Gifted Pathways is SAGE’s 3rd annual “mini-conference” to help you navigate your gifted child or student from kindergarten to college. Sessions are planned for parents, educators and gifted students.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at GCISD’s Professional Development and Education Center (PDEC), 5800 Colleyville Blvd.


Spreadsheet version



Contaremos con un traductor en Español durante la conferencia


FREE to SAGE Members (includes the whole family)
FREE to SAGE Educator Members
$10/person for non-members (or join SAGE today and get the family in free)
Volunteer for the conference


5:30 pm Pre-Event Dinner & Social and Event Check-In

Pizza slices will be available for purchase. Or, bring your own dinner. Network with other GT families!

Educators, RSVP and dinner is on us:

Check in for students pre-registered for the Kids’ Workshop begins about 5:45 in the Mustang Room.

6:00 p.m. Main Session

Presentation: Sherry Hamilton Memorial GT Educator Award

Preview: SAGE workshop “So Much to Give” with Aphelion

Celebration: TAGT Gifted Parent Support Group of the Year

Keynote: “Underachievement in the Gifted – The Little Engine That Wouldn’t” Lisa Van Gemert, The Gifted Guru

  • Designed for parents, educators, and students 5th grade and up
  • Lisa is an engaging keynote speaker and winner of the 2018 TAGT Legacy Book Award for her book on gifted perfectionism. Her appearance locally with SAGE is booked between her appearances at the National Association for Gifted Children and the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented conferences. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the Gifted Guru right here in town!

Breakout Sessions

Designed for parents, educators, and applicable for students 5th grade and up. Each session is 25 minutes:

7 p.m. Breakout Sessions:

  • Perfectionism, with Lisa Van Gemert, The Gifted Guru. A bonus session with our keynote speaker.
  • Student Voices: A panel of current GT high schoolers will reflect on their middle school experiences and offer advice to students. Great for 5th-12th graders, parents, educators.
  • College Admissions Success: Karen Dillard of KD College Prep will present about navigating admissions and the SAT/ACT. Very informative session. Great for 8th-11th graders and parents.

7:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions:

  • Finding Your Element, with NuMinds Enrichment. Why identifying, acknowledging, and nurturing your gifted child’s passions can be the key to guiding them toward not just super achievement, but a more fulfilling and rewarding life in their “element.”
  • Parent Voices. A panel of experienced GT parents offer advice about navigating course options available for middle school and high school.
  • Gifted 101 with Cindy Garcia, GT Specialist, Silver Lake. Your child is gifted — now what? Learn the GT lingo and get strategies for parenting your unique child from a gifted teacher and parent.

8 p.m. Breakout Sessions:

  • Conversations for College & Career with Julie Leslie, GCISD Director of Advanced Academics. This session could also be called “What I’d Learn if I Were A Fly on the Wall in Julie Leslie’s House When She Coached Her Own Teenager.” As a trusted HS English and ISM teacher in Frisco ISD, Julie Leslie had many conversations with teens as they anguished over what to major in and where to attend college. Hear practical ideas and exercises that help guide conversations for high ability teens and their parents. These ideas might also help kids ascertain electives to choose in high school.
  • College Admissions Success: (repeated session) Karen Dillard of KD College Prep will present about navigating admissions and the SAT/ACT. Very informative session. Great for 8th-11th graders and parents.
  • Gifted Plus/2e/Twice-Exceptional. A roundtable about students who are gifted and have additional learning difference such as ADHD, dyslexia, and more. Share information and connect with a broader network of families with similar challenges.


NEW! Session for K-4th Kids During the Conference. NuMinds Enrichment Workshop: Turkeys Can Fly!

  • Designed for students Kinder to 4th grade
  • FREE and open to SAGE Member Families only. Log into your My School Anywhere SAGE Portal and click on signups to see if any spots are left.
  • Space is limited to 30 total. (We’ve already opened signups to our conference volunteers — thank you for your early commitment!)
  • The Kids’ Workshop will be concurrent with the keynote and breakout sessions. Kids will first play games and socialize with friends new and old; then the NuMinds workshop will feature the science of aeronautics and flight: Our conniving turkey friend Tom has a ton of helpers getting him over the massive farm wall, but they overlooked a key part of the plan — getting back down! Tom has been plumped up and unlike his wild counterparts, can’t fly. Help Tom get to the ground safely by making a glider, a parachute, or another fantastical flying device! Unlock the secrets of aerodynamics and help Tom learn to “fall with style” at this unique one-time challenge.
  • Required: Pre-Registration for the NuMinds Kids Workshop opens Oct. 29 via MySchoolAnywhere. We will email SAGE Members and post a link on social media.
  • If you have a friend who hasn’t joined SAGE yet — invite them to join SAGE today and attend Gifted Pathways FREE!

Thank you to the many people who made Gifted Pathways 2018 possible!

Keynote Speaker

Lisa Van Gemert, Gifted Guru

Breakout Session Speakers

Lisa Van Gemert, Gifted Guru

Julie Leslie, GCISD

Cindy Garcia, GCISD

Ashley McCarrick, KD College Prep

Ben Koch, NuMinds

Janelle O’Haugherty

Kathy Wheat

Parent Voices Panelists and Panel Organizers

Ellen Weaver

Kim Farbisz

Charlene Kaase

John Logan

Kim Wilding

Renee Wright

Student Voices Panelists

Aiden Chavez, CHHS

Katherine Weaver, CHHS

Kevin Doody, CHHS

Reagan Isbell, GHS

Ruth Schlenker, GHS

Isabel Sullivan, CHHS

Megan Wilding, GHS

Ask the Experts

Justin Smith

Brian Holland

Ellen Weaver

Kimberley Barber-Davis

Kids’ Workshop Part 1

Tiffany Griffard

Lifang Niu-Brown


Kids’ Workshop Part 2

Nu Minds Enrichment



Breakout Session Room Hosts

Amy Cave

Christina Moore-Salinas

Pre-Event Team

Rachel Smith

Kimberly Phoenix

Betsy Dodson

Julie Rockaway

Janelle O’Haugherty

Christina Moore-Salinas

Heidi Hughes

Charlene Kaase


Special Thanks


GCISD Facilities Staff

Julie Leslie

Gifted & Talented Educators

Family & Friends of Sherry Hamilton

Saundra Necessary

Cindy Walling

Allyson Dickinson

Heidy Anderson

Aphelion: Lindsey and Lindy

Sharon Gorman

Wise Guys Pizza

Event Leadership

The SAGE Executive Board:

President – Amy Warren
VP Programs – John Logan
VP Membership – Kimberly Phoenix
Secretary – Christina Moore-Salinas
Treasurer –  Doug Noell
Community Liaison – Justin Smith
Fundraising – Rachel Smith
Immediate Past President – Kim Farbisz