The fifty year history of this organization was guided by the wisdom and talent of many of the national and international leaders in the field of gifted education. Our yearly conferences reflect a lineup of incredible speakers. Also, throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s, there were spring conferences, Educator Workshops, and Sparker Seminars for more professional development, and these events featured many renown speakers as well.
Many of the speakers between 1990 and 2015 made repeat appearances and some were mentioned in the 1970-1989 lists. Again, a quick Google search of names unfamiliar to you will reveal the depth of experience, knowledge, and pedagogy shared at conferences over the years. As you peruse this list, please also note a few of the leaders we have lost in recent years.
Barbara Clark* - (1931-2021) Degrees from UCLA, author of Growing Up Gifted in its eighth edition, originally published in 1979
Bert Grover - State Superintendent of Public Instruction, DPI from 1981-1993 Phil Perrone* - (1936-2018) UW-Madison Counseling Psychology
Stuart Stotts folk singer for the Children’s Program
Dr. Elizabeth Meckstroth - Coordinator: Gifted Resource Center in Evanston; Coauthor with Stephanie Tolan & James Webb of Guiding the Gifted Child
Dr. Ellie Schatz*- First DPI Consultant for Gifted & Talented 1987-1991. Founder of Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY) in 1991.
Rob Reid - Children’s Program folk singer
Dr. Barbara Kerr - Author of Smart Girls/Gifted Women
Nancy Johnson* - Pieces of Learning publisher, 1991, 1996, 2000
Dr. James Webb* - (1940-2018) - Founder, SENG, Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted
Muriel Bach* - One woman theater - “Madam, Your Influence is Showing” highlighting Agatha Christie, Golda Meir, Clara Schumann, & others, 1992 & 1993
Dr. William G. Durden - Director of the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins
John Benson - State Superintendent of Public Instruction, DPI 1993-2001 Ms. Dee Hartman - “Gifts We Can Give the GIfted”
Alvin Law - Teaching: Every Kid Counts - - And So Do You! Law was also a keynote speaker at the 1993 World Gifted Conference in Toronto
Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph. D. - Director of the Gifted Child Development Center & Institute for the Study of Advanced Development Denver. Author of Upside Down Brilliance
Dr. Carolyn Coil - author of Motivating Underachievers from Pieces of Learning Dr. Sally M. Reis* - 1995, 2009 University of Connecticut, NAGC author, including Joyful Reading Resource Kit
Dr. Alexinia Baldwin - The Many Faces of Gifted
Dr. Signithia Fordham - Those Loud Black Girls
Dr. Felice Kaufman - The Courage to Succeed
Dr. Jim DeLisle* - 1996, 1999, 2002, 2008
Dr. Sally Walker* - Executive DIrector-Illinois Assoc. For Gifted Children since 1997
Dr. James Gallagher - 1927-2014 - in 1980 he was the founder of North Carolina School of Science & Math. He was president of the NAGC when he spoke here. He worked on the Marland Report, and established the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) in the 1970s. His work led to the passage of Public Law 92-142 for the education of all handicapped children. His work also established gifted and talented children as a population with special educational needs.
Stephanie Tolen - Advocate for gifted children & author of well-known article, Is It a Cheetah?
Dr. Roger Taylor* - Prolific speaker on integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum Dr. Joyce Van Tassel-Baska* - College of William & Mary, founding director of the Center for Gifted Education & author of Serving Gifted Learners Beyond The Regular Classroom. She is also a Founding Director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University
Ken Vinton: Appreciating the Visual Learner
Anne Marie Roeper - (1918-2012) The Heart & Soul of Gifted; Founder & Director of the Roeper School
Dr. Ann Klein
Dr. Sylvia Rimm* - 2001, 2007 Family Achievement Clinics, author and founding member of the Wisconsin Association of Educators for Talented & Gifted (WAEGT), which merged with WCGT to become WATG
Tony Evers* Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction, DPI 2001-2009, Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2009-2017, Current Governor of Wisconsin
Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson - University of Virginia, Curry School of Education. Author of multiple books & articles on differentiation with gifted emphasis
Dr. Mary Landrum - MS & Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Gifted Emphasis from University of Virginia
Dr. Maureen Neihart - Child Psychologist Specializing in social & emotional development of gifted children
Dr. Diane Heacox* 2006, 2014, Differentiation Specialist
Dr. Julia Roberts - Member of Kentucky Advisory Council for Gifted & Talented Education, Advocacy & Political Action leader of NAGC
Dr. Chystyna Mursky - DPI Consultant for Gifted Education 2006-2017
Dr. Nadia Webb - Neuropsychologist, coauthor with James Webb & Edward Amend of Misdiagnosis & Dual Diagnosis of Gifted & Talented Children & Adults Dr. Michael Piechowski - Author of ‘Mellow Out’ They Say; If Only I Could, (see his Pioneer Profile in the WATG archives)
Dr. Richard Cash - 2013, “40 and Fabulous!”
Dr. Marcia Gentry, Purdue University; author Total School Cluster Grouping
Dr. Jonathan Plucker
Dr. Mary Ruth Coleman
Lisa Van Gemert
WATG is truly indebted to all of the wisdom that these remarkable people have shared with our members over the years. Because of them, we have grown!
Ruth Robinson, Past-President 2003-2004