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    Illinois Association for Gifted Children

     IAGC 27th Annual Conference

Parent Forum

A VIRTUAL Journey - Join us from where you are! Each day offers a program (Tues. & Wed. Evening, Thurs. morning)

Join us for one program or all three!

Recordings available for 3 months after Forum.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022, 7 PM - 8:45 PM: 

Social-Emotional Support for Advanced Learners 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 7 PM - 8:45 PM:

Supporting Advanced Learners Academically

Thursday, October 27, 2022, 9:00 AM - 10:30

Advocating for Advanced Learners 

Click to Register for Full-Journey Package: Registration includes all sessions! ($15.00 Members; $35.00 Non-Members)

Parent Forum Schedule:

Tuesday, October 25, 2022: Social-Emotional Support For Advanced Learner

Evening - 6:30 PM - 8:45 PM

Session I (7:00 p.m. - 7:50 p.m.): Change Means Loss Means Sadness: Helping Our Children Cope with Today's Challenges


Jean Peterson, Ph.D., professor emerita and former director of school-counselor preparation at Purdue, was a classroom teacher and state teacher of the year prior to her midlife doctorate in counselor education. Informed by her research and extensive clinical experience with gifted children and teens, she has presented keynotes and workshops internationally on their development and her proactive small-group model. She has authored more than 140 books, articles, and invited chapters during her second career, has received 10 national awards for cross-disciplinary scholarship (high ability, counseling, development), and 12 awards at Purdue for research, teaching, or service. She served two terms on the NAGC Board of Directors and received the NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award in 2020. Her 8 longitudinal studies, 4 to 15 years in duration, were focused on high-risk gifted adolescents, trauma, underachievement, negative life events, and social-emotional curriculum. Among her 13 books are Gifted at Risk; Counseling Gifted Students: A Guide for School Counselors; Bright, Complex Kids: Supporting their Social and Emotional Development, and Get Gifted Students Talking.

Session II (8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.): Mental Health First Aid Kit:  Tools for Difficult Times

Description: Most families have a first aid kit at the ready—bandages for skinned knees, ice packs for bruises, ointments for small cuts, and pain meds for headaches. But what about a bruised heart or painful emotions or scraped relationships? What is in the gifted family toolkit and quickly at hand when the social and emotional vicissitudes of life emerge front and center? How can busy and caring adults provide coping tools for the family system as well as individual members? Join long time IAGC member and former IAGC Board Chair, Michele Kane, in a conversation around how to locate resources and create a Mental Health First Aid Kit customized for the needs of you and your gifted family.

Michele Kane, PhD, is Professor Emerita in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University, where she coordinated the Master of Arts in Gifted Education program for over a decade. Michele is Past President of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children and Past Chair of the Global Awareness Network of the National Association for Gifted Children and Past Chair of the Parent, Family and Community Network. Beginning her career as a parent, Michele has additionally served the gifted community as an educator, leader, author, and counselor. A frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences, Michele has numerous articles in print and chapters in Living with Intensity, Off the Charts, and Accelerating and Extending Literacy for Diverse Students. Additionally, she co-authored, with Dorothy Sisk, Planting Seeds of MindfulnessShe was honored by SENG as their 2018 Educator of the Year. Inspired by her experience raising six gifted (now adult) children, she has been a passionate advocate for enhancing well-being for gifted people across the lifespan for more than forty years.

Jean Peterson

Michele Kane

Wednesday, October 26, 2022: Academic Enrichment For Advanced Learners

Evening - 6:30 PM - 8:45 PM

Session I (7:00 p.m. - 7:50 p.m.): Mentorship: Key to Lifespan Health - Parent, Mentee, and Academic Perspectives

Description: Parenting success for gifted outliers requires 3 components: Mentor-Mentee relationships, parent support, and parent education. We all know about the importance of mentors yet often have very different ideas and experiences of who and what constitutes a great mentor. This session focuses mainly on the Mentor-Mentee facet as a crucial trifecta to parenting for lifespan Health and success and a viable way to bridge lifespan transitions between k-12, higher education, and the workplace. Complexities of neurodiversity are briefly presented after an introduction to the 3 components for parenting success. This is followed by excerpts from the documentary "O'Kelley Legends: 2e Behinds the Scenes”, illustrating various mentors' roles and relationships. A perspective-taking segment with the producer-parent, star-mentee, & complex outlier researcher perspectives on the importance, role, benefits, and pitfalls in successful mentor-mentee relationships are then presented.

