Looking Over the Balcony

Last week I enjoyed the opportunity to co-present on a webinar with past president Paula Olszewski-Kubilius. Our topic was NAGC Leadership Directions and Priorities for 2015, and we set it up in a “talk show” format with Executive Director Nancy Green as host. Topics ranged from education shifts and trends affecting our work to the big changes most national membership organizations like NAGC face going forward. The conversation was recorded, so if you have a 60-minute window in your busy schedule, you can access the conversation via the online bookstore (log in before purchase).

Each year between the September Board Retreat and NAGC’s Annual Convention, we identify and approve the projects and programs that NAGC staff and leaders will work to accomplish over the next 12-18 months. This begins with a look “over the balcony” at the landscape facing national education organizations in the next two-to-three years. Factors such as the economy, new national education initiatives (like the Common Core) and data from members’ participation in past programs, contribute to an informed backdrop for decision making. Like any national membership organization, NAGC looks for that sweet spot—mission-driven programs that really help our members be more successful in the work that they do on behalf of gifted learners.

Of course we also think more broadly—finding ways we can contribute to the national educational conversation as well as influence change in policy and advocacy circles. When the Board reconvenes in November, we will finalize our Leadership Initiatives for the coming year, and then share them widely with the many groups who support these efforts, including state directors of programs for the gifted, state affiliate leaders, NAGC's 15 Networks plus Special Interest Groups, and our many organization committees. Through this effort, we continue our work as "One NAGC."

Looking ahead to my second year as president, I am encouraged by the response and interest we have had in the search for a new executive director. At this writing, we are close to finalizing the selection of a national search firm to help us identify a strong candidate pool, as well as a search committee that represents a broad range of stakeholders and perspectives within NAGC. The organization is on solid footing, and ready to build on the leadership of the past 10 years.

In addition, NAGC's commitment to diversity continues to grow widely through a variety of initiatives--including webinars, online resources, and partnerships with organizations that have the potential to really move NAGC ahead. I encourage you to read these issues of Compass Points regularly, and to contribute your ideas and expertise to our important work. The coming year will be an especially dynamic one for NAGC. I urge you to make your voice heard.