UAGC Newsletter Fall 2020
“Adapt” is a word we are using more than usual in this interesting era in history. Many years ago I took a science course in which we studied animal adaptations. It was interesting to learn that bird beaks are adaptive to the food they eat. Learning to adapt fosters skill-building and functionality. It helps move life forward by finding creative solutions to challenges.
We are adapting our winter symposium to an online format. Our guest presenter, Dr. Tamra Stambaugh, is joining us directly from Tennessee where she works for Vanderbilt University. We hope our adaptation to an online format will enable parents and educators across the entire state of Utah to join us for her workshops and parent event. Please see details for the winter symposium later in this newsletter.Online meetings have become the norm, rather than the exception. This adaptation creates more opportunities to have UAGC Board members from rural locations. This is an exciting development, and we look forward to having a wider outreach with our message of advocacy for gifted children to continue growing, learning, and having positive experiences in their formative years.
In what ways have you adapted recently? Some adaptations are short-lived; just enough to see us back to “normal.” Some adaptations create long-lasting, and sometimes permanent, adjustments, often for the good. It is interesting to think of which recent adaptations will be temporary, which will continue to evolve, and which will become permanent.
Though we will continue to adapt as demanded by circumstances, our core mission to serve gifted children and their families will not change. Thank you for the many ways you advocate for gifted children. Together we will continue to help our bright youth to thrive.
In Memorandum- Phyllis Embley
UACG would like to honor Dr. Phyllis Embley who passed away on August 6, 2020. However Phyllis was known - as a friend, colleague, teacher, scholar, educational administrator, advocate of children, or volunteer in the community - she stood out as someone extraordinary. An early pioneer of UAGC and a life-long advocate for children and their families, Phyllis touched the lives of countless people through her work in gifted and talented education.
Phyllis was a master educator and a lifelong learner. After graduating from Manti High School, she attended Snow College, the University of Utah, Southern Utah University, Brigham Young University, and Utah State University. She received a number of degrees from those institutions, including two doctorate degrees. Phyllis taught elementary school (kindergarten and fifth grade) and later was a professor at the University of Utah, Utah State and BYU. For many years she was an administrator for Jordan School District over Gifted and Talented Programs. She served on the Governor's Commission on Education, including as the commission's president. Other highlights from Phyllis’ work in gifted and talented education include:
- Facilitated research on Multiple Talents with IBREC (Institute for Behavior Research in Creativity)
- Developed and supervised curriculum writing and curriculum development for gifted education
- Worked with Dr. Cal Taylor to develop, write curriculum and use Multiple Talents in classroom settings
- Served on many state committees that developed, planned and implemented programs for students, including Future Problem Solving, Debate, and Creative Pursuits.
- Developed programs in every school in the Jordan School District to promote and assist in creativity, gifted programming and talent development for all children.
- Served on the UAGC Board, including as President, advocating for gifted children and their families in many capacities.
To honor her legacy, UAGC donated to Jordan School District’s Turn Around Scholarship fund in her memory. She would be very pleased to know that the donation will help support underserved students pursue college degrees.
Her obituary can be viewed at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?n=phyllis-embley&pid=196611257&fhid=4550
UAGC Winter Symposium
Welcome New UAGC Board Members
My name is Katrina O'Hara. I'm excited to serve on the UAGC board as Treasurer because I'm passionate about every child receiving the support they need to reach their full potential. My professional background is in Special Education. My personal life is filled with family, volunteering, gardening, reading, and running. I love watching plants and people grow!
Amy Rasmussen is excited to serve on the UAGC board as a parent voice. Amy has a background in secondary education. She taught English and math prior to choosing to stay home with her children, but she discovered that education from the parent's side of things is a whole new world! She grew up in the Salt Lake Valley. Her adult years have found her living in small towns like Logan, Nephi, Fillmore, and Manti. Amy first became acquainted with UAGC in 2012 when her oldest son was in first grade and it became apparent that he needed something that the school didn't offer....gifted services! Amy quickly discovered that there are roadblocks to providing gifted services that are unique to rural Utah. She hopes to offer the UAGC board a helpful parent and rural perspective.
I am Rebecca Campbell. I was born in a small town in Wyoming and later moved to southern Utah. I earned my bachelor's degree in mathematics education from BYU. For 10 years, I have taught at Title 1 schools in Granite School District. In 2017, I transitioned from high school math to teaching Spanish dual immersion at the elementary level. I love working with gifted students and am passionate about expanding opportunities for gifted education to rural communities.
Hi my name is Tiffany Wiese and I am currently serving as the UAGC secretary. I live in Providence, Utah with my family and I am the Gifted and Talented coordinator for the Cache County School District. I taught first grade for four years, during which I was able to get my masters of education with a gifted and talented endorsement. I have been a gifted and talented specialist for eight years. I am so happy to be able to work with gifted and talented students. I am also pleased to be able to be an advocate for gifted and talented education.
Thanks to Exiting Board Members
Since we were unable to hold our summer conference, we were also unable to publicly thank our departing UAGC Board Members. These women have contributed greatly, both individually and collectively, to UAGC's mission and work. They are great advocates of gifted children and their families and their influence will be felt into the future. A heartfelt thank you goes to:
- Angela Eataugh served as the UAGC treasurer for nine years.
- Sally Lyon served as the social media coordinator for six years.
- Sally will remain as a member of the outreach committee.
- Karen Nugent served on the parent outreach committee for three years.
- Teresa Eldredge served as the secretary for one year.
- Jamie James served on the programs committee for one year.
Calendar of Events
Friday, February 5, 2021 @ 6:00 PM
Satuday, February 6, 2021
Tuesday - Thursday, June 15-17, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021