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CALL FOR PRESENTERS -The Center for Gifted Education is now accepting session proposals for the 2E @ William & Mary: Twice Exceptional Online Conference held February 23 and 24, 2024. 


 The conference focuses on twice-exceptional (high-ability with learning differences or neurodiverse) children both at home and at school.  The goal of the conference is to provide information, resources, support, and community-building opportunities to educators, administrators, parents, practitioners, counselors, and district personnel.

All sessions will be 60 minutes and have the option of either a live Zoom presentation with Q&A or pre-recorded. All live sessions will be recorded the day of the conference and all session recordings will be available to conference participants until December 31.

This year we invite you to present on the following topics:

  • Research
  • Gifted Education pedagogy or curriculum
  • Special Education strategies, techniques, 504s, IEPs
  • 2e specific topics
  • For Parents and Caregivers
  • Policy, Process, Leadership
  • Social-emotional/Counseling
  • Medical/Therapies
  • Classroom strategies
  • Advocacy
  • Other

Before clicking the link to submit your proposal, have the following information available:

  1. Lead Presenter Information
  2. Title of Session
  3. Short Description 
  4. Long Description
  5. Preferences for presenting
  6. Target audience
  7. Co-presenters Information (name, email, institution, address, phone)

Submit each session proposal separately. 2E24 sessions will be decided by November 17, 2023. Presenters will be required to register for the conference at a reduced rate of $50.00 by December 15th.

Proposals are due October 1st, 2023. Please direct all questions to [[aycarpenter, Dr. Ashley Carpenter]]

Submit Session Proposal Here

2023 Keynote Speakers
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.

Mona Delahooke, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience
caring for children and their families. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting families of neurodiverse children, adolescents, and adults.
Dr. Delahooke holds the highest level of endorsement in the field of infant and toddler mental health in California, as a Reflective Practice Mentor (RPM). She is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant to parents, organizations, schools, and public agencies. Dr. Delahooke has dedicated her career to promoting compassionate, relationship-based neurodevelopmental interventions for children with developmental, behavioral, emotional, and learning differences. She is the author of the award- winning book, Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and
Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges, and Brain-Body Parenting: How to stop Managing Behaviors and start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids, and is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant to parents, organizations, schools, and public agencies. She lives and works in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Scott Delahooke.

C. Matthew Fugate, Ph.D.

C. Matthew Fugate, Ph. D., is Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. He received his doctorate in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies from Purdue University. Prior to this, Matthew worked as an elementary teacher in the Houston Independent School District where he also served as a Gifted Coordinator. During this time, Matthew received his Master’s in Educational Psychology, Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut. His research has examined the relationship between working memory and levels creative thinking in gifted students with ADHD. He has also examined the coping mechanisms of twice-exceptional girls in secondary school as they navigate both their academic studies and interpersonal relationships. Matthew was also part of a team that looked at the benefits of the Total School Cluster Grouping model, a Javits Grant funded project. He has presented to parents, teachers, and schools across the United States and internationally on topics such as creativity, curriculum compacting, identification, twice exceptionality, underserved populations, and Total School Cluster Grouping.  Matthew currently serves as Secretary for the Board of the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented and as Chair of the Special Populations Network for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Additionally, he serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal for Education of the Giftedand is the Associate Editor of Teaching for High Potential. Matthew was named one of Variations magazine’s“22 People to Watch in the Neurodiversity Movement” in 2021 and has received the Dr. Marcia L. Gentry Special Populations Early Career Award from the NAGC Special Populations Network. He has published several articles, book chapters, and books related to his work. 

 2023 Featured Speakers


Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a neurodivergent person, is dedicated to destigmatizing neurodiversity and supporting neurodivergent people of all ages. She started her career as a gifted education teacher and school counselor; she is now in private practice near St. Louis, Missouri as a licensed professional counselor, where she specializes in supporting gifted and twice-exceptional kids and adults (and their families).

