Pagosa Springs Gifted and Talented Parent Advisory Council

Every other month at the Pagosa Springs Junior High School a group of parents meet to discuss gifted and talented education in Pagosa Springs.

The Gifted and Talented Parent Advisory Council (GTPAC) comprises parents of students in the Archuleta County Joint 50 School district who are classified as “Gifted and Talented” (GT). The mission of the GTPAC is to support creative learning opportunities for gifted and talented students that will develop their academic, affective and artistic abilities to their exceptional potential, and to continue to support educational opportunities for parents, teachers and members of the learning community.

The GTPAC was established in the fall of 2005 and was led by Denise Rue Pastin. The group worked closely with the board of education, the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, who at that time was Gail Hershey, and with Assistant Superintendent Bill Esterbrook, to expand the role of the Gifted and Talented Coordinator and to extend services through grade 12.

Currently the group is led by Anne Grad. Scott Pierce serves as secretary to the group. The GTPAC continues to work closely with school district personnel to provide input regarding gifted and talented services.

GTPAC meetings include brainstorming sessions, guest speakers and breakout groups to address special projects such as community networking, summer programs and activities, theater trips and fund-raising, just to name a few. The meetings are scheduled for one hour. While the parents are meeting, a teacher or counselor from the school district meets with the children and engages them in a creative learning activity.

Nancy Murri, the K-8 Gifted and Talented Education coordinator, is also a vital member of this group. Murri has many years experience working with gifted and talented learners and holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. She keeps parents abreast of legislative updates regarding GT education, provides parents with practical knowledge regarding GT education and serves as an active participant at GTPAC meetings.

The next meeting of the GTPAC is scheduled for Monday, April 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the junior high school library. Anyone who would like to learn more about the Gifted and Talented Parent Advisory Council can contact Anne Grad at 731-1446 or asg727@yahoo.com, or Nancy Murri at nmurri@pagosa.k12.co.us.