Save the Date for the 2020 Fall Conference!

The State of Gifted: Changing Minds, Policies, and Practices

Make plans now to attend the 2020 ITAG Fall Conference, October 18-20, 2020 in Des Moines.

Sunday, October 18Family Day! with keynote presenter Dr. Deb Mishak, breakout sessions, and activities for kids.

Sunday, October 18- Pre-conference session for educators

Monday and Tuesday, October 19-20: The State of Gifted: Changing Minds, Policies, and Practices will be the focus as we welcome keynote presenters Dr. F. Richard Olenchak from Purdue University and Rosanne Malek from the Iowa Department of Education.

Pre-conference : Gifted & Talented Self-Audit & Reflection Tool

Kyra Wilcox-Conley

Sunday, October 18


The purpose of the workshop is to train participants to use the Google Sheets-based Gifted and Talented Self-Audit & Reflection Tool (SART). The SART is a series of rubrics, based on GT best practice and Iowa Code that help districts evaluate the current state of their GT programs and create long-term strategic plans to guide their work. Participants will learn about the features of the tool and begin to complete the audit in a guided practice workshop.

The target audience is GT teachers and coordinators and building administrators Individuals are welcome, but a pair or a team from a district would be ideal.

About Kyra

Kyra Wilcox-Conley is the consultant for gifted and talented at Heartland AEA, a position that she came into after many years in schools as an administrator, GT teacher/coordinator, and art teacher. She revised the already excellent SART tool that Mary Schmidt and Linda Moehring originally authored to include expanded analysis capabilities as well as to pull the program evaluation rubrics and action planning into one electronic file. When not geeking out over spreadsheets, she enjoys drawing, gardening, and hanging out with her family.




All conference, pre-conference, and Family Day events will be held at the Airport Holiday Inn, 6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, Iowa.

About the conference presenters

Rosanne Malek is the Education Program Consultant for K-12 Gifted/Talented Programming at the Iowa Department of Education. Rosanne’s duties at the Iowa Department of Education include supervising K-12 gifted and talented programming, administrating federal grants, and providing professional development opportunities for educators. Rosanne has presented numerous times at the Iowa Talented and Gifted State Conference and the National Association for Gifted Children National Conference. She participates as an advisory board member to the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association and she represents the Iowa Department of Education on the national Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted.  Rosanne served as president and as an executive board member of the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted from 2006-2012. Rosanne has Administration Certification in Educational Leadership from Colorado University, a Master of Music Education degree from Johns Hopkins University/Peabody Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wyoming. Prior to working in administration, Rosanne taught performing arts at the middle school and high school levels in Iowa, Wyoming, Maryland, and Colorado, the longest tenure at the Air Force Academy School District in Colorado Springs, CO. Her most recent international piano performance was in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2009. Rosanne is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa.

F. Richard Olenchak has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut where he studied at the National Research Center on Gifted and Talented. He is currently Professor of Educational Psychology & Research Methodology as well as Professor of Gifted/Creative/Talented Studies at Purdue University. He taught grades 2 through 11, has served as a K-12 Director of Gifted Education, has been a principal at both elementary and middle school levels, has been a research associate at a state department of education, and has operated a private psychological consulting practice focusing on the developmental needs of gifted and talented children. His focus is on gifted students’ affective development and psychological uniqueness. Of particular interest are appropriate identification processes and accommodations for children and adolescents who have the potential for gifted behavior but who are not easily identified and seldom served educationally. Currently, he is working with teachers, counselors, other educators at schools in Los Angeles and Houston focusing on twice-exceptional students and ways educators can best serve such students. He was awarded the National Association for Gifted Children Distinguished Service Award in 2019.