Emily hosts The Neurodiversity Podcast, which explores the psychological, educational, and social needs for enriching the lives of neurodivergent people. She speaks at statewide, national, and international conferences and frequently provides virtual and in-person professional development to educators, mental health clinicians, and parents worldwide.

Emily is the author of two books related to the development of children and teens who are neurodivergent and cognitively gifted. “Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today's Classroom" (Free Spirit Publishing, 2021) focuses on supporting 2e learners in the educational setting, and the forthcoming "Raising Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted Kids" (Routledge, 2022) is a guide for parents navigating the world of twice-exceptionality.

Claire E. Hughes, Ph.D.

Dr. Claire E. Hughes is a Professor of Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Education at Cleveland State University.  Previously, she was Professor of Elementary and Special Education at the College of Coastal Georgia, Faculty Director of Special Education Programmes at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK, and a Fulbright Scholar to Greece.  The winner of the Gifted &_____ Award from NAGC in 2022, she has been on boards with the Special Populations Network of the National Association for Gifted Children, and The Association for the Gifted (CEC-TAG) and the Teacher Education Divisions (CEC-TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children.  Her research areas include: twice-exceptional children- particularly gifted children with autism; Generational studies; and international education.  She lives her life in twos: living in Cleveland, Ohio, and St. Simons Island, Georgia with two family members (husband and mother); two twice-exceptional college-aged children, two cats, and two dogs. 

Breakout Session Speakers


Leor Baldinger 

Leor Baldinger is a math teacher at Northwood High School, a public school in Montgomery County, Maryland. Throughout her 17 years at Northwood, her class-load often included a section with students who are Twice-Exceptional taking Honors Algebra 2, Honors Precalculus, or AP Calculus AB.

Mrs. Baldinger received her Bachelors of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and has a Masters in Education from the University of Maryland College Park. For the past five years she served as a mentor teacher to student interns working toward their teaching certification. Her hobbies include reading and baking, and she lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband and three children.

Gayle G. Bentley bentley,gayle_5_rz.jpg

Gayle Bentley is a second-year doctoral student at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education and a mother of three neurodiverse sons. She has taught K-12 instrumental music in the public schools for 22 years. Gayle currently directs the music program at a K-8 PBL charter school in Laguna Niguel, California. In the past year, she has presented at a number of conferences about teaching gifted and twice-exceptional students, including SENG, the Arizona Association for the Gifted and Talented, and the International Talent Education Institute.

Ashley Y. Carpenter, Ph.D.

Dr. Ashley Carpenter is the coordinator of the 2e @ William & Mary Conference, an assistant professor of gifted education and director of professional development at the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary. She formerly was both a special education teacher and a teacher of the gifted. She is also the parent to a wonderful twice-exceptional little boy.

Tiffany Chaiko chaiko,t.jpg

Tiffany Chaiko is a second-year doctoral student at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education and a 2e adult. She holds a certificate in twice-exceptional education from Bridges Graduate School. Tiffany is married and a parent raising multiple 2e children. She has a diverse professional background that includes agency Public Relations and independent logo sales. She has volunteered in educational leadership roles in Hawaii for more than a decade and is a member of GHF, SENG, and NAGC. Tiffany’s research interests are twice-exceptionality, creativity, and positive strength-based and talent-focused approaches and environments. Institute.

JT Chaiyakam, M.Ed.

JT Chaiyakam has worked in film for over twenty years producing and directing numerous short and feature films. He has garnered awards worldwide for his comical and dramatic independent projects. He is currently teaching film at Bridges Academy a school educating twice-exceptional students. He is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Bridges Graduate School. JT continues to write scripts for film and television in his spare time. JT creates a student-led space where children can create their movie projects from script to screen. JT is currently researching the application of the film medium as a strength-based talent focused strategy in humanities and STEM classes.

