals and their families. She looks forward to becoming a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator in the very near future and she enjoys spending time with her brilliant and challenging twice-exceptional god-daughter.

 

Wyoming
We are now accepting applications for your state. Click here to apply.

 

 INTERNATIONAL LIAISONS

 

Australia
Susan Luus holds a MEd specializing in gifted education from the University of New South Wales, Australia. She has presented nationally and internationally on gifted children and supporting their needs. Susan has taught in mainstream schools in South Africa and Australia and a school for the gifted in New Zealand. She assists in development of curriculum for gifted children with a focus on their academic and social and emotional needs. Her current consultancy provides professional development for teachers  and assists in designing appropriate curriculum for gifted students. Susan is involved in ongoing support for parents of gifted children and assists them in advocating for their children and their learning needs. She works in schools with gifted children to assist the development of self-advocacy and negotiated learning pathways. Susan believes that support and advocacy are vital for the provision of equity of opportunity for gifted children.

 

Belgium
Nathalie Lawrence

 

Colombia

Carin Alexa Prieto Cruz Ph.D.

 

France
Helen Sahin Connelly is the founder and president of the organization Gifted in France and the coordinator of the Paris Spelling Bee. She is a SMPG facilitator and holds SMPG meetings often.

 

Germany (South)
Roya Klingner is the Head and Founder of Bavarian Center for Gifted and Talented Children (2008) and Global Center for Gifted and Talented Children (2012). She is the German Delegate in World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC), member of European Council for High Ability (ECHA), member of International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE) and Lecturer at the university Erlangen in Germany. Roya Klingner has an unique and diverse background, having worked in all year levels and many specialist areas during a career in both Government and Independent schools in different countries and cultures over the past years. Her philosophy as an educator is a reflection of current best-practice teaching and learning. She holds an ECHA certification, Specialist in Gifted Education from the University of Nijmegan in Netherland. Roya has experience in the development and application of Professional Learning programs, assisting and supporting staff to implement new and innovative programs into their classrooms. Roya Klingner is a Solution Oriented Therapist for Gifted Children. Her goal now is to support and help Gifted and Talented Children around the world.

 

Germany (Central)
Inga Liebert-Cop and Suzana Zirbes-Domke. Inga Liebert-Cop is a psychologist in the International Center for Study of Giftedness of University of Münster, Germany. She leads intelligence diagnostics and advises students, parents and teachers in gifted education. Inga teaches in the ECHA courses (European Council for High Ability) for teachers, educators, and volunteer advisors and is a licensed psychotherapist.

 

Hong Kong
Ka Yan Danise Moke

 

Ireland
Colm O’Reilly

 

Italy
Renati Roberta is a licensed family psychotherapist. Her activities include both clinical practice and research/training. Since 2003 she has been collaborating with the Psychology Department at the University of Pavia, in the areas of developmental and educational psychology. Roberta Renati is also the coordinator of the Italian Lab of Research and Intervention for the development of Talent, Potential and Giftedness at Pavia University in which she counsels the parents of gifted children. She is also working as a family therapist in residential therapeutic rehabilitation centers and is currently a member of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) and of the European Network for Social and Emotional Competence (ENSEC). She is also on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Emotional Education.

 

New Zealand
Francis Hill, first became aware of SENG when she was nominated to the SENG Honor Roll of Outstanding Educators. Since then she has presented at the SENG Florida conference and throughout New Zealand and Australia. Throughout her career, she has focused on meeting the needs of students who don’t fit the system by reason of temperament, learning difficulties or giftedness. She is a director of the Alpha Education Consultancy, Principal of the Alpha Digital Facility and author of the Teaching Gifted Learners series of books for teachers. Currently, she is busy spreading the word about SENG’s excellent work through New Zealand and Australia.

 

Portugal
Sara Bahia

 

Romania
Carmen Cretu

 

Spain
Juan A. Alonso,
Doctor in Education Cum Laude by the Universidad de Salamanca, has received many awards for his work with gifted children. He´s been a member of the Executive Committee of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (1997-2001), and currently serves as a delegate for Spain. He is the author of several books and tests on the field of Giftedness, and lectures post-graduate courses in México, Colombia, Perú, Argentina, Costa Rica, Brasil, Portugal, Ecuador, Spain, and more.

 

SENG Liaison Disclaimer
SENG does not control, monitor or guarantee the services or qualifications of SENG Liaisons posted on the SENG Liaison website pages, and do not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered by SENG Liaisons. In no event shall SENG be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services available on or through any such site or resource. 

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