Hillarie Roth, WATG Board
I have found myself in a real funk recently. The unending winter, snow on snow on snow, cold weather (I’m sure that I have not been warm in months), bad roads, nine (yes NINE) snow days for the kids this month, and the list goes on... blech! Sometimes I just want to hibernate! But for me, March is shaping up to be a month where I will do anything but hibernate!
As I move into the new month, I feel renewed knowing that spring is right around the corner. Warm weather, sunshine, green leaves, and tremendous opportunities await me personally as I get to learn more about gifted resources and funding in our fine state of Wisconsin. Early this month, I will have the opportunity to attend a day-long session on school funding, and I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of how the economics of education in Wisconsin work. This is organized by the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN), and they are offering sessions all over the state. I encourage you to look into the opportunities that they provide to support our public schools! This month I also get to hop on a plane and head south (not south enough for palm trees, but hopefully south enough for warmer weather) to Washington D.C., where I will attend the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Leadership and Advocacy Conference. Here I will hone my advocacy skills, before meeting with Wisconsin Congressmen and Congresswomen to advocate on behalf of gifted learners throughout our state.
As I look at what I have just written I can’t help but wonder how on earth this all came to be. HOW? How does a registered nurse, turned stay-at-home mom, turned radio personality, end up in Washington D.C., meeting with our state’s (dare I say Nation’s?) leaders? Well, I’ll tell you how; by loving my kids, my two beautiful, challenging, gifted daughters, and by tiring of the constant lack of opportunities and funding for these amazing kids. This also happens when one becomes fired up and passionate about helping gifted kids to be challenged in our home, at school, or in other social settings. And you know what? It feels really good to be surrounded by people with that same burning passion for gifted kids everywhere! So I got involved, and you should too!
WATG has offered me and my children a great place to be, and to learn; a place where the kids can be themselves and I can arm myself with knowledge as I continue to fight a system designed to let gifted kids remain unchallenged and unfunded. Consider getting involved. We would love to hear from you. Yes you -- the reader who managed to make it to the end of my ramblings! As we move forward with advocacy and government action, we would love to hear from you about your experiences (good or bad) with gifted education. We would also love to have a list of parents and educators that would be willing talk with legislators. I know, intimidating right? NO! We will coach and train you, and give you the knowledge you need to advocate right alongside other passionate individuals like yourself! We would love to see you at our annual conference in the Wisconsin Dells on October 3rd and 4th! Ian Byrd of byrdseed.com and Dr. Scott Peters, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a highly respected researcher in the field of giftedness, will be our keynote speakers, and there will be opportunities for educators and parents alike. Come and get fired up with us! Bring your kids to the teen track of the conference! Let them catch the fire as well! Let’s fund and change a broken system together!
I can’t wait to see you there!