Marcy Dann, M.A., BCET

Marcy Dann, M.A., is a board-certified educational therapist who has been in clinical practice for 35+ years. She consults at Bridges Academy, a school that educates a diverse group of gifted students with a range of strengths, interests, and learning differences where she has worked since 2004. She was the coordinator for the educational therapy programs at California State University at Northridge (2004 - 2021) as well as an instructor and supervisor. Dann was president of the Association of Educational Therapists (2010 - 2012), and she was honored by AET for her exceptional work performed on behalf of the profession. She is a contributing writer to the 2e Newsletter and Variations 2e. Dann offers consultation for parents and  workshops for educators, and administrators on topics related to 2e learners.

Austina De Bonte

Austina De Bonte is a consultant, speaker, coach, and advocate for gifted and twice exceptional students with Smart is not Easy ( She is also President of the WA Coalition for Gifted Education (, Past President of NW Gifted Child Association (, President of the Northshore HiCap Parents Council (, and Advisor to The G Word documentary ( A dynamic and engaging presenter, Austina speaks regularly at regional and national conferences, as well as conducts professional development workshops for educators, and provides consulting for individual families. She works with school district teams to develop and fine-tune their program models, especially concerning equitable identification strategies. Her signature style combines her experience as a student, parent, and family consultant along with synthesized research, current district practices, and cutting edge neuroscience. She has particular passion for supporting gifted and twice exceptional students in public schools and helping families get to the root causes of their child’s challenges, looking beyond the usual suspects. She received the "People to Watch" Award from Variations 2e magazine in 2020, and has won three Outstanding Advocate awards from the PTA. She has a Masters degree from MIT and is a doctoral candidate at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. Contact Austina at

Shanna Saslow Engel

I am currently a mom to three wonderful children, a graduate student, and a teacher in Montgomery County Maryland. I have taught general and special education in the area of high school mathematics for 16 years. I am an advocate for students reaching and exceeding their potential in math regardless of perceived ability.

Amy Estersohn

Amy Estersohn supports creative, intense, and driven teens and young adults with college and career guidance. She has worked with teen inventors, composers, actors, social media influencers, software developers, and entrepreneurs who also struggle with perfectionism, organization, time management, and anxiety. Through an emphasis on college selection and college essay development, she helps teens see themselves and their talents meaningfully and authentically. Amy’s background includes working as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Chicago. She partnered with UChicago’s Office of Career Advancement to review resumes and provide job application coaching.

Andrea Finnegan, M.S. Ed 

Andrea Finnegan, M.S. Ed serves as co-director for Operation House Call at the Yale School of Nursing, a program that teaches confidence and sensitivity towards individuals with intellectual and/or developmental differences. Andrea is a SENG parent support facilitator, a national speaker of neurodiversity among children and professional educators, and a doctoral student at Bridges Graduate School. Andrea is a mom to three wonderful children who inspire her field of work each day.

Austin J. Foglesong, MLIS, M.Ed. 

Austin J. Foglesong, MLIS, M.Ed., is a dedicated teacher-leader in his hometown, Quincy, Washington, working as a high school English teacher and enrichment specialist. He is pursuing his Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Cognitive Diversity from Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. In 2022, he received his Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from the University of Washington. In 2018, he received his Master of Education in Teaching and Learning (M.Ed.) and a gifted education specialty endorsement from Whitworth University. He is a positive role model of lifelong learning who incites a passion for reading and writing in the students he serves. His specialties include gifted education, library and information science, and twice-exceptional (2e) education. In addition, Austin currently serves on the Northwest Gifted Child Association (NWGCA) board, a support and advocacy organization for parents of gifted children, and the Quincy Partnership for Youth (QPY) board, a coalition with a unified goal of youth development and empowerment. He also serves on the Washington Library Association (WLA) Advocacy Committee, advocating for libraries and library staff, especially school libraries and teacher-librarians across Washington State.

Ley-Anne Folks, M.Ed.

