NAGC Announces the 2020 Javits-Frasier Scholars: Increasing Equity in Access and Quality of Service for Gifted Children in America’s Schools
October 26, 2020

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 2020 cohort:

2020 NAGC Javits-Frasier Scholars

Allison Argo Paragon Mills Elem and McGavock Elem Nashville, TN
Chyna Bates Newell Elementary School Charlotte, NC
Jessica Blair Robert E Lee High School Jacksonville, FL
Ansley Cash Evans Elementary School Albertville, AL
Alexis Conger Cottonwood Elementary School Tucson, AZ
Laytora Dash GW Carver Elementary School Kannapolis, NC
Alexandra Howes Twin Cities Academy Saint Paul, MN
Christina Johnston Glenview Elementary North Little Rock, AR
Hannah Kennedy Elmer A. Henderson Baltimore, MD
Virginia Kochan-Lovett Decatur CIty Schools Decatur, AL
Stephanie Long White Pine Elementary Burley, ID
Shana Lusk Orangewood Elementary Phoenix, AZ
Kristin Motley Omaha School District  

Omaha, AR

Brandi Noe Kodiak Island Borough School District Kodiak, AK
Rodney Pierce Red Oak Middle School Battleboro, NC
Elisha Rearick David Cox Road Elementary School

Charlotte, NC

Jen Smialek St. Leonard Elementary St.                  St. Leonard, MD
Becky Spears Neshoba Central Elementary School Philadelphia, MS
LeQuisha Underwood Stewert Middle Magnet School Tampa, FL

The Javits-Frasier Scholars will network with and learn from leaders in the field of gifted education during the reimagined Virtual NAGC 67th Annual Convention November 12-17, 2020.

“These scholars are often working within a system that provides little time to keep up with the latest research, and the Javits-Frasier program gives them a unique opportunity to gather insight and strategies that will enhance their skills and knowledge,” said Jonathan Plucker, NAGC Board President. “Most important, the Javits-Frasier Scholars are critical to increasing equity in access and quality of service for gifted and talented children in our schools.”

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.

Some of the 2020 Javits-Frasier Scholars shared their thoughts about learning they had won the award,

Three scholars are from the state of North Carolina.

Chyna Bates stated, “I was humbled, honored, and excited to have been selected for the Javits/Frasier Scholarship. I am excited to use this opportunity to create access and equity for underrepresented students.”

Rodney Pierce said, “I felt I had found an avenue to accomplish personal goals of increasing gifted identification and access to gifted instruction for low-income and minority students.”

Elisha Rearick shared that “When I learned that I was selected for a Javits/Frasier Scholarship, I was extremely honored. Being part of this program will allow me to better advocate for my students and combat underrepresentation in my district. I am so excited to learn and grow from this experience!”

Allison Argo, of Tennessee wrote, “I felt proud to learn I was selected for a Javits/Frasier Scholarship. I feel that this opportunity will open doors for me, professionally, but will also help me open doors for the students I serve.” 2 of this year’s scholars are from Florida.

Jessica Blair shared, “I feel honored to be included in such a great opportunity!”

Ansley Cash, of Alabama said of the award, "I am so happy and grateful for all the amazing opportunities that are coming my way."

LeQuisha Underwood wrote, “I feel proud that my effort in educating all children were being seen and acknowledged by my colleagues.”

Alexis Conger, of Arizona was excited and said, “At first I was a bit shocked and in disbelief to be selected but then quickly became excited about the opportunity to learn more and grow as an educator to helping future generations of young gifted students.”

Alexandra Howes, of Minnesota, was “delighted to be selected for this honor. I know that this scholarship is an important step on my journey to immerse myself in the world of gifted education and to bring back my newfound knowledge to my school community.”

Stephanie Long of Idaho wrote that "When I read the email notification of my selection I could hardly contain my excitement.  Coming from a rural community in Idaho, I knew the Javits-Frasier Scholarship could provide me with professional development and networking that I would be hard-pressed to get without it."

Kristin Motley, of Arkansas, stated, “When I learned that I was selected to receive the Javits/Frasier Scholarship, I was thrilled. This program will make a huge difference in my career to help me better serve the gifted students at my school. I cannot wait to be a student myself and learn more about gifted education.”

Brandi Noe of Alaska, “felt both honored and excited to have been selected as a 2020 Javits-Frasier Scholar. This year (also my first year in gifted education) I have been challenged to rebuild our Gifted and Talented program. I cannot wait to meet the cohort and begin learning how I can support my community of learners here in Kodiak.”

Becky Spears, is “honored and excited to be able to learn more about gifted education!  I can't wait to use what I learn in my classroom for the success 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:  Denise Weathers, dweathers

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