IAGC BOARD OF DIRECTORS - 2022
Executive Director: Patricia Steinmeyer - email@example.com
About our Board Members:
Susan Corwith - President
Susan Corwith is an Associate Director with Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University. Dr. Corwith leads the Admissions & Advising, Assessment, School and Family Services, and Marketing and Communications teams at CTD. She brings to her role extensive experience in program design and evaluation, advocacy and outreach. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in educational leadership and policy analysis with an emphasis on high-quality programs for gifted students. For over 20 years Dr. Corwith has been active in the field of gifted education, working as a K-12 educator, gifted program coordinator, administrator and researcher. Dr. Corwith is also an instructor in the School of Education and Social Policy’s gifted masters and certificate programs and serves on accreditation teams for AdvancEd and CAEP. Prior to joining CTD, she was President of the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to meeting the needs of gifted students. (Term Concludes 12.31.21)
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. (Term concludes 12.31.23)
Jeanine Buishas - Past-President
Jeanine Buishas is currently the Coordinator of Gifted Services for the DuPage Regional Office of Education. Her advocacy for gifted and talented children is the result of over 30 years of experience in gifted education. In her previous role as an Instructional Specialist for Indian Prairie School District, she supported schools in the development and implementation of a K-8 Gifted/Talented program, led curriculum revision teams in advanced English Language Arts and Mathematics, and facilitated professional learning opportunities for district educators. Throughout her tenure in the district, she served on school and district leadership teams, acted as a liaison to the gifted parent organization, and mentored new gifted-resource and cluster-classroom teachers. Jeanine’s passion for supporting classroom teachers in differentiating instruction and developing a better understanding of the diverse needs of advanced learners continues as she facilitates workshops, conference presentations, and graduate courses. (Term Concludes 12.31.21)
Jill Ko - Treasurer
Jill Ko is a Certified Public Accountant, Controller and Human Resources Manager with Allways Precision, Inc. Jill earned a Bachelors in Science, Accountancy, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jill has over 20 years CPA experience in non-profit, for-profit, entrepreneurial, and auditing. In 2008 and 2009, Jill organized the IAGC Springfield Day with hundreds of children in yellow shirts visiting their legislative representatives advocating for their needs to be met. Jill has also served as President of PACE parent organization (now PTAG) in Oswego District 308 and was a member of the Illinois Math and Science Academy Parent Advisory Council. (Term Concludes 12.31.21)
Denise Kuchta - Secretary
Denise Kuchta is the Coordinator for Gifted, as well as the Mathematics Instructional Coach at Queen Bee School District 16, where she re-established the gifted program in 2015-2016. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with students in grades 3-8, specializing in mathematics, gifted education and acceleration for math and English/Language Arts, and special education and interventions.
Denise serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, and is the Secretary of the organization. She has served on the Social/Emotional Committee as well as the Networking Committee for several years. She also recently served as the chair of the IAGC Leadership Retirement Committee. Her passion in gifted education stems from life-long giftedness and the unique path students will take from the K-8 system to high school and into adulthood. She is committed to the needs of underrepresented learners and providing opportunities that facilitate life goals. She is also an advocate for educating the parents of gifted children – as well as parental involvement in education.
Denise has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Mathematics, History, Language arts, and Middle school Teaching from Western Illinois University. She has a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership (Type 75) and an endorsement in Gifted Education from Aurora University.
Denise met her husband, Nick, in an undergraduate English course for gifted and talented students. Over the years, her interest in giftedness for adults has been of interest. Together, Denise and Nick have one daughter. (Term Concludes 12.31.21)
Diana Rea is currently the Curriculum Director for Du Quoin Community Unit Schools, District 300. She also served the district as elementary principal from 2014 - 2021, and was awarded the Elementary Principal of the Year - Egyptian Region in 2020. She is a successful grant writer, designing unique opportunities for students in K-12 surrounding STEM education and enrichment avenues. Prior to her current position, she served in a previous district as the coordinator for gifted programming, expanding programming and acceleration options to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented students from diverse areas and backgrounds. Mrs. Rea also served as an instructional coach where she co-organized and implemented professional development and coaching strategies to support 1:1 technology integration. Her experience includes teaching gifted in Mississippi, Georgia and Illinois.
