2019 Fall Conference

October 13-15, 2019

Airport Holiday Inn, Des Moines, IA


Conference registration for Monday-Tuesday, October 14-15 is now open! Register here!


Registration for the Sunday, October 13 pre-conference workshop for educators is now open here! Gifted identification in young children with Dr. Sally Beisser, Drake University, 1:00PM-3:00PM, with an invitation to join Parent Day sessions following the workshop. Read about the ITAG 2019 Pre-conference session.

Special offer during conference registration: 15% discount on pre-ordered books from this year’s conference keynote presenters, Lisa Van Gemert and Deb Douglas. Books pre-0rdered by Oct. 1 will be available to pick up in person at the Hickory Grove Press book at the conference. Select which books, and how many of each book you want, in the registration form.

Registration rates through October 4, 2019. (Late fees apply beginning on October 5, 2019.)
$295- full conference (Monday and Tuesday)
$170- single day (Monday or Tuesday)
$135- full conference for full-time grad student/parent/retiree
$90- single day for full-time grad student/parent/retiree (Monday or Tuesday)
$30- SPECIAL RATE FOR FULL-TIME UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS FOR MONDAY. Undergraduates, how will you support gifted learners in your future classrooms? Attend Monday of the conference at a special rate for strategies and advice. Details here.

See the 2019 Schedule at a Glance and the draft schedule of keynote and breakout sessions to plan your travel and to check out the special events on Sunday, the President’s Reception on Monday afternoon, Game Night, and more!

Read about the conference keynote presenters, Oct. 14-15

Lisa Van Gemert, Monday, October 14 keynote presenter & Tuesday breakout sessions

Using a combination of neuropsychology, pedagogy, experience, humor, technology and sheer fun, Lisa Van Gemert shares best practices in education with audiences around the world. She is an expert consult to television shows including Lifetime’s “Child Genius,” and a writer of award-winning lesson plans, as well as numerous published articles on social psychology and pedagogy and the Legacy Award winning book, Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing Never Good Enough and Living Gifted: 52 Tips to Survive and Thrive in Giftedland. A former teacher, school administrator, and Youth & Education Ambassador for Mensa, she shares resources for educators and parents on her website GiftedGuru.com Lisa & Ian Byrd are the founders of the Gifted Guild, a professional community for educators of the gifted. Lisa and her husband Steve are the parents of a lot of sons and live in Arlington, Texas.

Deb Douglas, Tuesday, October 15 keynote presenter & Tuesday breakout sessions

Deb Douglas, M.S. Ed, consults and advocates for gifted children and teens, specializing in workshops that help students take charge of their education. She is a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences, and her original research on empowering gifted students to self- advocate has been published in The Roeper Review and Parenting for High Potential. Previously, she was the gifted education coordinator for the Manitowoc Public School District for 20+ years and president of the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Her book, The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners is available from Free Spirit Publishing.



Be an exhibitor at the conference! Exhibitors have the option, at no additional charge, of exhibiting during Parent Day, 1:00-5:00PM, Sunday, October. Read more here!

Hotel reservations

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Airport Holiday Inn, 6111 Fleur Drive in Des Moines, at the ITAG conference rate of $99 plus taxes per night. The deadline for reserving rooms at the conference rate is September 20, 2019. Call the hotel directly, 515 287-2400 to make your reservation.

Two special events on Sunday, October 13

Pre-conference workshop on young gifted learners

Pre-conference workshop for educators, 1:00PM-3:00PM- Gifted identification in young children with Dr. Sally Beisser, Drake University.

Register for the pre-conference workshop here. Read about the ITAG 2019 Pre-conference session.

Sally Beisser, Ph.D., is the Ellis and Nelle Distinguished Professor of Education at Drake University in teacher education, doctoral qualitative research methods, and service-learning on campus, in Belize, and South Africa. Recently she conducted pedagogy workshops at University of Gjokova and University of Prizren in Kosovo. She has presented at the Oxford Round Table in the UK on gifted education and studied gifted programs in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.

She loves the state of Iowa. With a BS, MS, and Ph.D. from Iowa State University and working in three public schools in Iowa, she understands the people and promise in our state. Sally been an elementary school teacher of gifted children for 15 years and taught gifted education in higher education for 20 years. As a Drake University professor, she was been named the Teacher of the Year and holds the distinction of being the only female and only School of Education professor to earn the Provost Troyer Research Award.

As a member of NAGC for 17 years, she was awarded the NAGC Doctoral Student Award, has published in Gifted Child Quarterly, Gifted Child Today, co-chaired the NAGC Parent and Community Committee, presented numerous times at the Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) and the NAGC conferences, and now serves on the NAGC Teaching for High Potential Advisory Board. She has received the ITAG Distinguished Service Award.

Since 2007 Dr. Beisser has directed the Drake University award-winning Online Talented and Gifted Endorsement (pk-12 TAG) program, serving students from 28 states and 8 countries. She has authored 73 articles and presented at over 165 state, national, and international conferences.

Parent Day 2019

Parent Day, 1:00-5:30 PM- ITAG’s Parent Outreach Committee will be hosting Parent Day. Come to hear presenters discuss issues related to parenting and educating a gifted children. Meet parents who share the same concerns you do. Visit a resource fair and vendors. Dr. Brandi Klepper will deliver the keynote presentation. Arlene DeVries and Dr. Sally Beisser are among two of the afternoon presenters.

Dr. Brandi L. Klepper is a Missouri licensed, clinical psychologist who specializes in children, adolescents and adults who are gifted, talented and/or high achieving.  She has had a private psychology practice specializing in gifted and talented individuals since 2002.  Before that, as a college and graduate student, she worked therapeutically with gifted and high achieving individuals and in her dissertation she researched emotions in gifted adolescents.  Throughout her life, Dr. Klepper has participated in gifted services as a student, camper, RA, teacher, camp counselor, presenter, psychologist, and consultant.  In addition to her private practice, she teaches at Drury University in the Masters of Education, Gifted Certification program. She has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels since 2002, including time teaching at Drury University, Cox College, and The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. She has been a classroom volunteer since 2010.  Dr. Klepper also serves as a Resident Counselor at Drury University’s Center for Gifted Education PreCollege Programs. Further, she has presented at the National Association of Gifted Children’s conference; at statewide and district conferences of the Gifted Association of Missouri, the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association, Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education, and the Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented and Creative; as well as to various other groups.

Dr. Klepper resides in Springfield, Missouri with her husband and two children. She hopes to continue serving the gifted populations in Springfield and surrounding areas.