The journey continues through the history of WATG and its founders, leaders, and advocates. Many thanks to Carol Wright, Maria Katsaros-Molahn, and George Affeldt for their persistence and assistance in keeping this history project on track.
There are an amazing number of nationally renowned authors, researchers, and professors who have been speakers at our conferences over the years. We have very scant documentation from the 1970s, however, we continue to search. A Google search of any of the names below will complete your understanding of their contributions to the field of gifted education. All have authored books and articles, and have offered presentations in the support of advocacy and education of gifted children, youth, and their parents. Their work serves as foundational and is applicable to practitioners today.
1979 -1989 WCGT Conference Keynote and sectional presenters
Dr. Donald La Sall, Director, Talcott Mountain Science Center, Avon, CT
Gina Ginsbeg, National Executive Director, Gifted Child Society
Dr. Robert Samples
Dr. William Purkey, professor of education and chair of the Division of Counseling, Psychological Services and Research at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro Murray Sidlin, Director of the New Haven, Connecticut Symphony Orchestra
WAEGT & NWEA Inservice (a spring event opposite WCGT fall conference)
Dr. Joseph Renzulli*, Director of University of Connecticut Teaching the Gifted Program and founder of Confratute, now in its 44th year
Irving Sato, DIrector of the National/State Leadership training Institute on Gifted & Talented in Los Angeles
Dr. Sylvia Rimm*, Family Achievement Centers, author of dozens of books
Dr. John Feldhusen, Director of Gifted Resource Institute at Purdue University
Dr. Gary Davis*, Professor of Educational Psychology at UW-Madison & author/editor of Handbook of Gifted Education; most recent edition (8th) with Dr. Nicholas Colangelo Dr. Ellen Fiedler* Currently Professor Emerita of Gifted Education at Northeastern Illinois University; her Ph.D.was in Counseling & Guidance from UW-Madison
Dr. Julian Stanley, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, Director of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) through Talent Search
Dr. Bella Kranz, gifted education consultant & professor at Moorhead College, MN
Dr. Sandra Kaplan, Associate Director of National/State Leadership Training Institute in Los Angeles
Dr. Dorothy Sisk, Professor of Exceptional Child Education at the University of South Florida, Tampa & past director of the Office of Gifted & Talented in Washington, D.C. Dr. George Betts*, University of Northern Colorado, author of The Autonomous Learner Model for the Gifted & Talented.
Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Director for the Center for Talent Development & Lecturer at Northwestern University and author of Curriculum Development for the Gifted & Patterns of Influence on Gifted Learners
Dr. Phil Perrone*, Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Elizabeth Conner & Mary Olsky, founders of EAGLE School for the Gifted, Madison now over 40 years of operation
Dr. Barbara Clark*, author of Growing Up Gifted
Dr. Juanita Sorenson, UW-Eau Claire; author A Model for Gifted Programs in Small Districts
June Cox - Executive Director of the Gifted Students’ Institute for Research & Development at the Richardson Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas. Her work is the model and research behind the Pyramid Model of Services initiated with State Standard (t) in Wisconsin
Dr. Roger Taylor* Expert speaker on multidisciplinary, integrated curriculum Nancy Johnson*, Consultant and author for Good Apple, Inc.
Dr. Donna Rae Clasen*, Professor in Educational Foundations at UW-Whitewater, Author & Director of Javits Grant funded Project STREAM; Founder of Whitewater TAG Coordinators’ Network, later Southern Lakes Advanced Learner Network
Dr. Robert Clasen*, Professor in Educational Psychology, Gifted Emphasis at UW-Madison, Founder of University Outreach for Talented & Gifted, (UTAG) Coordinators’ Network, later Greater Dane County Advanced Learner Network
Welda Swed Simousek*, Second State Coordinator of Talented & Gifted at DPI
Dr. Ellie Schatz*, First State DPI Coordinator of Talented & Gifted after State Statute Dr. Joanne Rand Whitmore, author Giftedness, Conflict & Underachievement
Dr. James R. DeLisle*, Associate Professor of special education at Kent State University, Ohio and author of more than 80 articles for Gifted Child Quarterly, Roeper Review and his series Gifted Kids Survival Guide
*Indicates a frequent conference presenter
The work and publications of these people formed the foundation of education and advocacy for gifted children, youth, their parents, and educators in the first decade of implementation of State Standard (t) and related statutes in Wisconsin. Future articles will highlight others by decade of presentation. Many of the names repeat often over the years indicating the relevance of their work. In addition, every year more and more educators were finding themselves with responsibilities in the “new” area of gifted education. Therefore, the audience was, and is, never-ending!
Past President, WATG