Lin Lim, PhD, is the Associate Dean of Communications at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education in Studio City, California. She holds a doctorate in psychology from Boston University, an Academic Graduate Certificate in Mind, Brain, and Education (Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Education), and Academic Graduate Certificate in Twice-exceptional Education (Bridges Graduate School). Her parenting journey with her two profoundly gifted children, one twice-exceptional, and the other radically
accelerated drives her to create better understanding, communication, and nurturance for such children among all educational stakeholders. She serves on several non-profit boards including SENG (supporting emotional needs of the gifted), Gifted Education Family Network in Texas, and Gifted Homeschoolers Forum among others. She is currently exploring data visualization techniques, and developing interdisciplinary dynamic complex multi-systems embodied guiding frameworks around parenting, education, and applied research with gifted outliers. She has presented both nationally and internationally in conferences ranging from education, and interdisciplinary social science, to psychology.

Jordan O’Kelley: Jordan O’Kelley is a 17-year-old college junior in the Honors College at Cal State LA, where he is majoring in Physics and Journalism and is employed as a mathematics tutor. Jordan enrolled in college at age 14 through Cal State LA’s Early Entrance Program. Diagnosed with autism at four years old, and identified as gifted at age ten, Jordan has become an advocate for 2e (“twice exceptional”) education and neurodiverse individuals. To get out of homework in 4th grade, Jordan wrote a book of humorous short stories called “O’Kelley Legendary Legends of Legend.” He later adapted that book into a series of monologues which he presented as a fundraiser for SENG. The making of that monologue show became the subject of a documentary feature, titled “O’Kelley Legends: 2e Behind the Scenes.”Jordan has written articles and speaks at education conferences on his experiences in public and private education as a 2e student. He was involved with the creation of The O’Kelley Lab, which seeks to support new therapies and approaches to improve 2e education. He also created a YouTube video, “2e Like Me,” to promote 2e awareness and advocacy. Last summer he was an intern at NASA for the N3 Neurodiversity Network.

Harri James O’Kelley is an actress, a script supervisor, a storyteller, and a writer-director. She has written and directed a feature film, four award-winning shorts, and now her first documentary, “O’Kelley Legends: 2e Behind the Scenes.” Out of her passion for gifted and special needs education, Harri has also created The O’Kelley Lab with her family— a grassroots effort to lend support and create new therapies for 2e and gifted individuals. Through storytelling and humor, she shares her journey as a parent advocating for her three neurodiverse children

Session II (8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.): Playing With Code: Big Ideas for Early Learners

Description: Early learners have the curiosity and imagination to develop coding skills through play and innovation. Beyond engaging in coding as consumers – attached to a screen and pressing buttons without a high level of thought – young students are capable of creative, open-ended programming tasks. Join us for a series of screen-free, play-based activities that encourage coding and programming practices in young students. These experiences are appropriate for learners with or without access to a digital robot.

Cassandra Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from Michigan State University, and a Masters of Education in Science Education from Northeastern Oklahoma State University with a STEM Leadership Certification from Columbia University's Teacher College. She is passionate about providing all students with an education that is meaningful, interesting, and fun--an invested student is a teacher's best friend. She is skilled in STEAM Learning for all ages, Secondary Education, Curriculum Development, and the Sciences.  

