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    Illinois Association for Gifted Children

2023 IAGC Election Results

IAGC Executive officers

Congratulations to the new IAGC Executive Committee and  Board Members!


Diana Rea  

Director of Instructional Services - Du Quoin CUSD 300

Previous IAGC Involvement

1998 - Present Member
2021 - Present - Board of Directors
2018 & 2012 IAGC Conference presenter

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, and Awards

20+ years teaching and coordinating gifted programs

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction with area of focus in gifted education - University of Virginia
Master of Science in Educational Leadership - Eastern Illinois University
BS in Elementary Education - Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Grant author/awardee - competitive afterschool programs which includes innovative STEM enrichment opportunities and an Illinois Art Council grant award
2020 Elementary Principal of the Year - Egyptian Region
2013 - 2019 ISBE Gifted Advisory Council
2010 ISBE Those Who Excel Award of Excellence

Gifted program teaching experience in Mississippi, Georgia and Illinois

Instructional coach
Participated in and current district program highlighted in Promising Practices for Equity and Inclusion: A Portrait of Six Illinois Schools

Goals for the IAGC

Increase the impact of IAGC through representation and a committed voice from the southern IL regions of the state; Advocate for programming, curriculum and instructional practices and programs to help meet the unique needs of gifted and talented students from the diverse areas of Illinois; Lead by promoting professional development opportunities for educators, administrators and parents in the areas of programming, differentiated instruction and SEL needs;  Collaborate with professionals passionate about growing gifted and talented programs with creative strategies for advocating and supporting all stakeholders across the state.


Leodis Scott

Doctor of Education, Columbia University, Teachers College 

Previous IAGC Involvement  

Board Member 2021 through 2023

Presenter at IAGC Conference

Co-Author of the IAGC case study report Promising Practices

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, and Awards -- 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 has presented at IAGC regarding gifted schools at Chicago Public Schools and "Tools for Parent and Family Engagement of Gifted Students."

He has developed a Quantitative Survey for Assessing Parent Involvement and family Engagement at Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center (Chicago Public School), Lenart was named as a 2020 Blue Ribbon School.

Goals for IAGC -- To be a steward of the IAGC organization: Advocating for gifted children, in terms of developing educational leaders, schools, and organizations.


Deanna Markos

Advanced Learning Teacher Western Springs District 101

Previous IAGC Involvement

Second year as an IAGC at large board member, Co -chair of policy and advocacy committee

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, Awards

Bachelor of Science from Miami University in Secondary Communications Education; An elementary certificate from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters degree at university of Cincinnati in Educational Administration with a concentration on G/T.

I have worked in education for 17 years as a high school English /Debate teacher, as a grades 3-6 advanced learning teacher and gifted coordinator, as a Talent Development teacher for grades 5-6 and now as an 8th grade Advanced ELA teacher.

Drama director of several musicals and plays in the Chicagoland area.

Goals for the IAGC

I would love to continue to serve on the IAGC board and further the mission and vision of the organization. Our goals are to continue to advocate and support gifted learners, to empower their families to have a voice, to further address existing excellence gaps, and to celebrate the impactful successes of advanced learners across the state. I am positive and hopeful that we can continue to carry out IAGC's goals.

General board of directors 

Denise Kuchta  

Coordinator for Gifted, and Mathematics Instructional Coach at Queen Bee School District 16

Previous IAGC Involvement

Denise serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, and is the Secretary of the organization.  She is also currently a Co-Chair of the IAGC Education Committee.  In the past she has served on the Social/Emotional Committee as well as the Networking Committee for several years and served as the chair of the IAGC Leadership Retirement Committee.  While she is stepping back from her role as IAGC Secretary this term, she continues to devote her time, skills, and energy to the Education Committee to provide valuable PD opportunities to educators.

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, and Awards

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 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.

Goals for the IAGC

My 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. I am committed to the needs of underrepresented learners and providing opportunities that facilitate life goals. I am also an advocate for educating the parents of gifted children – as well as parental involvement in education.

