July 14, 2011

Registered IGET-Network E-Mentors




NAME:  Robyn Gioia, M.Ed.

Credentials:  Masters in Gifted Education-University of Connecticut, Gifted Endorsement-Indiana

Location:  Florida, USA

Network email address available:  yes                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Current Position:    Teacher in United Arab Emirates

# of years teaching:  15 years

Grades/Age group:  ages 9-12

Expertise other than classroom teaching: curriculum, psychological needs of gifted, parent involvement

Member of Professional Association:  NAGC

Personal Statement:

My passion is teaching gifted kids. I have designed a gifted program for a school district, worked as an itinerate gifted teacher for two school districts, but my favorite all time job was the four years I taught in a self-contained all gifted classroom. We were able to reach for the stars and the kids put 110% into their studies. They ranked first in the state. I left the self-contained gifted classroom (a very hard decision) to teach seven years at a local college preparatory where I taught in a regular classroom with unidentified gifted kids as part of the class. One of my jobs was to offer challenging lessons and enrichment for the high ability students. I am now on my way to teach in the UAE for their bilingual school initiative. I hope to eventually be part of the gifted start-up team there.

South Africa is a fascinating culture and I would love to learn more. My challenge reading class studied South Africa last year, during their reading of The White Giraffe, by Lauren St. John. They were especially fascinated with the Zulu tribe. They produced PowerPoint presentations along with activities from their research and taught each other about the culture. Teaching each other is one way to challenge the gifted learner. If I can be of assistance, I am more than willing to share my experience or help in any way.


NAME:  Elsie Hughes, BA, MBA

Credentials:  BA: Elementary Education, Psychology; Endorsements in Gifted & Talented, Secondary-Level Language Arts/English, Secondary-Level Social Studies, from the University of Denver.  MBA: Marketing, from the University of Denver. Broad, Graduate-Level Coursework and Professional Development in Gifted Education beyond Degrees noted.

Location: Colorado, USA

Network email address available:  yes

Current Position: Gifted and Talented Teacher

# of years teaching:  14

Grades/age group:  grades 3-6

Expertise other than classroom teaching: Curriculum Differentiation, Teaching Language Arts, Curriculum Integration Across Subject Areas, Social/Emotional Development Needs, Traits and Identification of GT, Multiple Intelligences, Classroom Management, Specific Lessons & Approaches for GT, Under-Achievement, Twice Exceptional

Member of Professional Association:  (references available)

Personal Statement:

I am very enthused about the opportunity to mentor and collaborate with an international teacher, around gifted education.  I have been a gifted/talented (GT) classroom teacher for 14 years (an educator for 18 years) in grades three through six, including one year establishing a Gifted Center Program in an under-served, minority school, while teaching 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and Social Studies there.  Much of my experience has been within a multi-age gifted classroom, requiring significant curriculum differentiation and classroom management skills.  I have been trained as a mentor for Jefferson County Public Schools and taken-on a number of leadership roles designed to integrate Gifted Education practices into the general education classroom, and raise awareness of the needs of gifted learners.  I am interested in becoming a mentor in the IGET Network because I believe the unique academic and social/emotional needs of gifted students are frequently over-looked in general education.  More is expected of all of our students now, as they enter an increasingly interdependent, complex, global community.  Our gifted students, however, have the potential to become future world leaders.  Serving as mentors to other educators through this program, allows experienced GT teachers to strengthen educational knowledge and collegial bonds, not only as teachers of gifted students, but as members of a global community.  Additionally, such a relationship would prove to be mutually beneficial, as our knowledge and understanding of one another’s countries and cultures is enhanced.  I can foresee all of our students benefitting from such a relationship as well.


NAME:  Sara Medeiros, M.Ed.

Credentials:  Masters of Education, University of Connecticut

Location:  Hawaii, USA

Network email address available:  yes

Current Position:  Middle School Teacher

# of Years teaching:  25

Grades/Age Group:  Elementary, grades 6-8

Expertise other than classroom teaching: science, math, hands-on project based learning, gifted and talented sensitivities

Member of Professional Association: Hawaii Gifted Association, NAGC

Personal Statement:

My name is Sara Medeiros, I teach at a unique public charter school in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Hawaii Island (we call it the Big Island). Although I do not know any languages (enough to dialogue) I consider myself (and have training in) bi-cultural…especially Asian, Micronesian and Polynesian cultures. My school district barely recognizes that there are gifted children, and although my school does not have a gifted program, the charter school itself is oriented to gifted learners.  West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School (WHEA-PCS) is project/problem-based, with an emphasis in science, which is integrated through language arts and social studies curriculum, that is mostly hands-on and student centered. I teach 6th grade science and math, as well as engineering (civil and structural) for 6-8th graders. I also lead polyhedron origami group and teach drama as an elective.  I advise a FIRST robotics after school team. We have an “ethnic” school garden that I am teaching my students how to plant, harvest, and process (cook, dry, pickle, preserve) foods from their cultural ancestry.

I am also the teacher/mentor for two of my former students (age 12 and14) who have been selected as Hawaii’s Student Environmental Ambassadors to Japan. The two girls will be studying environmental and agricultural problems in Japan and meeting up with fellow ambassadors in early March next year. I have a Bachelors of Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, and a Masters of Education in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut.  I am honored to be a part of a cache of resource mentors for teachers in countries where gifted education is not yet recognized in school governance policies.


NAME:  Sonya Porcher, Ed.D.

Credentials:  Ed.D. degree in School Reform from West Georgia University (Carrolton, GA)

Location: Georgia, USA

Network email address available: yes

Current Position: Language Learning Director in China,

# of years teaching:  10

Grades/age group:  elementary and secondary

Expertise other than classroom teaching: teaching strategies, parent communications

Member of Professional Association:  NAGC, CAGC, WGTCG

Personal Statement:

My name is Sonya Porchèr and I am currently living in Hangzhou, China, while working as a Learning Language Director with Disney English.  I worked as an educator for 20 years in Georgia.  I served as an elementary teacher for 10 years and a middle school assistant principal for four years.  I also worked as a coordinator for the gifted and talented program for six years.  As a gifted and talented program coordinator, I worked with teacher of the gifted at the elementary to high school level.  I provided professional development opportunities for them and served as a curriculum and instruction support.  I am interested in serving as an international e-mentor because I believe in gifted education as the cornerstone for developing our high potential students.  It is important to establish a network of educators who can support the identification and teaching of gifted ability students.  As a Language Learner Director for Disney English in Hangzhou, China, I have had the opportunity to work with individuals throughout the world.  I have a high interest in working with individuals from South Africa and the Caribbean as well as Brazil and other South American countries.  I fully understand the challenges that educators face in developing the abilities and skills of our students who need to be advanced beyond their current learning levels.