Mankato Area Public Schools a Leader in Gifted Education
September 20, 2018

The Mankato Area School District is receiving top honors for its leadership in supporting gifted education.

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is recognizing Mankato Area Schools’ Sheri Allen, Superintendent, and Heather Mueller, Director of Teaching and Learning, as the organization’s 2018 Administrator of the Year.  NAGC is also honoring Tania Lyon, Talent Development Coordinator, as a 2018 NAGC Gifted Coordinator Award winner.

The awards will be presented to the team in November during the NAGC 65th Annual Convention that will be held in Minneapolis, November 15-18, 2018. Superintendent Allen and Dr. Mueller will receive the 2018 NAGC Administrator of Year Award, presented by Ball State University, during the opening session on Thursday, November 15, 3pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The entire Mankato team will be recognized in a ceremony on Friday, November 16, 6pm at the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel. Media interested in covering the awards ceremonies should contact NAGC in advance.

This Mankato team has changed the face and direction of the district’s gifted education program. Superintendent Allen secured support and funding, and Dr. Mueller found alternative ways to use school resources to achieve the talent development program goals.  Additionally, Dr. Lyon has been the leader of laying out the supports teachers need at every level. 

“The NAGC awards program shines a light on those who are making a difference in supporting gifted children as they reach to achieve their personal best,” said M. René Islas, NAGC Executive Director. “Supportive and committed administrators are critical to the success of all gifted and talented students.”

The Administrator and Gifted Coordinator Awards are presented to leaders in the field who have made significant contributions to gifted children.

A parent sums up best why the Mankato team is receiving these awards: “The commitment of this team to ensure learning for all students, including high capability learners and twice exceptional learners, is second to none. As [a] single-mother [who] prepares to send her son off to one of the nation’s top schools, my gratitude to the leadership of these three women is tremendous!”


The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a membership organization whose mission is to support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research. 

CONTACT:  Cathleen Healy,

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