Yvette Stahl

Gifted Coordinator for St. Charles CUSD 303

Previous IAGC Involvement

I have not held positions previously, but have been a member and attended a conference for IAGC as a gifted teacher.

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, and Awards -- 

Bachelor of Science in Junior High/Middle School Education - Illinois State University
Master of Education: Curriculum, Technology and Education Reform - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Certificate of Advance Study - Educational Leadership, Administration and Supervision
Master of Educational Studies/Interdisciplinary - Johns Hopkins University (currently attaining)

This is my 26th year in public education. My unique path started with 8 years in the middle school classroom teaching a variety of core subjects, but primarily math, science and technology. I transitioned to administration as a junior high assistant principal, then principal in Palatine and Schaumburg for a total of 5 years before shifting to teaching Math and Science in the Infinity Gifted Magnet Program in St. Charles for 7 years, which allowed me to spend time raising my children. As I had more time to commit to my career, I spent the last 4 years as a middle school Instructional Coach at Wredling Middle School. This year, I am stepping back into instructional leadership as the Gifted Coordinator for the St. Charles School District.

I attained my Gifted Endorsement in 2014.

Team Leader for Infinity Gifted Magnet Program.

I actively participated as a member of the District 303 contract negotiation team 2021-2023.I have been a long-standing member of the MTSS committee in District 303.I have co-authored and taught district-wide professional learning courses. I have extensive experience facilitating professional learning in large and small groups. I currently focus on improvement planning around Accelerated Placement throughout our system, including AP, Acceleration, Whole-Grade Acceleration and Academically Talented/Gifted Curriculum implementation.

Goals for IAGC 

At a time when legislation and the needs of our gifted children are intersecting, my hope is that IAGC can continue to champion the unique needs of the gifted learner, advocate for the best possible educational outcomes for those students, and provide continued resources and support for families of gifted/talented students. I would like to be an active part of the local, state and national dialog around giftedness, which is why I have chosen to pursue an elective track through my current master's program at Johns Hopkins that allows me to learn deeply about gifted identification, pathways and supports.

Lindsay Sudol 

Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning / East Maine School District 63

   Previous IAGC Involvement

Throughout my career as a gifted educator in Illinois, I have participated in various IAGC events. Together with my colleagues, I served on the social-emotional committee and was successful in hosting a parent symposium for families of gifted learners in the northwest suburbs. I have also presented at the IAGC conference on differentiating the Common Core standards for gifted readers and effective student-led goal-setting. In my current role, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to learn and support others through the Coordinators Connect and Collaborate group. Most recently, I’ve reconnected with the education committee and am looking forward to continuing to support their efforts and initiatives.

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, and Awards

I received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Exceptional Student Education (focus on Gifted and Talented) from Florida State University, as well as a Master's in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.

I have over 17 years of experience as a teacher of gifted and talented learners in a variety of programs and settings. This includes managing a K-5th grade gifted center in St. Petersburg, FL, working with bilingual gifted students in Pilsen, teaching advanced readers in 4th-8th grade in Skokie, and teaching 5th and 6th grade gifted learners in a self-contained program in Schaumburg. I also spent several years teaching in Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development program. In addition to teaching, I am the parent of a gifted learner. Currently, I am working to support, improve, and enhance the opportunities for all learners in East Maine School District 63 as the Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning.

I have always prioritized taking an active role in the school communities in which I taught, including facilitating clubs to challenge gifted and talented students in all areas (drama, student ambassadors, Lego League). In addition, I served on committees to promote positive psychology, positive behavior supports, innovative learning, and equity, diversity, and inclusion in the classroom and beyond. I am the busy parent of 3 boys in Arlington Heights, IL. and an active member of our local PTA. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the natural world, swimming, and reading (and discussing) great books.

