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Person of SIGnificance 2016: Shelagh Gallagher

Posted by Categories: Gifted Education

The 2016 Person of SIGnificance, Shelagh Gallagher | National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT)Here at the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT) and Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), we believe that it is very important not only to be the best we can be, but to recognize and honor those who came before us, allowing and encouraging us in all the ways you can become the best you can be. One of the ways we have chosen to do that is to recognize a leader each year who has greatly influenced our enrichment work with gifted students in the alternative educational settings of summer and online programs. Our first recipient was Dr. Joseph Renzulli for his landmark work with the Enrichment Triad Model, which influences our work in enriching education through an emphasis on creative and authentic learning, and student choice.

This year’s awardee is Shelagh Gallagher who we recognize for her career commitment to meaningful and engaging curriculum through her work with Problem Based Learning (PBL). PBL is such a fantastic way to differentiate, individualize, and challenge gifted students.  The engaging quality of PBL and its facility in creating the need for a broad-based, inquiry approach to learning content and deciding on best courses of action to solve a real problem make it a perfect fit for gifted education. Dr. Gallagher, among many other accolades, has received the National Association for Gifted Children Award for Article of the Year and is a four-time winner of the NAGC Curriculum Division award for exemplary curriculum.

To honor Dr. Gallagher’s contribution to our work, as well as to the work of thousands of other educators, we have many activities going on this fall to share PBL with teachers and to raise scholarship funds for financially needy gifted children, who benefit immensely from enrichment programs that use these types of learning experiences. We will present Dr. Gallagher with her official award at NAGC in Orlando the first week November, but many other activities will precede that recognition.

  • Online Auction: First we will have an online auction to raise scholarship funds for students that will run October 5-November 6. Plenty of exciting items will be up for bid, along with specific and low-cost ways to support needy students. The auction will be live on October 5th at
  • Project Based Learning Workshop: Dr. Gallagher has generously written a wonderful article on PBL for us entitled “You are a ….” The Integral Role of Apprenticeship in Problem –Based Learning. On top of that, she has created a fabulous 15 minute video on PBL. Both of these resources will be available to participants in our local area workshop for teachers on October 18, 2016, 6:30 p.m. For more information and to register, please see PBL Workshop for Teachers. Location will be the New Canaan Country Day School, New Canaan, CT. Both the article and the video will be available to everyone on our website after October 18.
  • Free Online Webinar: Finally, we will wrap up our PBL fall in honor of Dr. Gallagher by providing a short webinar on November 9th at 1pm ET – Introduction to Problem Based Learning (PBL).  NSGT will facilitate the event, but will draw heavily on Dr. Gallagher’s work.

I hope you’ll join us for any or all of these ways that we can honor Dr. Gallagher and her work, while enriching our classrooms with PBL and assisting needy gifted children in enhancing their own learning through opportunities that they would not be able to experience, without financial support.

We thank you in advance for your participation.

All the best,

Barbara Swicord, Ed.D.
CEO, National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT)
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG)

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