Ley-Anne Folks is a Canadian educator specializing in 2e learners. Her interdisciplinary M.Ed. investigated supporting gifted students who were also diagnosed with ADHD. This led to exploring the impact of executive function (EF) skills on different conditions (LDs, ASD, anxiety) which impair learning in a typical classroom setting. In her work as Learning Strategist for gifted and 2e learners in grades 7-9, she helps teachers build capacity to work with 2e students in the classroom, and provides one-on-one instruction and support to help 2e students develop their academic and EF skills.

Terry Friedrichs, Ph. D., Ed. D.   

Dr. Friedrichs has taught gifted youth with emotional, learning, attentional, autism spectrum, health, and physical differences for 40 years. He has published widely on successfully teaching, accommodating, and advocating for these youths' strengths and challenges. He has earned a Ph. D. from the University of Virginia in Gifted and Special Education and an Ed. D. from the University of St. Thomas in Critical Pedagogy (a field that organizes in school and society for underrepresented populations).

My business website for my assessment/tutoring/advocacy center in suburban St. Paul, MN: I personally can be reached at

Keri M. Guilbault, Ed.D. guilbault_headshot_2022.jpg

Keri M. Guilbault, EdD, is an Assistant Professor and faculty lead for the Gifted Education graduate programs at Johns Hopkins University and recipient of the 2019 National Association for Gifted Children Early Leader Award. She has worked as a district supervisor of gifted and talented programs in Maryland and as a teacher of the gifted in both Florida and Maryland. Her leadership experience includes service on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children and on the Board of Trustees of the Mensa Education and Research Foundation. She was appointed as the Director of Science and Education of American Mensa in 2019 and received the 2020 American Mensa National Service Award. Dr. Guilbault received her master’s degree in Gifted Education from the University of South Florida and obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in gifted education program administration from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include academic acceleration, leadership of advanced academic programs, and parenting highly to profoundly gifted learners.

Dr. Cynthia Z. Hansen

Cynthia Z. Hansen, M.Ed., ET/P, is an Educational Therapist and Twice-Exceptional Consultant facilitating the growth of gifted and creative individuals with executive function delays, ADHD, dyslexia, and complex learning profiles using a strength-based, whole-child approach.  Promoting awareness of the strengths of these learners, Ms. Hansen develops and leads parent and professional development workshops and conference presentations on issues facing gifted and twice-exceptional learners. Ms. Hansen is a California certificated teacher in Multiple Subjects, Social Studies, and Language Arts and advocates for highly able and twice-exceptional students as President of the Tri-County GATE Council in Southern California, as an advisory board member for The G Word movie (2022), and as a doctoral candidate in Social Justice and Equity in Cognitively Diverse Learners and Twice-Exceptionality at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education.

Ms. Sarah Finch Jackson

Sarah Finch Jackson is in her 10th year of education with Montgomery County Public Schools (MD), currently serving as the 2e Instructional Specialist in Accelerated and Enriched Instruction. She has previously taught self-contained and inclusive honors English and Reading to students in grades 6-12. Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Policy and Political Science from Roanoke College, her MAT in Secondary Education from Hollins University and an M. Ed in Special Education, including GATES certification from Johns Hopkins University. Previous presentations include NAGC, William & Mary 2e, MEGS, and MCGATE. In addition to her professional career, Sarah currently volunteers as the chairperson of the 2e Special Interest Group with NAGC. In her personal life, Sarah is the mom to a precocious (and likely 2e) five-year-old daughter and lives with her 2e husband and her seven (yes 7) cats.

Marnina Kammersell, M.A. 