Goals for IAGC 

1) Continue to examine the intersection of equity, diversity, and inclusion and the continuum of services for the gifted and talented. As an employee in a diverse district with 45% multilingual learners, I have a keen interest in continuing to research and refine methods to equitably identify, support, educate and challenge advanced learners from all backgrounds.
2) Promote methods and strategies for vertical differentiation in the general education setting. The Accelerated Placement Act has promoted the use of acceleration as a means of meeting the needs of gifted and talented learners. However, teachers in most districts continue to have a range of instructional levels in their classes. IAGC should continue to expand opportunities for educators to learn and apply research-based strategies in the classroom.
3) Promote parent/guardian-school-community partnerships to support gifted and talented learners. So often, the divide between schools and parents of gifted and talented learners is established out of preconceived assumptions. IAGC can help to solve this problem by supporting parents and families with tools to proactively and positively advocate, as well as providing schools with education and understanding of the unique needs of gifted and talented learners.

4) Increase the number of educators obtaining the Gifted Endorsement. Gifted and talented learners are often misunderstood by educators. The knowledge, tools, and strategies one acquires through the Gifted Education Seminars demystify this population and increase the capacity of teachers to effectively differentiate for all learners.

Fabiola Alexander

Dual Language REACH Teacher with Elmhurst School District 205

  Previous IAGC Involvement

This will be my third year attending the IAGC conference. I will be presenting for the first time. I have also attended the gifted education modules.

Career Highlights, Education, Activities, and Awards

Master of Arts in Education, Principal Endorsement, Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL)
Master in Curriculum and Instruction, ESL Endorsement, Concordia University (Chicago, IL)
Master of Arts in Education, Aurora University (Aurora, IL)
Bachelor of Science, Family Consumer Science/Spanish, Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL)

Curriculum Development: Adjust the 3rd and 4th grade REACH (gifted) curriculum to fit the needs of dual language learners. Serving as the first in the district to provide Spanish and English instruction in the REACH program. Develop deep technical topics and work with subject-matter-experts to research, scope, and design learner centered curricula for math and English/Spanish language arts.
Subject-Matter Expert: Serve as resource for REACH program, helping to educate both teachers and parents and identifying students who qualify for the program. Provide teacher mentorship and guidance for the creation of lesson content while promoting higher-level thinking.
Distance Learning: Created hybrid-learning curriculum during 2020-2021 school year, providing instruction online and in-person simultaneously. Implemented technology to actively engage students in both areas.
Teacher Leadership: Serve as D205 University Facilitator, providing professional learning opportunities for staff and sharing collective knowledge and practice to improve instruction.Bilingual Education Teacher License, ESL Endorsement, IL Teacher Evaluator Certification, KIDS Training

Remote Learning and Technology Integration Professional Development, Elmhurst School District 205 (2020 – 2021)
Assessment for Learning Professional Development, 2017
KIDS Assessment Training, 2017
Kindergarten Conference, 2017-2018
Bilingual Conference, 2016, 2019
Ongoing Training with Center for Teaching for Bi-literacy, 2013 – Present

Remote Learning and Technology Integration Professional Development, Elmhurst School District 205 (2020 – 2021)
Assessment for Learning Professional Development, 2017
KIDS Assessment Training, 2017
Kindergarten Conference, 2017-2018
Bilingual Conference, 2016, 2019
Ongoing Training with Center for Teaching for Bi-literacy, 2013 – Present

Goals for IAGC

Passionate and experienced in Education offering 10+ years of experience in design and delivery of quality curriculum, instruction, and training for staff and students alike. Strong background in working with underrepresented populations and providing access to equitable services. Empathetic and solution-focused with a drive to assist students and faculty through program coordination, improved instruction, curriculum development, and community engagement. Devoted advocate of inclusion known for building a positive team dynamic and creating welcoming communities for learners, their families, and staff. Specialized knowledge of instructional best practices, diverse populations, and learning differentiation. Bilingual English/Spanish.

Goals for IAGC

Support school and district leaders in creating and maintaining equitable, inclusive, standards-aligned, research-based programming to support all students with gifts and talents.
Provide professional learning opportunities in all facets of gifted education (students, best practices, current research, MTSS, acceleration, etc.) to stakeholders.
Engage, educate, and support families of children with gifts and talents.
Be an advocate for the priorities of the organization at the state and local levels.

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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