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IAGC History 

Learn about the history of our organization.

Slideshow - "IAGC Advocacy and Education Initiatives":

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Key Accomplishments:

The IAGC's mission has developed over the years thanks to our many contributing members who include educators, parents, and advocates for children with gifts and talents. Here is a brief overview of key advocacy and professional development efforts throughout the years:

Beginning of IAGC –  Ruth Wright, Mary Ann Paradise, Michael Horvich, Lynn Garb and the North Cook Intermediate Service Center gifted group began planning.

Professional Development Initiatives (educators and parents):

~ Began the organization with the Curry Samara Curriculum Model materials that were used for multi-year training for teachers that resulted in publications that brought in enough income to begin funding and building the organization’s mission. 

~ Provided general workshops with gifted education specialists.

~ Created a Gifted Education Seminar with various components (GES).

~ Created Professional Teaching  Standards (Knowledge and Performance)  for Teachers of               

   Gifted/Talented Learners   

~Created a comprehensive Assessment to be used with the ProfessionalTeaching Standards

~ Provided In-district opportunities.

~ Connected with Regional Offices of Education for supportive activities.

~ Offered Summer Institutes.

~ Provided Administrator Academy opportunities.

~ Supported ISBE – Illinois Gifted Advisory Council’s statewide efforts.

~ Provided an annual convention/conference (25 years)

~ Encouraged parent participation with visits to parent groups and Saturday Parent Day at the conference.

Legislative Action:

~ Supported IAGC and NAGC efforts with visits to legislators in Springfield.

~ Reinstated gifted wording that was removed and then returned to the school code with a focus on language arts and math. For the March on Springfield, parents statewide were actively involved to help create that change.

~ Established the Gifted Education Teacher and Gifted Education Specialist Endorsements.

~ Promoted the Acceleration Act that was approved with each district responsible for developing an acceleration policy.

~ Supported the Dual Credit Act that was promoted by a parent and legislator. 

~ Promoted the Report Card Act to share information about availability and equal access to advanced programming.

Awards for Children and Educators 

~ Created awards to honor students, educators, and advocates

Past Presidents, Board Chairs, and Executive Directors, 1990-2020


1990 – 1991 Ruth Wright 

1992 – 1993 May Ann Paradise

1994 – 1995 Pam DePinto

1996 – 1997 Carol Morreale

1998 – 1999 Mary Christensen

2000 – 2001 Marsha Hestad

2002 – 2003 Rima Binder

2004 – 2005 Penny Britton Kolloff

2006 – 2007 Julie Luck Jensen

2008 – 2009 Kris McElligatt

2010 – 2011 Michele Kane

2012 – 2013 Rosina Gallagher

2014 – 2015 Sally Thomson

2016 – 2017 Susan Rhodes

2018 – 2019 Paula Olszewski-Kubilius

2020 – 2021 Jeanine Buishas

Board Chairs

1991-1994 Ruth Wright

1994 – 2014 Bonnie Park

2015 – 2017 Julie Luck Jensen

2018 Chair position eliminated

Executive Director

1994 – 1995 Mary Ann Paradise

1998 – 2016 Sally Walker

2017 – 2019 Diane Beedy

2019 – 2022 Patricia Steinmeyer

2022 - Present Molly Nechvatal

Contact Us:

Illinois Association for Gifted Children

1500 Sullivan Road
Aurora, IL 60506

Ph: 630-907-5047
Fax: 630-907-5976

email us:

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

© Illinois Association for Gifted Children

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