Category: Professional Growth

Spotlight on Gifted Master’s Degree Student

Jessica Koppel, the current Treasurer for NMAG, is obtaining her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and Gifted & Talented Education at New Mexico Highlands University. She will also receive NM state teaching licensure.  She attends the graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction at the NMHU Rio Rancho Center. She will be able to utilize evidence-based instruction, and effective educational theory and practice in various content areas.

Jessica Koppel, Master of Arts in Curriculum student at NMHU

Jessica Koppel, Treasurer of NMAG, MA Candidate NMHU

Koppel has already completed and received her BA in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted Education, completing the 12 hours needed for the endorsement required by the State of New Mexico. These four courses consist of:

  1. Foundations of Gifted Education
  2. Instructional Strategies for Gifted Education
  3. Instructional Planning & Curriculum for Gifted Education
  4. Twice Exceptional  & Special Populations in Gifted Education

Koppel will be completing 12 more hours or gifted coursework for her master’s. These are the program courses.

  1. Learning Environments & Social Interaction for the Gifted
  2. Families of Children with Exceptionalities of the Gifted
  3. Achievement Testing with Children with Disabilities and Gifted
  4. Ethical Practices for Students with Exceptionalities & Giftedness

It should be noted that Koppel would be the first educator in the State of New Mexico to complete 24 hours in Gifted Education. State law does require students who do not have a teaching license to take the entire 24 hours or coursework for the endorsement to teach gifted students. Dr. PJ Sedillo advises Koppel and currently teaches all of the gifted courses at New Mexico Highlands University.

New Mexico FTAP GENIE and Express Training 2017

GENIE = Gifted Education Needs Identification Engine

GENIE averages clusters of scores and calculates reliability statistics in order to help gifted education professionals more easily identify a variety of kinds of giftedness across multiple developmental stages. Drafts reports, letters, and goals to make the identification process easier.

FTAP Express = Frasier Talent Assessment Profile with Enhancements for New Mexico

Helps to reduce bias in tests used for gifted identification, and graphically display profiles of strength and weakness. Includes updated norms.

What: New Evaluators can obtain initial certification for 1 year. Sept 28 – 30. FTAP Evaluators and Trainers can renew current certifications for another 3 years. Feb 15-17, 2017

Where: Nusenda CreditUnionTrainingCenter, 4100 Pan American Freeway NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107

When: 8:30-4:00 PM each day Cost: Registration is $400 per person + NM Gross Receipts Tax for the New Evaluator training, $150 + NMGRT for the Update training (New LOWER price!).

Register: By emailing Kathy or fill out this online form.

Announcing AAGTS Conference 2017

NMAG is pleased to announce the upcoming 2017 AAGTS Conference:

Albuquerque Association for Gifted & Talented Students 38th Annual Conference

Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 8:30 AM – 4:00 PMAAGTS Logo

Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Beyond the Basics Presented by Dr. Diane Heacox

Early Bird Registration before Dec 20 saves $20-$30. Reduced rates for members, students, teachers and guests.

Register at www.aagts.org or at AAGTS 2017 conference.

Download the flyer as a pdf.

Shaping Tomorrow with Legos™

Many gifted enrichment programs have at the heart of them complex, problem-based activities. These WeDo’s and Mindstorms afford opportunities to develop engineering process skills. Do you have a future engineer in your class? Check it out.

Shaping Tomorrow’s Creative Problem Solvers Symposium

Hosted by LEGO® Education

Join us for an engaging, hands-on workshop focused on bringing STEM and other 21st-century skills to life in elementary and middle school classrooms. Discover how the LEGO Education building experience can help students develop their analytical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, while preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow.

Date: November 8, 2016

Location: Sandia Vista Elementary School, 6800 Franklin Rd. NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87144

Who: Open to elementary and middle school educators (including principals, teachers, administrators, and more).

What: three hands-on workshops that will cover creative ways to engage students in robotics, science, technology, engineering, and math.

Do you have a workshop or professional development opportunity you would like us to post at nmgifted.org? Drop me a line.

Vendor Tables for 2016 Fall Institute

You’re invited to sell your wares at a table during the 2016 Fall Institute at NMHU Rio Rancho Center, October 14 & 15, 2016.

Click the button below to pay now the $20 fee for table space for either or both days of the Fall Institute.


Type of items to be sold



NMHU Offers Gifted Endorsement Courses

Only 3% of colleges and universities across the country offer courses in gifted education and the need for courses are high. (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006)  According to the National Association for Gifted Children  (NAGC), 61% of classroom teachers in the U.S. have no training in gifted and talented, yet gifted and talented students spend over 80% of their time in their regular classroom. Further, with so few opportunities for graduate courses in gifted education, we cannot expect teachers to effectively address the needs of gifted learners. (Ford, Grantham, & Whiting, 2008)

Gifted Programs at NMHU Student Centre

NMHU Student Centre

According to the report, National Excellence: A Case for Developing America’s Talent  (October, 1993), “Teachers must receive better training in how to teach highlevel curricula. They need support for providing instruction that challenges all students sufficiently. This will benefit not only students with outstanding talent but children at every academic level.”  For these reasons State of New Mexico educators who instruct gifted individuals must have an endorsement in Gifted Education.

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