Marni Kammersell is a doctoral student at the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. However, her greatest teachers are her three twice-exceptional children. Together, they've been living a self-directed learning lifestyle since 2009. As a homeschooling and neurodiversity parent coach, Marni loves sharing the latest research from the field of interpersonal neurobiology. She enjoys helping families transition from traditional educational models into homeschooling in a way that works for their unique learners. You can find her at

Karah Lewis 

Karah Lewis is the Consulting Teacher for Gifted Education and the county-wide Gifted Consultant for high school students in Sumner County, Tennessee. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-8) and a Master of Arts in Special Education (K-12). Karah has been an educator since 2007 but has worked in the field of gifted since 2015. She is co-author of the book Strength-Based Goal Setting in Gifted Education (2022) with Dr. Vicki Phelps. She enjoys developing challenging curriculum and supporting gifted students throughout the grades. She lives with her husband and 5-year-old daughter in Nashville, TN.

Lin Lim, Ph.D.

Lin Lim, Ph.D. 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, 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 between all educational stakeholders. She is a founding board member of the non-profit Gifted Education Family Network in Texas, and a board member of SENG (supporting emotional needs of the gifted). 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, interdisciplinary social science, to psychology.

Daria Lorio-Barsten, M. Ed, BCBA, LBA

Daria Lorio-Barsten, M. Ed, BCBA, LBA is a project specialist at the Training and Technical Assistancedaria-lorio-barsten.jpg Center at William & Mary. She has previously worked in the public school setting with experiences as a special education teacher, general education teacher, assessment and compliance coordinator, and an instructional specialist in the department of accountability and instructional services in special education.  Daria’s areas of interest include behavior management, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), data-driven decision-making, inclusive practices for students with disabilities, and creativity.

Kimberly M. McCormick, Ph.D.

Kimberly M. McCormick, PhD, is an assistant professor with the Early Childhood Education & Human Development Program as well as the Gifted Education Certificate program coordinator at the University of Cincinnati. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning and Developmental Sciences from Indiana University, an M.A. in Educational Psychology with a gifted and talented specialization from Ball State University, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University. Her work in higher education allows her to partner with schools to facilitate best practices in high ability education, assessment strategies to document student learning, ways to facilitate cognitive engagement in the classroom, and integrating STEM education with learners.

Elena A. McLaughlin, Ed.D. 

Elena McLaughlin teaches gifted learners in Seminole County Public Schools in Florida. She received her doctorate in exceptional student education in 2022 from Florida Atlantic University. Her dissertation focused on the presence and depth of social validity measurement in single-case research. Elena's other area of research is effective handwriting instruction for students with and without exceptionalities. Elena has made several presentations about making effective HW instruction more widely available to parents and teachers, and about increasing collaboration between teachers, occupational therapists, and board-certified behavior analysts when promoting handwriting skills.

Sarah McLuckie s-mcluckie.png

Sarah McLuckie received her MA in Literature and is currently a doctoral program student at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. She serves on the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees and is the proud mom of multiple twice-exceptional children. 

Brett Monnard M.Ed.

Dr. Megan Parker Peters is the Interim Associate Dean, an Associate Professor, and the Director of Accreditation, Assessment, and Research at Lipscomb University. She is a licensed psychologist and licensed school psychologist who has earned the designation as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Dr. Parker Peters specializes in researching and assessing gifted and twice-exceptional learners. She is the co-recipient of the 2016 Hollingworth award for excellence in research publications in gifted education and the 2017 recipient of the Jo Patterson Award for her contribution to gifted education in the state of Tennessee. She is the co-author of Teaching Tenacity, Resilience, and a Drive for Excellence, which was awarded the 2019.

Kelley Monterusso, Ed.D. 

