PCA Awarded a 2019 National Association for Gifted Children Honor by NAGC’s Professional Learning Network
PCA is piloting a gifted education program under the direction of the school’s academic director, Kim Stephenson. This new initiative is designed to reach and challenge students who need more from the classroom to expand differentiated learning to students. Under Kim’s direction, this program was recently awarded the 2019 Professional Development Network Award by the National Association for Gifted Children’s Professional Learning Network.
Kim, a gifted advocate, has been instrumental in bringing differentiation and creative problem-solving strategies to PCA since moving out of the classroom as a teacher and into a critical administrative role. Since 2016, she’s worked to educate stakeholders, and faculty members on how to identify traits, aptitudes, and behaviors of gifted students. She teaches three levels of gifted education classes for students in lower and upper elementary as well as middle school levels during the school day.
In addition to accepting the award at the annual National Association for Gifted Children’s Conference in New Mexico later this year, Kim will present to teachers from across the country in partnership with the University of Alabama on Supporting Pre-Service Gifted Teachers and Gifted Students in Quality Summer Programs, to Alabama gifted teachers on Sparking Creativity with Design Thinking at the state conference, and will be featured in an upcoming National Association for Gifted Children’s publication on how she was able to plan and implement professional development of PCA’s piloted gifted program.
Kim Stephenson is a state-certified gifted and special education teacher in grades K-12, but currently leads PCA’s academic initiatives in the areas of curriculum, educational initiatives, alignment of accreditation standards, and faculty professional development. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology, a master’s degree in Elementary Education, an Ed.S in Elementary Education, a master’s level special education certification in gifted education from the University of Alabama, and is currently finalizing Ph.D. studies in the area of giftedness/creativity. She also teaches gifted students across the nation via online courses through Duke University and currently serves in the state advocacy role of Vice-President of the Alabama Association for Gifted Children Board.
In addition to a gifted education program, PCA also offers a resource program so that students of all abilities can learn in an environment best suited for individual skills and abilities. PCA’s Resource Center provides academic support to students outside of the regular classroom during the school day to reduce the time students spend tutoring outside of school hours.