Mrs. Rea has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Eastern Illinois University. She holds the gifted teacher endorsement and is currently working on a Ed.S degree with specialization in gifted education and curriculum from the University of Virginia.
She served as an Illinois State Board of Education Gifted Advisory Council board member from 2013-2019, and was one of two members to serve Illinois in the national assessment vetting process for the gifted endorsement designation on the Illinois professional educator license. She was also a trainer in the Gifted Education Seminar. Mrs. Rea has presented at several conference including the IAGC, ESSA, NCLB, and IRC conferences. She is passionate about advancing gifted programming through professional development for educators, administrators and families in the areas of programming, differentiated instruction and social-emotional learning. (Term Concludes 12.31.22)
Dr. Leodis Scott, Ed. D. is the Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at DePaul University, College of Education. Dr. Scott has conducted research in the field of education. He developed a Quantitative Survey for Assessing Parent Involvement and Family Engagement at Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center (a Chicago Public School named as a 2020 Blue Ribbon School). Leodis has presented at IAGC regarding gifted schools at Chicago Public Schools and "Tools for Parent and Family Engagement of Gifted Students." He is an advocate for gifted children whose interests include developing educational leaders, schools, and organizations. Leodis possesses a Doctor of Education, Columbia University, Teachers College. (Term Concludes 12.31.23)
Deanna Markos is a Talent Development Teacher at LaGrange District 102. As a TD teacher at Forest Road School, Deanna teaches grades 5 and 6 accelerated math and reading. She also facilitates placement review and identification processes for her building. Deanna serves on the IAGC Advocacy committee as well as the Conference Planning committee as a social media liaison. Previously, Deanna acted as an Advanced Learning Coordinator and Instructor for a private school in Elmhurst for four years, taught high school English and Debate for eight years, and instructed creative drama classes at the Children's Theater of Western Springs (IL) for 17 years.
An Illinois certified K-12 teacher, Deanna holds a BS in Secondary Communications Education from Miami University (OH), an Elementary Certificate from Columbia College Chicago, and a Masters in Administration (G/T concentration) with principal licensure from the University of Cincinnati. (Term Concludes 12.31.24)
Evan Glazer serves as President of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy bringing a wealth of education experience at both the secondary and university levels. A native of Illinois, he has deep experience leading high performing, specialized secondary STEM schools with rigorous academic programs, including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology. Prior to joining IMSA, Evan served as Head of School for Avenues: The World School in New York. Before Avenues, he served more than ten years as principal of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), a state-chartered magnet high school in Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Glazer's earlier school leadership experience includes serving as the director of Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology (Roanoke, VA). He began his career in education at his alma mater, Glenbrook South High (Glenview, IL), where he taught math. Evan received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL). He went on to earn a Ph.D. in instructional technology from the University of Georgia (Athens, GA). Evan has published two books, Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking and Everyday Use of Mathematical Concepts: A Reference Guide. Having spent most of his career in progressive schools with interdisciplinary and project-based curricula, Dr. Glazer holds a deep regard for instructional and student-led innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion and ethics, all underpinned by a strong culture. (Term concludes 12.31.24)
Dr. Sowmya Anjur serves on the faculty of the Illinois Math and Science Academy. Sowmya is an American Physiology Society Teacher Fellow, completing her summer research at Midwestern University. She is a Teacher Research Fellow for the Oncofertility Summer Research Fellowship, Northwestern University, Chicago.
Sowmya has three patent applications filed and granted in the U.S. and several countries abroad. She is the recipient several awards and grants including the IAGC Promising Projects Award and the first ever Sudden Cardiac Death Awareness Research Foundation (S.C.A.R.F.) Educational Grant. She is also a recipient of ComEd seed grants and American Physiological Society's Online Teacher Professional Development Award. She received the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Principal's Teaching award and the Lederman Scholar Award.
