Summer Newsletter Print

President's Message

Our summer conference was planned to be a wonderful event. The theme was to be “Gifted Goes to Hollywood.” The material and the speakers were aligned to bring relevant and timely information in instructional strategies, twice-exceptional students, social and emotional topics, and creative opportunities to collaborate with and learn from each other. The good news is that our keynote presenter graciously committed to join UAGC for the 2021 summer conference. We will press “pause” on the conference for now, and look forward to resuming in 2021.

We have all had to “press pause” and reconfigure many parts of our lives in this unique time in history. One of the silver linings of this challenging time has been the increased focus on the importance of education.

It is important for our children to learn history and multiple perspectives and experiences. It is important for them to learn about science and how the invisible world of microbiology impacts us in visible ways. It is important for them to learn how words convey knowledge and meaning and math is connected to our daily lives. Now more than ever we see the need to think analytically and creatively to solve problems and create a better world for others.

Learning is important both in the home and at school. UAGC is committed to continue to promote learning and growth for all students and encourage implementation of policies and practices that will help our high ability students continue to learn and grow to develop skills to address the needs of our world.

We look forward to connecting with you throughout the year!

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In Memoriam - JoAnn Seghini

UACG would like to honor Dr. JoAnn Seghini, a pioneer of Gifted and Talented Education in Utah and one of the founders of UAGC. JoAnn passed away on June 19, 2020 as a result of causes incident to age. She began her career in 1966 as a teacher at Bella Vista Elementary in Jordan School District and served children and families in various capacities for 26 years, at which time she retired from education and began her second career as Mayor of Midvale City. JoAnn was a tireless advocate of children. To honor Dr. Seghini, UAGC donated to a memorial education fund established in her name through Canyons School District to provide scholarships to deserving students in the Midvale community. Her obituary can be viewed at:πd=196410464&fhid=10581

Dr. Phyllis Embley, a friend and colleague, shares this message on JoAnn’s contributions to gifted education in Utah:

Hello UAGC members and friends. I feel it an honor and privilege to share just a few of JoAnn Seghini’s accomplishments and contributions to the development of gifted and talented programs and creativity training for all children. I had the choice opportunity of working under and with her for many years. Below are a few of her accomplishments that I remember.

  • Developed partnerships with BYU, Utah State University, University of Utah and Weber State University.

  • Developed and supervised curriculum writing and curriculum development for gifted education to meet needs of all children as they developed their gifts and talents.

  • Created and developed ALPS (Accelerated Learning Program for Students) in Jordan School District.

  • Facilitated research in multiple talents with IBREC (Institute for Behavior Research in Creativity). Published findings nationally and locally.

  • Worked with Dr. Cal Taylor to develop, write curriculum and use multiple talents in classroom settings.

  • Assisted in the development of UAGC (Utah Association for Gifted Children).

  • Worked with State legislators and Utah State Office of Education to promote and fund gifted education.

  • Served as a leader in Jordan School District (Curriculum Director and Assistant Superintendent), always advocating for underserved populations that included gifted children.

  • Developed programs in every school in the Jordan School District to promote and assist in creativity, gifted programming and individualized education for all children.

  • Facilitated the development of International Education Programs in the Jordan School District.

  • Developed program plans, advocated for and obtained funding for Gifted Education Specialists in all four areas of Jordan School District.

I feel sure that many parents and students would join us in thanking JoAnn Seghini for serving and teaching so many children.

Thank you all for your teaching and great service to children of all ages!

Dr. Phyllis Embley

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Save the Dates!

We are excited to resume UAGC symposiums and conferences in the 2021 year. We hope to hold the events in person, and look forward to seeing your smiles and passion for gifted and talented education. However, if in-person events are not possible, we will hold the conferences in a digital format.

Please save the dates for the winter symposium and the summer conference.

We look forward to seeing you next year!

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National Association of Gifted Students (NAGC) Positions on Racism and Social Justice

In addition to a world-wide pandemic, our nation is facing political and social challenges. Please see the following link for NAGC’s position on current events:

Though not a specific statement from NAGC, you may also be interested in an additional article shared on the NAGC website:

Since the original statements, NAGC has expanded their stance and plan of action. Details can be found at this link:

UAGC is committed to further the cause of equity and access for all students.

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Resources for Teachers and Parents

With the sudden move to online instruction, teachers and families were required to quickly shift practice and procedures. Many organizations and companies jumped to serve with online resources and free products. Please see the link to the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education for a collection of helpful resources.

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Be a Part of History!

It is interesting to watch history unfold in real-time. Utah students of all ages can contribute to primary-source documents of this interesting period in time. Please see the information at this link to learn more about how you can become a part of this important project:

This activity lends itself well to both classrooms and to families. It can be an effective conversation starter for rich and cathartic discussions about our experiences in this unique time.

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