(Note: although we have thousands of pages of records, newsletters, minutes and mementos, there may be additions or corrections needed for these meanderings. If anyone has connections to the people or events mentioned, please contact me through the WATG email at www.watg.org.)
In October of 2020, WATG proudly presented the 47th Annual Conference in an innovative virtual platform. In a very short time, we will celebrate the 50th Golden Anniversary Conference. The search for historical records began in 2002 when the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) began gathering information from the state affiliate members about their membership prior to their 50th Annual Conference in 2003. What a long and twisted trail this is!
When the first conference was held in 1973, the organization was known as the Wisconsin Council for Gifted and Talented (WCGT), which had only been established the year before. A short time later the Wisconsin Association of Educators for Gifted and Talented (WAEGT) also formed. The earliest conference information I have found states that this took place in 1980.
By 1990, it became apparent that the two organizations could accomplish more if they joined forces. The process of melding the two groups into one organization took almost three years to finalize, with many meetings, letters, and negotiations. The first two years were led by co-presidents Jim Bokern, from the Marshfield School District and John Schmitt, from the Verona School District.
Before agreement was reached to name the combined group the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted (WATG), at least twenty suggestions were considered. What if one of these had been chosen?
Aren’t we glad WATG was the final, pronounceable (!) acronym? And aren’t we glad that WATG has been serving gifted children and families all of these years?