Louisiana Lagniappe (LAgniappe) Summer Institute for Teachers

Advanced strategies for all teachers!
High end learning & talent development for all students!

Christine (Chris) Briggs

Christine (Chris) Briggs earned her doctorate at UConn with a concentration in gifted education and talent development in diverse populations. She is an assistant professor and interim department head at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she holds the Joan D.& Alexander S. Haig/BORSF professorship in education. At the university she teachers courses in elementary methods, gifted education, research design and capstone (masters research course.) Her research interests focus on tools and methods to increase access to talent development services for students of diversity. Personal interests include her pug, Stella, shopping at flea markets and tag sales, and traveling, wants to go to Italy. 

Richard M. Cash

Richard M. Cash holds a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Theater, a Bachelor's of Science degree in Education, a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctorate  in Educational Leadership.  Throughout his more than 20 years in education, he has taught primary and middle grades as well as graduate level courses.  Currently, he is the Director of Gifted Programs, for the Bloomington Minnesota Public Schools.   His areas of expertise are in brain-based learning, differentiated instruction and gifted education.  Dr. Cash is a highly sought-after professional developer who has worked with schools throughout the United States and internationally on developing educational environments where student learning is encouraged through engaging, enriching and enhancing experiences.  Richard’s forthcoming book Advancing Differentiation through 21st Century Thinking Skills, will be published by Free Spirit (freespirit.com), with an expected release date of August 2010.

Deb Cochran

Deb has been an educator for twenty years.  She is currently teaching at an SEM school in Lafayette, Louisiana -- Episcopal School of Acadiana – where she is the fifth grade teacher. Deb earned a B. A. in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, with certification in Academically Gifted, and her +30 in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (ULL).  Her experiences in education include being a regular education teacher, a TSAR (Thinking Skills for at Risk Students) teacher, and a teacher of the gifted.  Deb enjoys playing golf, reading a good mystery, and playing with her six month old Yorkie, Ace. 

Stuart Cornwell

Dr. Stuart Cornwell teaches Geometry, Calculus and Statistics at the Episcopal School of Acadiana, in Cade, Louisiana. Current interests include the teaching of experimental design and statistical inference from kindergarten to college.

Toby Daspit

Toby Daspit, the self-proclaimed "Bard of the Blue Dog Cafe,' is Associate Professor of Education and Director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  He is the co-editor of Popular Culture and Critical Pedagogy:  Reading, Constructing, Connecting (2000/1999), Science Fiction Curriculum, Cyborg Teachers, and Youth Culture(s) (2004), and Imagining the Academy:  Higher Education and Popular Culture (2005).  Toby is the author of the poetry collection, Anatomy of a Ghost and Other Poems About You (2006), and the forthcoming collection Shopworn Muses.  Though he wants to be Bob Dylan, his personality most closely resembles Alvy Singer's in Woody Allen's Annie Hall.

Sally M. Dobyns

Sally Dobyns completed her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut in Educational Psychology, specializing in Gifted Education and Talent Development, with a concentration in Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom Setting. She is the Director of the Center for Gifted Education at UL Lafayette, where she also coordinates and teaches in the M. Ed. Program in Gifted Education. Sally is actively involved in the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Association for Gifted and Talented of Louisiana, of which she is an officer. Prior to pursuing graduate studies in gifted education, Sally was a middle school classroom teacher of English, history, and journalism in Kentucky and South Carolina. It was her feeling of inadequate preparedness for teaching advanced learners in her own classroom that led her to the field of gifted education and has driven most of her research interests. She is currently involved in investigations of the elementary and middle school experiences of gifted females who are enrolled in the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia.

Sally is the mother of two grown daughters and the grandmother of three year old Anna Grace (her Gracie). In addition to having picnics with Gracie, Sally enjoys cycling, reading, geocaching, and investigating old cemeteries

Gara B. Field

Dr. Gara B. Field earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2007, and she is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia.  Her research interests include investigating the impact of Internet-based technology on reading fluency, reading comprehension, and student achievement, as well as studying the relationship between sports participation, academic success, and leadership abilities among girls and women.  

In June 2004, Gara earned a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.  She spent nine years as a high school educator, varsity coach, and administrator at New Hampton School (NH) and Pace Academy (GA). Gara, a proud New Hampshire native and die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, spends her summers on Lake Winnipesaukee’s Bear Island. 

Kathy Gavin

Dr. Katherine Gavin is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Connecticut where she serves as the math specialist at the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. She is the director and lead author of two curriculum research projects which involve the development of advanced mathematics units for mathematically talented students in Grades K-5. Project M3 units have won the National Association for Gifted Education (NAGC) Curriculum Division Award for six consecutive years (2004-2009). Kathy received the Early Leader Award from NAGC in 2006. She has over 15 years of experience as a K-12 teacher and district math coordinator. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on mathematics education, is a member of the writing team for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Navigations series and has co-authored a series of creative problem solving books.   