Kelley Monterusso, Ed.D., is the director of communications and marketing strategy at Michigan State University’s College of Engineering. She earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Davenport University, a master of science in communications degree from Grand Valley State University, and a doctor of education degree from Bridges Graduate School. With more than 25 years of professional experience in communications and organizational development, she concentrates her energy on her family, advocacy for gifted students with learning differences, and spreading awareness about the social and emotional toll deficit-based education models have on high-ability students. As the parent of a twice-exceptional child, Kelley understands many of the challenges families with 2e members must overcome to thrive and is passionate about illuminating the intersection of stress and learning. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

Amanda Meyer

TAG Program Coordinator 13 years and counting from 2010-Present. Educator of gifted students from 2003-2010. During her career she has worked with twice exceptional individuals that have inspired a passion for advocacy for educational equality at the classroom and school district levels. Attended Purdue University for undergraduate studies in Elementary Education and McDaniel College for graduate school to earn my masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Dedicated life long learner pursuing knowledge on the topics of gifted learners and twice exceptional learners by regularly attending NAGC Conventions and Maryland State Educators Gifted Conferences over the course of my career.

Dr. Megan Parker Peters

Dr. Megan Parker Peters is the Interim Associate Dean, an Associate Professor, and the Director of Accreditation, Assessment, and Research at Lipscomb University. She is a licensed psychologist and licensed school psychologist who has earned the designation as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Dr. Parker Peters specializes in researching and assessing gifted and twice-exceptional learners. She is the co-recipient of the 2016 Hollingworth award for excellence in research publications in gifted education and the 2017 recipient of the Jo Patterson Award for her contribution to gifted education in the state of Tennessee. She is the co-author of Teaching Tenacity, Resilience, and a Drive for Excellence, which was awarded the 2019.

Debra Perhach

Debbie Perhach is a Twice Exceptional Autism Resource Teacher for Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland.  She has been a special educator for 30 years.  During this time, she has earned National Board Certification and is an RDI Certified Educator.  Debbie is thrilled for the opportunity to present at this conference with Alexis Bedingfield, a rockstar Talented and Gifted RELA Teacher, and Max Antunes, an extremely talented former student!  Mrs. Perhach is a huge advocate for strength-based learning and loves her work.  In her free time, she likes learning about the science of reading, walking, and gardening.

Dr. Vicki Phelps phelps.jpg

Dr. Vicki Phelps is an Assistant Professor of Education at Milligan University where she works with undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral candidates. She has been involved in gifted education (with a special interest in 2E learners) for 25 years, including teaching at both the elementary and secondary levels across Texas, Illinois, and Tennessee. She has collaboratively developed and opened a gifted magnet school and enjoys providing professional learning and consultation services to school districts seeking to improve equitable gifted practices. Dr. Phelps regularly presents at state, national, and international gifted conferences and is the recipient of the 2021 NAGC Book of the Year Award (with Emily Mofield) for Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education. In addition to her published research on gifted motivation, her work is also included in The New Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges. She is the author of Successful Online Learning with Gifted Students, Strength-Based Goal Setting in Gifted Education (with Karah Lewis), and upcoming new release Coaching in Gifted Education (with Emily Mofield). Dr. Phelps is Chair-Elect for NAGC’s Special Schools & Programs and sits on the Board of Trustees for Quest Academy, a school for gifted learners in IL.  

Dr. Jade Rivera

Jade Rivera graduated with a degree in Chemistry from The Evergreen State College in 2002. Shortly after, she was awarded the renowned Fulbright Scholarship for study in Thailand. After a brief, successful yet unfulfilling career as a chemist, she made a switch to alternative education and has been designing innovative learning environments for twice-exceptional children ever since. Her newest publication, Could You Live Underwater: A Design Thinking and STEM Curriculum is available now. More recently Jade was nominated as a “person to watch” by the 2e News and Bridges Research Center. Jade recieed her Ed.D in cognitive diversity at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity.

Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D.

Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D., Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, LLC, passionately guides parents of gifted and distractible children, mentors 2e adults, trains educators and advises professionals on how to bring out the best and raise self-confidence in their 2e students and clients. Julie serves as Secretary to the Maryland Superintendent’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Council, is an advisor for the Masters of Education Program for the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity, is the Maryland liaison for Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), is a Committee member for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and serves as an advisor to “The G Word” feature documentary currently in production.