Sowmya's interests in gifted education include promoting public awareness of giftedness and incorporating this awareness into educational policy. She is an advocate who wishes to lead other schools in the state to convince state officials to include the specific needs of gifted children in state policies, and incorporate competency curriculum to promote equity and diversity in gifted populations. She also hopes to bring the teacher’s classroom perspective to administrators and parents to better enable enrich their understanding of the social, emotional and educational needs of gifted students
Sowmya holds a PhD Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa Biochemistry and Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology; M Phil. Agricultural Biochemistry, Bharathiar University, India;MS Clinical Biochemistry, Bharathiar University, India (Term Concludes 12.31.23)
Whitnie Del Toro
Whitnie Del Toro is currently the Lead Teacher of Math in West Chicago District #33, a K-8 dual language school district in a western suburb of Chicago. She has taught 5th grade, 3rd grade and spent 4 years as a Gifted Specialist prior to taking on the Lead Teacher role. As a Gifted Specialist, Whitnie was an integral part of the restructuring of the Gifted and Talented (GATE) program in West Chicago. The restructuring included a full-time gifted specialist in every elementary school building, offering reading enrichment, math enrichment and math acceleration for students in grades 3-5. She has been an advocate for creating a GATE strand in dual language arts in grades 6-8, eliminating the need for students and parents to choose between participating in the GATE or Dual Language program once they get to middle school. Due to her advocacy for equitable access to advanced programming for dual language students, West Chicago now offers enrichment and accelerated dual language arts for students in grades 6-8. In 2016, as a Gifted Specialist, Whitnie was recognized as one of DuPage County’s Top Teachers and was featured in the Daily Herald.
As a lead teacher, Whitnie continues to support and lead the GATE program. In 2020, she advocated for hiring primary enrichment teachers to support enrichment and upwards differentiation for students in grades K-2. Due to her advocacy for the importance of equitable enrichment opportunities for all students, each elementary school in West Chicago hired a K-2 enrichment teacher. She continues to work closely with the district GATE and enrichment teachers on upwards differentiation, effective use of assessment, supporting multilingual learners in gifted education and using local norms for equitable access to GATE programming. Additionally, Whitnie leads the district’s Gifted Parent Advisory Committee (GPAC), working alongside families and community members to improve the district GATE program and offer support to families and parents of gifted students.
Whitnie presented at the 2021 IAGC conference on using MTSS in gifted education. In 2020, she presented at the National Association of Bilingual Education on Equitable Access of Dual Language Learners to Gifted and Talented Programs. Since 2020, she has been a presenter for Bureau of Education and Research (BER), presenting on using models, games and routines in mathematics instruction.
Mrs. Del Toro has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education.
This is Mrs. Del Toro’s first term as a member of the IAGC Board member. She is passionate about equitable access to advanced programming for all students, especially underserved populations. (Term Concludes 12.31.24)
Rhoda Rosen is executive director of Red Line Service Institute, an organization that works with artistically talented adults who have a lived experience of homelessness. She also teaches at the college level at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she serves on Faculty Senate. For over a decade, she was an associate director at the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, with oversight of advanced enrichment programming for young learners and parent education. She has a background in art history and cultural studies and received a BA and MA from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. (Term concludes 12.31.24)
Randolph ("Randy") Lange, Ph.D., is the Talent Development Coordinator for District 102 in La Grange Illinois. He developed the K-8 Talent Development Program in District 102, including curriculum for accelerated mathematics, language arts, and social-emotional learning; identification protocol; building parent support networks; and providing professional development and mentoring for teachers of high ability learners. Before joining District 102, he served as a catalyst in developing a more equitable identification protocol in his former district (Indian Prairie School District 204) based upon his dissertation findings. He also teaches courses through the Belin Blank Center to prepare educators to work with gifted and talented students.
Randy currently serves on the Convention Planning Committee for the IAGC. He has been awarded "Most Influential Educator" multiple times through the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation, as well as the Educator Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa.
Randy holds a Doctorate from the University of Iowa, Curriculum & Instruction (Cognates: gifted education, educational measurement, and curriculum studies); a Masters from the University of Iowa in Educational Administration, and a Bachelors from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Elementary Education. (Term concludes 12.31.22)
Patricia Steinmeyer is the Executive Director of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children. Patricia ("Patsy") presents and writes on a variety of topics pertaining to advanced learners. She is an educational consultant who, over the past 15 years, has served as a teacher, gifted coordinator, presenter, and an assistant principal. Patsy is the author of the blog, P.S. – Just Learning: Journeys in Education, a series of reflections exploring topics related to teaching, educational leadership, and gifted education. She possesses a B.A. from Yale University, a M.A.T. and an Ed. S. from National-Louis University, and a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.