NAGC Announces the 2018 Javits-Frasier Scholars: Increasing Equity in Access and Quality of Service for Gifted Children in America’s Schools
October 17, 2018

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Javits-Frasier Scholars Program recognizes passionate, innovative educators who work in districts that serve students from low-income and minority populations that are historically underrepresented in gifted education. Today NAGC announced the 2018-19 cohort.

2018 NAGC Javits-Frasier Scholars

Michelle Partridge Benteen Elementary Atlanta, GA
Latifah Williams Charles R. Drew Charter School Atlanta, GA
Kathy Benton Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy Baltimore, MD
Jeannine Disviscour Moravia Park Elementary Baltimore, MD​
Louise Reid Immokalee Community School Immokalee, FL
Jennifer Willems Discovery Intermediate Kissimmee, FL
Verona Nisbeth-Hart Hibiscus Elementary Miami Gardens, FL
Courtney Baker Prairie View Elementary Rhome, TX
Brittany Carrone Harmony School of Innovation Carrollton Carrollton, TX
Niamh Burke Sidney Sawyer Elementary Chicago, IL
Geena Constantin Robert Frost Sixth Grade Academy Louisville, KY
Julie Delgado Sunnyside Elementary Great Falls, MT


The Javits-Frasier Scholars will network with and learn from leaders in the field of gifted education at the NAGC 65th Annual Convention in Minneapolis, MN, November 15-18, 2018.

According to federally funded research, students who are living in poverty, are learning English as a second language, and are from racial and ethnic minority groups are 250 percent less likely to be identified for, and served in gifted programs, even when they perform at a comparable level to children in the program.

“The Javits-Frasier Scholars are critical to increasing equity in access and quality of service for gifted and talented children in our schools,” said M. René Islas, NAGC Executive Director. “They will learn evidence-based strategies to support gifted learners from under-represented populations.”

Two teachers from Atlanta Public Schools, Michelle Partridge, Benteen Elementary, and Latifah Williams, Charles R. Drew Charter School, said they are honored to be named Javits-Frasier Scholars and take part in this valuable learning experience. “I am excited about this opportunity to further my craft,” said Partridge, and Williams shared she is “excited about the positive effects that this will have on my pedagogy.” 

Baltimore City Schools also has two teachers who were selected. Kathy Benton, a teacher at Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy, said, “This is my third year as a gifted and talented teacher, and I am always looking for opportunities to further my learning and practice in gifted and talented education.” Jeannine Disviscour, Moravia Park Elementary, said, “I am honored to be chosen to be a part of this cohort and have the opportunity to work with and learn from other educators who care about equity and excellence in gifted education.”

The state of Florida has three teachers who will be heading to Minneapolis. Jennifer Willems, Discovery Intermediate School in Kissimmee, said she is “excited for a great opportunity to learn more and engage with others.” Verona Nisbeth-Hart, Hibiscus Elementary in Miami Gardens, said, “The Javits-Frasier Scholarship will provide me with the necessary tools that I need to be able to nurture and develop my [diverse] students’ talents.”  Louise Reid, Immokalee Community School, said, “Being given this opportunity to educate myself further, among others passionate about giftedness, is a blessing, and one I can share with my community of teachers and learners!”

Texas will be represented by Courtney Baker, Prairie View Elementary in Rhome, and Brittany Carrone, Harmony School of Innovation in Carrollton. Baker said she is “honored and excited to be a member of the Javits-Frasier Scholars cohort and looks forward to learning with other educators who share a passion for teaching gifted students.” Carrone has spent eight years teaching in Title 1 schools, and she said, “I firmly believe that being able to identify and understand the needs of gifted learners within this population is important.

Niamh Burke, a teacher at Sidney Sawyer Elementary School in Chicago, IL, said, “As I round out my second year teaching gifted, I am thrilled for this opportunity that is aimed at increasing representation of minority students on the national gifted stage.”

Geena Constantin, a teacher at the Robert Frost Sixth Grade Academy in Louisville, KY, said, "I see this opportunity as a chance for me to be part of a community of like-minded people... This has been my first year teaching students who have been identified as advanced placement, and it comes with some distinct challenges.”

Julie Delgado, a teacher at Sunnyside Elementary School in Great Falls, MT, shared “After much anticipation, I was both grateful and honored to have been selected to share in the experience of NAGC and to network with other educators from across the United States who are in my same shoes. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate and find new ways to support the needs of my students.”


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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