South Florida Gifted and Talented Symposium

Broward County Public Schools, in partnership with the Broward County Government Cultural Division and Broward Center for the Performing Arts, is pleased to present the South Florida Gifted and Talented Symposium: E³: Engage, Enrich, Empower ;to be held on November 2nd, 2018 at Pompano Beach High School. We are looking forward to providing educators and parents with the opportunity to network and learn in a forum dedicated to strategies and practices that foster self-directed, motivated, and independent learners in real-world learning environments with "no ceilings".

Our Keynote Speaker This Year Is...Tom Vander Ark

Welcome to the wonderful world of a regular guy who just happened to write 80-something books for kids and teens.

jkc-Gordon-Korman-Portrait-Composite-Retouch-5700fl-682x1024-(2).jpgTom Vander Ark is an advocate for innovations in learning. As CEO of Getting Smart, he advises school districts and networks, education foundations and funders and impact organizations on the path forward. A prolific writer and speaker, Tom is author of Getting Smart; Smart Cities That Work for Everyone; Smart Parents; and Better Together. He has published thousands of articles, co-authored and contributed to more than 50 books and white papers. He writes regularly on, LinkedIn, and contributes to Education Week and Forbes.

Previously, Tom served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also served as a public school superintendent in Washington state and has extensive private sector experience. Tom co-founded the first education venture fund, Learn Capital. Tom is Board Chair of Charter Board Partners, Director for 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation and Imagination Foundation and Advisor for One Stone, Teton Science Schools and Whittle School & Studios.

Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver, and continues his education online.


One of our Featured Speakers is...Tonya Bolden

richard_courtright-(1).jpgTonya Bolden, a Princeton University magna cum laude baccalaureate with a master’s degree from Columbia University, is an award-winning author of more than twenty books for the young. They include Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, a Coretta Scott King honor book and James Madison Book Award winner. Bolden’s MLK: Journey of a King received the National Council of Teachers of English’s 2008 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. High praise for her George Washington Carver include a Virginia Library AssociationJefferson Cup and a Cleveland Public Library Sugarman Award. 

Booklist applauded Bolden’s FDR’s Alphabet Soup: New Deal America, 1932–1939 as a “lively look back.” Said the The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books of Soup: “If the very thought of political history strikes kids as dry and a mouthful of saltiness, they haven’t encountered Bolden’s charged pacing and jazzed text, which reads like a passionate witty teacher talking from the heart.”  Bolden’s Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty is an ALA Notable Book winner.


One of our Featured Speakers is...Richard D. Courtright, Ph.D

richard_courtright-(1).jpgRichard D. Courtright, Ph.D. serves as Gifted Education Research Specialist for the Talent Identification Program (TIP) at Duke University in Durham, NC.  He also holds the position of lecturing fellow in the Duke University Program in Education, and has served as an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Education at Elon University, at Winston-Salem State University and at UNC-Chapel Hill. A lifelong educator with more than forty years of experience in PK-12 public education, Rick has been an elementary and middle school classroom teacher, and a gifted program administrator for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina. 

He has co-written and co-edited several works, has taught a variety of courses and workshops in gifted, general and special education, has presented at state, regional, national and international conferences. Rick has provided consultation to schools and districts interested in delivering differentiated programs for gifted and talented students. He has served multiple terms of office on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented, which awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for lifetime achievement in 2015. 




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Zuzel Rodriguez
Curriculum supervisor for Gifted & Talented

600 Southeast 3rd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301