This is my platform . . . my civil rights issue. If I can provide teachers with access to what I know, they can in turn create a better school environment for advanced learners who so desperately need a voice and an advocate.

I am writing to encourage you to consider NAGC’s Expert Speakers Program for your next conference or professional development session. Now in its fifth year, this program makes leaders and experts in the field of gifted education, STEM, talent development, and other timely topics available to state affiliates and other conferences for a significant discount off a typical honorarium fee.

NAGC_esp_2010_2C_web.jpgI’ve participated in ESP since 2009, when the program was first initiated, and over the years I’ve given several presentations to organizations that range from the Florida Association for Gifted to the Orange County Council for Gifted and Talented Education. After working on the Parallel Curriculum Model, serving on the NAGC Board, and conducting training workshops throughout the country, it seemed natural to extend this work to ESP, a program that provides so many benefits to NAGC and its members, both as a means of broadening learning, but also of building good will. Through ESP, organizations and audiences have affordable access to leaders, especially in states where gifted services are not mandated and funded. ESP also advances the field immeasurably by raising awareness and augmenting knowledge, and it is an excellent way to raise funds for NAGC.

It is important for educators to stay current and to have access to those who have been active in gifted education for many years and possess the knowledge to help them brainstorm and implement new ideas. In turn, I’ve found it very rewarding to give back and to learn firsthand of the day-to-day challenges faced by teachers who want to help their gifted students but often can’t.

“The conference went very well, and Dr. Leppien was outstanding! Many people had not had the opportunity to hear her speak prior to the conference. The feedback was extremely positive! Thank you for providing these opportunities for our GATE communities.”
--Beth Andrews, Orange County Gifted and Talented Education

I’ve worked in education for 36 years, and for much of that time in gifted education. Because I do a lot of consulting and make frequent presentations throughout the country, such as at EduFest and Confratute, I’ve become a bit more recognized in gifted circles. ESP gives speakers like me the opportunity to make a palpable impact on teachers and others who really need to hear from and network with veterans in the field who have made this work their life’s passion. I see ESPs as a kind of turnkey solution . . . we provide teachers with access to what we know, and they in turn provide access to students.

ESP speakers aren’t just selected for their great resumes, they have extensive experience as speakers. They are conversant in current issues in gifted education and their subject matter expertise is top rate. Their presentations are consistently timely, thoughtful, and substantive and they offer incalculable rewards to the conferences that really need them!

If you are interested in learning more about this program and the speakers available for your event, please visit the ESP page.