Did you ever think that anyone outside of Wisconsin paid attention to WATG or its predecessors? In fact, at the 1990 Annual Conference two representatives were welcomed from the USSR (do you remember the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?) This was just a year before they changed their name to the Russian Federation.
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time was Bert Grover. He was a big man with a big personality and an infectious laugh. Somewhere in his travels he had met these diplomats. The event was mentioned in the November 1990 edition of Education Forward, where there was a photo of Mr. Grover shaking hands with the diplomats. Here is the photo’s caption: “The world has changed a great deal in the past year, and education will play an increasingly vital role as more emphasis is placed on international cooperation and exchange. State Superintendent Herbert Grover was part of that process on October 12, 1990 when he greeted Dr. Vladimir Shadrikov, the Vice Minister of the State Committee of Public Education for the Soviet Union. Pictured with Shadrikov & Grover is Dr. Vasily Tsaryov, director of the Foreign Office Academy of Pedagogical Science. The three traveled to Portage to view the Muir Elementary early childhood program and mainstreaming efforts, and then to UW- Stevens Point to attend the fall conference of the Wisconsin Council of Talented & Gifted.”
The world has changed a great deal in the past years! It seems true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Though we live in a global society to a degree not fully imagined in 1990, we continue to need educational standards, and critical and creative thinking skills. Gifted Education and pedagogical approaches have been important and will always be important.
Ruth Robinson, WATG Past President 2003-2004