395-3 Spectacle Lake Dr., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1W8
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To the speakers and all who attended, Thank You!

 The 2012 Nova Scotia Summit on Gifted Education and Talent Development was a great success.  Thank you to all who participated.  This event website will remain online for archival purposes.  Please see the Keynote Speakers, Daily Featured Speakers and Breakout Session Speakers pages to download each speakers presentation.  They will be posted as we receive them.


  1. Supporting Students with Mathematical Gifts and Talents:  Tim McClare (Presentation PDF)

    Appropriate mathematics instruction is based on knowing your students and developing support options to address their need for appropriate challenge.  This session will explore issues related to students with gifts and talents in mathematics as well as methods to identify common behaviours of young gifted mathematicians. Strategies and information from a variety of sources will be used, including the NCTM Task Force on the “Mathematically Promising” and resources listed in "Gifted Education and Talent Development."

    From his early days in the education field to the present, Tim McClare’s curiosity about the term “gifted” helped him to pursue a broader understanding of the joys and challenges facing these individuals.  He completed his MEd (Elementary Mathematics and Science Curriculum) at Mount Saint Vincent University where he began his focus on students with gifts and talents specifically in mathematics.  He continued his studies at the University of Connecticut where he completed his MA in Gifted Education, continuing his Nova Scotia work through his thesis research.  Beyond his classroom work with his own students he has worked for several years in teacher support capacities within the Halifax Regional School Board in the mathematics and student services departments.  He is currently Vice-Principal at Ecole Grosvenor -Wentworth Park School in Halifax.

  2. Les élèves doués et les mathématiques :  Stéphane Duguay

    Les participants à cette session se familiariseront avec des stratégies de programmation pour les élèves doués et talentueux.  On y abordera aussi quelques façons de différencier dans la classe de mathématique ainsi que des idées d’activités d’ancrages. 

    Born in New Brunswick, Stéphane currently resides in Truro, Nova Scotia. Stéphane has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Moncton and a Master’s degree in Education, with a concentration in Resource Teaching, from Saint Francis Xavier University. It is during the completion of this Master’s that he developed an interest for giftedness.  With more than 15 years teaching experience, he is presently working as a Math mentor in French Immersion for the Chignecto Regional School Board.

  3. Challenging Talented Readers with Enriched and Differentiated Instructional Strategies:  Rebecca Eckert (Presentation PDF)

    Many talented readers start reading early and have advanced language and processing skills at a young age. Regular reading instruction is often too easy for talented readers and research indicates that talented readers need different reading instruction. This session will explore the SEM-R Framework, an enrichment-based reading program that seeks to increase reading achievement for all students while also addressing the pressing needs of talented readers. The goals of the SEM-R are to increase enjoyment in reading, to encourage students to pursue challenging independent reading and to improve reading fluency, comprehension, and reading achievement. Participants will learn the common characteristics of gifted readers, strategies to increase the level of challenge and self-regulation while maintaining students’ enjoyment and engagement in the reading process, as well as options for literature-based, differentiated reading programming .

    Rebecca is an assistant clinical professor in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. In her former role as the Gifted Resource Specialist for the National Association for Gifted Children, Rebecca co-edited the book Designing Services and Programs for High-Ability Learners. Her previous work at The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented included participation with the research team that developed and implemented the Schoolwide Enrichment Reading Model (SEM-R) in elementary classrooms. Her research interests include talented readers, recruitment and preparation of new teachers, arts in the schools, and public policy and gifted education. Rebecca is a former middle school teacher.

  4. Alphabet Kids: Understanding Twice Exceptional Students:  Cindy Giffen

    Twice exceptional students have gifts and talents that coexist with special needs, including learning disabilities, learning disorders, and attention difficulties.  This session will provide participants with an overview of exceptionalities that may mask gifted behaviors as well as recommendations for programming that capitalizes on student strengths. 