Thomas Hays

Dr. Thomas Hays retired in 2004 as Supervisor for Gifted Programs for Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds degrees from Doane College, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the University of Connecticut.  He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, and has taught in public schools in Guam, The Winnebago Indian Reservation, Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa, Connecticut, and Hawaii.  Tom co-authored The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum.

Thomas P. Hebért

Thomas P. Hébert, Ph.D., is a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia where he teaches graduate courses in gifted education and qualitative research methods. He was a teacher for thirteen years, ten of which were spent working with gifted students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Tom taught in Maine, Georgia, Connecticut, and West Germany with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.  He coordinated programs for gifted high school students at Southeastern Massachusetts University.  He was a researcher with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. His research interests include social and emotional development of gifted students, culturally diverse gifted students, underachievement, and problems faced by gifted young men. He is the author of the forthcoming book entitled Honoring the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students. 

Brian Housand

Brian Housand is an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at East Carolina University. Dr. Housand earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut with an emphasis in both gifted education and instructional technology. He is the chair of National Association for Gifted Children’s Computers and Technology Network, and his column, Technology Untangled, appears in the Teaching for High Potential. Brian was a 2008 recipient of NAGC’s doctoral student award. He is currently exploring ways in which technology can enhance the learning environment and striving to define creative-productive giftedness in a digital age. His website is http://brianhousand.com. 

Anne Johnson

Anne Johnson currently serves as an administrator for ESA Lower School, an independent coeducational day school in Lafayette, LA.  The school utilizes SEM (Schoolwide Enrichment Model )as its administrative model and has just completed its fourth year of operation. Anne completed her M.Ed. in Gifted Education at ULL-L and began her teaching career in Lafayette Parish’s gifted program.  She misses teaching and the daily interaction with children as they learn, but enjoys the challenges and insights found in her administrative role. 

Robbie McHardy

Robbie McHardy has been involved in gifted education in Louisiana since 1976. She earned a Ph.D. in Gifted Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1982. Robbie has been a classroom teacher, teacher trainer, and state Director of Gifted Programs. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at LSU.

Susannah Richards

Susannah Richards is an Associate Professor of Reading/Language Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on language arts methods, children’s and young adult literature, and reading and writing strategies for elementary and secondary teachers. After 11 years of elementary and middle school teaching and facilitating gifted and talented programs, she completed her PhD at the University of Connecticut where she studied classroom practices for talented readers. She reads, collects, reviews and presents on books for youth at state and national conferences. 

Carol Ann Williams

Carol received her undergraduate training at William Paterson University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She also received a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut. She has twenty years of teaching experience with ten years in gifted education at the middle school level. Carol is presently Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction with the Upper Township School District in Upper Township, Cape May County, New Jersey.  

She is a member of NAGC, ASCD, CEC and NJAGC. In 1999, Carol received the Curriculum Award from the National Association for Gifted Children for a curriculum entitled, Across the Generations: An Ethnographer’s Journey. This curriculum looks at history through the eyes of a practicing ethnographer. In 2000, she was presented their Non-Doctoral Graduate Student of the Year Award after being nominated by the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. 

She has presented at many state and national conferences on meeting the needs of gifted students and has been a guest speaker and teacher at both Rutgers University and Stockton College. Carol currently is co-chair of the Curriculum Awards Division of NAGC and a trustee of NJAGC .

Jill Broussard

Jill Broussard, native of Lafayette, Louisiana, studied Fine Art at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and received her BFA from Louisiana State University in 1992. Primarily in acrylics, she paints on canvas and wood. Jill's subject matter includes nature and the human form. Her signature pieces possess bold contrasting colors in linear compositions.

With 17 years experience, she is also skilled in developing and facilitating community programs for all ages. From children to seniors, Jill's rich art philosophy has been shared to enrich learning and feed souls. She continues to work in her studio and with organizations that promote art and art education.

Over the past 10 years, Jill and her paintings have been recognized in several magazines and newspapers. Her artwork was recently featured in Metropolitan Home, a national home décor magazine.

Monique Boutte Magee

Monique Boutte Magee is an innovative, practical, "think-out-of-the-box" middle school administrator. She is currently the principal at Lafayette Middle School in Lafayette, LA, and has served as an administrator for eight years in the public school system. Monique has assisted her teachers in transitioning from the traditional methods of instructing to the differentiated, tech-savvy, modern age of teaching. Because she keeps abreast of the current trends and best practices in education through the use of a data-driven curriculum coupled with modern “new practices” in education, she has assisted her teachers in improving standardized test scores and the school’s annual yearly performance.