Lindsey Herlehy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Middle Childhood Education and Master of Education in Educational Administration from Arizona State University. She received her National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Math in 2014. Lindsey is passionate about providing all students with thought-provoking, integrative, and interactive educational opportunities. She is skilled in STEAM Learning, Educational Assessment, Secondary Education, Curriculum Development, and Mathematics.


Lin Lim

Jordon O'Kelley

Harri James O'Kelley

Cassandra Armstrong

Lindsey Herlehy

Thursday, October 27, 2022: Advocacy For Advanced Learners

Morning - 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Session I: Parents as Partners: Advocating for Advanced Learners in Illinois (9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.)

Description: Illinois' high ability students need our organized advocacy efforts now more than ever. Join us for a review of the current legislation impacting advanced learners in our state. While a great deal of progress has been made, there are still issues regarding interpretation and implementation of existing statutes. You can make a difference! Learn how you can partner with IAGC to advocate for positive change.

Pamela Shaw serves as co-chair of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children's Policy and Advocacy Committee. She is the K-12 Course Review Manager for Quality Matters, the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. As the parent of two twice exceptional teens, she has navigated the advocacy process from both the gifted and special education perspectives. She is currently on the board of the Chicago Gifted Community Center, which facilitates educational and emotional support for gifted children and their families. In April 2021, she was elected to the Fremont District 79 Board of Education. She holds a M.Ed. in special education with an emphasis on gifted education from the University of Missouri.

Julie Luck-Jensen has served as a classroom teacher, gifted ed teacher, principal, and coordinator of a districtwide gifted program in her 43 years as an educator. Since retiring, Julie has served as a gifted ed consultant in several local districts. Julie has been an active Illinois Association for Gifted Children member since the organization’s inception 32 years ago. Over the years she has chaired various IAGC committees, and served as an IAGC board member, board president and board chair. She has been a frequent presenter of parent and teacher workshops, the Gifted Ed Seminar, and IAGC and NAGC conference sessions. Currently Julie co-chairs IAGC’s Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Session II: Parent Networking/Q&A Sessions on a variety of Topics (9:45 a.m - 10:30 a.m.)

Ellen Bee is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and the Training Director at Chicago Psychotherapy, a private therapy practice located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. She received her Master of Arts in Counseling from Northwestern University and completed a post-graduate clinical fellowship at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, receiving advanced training in the use of systemic and evidence-based therapy practices. Prior to graduate school, Ellen worked for Northwestern University Center for Talent Development (CTD), where she supported gifted students in both the classroom and the residential programs. Ellen continues to help students and their parents to understand the talent development framework to further promote social and emotional learning among gifted and twice exceptional individuals. Ellen specializes in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Mood Disorders, Adoption Issues, Pediatric Emotion Dysregulation, and Adjustment-Related Disorders across the lifespan. Her clinical interests include working with first generation clients, particularly around cultural expectations and values, high-achieving clients, and those navigating familial changes. Ellen practices from several empirically supported frameworks, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention, Family Systems Therapy, and Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions. Ellen has previously presented at IAGC on Anxiety and Perfectionism, given talks at CTD, and was featured on Britannica for Parents podcast. She maintains an active clinical practice while also creating training curriculum for mental health trainees and clinicians.   

Pamela Shaw

Julie Luck-Jensen

Ellen Bee

Full Conference - October 25 - 26, 2022

Registration fee (includes Tues. and Wed. All-Day Conference Sessions + all Evening and Thurs. Morning Parent Forum sessions):

Early Bird (on or before Sept. 1, 2022) - $249.00

Regular Rate (after September 1, 2022) - $299.00

                                         LEARN MORE & REGISTER FOR THE FULL CONFERENCE!

Registration for  includes an annual membership with IAGC.

*Prior to September 1, 2022 cancellations will receive a refund minus a $25.00 processing fee. There are no refunds for cancellations made after September 1, 2022. Changes in attendees can be made without charge.

Presentation sessions will be recorded and available for a limited time following the conference.

*session times/topics may be subject to change.

Thanks to our 2022 Conference Sponsors for their generous support!


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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