    Cindy is a former classroom teacher, resource teacher, and vice-principal of a P-9 school.  She is currently the Coordinator of Student Services with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Cindy serves as a part-time faculty member at Acadia University and Mount Saint Vincent University where she teaches courses related to inclusive education and individual testing.

  5. Smoother Sailing: Management Strategies for Effective Differentiated Classrooms:  Cindy Tully 

    Differentiation in a large, mixed-ability classroom demands more than a repertoire of instructional strategies and varied resources. Classroom management is a key component of effective differentiation.  In this session, participants will explore a wide range of management strategies that will help their classes run smoothly while students pursue different learning activities.

    Cindy is the Facilitator, Alternative Programming for the Halifax Regional School Board and is a former resource teacher, classroom teacher and board support teacher for enrichment and gifted education.  She was a member of the committee that wrote the guide Gifted Education and Talent Development, assisted in the writing and production of the Challenge for Excellence series of DVD’s and served as a chair on the organizing committee for this summit.

  6. Tapping into Student Interests: Organizing and Implementing Schoolwide Enrichment Clusters:  Brian Rafuse (Presentation PDF)

    Enrichment clusters bring together groups of students across grade levels with self-identified similar interests. They work together in specially designated time blocks to produce an original product, performance or service for an appropriate audience.  This session will provide you the practical details you need to develop and implement enrichment clusters in your school. 

    Brian is a principal at Clark Rutherford Memorial School, a P-5 school in Cornwallis Park, Annapolis County.   Brian has 28 years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher, resource teacher, vice principal and principal.  He has been a leader in School-wide Enrichment Model in the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board for a number of years, having been part of the Enrichment Lead Team.  Brian has facilitated Type I, II, and III enrichment activities with students in the schools where he has worked.  One of his proudest accomplishments involved the organization of annual School-wide Enrichment Clusters for over 700 students at Annapolis East Elementary School. 

  7. Curriculum Compacting and Independent Study: Janet Pheifer (Presentation PDF)

    What do gifted students do in class when they consistently meet and/or exceed curriculum outcomes? How do we find the time to offer enrichment to these students? What kind of enrichment is appropriate? This session provides an overview of two types of enrichment programming for students who “already know or can do it.”  Curriculum compacting frees up time for students to pursue guided independent studies. If you are looking for ways to use these techniques in the regular classroom this is the session for you.

    Janet is a high school science and biology teacher at Auburn Drive High School in the Halifax Regional School Board.  She started her teaching career in North Carolina as an Academically Gifted (AG) teacher.  Janet has been a teacher in the HRSB for the past 8 years.  In this time she has not only worked in the classroom but has spent time working with fellow teachers at the board level in the area of gifted education.  She was also a member of the provincial committee that revised the provincial guide Gifted Education and Talented Development.

  8. Please note that this session was cancelled

  9. Celebrating the Creative Thinker:  Nurturing Creative Thinking Skills (repeat session in French):  Caroline Jobin

    In this session participants will learn practical strategies for teaching “impractical” students, exploring how to uncover and develop creative abilities in students. We will discover how to create classroom activities that stimulate students' creativity and how to teach creative thinking skills.

    Caroline is a Resource Teacher at École Bois-Joli in Dartmouth with the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut's Three Summers/Online Master's Program in Gifted Education and Talent Development.

  10. Gifted Education and Talent Development - A guide from the "Supporting Student Success" Series by Student Services (repeat session in French):  Daniel Demers

    L'éducation des élèves doués et le développement des talents Un guide de la série Favoriser la réussite scolaire - l'atelier consistera à une navigation de la ressource et des stratégies pour sa mise en oeuvre.

    The session will help you navigate the content of the guide and provide some strategies for its implementation.

    Daniel Demers comes to Special Education with a passion and from a multi-perspective approach, as a parent, a classroom and resource teacher, a school principal, a university instructor and lecturer, and as a consultant to the Department of Education.  Daniel has over 25 years of experience in special education, program planning, and differentiated curriculum/instruction. He has also taught Theory and Laboratory courses at Simon Fraser University, in the field of Learning Disabilities, Special Education and Teacher Training Programs.