Julie produces Let’s Talk 2e! virtual conferences, hosts the Let’s Talk 2e! Parent Empowerment Series, maintains the free listing service,, and publishes “Gifted & Distractible,” a free monthly newsletter. A frequent speaker and prolific writer, Julie is also the mother of three twice exceptional children who keep her on her toes and uproariously laughing.

Subscribe to “Gifted & Distractible” monthly newsletter at, find resources at and learn more about our conferences and parent resources.

Pre-Order Julie's new book, Gifted and Distractible, a practical, research-based guide that demystifies giftedness and learning differences in order to help twice exceptional children thrive. 

Dr. Debbie Troxclair

Debra A. Troxclair, Ph.D., Associate Professor, at Lamar University, teaches graduate special education and gifted education courses. She has 20+ years K-12 teaching experience in addition to teaching at the university level. She has supervised summer programs for gifted children and has publications on a variety of topics in several gifted education journals.

Katerina Tsomi, MA, MSc.

Katerina Tsomi is an Ed.D. student at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. She also holds an MA in Practice-based Play Therapy (Leeds Beckett University) and an M.Sc in the Psychology of Child Development (University of Central Lancashire). She is intensively trained as a Person-centered Play Therapist and Psychotherapist (Athyrma, Hellenic Institute of Play Therapy), a Person-centered Counselor (Strathclyde University), and a StoryPlay® trainer. She is the mum of a twice exceptional son (gifted dyslexic).

Callie Turk

Callie Turk co-founded REEL (Resilience and Engagement for Every Learner), a Silicon Valley nonprofit working to build bridges between twice-exceptional learners, their parents, and their educators. She has presented on neurodiversity and twice-exceptionality and facilitated parent support groups for a wide range of organizations. In this work, she draws on her 15-plus year career working with ed tech companies and school districts at the cutting edge of educator and professional learning. Callie received her MBA from Stanford University and BS from Miami University (Ohio). She is pursuing her doctorate in Cognitive Diversity in Education from the Bridges Graduate School.

Dr. Eleonoor van Gerven

Dr. Eleonoor van Gerven is director of Slim! Educatief, a private teacher education institute in The Netherlands. She specialised in gifted education and the systemic change- and solution-focused approach. She developed a competency matrix for curriculum construction for continuous professional development of teachers in the domain of gifted education. Her book on this topic, Raising the Bar. The Competencies of Specialists in Gifted Education was published in 2021. Dr. van Gerven developed the post-graduate teacher education course Specialist in Gifted Education and the post-master teacher education course Specialist in Educating Twice Exceptional Learners, which are both accredited by the Dutch Society for Higher Education. Every year app. 400 students subscribe to the training courses of Slim! Educatief. Dr. Eleonoor van Gerven published several Dutch books on gifted education. She also contributed two chapters to the book Understanding Twice Exceptional Learners (Fugate et al, 2020).

Amber Willburn 

Amber Willburn is a technical writer with two decades of experience in business, technical, and government contract writing, She has pivoted from the business world to the education world, supporting public, private, and parochial schools as a grant writer and volunteer, As a mom of three 2e children, Amber has navigated schooling options, IEPs and 504s, and accelerated learning plans. Currently, Amber sits on the board of Big Minds Unschool and is in the Master's of Education program at the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education.  



Dr. Matt Zakreski

Matthew Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologist who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his neurodiverse clients. He specializes in working with children and adolescents, as well as their families, in providing therapy and conducting psychological evaluations. He is proud to serve as a consultant to schools, a professor at the university level, and a researcher and author on his specialty, Giftedness. Dr. Zakreski is a member of Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC). He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) Board of Directors. He has given professional talks, trainings, and keynote addresses at these organizations and others. Dr. Zakreski is the co-founder and lead clinician at The Neurodiversity Collective, where he provides therapy, coaching, training, and psychological assessment.