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    Illinois Association for Gifted Children


IAGC 26th Annual Conference

A VIRTUAL Gathering - Join us from where you are!

October 14-16, 2021

...together we lift advanced learners!

The IAGC welcomes teachers, administrators, parents, social workers/school psychologists, educational specialists, and advocates for children with advanced learning needs to register for our 26th Annual Conference. Join national leaders in the field of gifted education and experts throughout Illinois to explore new ways to enhance professional practice, support equity and access, and collaborate to make advanced learning opportunities a reality for all children.

Thursday and Friday will feature a dynamic program with varied sessions for both veteran and novice educators in all roles and across all grade levels. On Saturday, our Parent Forum will offer a variety of sessions focused on strategies for supporting children with advanced learning needs, building positive school-home partnerships, and advocating on the school, district, and state/federal levels.

Conference strands include Evidence-Based Curriculum and Instruction (content and strategies)Effective Program Leadership; Addressing the Excellence Gap Through Diversity, Equity, and InclusionAcceleration; and Social-Emotional Support.




Registration fee (includes Thursday, Friday, and Parent Saturday Forum):

Early Bird (on or before Sept. 1, 2021) - $290.00

Regular Rate (after September 1, 2021) - $325.00

*PARENT SATURDAY schedule will be available in late May/early June, 2021.

Parent Saturday Forum Only: $50- member; $40-non-member

Registration includes an annual membership with IAGC.

*Prior to September 1, 2021 cancellations will receive a refund minus a $25.00 processing fee. There are no refunds for cancellations made after September 1, 2021. Changes in attendees can be made without charge.

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

Thanks to our 2021 Conference Sponsors for their generous support!


Find your Why "IMSA?" here



Adventures with Mr. Math, NFP

Featured Presenters (see full Thursday and Friday Event Schedule Below):

Jonathan Plucker   

Jonathan Plucker, Ph.D. is the Julian C. Stanley Endowed Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University, where he works in the Center for Talented Youth and School of Education. His research examines education policy and talent development, with an emphasis on the pursuit of equity within advanced education. His books include Excellence Gaps in Education with Scott Peters (Harvard Ed Press) and Creativity and Innovation (Prufrock Press), both of which have received the National Association for Gifted Children Book Award. He is the recipient of the 2012 Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Psychology of Creativity from APA and 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from NAGC. He is a past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and he began his term as president of the National Association for Gifted Children in September 2019.

KEYNOTE (Thursday, October 14, 2021): Addressing Excellence Gaps in Illinois: Promoting Advanced Achievement in the 21st Century

Other Topics/Titles:

  • Equity and Excellence in Action
  • What's Your School's Talent Development Plan?

Dr. Richard M. Cash is an award-winning educator and author best known for his work in differentiation and advanced learners. His range of experience includes teaching, curriculum coordination, and program administration. Currently, he is an internationally recognized education consultant with nRich Educational Consulting, Inc. His consulting work has taken him throughout the United States, and internationally.

Richard has a doctorate in Educational Leadership, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, a bachelor’s degree in Education, and a bachelor’s degree in Theater.

His areas of expertise are educational programming, rigorous and challenging curriculum design, differentiated instruction, 21st century skills, brain-compatible classrooms, gifted & talented education, and self-regulated learning. Dr. Cash authored the books Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century; Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Going Beyond the Basics (co-author Diane Heacox); and Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn.

Richard lives in Minneapolis, MN, and Palm Springs, CA, USA. He may be reached at:; nrichconsulting@msn.com1-612-670-0278

KEYNOTE (Friday, October 15, 2021): Self-Regulation for Learning: Critical Skills for the Future

Other Topics/Titles:

  • Assessment that Builds Autonomy: Developing Self-Directed Learners

  • Working Together to Overcome Underachievement 

  • Developing Complex Thinking Skills: Strategies for Every Student

  • Working Collaboratively to Educate High Achieving Students

                     Richard Cash

                             Megan Foley-Nicpon

Megan Foley-Nicpon, Ph.D. is a professor in Counseling Psychology and Department Executive Officer for Psychological and Quantitative Foundations at the University of Iowa. She also serves as the Associate Director for Research and Clinic at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. Dr. Foley-Nicpon is a licensed psychologist whose research and clinical interests include assessment and intervention with high ability students with disabilities, and the social and emotional development of talented and diverse students. She is an Associate Editor for the APA Handbook of Giftedness and Talent, and has written over 50 referred articles and book chapters and given over 100 presentations at international, national, and state professional meetings in the areas of gifted, counseling psychology, and twice-exceptionality.


  • Twice-Exceptional Students: Identification and Talent Development 
  • Social-Emotional Considerations for Twice Exceptional Students 

Dante D. Dixson, Ph.D., LP is currently an Assistant Professor of School and Educational Psychology at Michigan State University. He currently serves on the editorial broads of Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, School Psychology Review, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and the Journal of Black Psychology. In addition, Dr. Dixson is a board member for the Roeper Institute, Boys Hope Girls Hope-Detroit, and the Michigan Association of Gifted Children. Dr. Dixson’s areas of expertise include the role of hope in the educational and psychological functioning of children and adolescents, psychosocial precursors of achievement, at-risk youth, the achievement gap, the underrepresentation of minority and disadvantaged youth in gifted education, and the translation of psychological research findings into school-based practice.


Turning the Tide for Underrepresented Groups in GATE

Where is the Hope in Gifted and Talented Programs?

                       Dante Dixson

Conference Schedule (Thursday, October 14, 2021 and Friday, October 15, 2021):

*session times/topics may be subject to change.



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.

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