  11. Total Talent Portfolios in a Digital Age: Renzulli Learning System:  Dr. Brian Housand (brianhousand.com)

    Total Talent Portfolios are essential to providing purposeful and systematic enrichment for gifted students. These portfolios help teachers gather information about students and manage that information over time and help students become active participants in documenting and planning their own learning. The web-based Renzulli Learning system provides individualized learning opportunities chosen according to student interests and learning styles. RLS is a huge time-saver for busy teachers and is fun and engaging for gifted and talented students.

    Brian is an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction and coordinator of the Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program at East Carolina University. Brian earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut’s National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented with an emphasis in both gifted education and instructional technology. His column, Technology Untangled, appears in the NAGC publication Teaching for High Potential. Brian frequently presents and works as an educational consultant on the integration of technology and enrichment into the curriculum. He is currently researching ways in which technology can enhance the learning environment and is striving to define creative-productive giftedness in a digital age.

  12. Going Beyond the Brain 2: Affective Strategies to Nurture the Social and Emotional Well-Being of Gifted Learners: Dr. Meredith Greene Burton (Presentation PDF)

    An appropriate education program for gifted learners should include emphasis on students’ social and emotional well-being as well as on their intellectual needs. This session is a follow-up to Understanding the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Learners. Participants will review the personal traits and behaviours of gifted individuals that influence both how gifted students see themselves and how others see them. Affective strategies for nurturing the social and emotional development of gifted learners will be the focus of this session.

    Meredith earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, specializing in the social, emotional, and career counseling needs of gifted students.  At UConn, she worked as a research assistant for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented and as co-organizer of Confratute, an international summer institute for gifted education teachers. Meredith received a Doctoral Student Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) for exemplary work in research, publications, and educational service. She has received the Roy C. Hill award from the Canadian Teachers Federation for innovative teaching practices and a Golden Leaf Award from the Canadian Educational Press Association for professional writing.  Meredith was a member of the committee that revised the provincial guide Gifted Education and Talent Development and is the Program Chair for this Summit. She has published articles in numerous journals, consults, and conducts teacher training workshops on supporting gifted and talented learners.  Meredith is a teacher at Bridgetown Regional High School and an adjunct faculty member of the University of Connecticut, teaching graduate courses in Gifted Education.

  13. Behind the Curtain: A Teacher Observation of Talented and Gifted Student Artists

    Throughout this session, participants will learn what they can do to support talented students, how to capture and nurture creativity, and how to celebrate young performing and visual artists’ gifts.  Through guided observation, interviewing, and reflection, participants  will consider, “How can I support the talented artists in our school?”

    Co-ordinator: Ardith Haley, Arts Education Consultant, DOE

    Artists/Mentors: Chris O,Neill, Executive Director Ross Creek Centre for the Arts ,Ken Schwartz, Artistic Director, Two Planks and a Passion Theatre ,Mark Adam, Drummer/Percussionist and mentor for the National Artist Program of the Canada Games and Alexis Mulligan, Associate Artist with Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, Mermaid Theatre and Theatre Garagantua

    Student Artists: Eight students selected to participate and represent NS

  14. Differentiation that Makes a Difference: The Enrichment Triad Model:  Dr. Angela Housand (angelahousand.com)

    The Enrichment Triad Model provides students with opportunities to discover interests, develop advanced skills, and produce a variety of authentic products.  This session will provide an overview of three types of purposeful enrichment activities that are differentiated according to student interest and can be implemented in a single classroom or school-wide.

    Angela is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington (UNCW) where she develops, coordinates, and teaches courses for the Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Teacher Licensure Program. Prior to her work at UNCW, Angela was a research associate at the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Over the years, she has presented at local, state, national, and international conferences and her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, as chapters in edited books, and in research reports. In addition to teaching and research, Angela actively serves in positions for both the American Educational Research Association’s Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent SIG, and the National Association for Gifted Children.