Saturday, May 26, 2012


by Stephanie Newitt

Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted was co- founded in 2009 by Stephanie Newitt and Jill Humpherys.  They met when their daughters became friends in junior high.  They shared with each other the challenges they have faced as they have raised their gifted children – Jill has 5 children and Stephanie has 4.  Between the two of them they have twice exceptional children, gifted and highly gifted children.  Stephanie has a B.S. degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.  Jill has a B.S. degree in English.  They have attended the AAGT Parent Institute and have read books on parenting and giftedness.  They felt a support group for the families and educators of gifted students was needed in the Gilbert area.  They have appreciated the support of family and friends who have assisted them with and in their executive board responsibilities.  

If you wish to participate in our organization or learn about giftedness and advocacy for the gifted, please contact us at

2012-2013 Executive Board officers: 
  • President – Stephanie Newitt
  • Vice-President – Jill Humpherys
  • Treasure – Emily Redhair
  • Secretary – Open … if interested, please email us at

2012-2013 General Board openings:
  • Parent Mentor Coordinator
  • Representative for Parent-Superintendent Council
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Web Master

  • We wrote our mission statement and by-laws
  • We filed for and received our non-profit tax ID
  • Created our website –
  • Began networking with the Gilbert Public School (GPS) ALP Coordinator, Linda Sadusky 
  • Began observing GPS School Board meetings
  • Spoke out at GPS School Board meetings in favor of expansions to Gifted Educational Services

  • Affiliated with GPS
  • Continued observing GPS School Board meetings
  • Continued networking with new ALP Coordinator, Beth Baker
  • Began observing the GPS CORE Committee as it worked to develop the guiding principles for the GPS Strategic Plan  
  • Began hosting quarterly meetings for parents to network with each other 
  • Sent representation to monthly Parent-Superintendent Council
  • Spoke out at GPS School Board meetings in favor of expansions to Gifted Educational Services
  • Established Yahoo groups for notices and parent networking
  • Affiliated with AAGT
  • Sent representation to AAGT Parent Institute.

  • Continued observing the GPS CORE Committee  
  • Continued observing GPS School Board meetings
  • Requested that GPS add a subscribe button to the Gifted Education page of the district website
  • Spoke out at GPS School Board meetings in favor of expansions to Gifted Educational Services, specifically an elementary self-contained class
  • Sent representation to monthly Parent-Superintendent Council
  • Served on the GPS Strategic Planning Committee 
  • GSG submitted to GPS the Points for Consideration on Gifted Education for GPS Strategic Plan Implementation. 
  • Invited GPS to send a strong delegation to the AAGT Educators’ Conference.  Positive Results - GPS sent 25 educators
  • Established a Facebook page for event notices
  • Submitted representation to serve on the GPS Gifted Education Vision Statement Committee for 2012-2013
  • Through GPS, solicited each GPS Elementary school for a representative to be a Gifted Parent Mentor for 2012-2013.  Eleven out of 27 schools responded.  We hope for increased response each additional school year.

  • Sent representation to the AAGT Educators’ Conference
  • Sent representation to the AAGT Parent Institute
  • Began letter campaign in support of the TALANT Act

2012-2013 - To strengthen support for families of the gifted through -
  • A fully staffed Executive Board
  • A Parent Mentor Coordinator on the general board
  • Sending representation to GPS Gifted Ed. Vision Statement Committee
  • Gifted Parent Mentors at local schools
  • Guest speakers at the GSG quarterly meetings
  • New GSG blog for increased community connections
  • Continue advocating for self-contained classes for the highly gifted in GPS, at the elementary and secondary levels   

IN THE NEWS - Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted
  1. AZ Republic - Jun. 4, 2010 - Mother starts gifted program support group
  2. AZ Republic - Mar. 1, 2012 - Gilbert district explores option for elementary gifted program
  3. AZ Republic - Apr. 19, 2012 - Gilbert school district closer to adding classroom for gifted

Friday, May 18, 2012

How to Help Your Child Overcome Failure

By Jill Humpherys

                As a new parent, you hold your baby in your arms and dream of a future where your child is the cutest, smartest, most popular person who is quarterback, valedictorian, and student body president all at once.
                You may have that child that always gets the part in the school play or makes the winning basket, but for most of us, sooner or later, reality intrudes and we have to help our son or daughter learn to deal with failure.
                How do you comfort a child who has given his best effort and fallen short of his goal?  How do you help her learn from her mistakes?  How do you encourage your child to move forward when he is discouraged?
1.       Congratulate your child on having the courage to try.   Many times, people allow a fear of failure to hold them back from even making an attempt.
2.       Listen to your child with empathy.  Now is not the time to lose your cool and berate her.  Most children and teens are very sad when they face the reality of  failure.  They need time to talk through their feelings about what happened.  They may need time to grieve for their dream.  Your listening ear and quiet empathy can help them to begin healing.
3.       Ask thoughtful questions about insights that he or she may have gained:  What did you like best? What did you like least?  What were your strengths and challenges?  What did you learn from this?  Help your child gain insights into what he or she accomplished despite obstacles.
4.       Help your child to see this event not as a failure, but as a setback.  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  Explore other avenues and other paths.  Perhaps not a part in the play, but part of the stage crew.  Perhaps not valedictorian, but a supportive friend.  Perhaps not a quarterback, but a member of the team.
Each of us has to learn what our strengths and our struggles are.  Sometimes that means dealing with failure.  Learning to overcome obstacles and to move forward is a sign of maturity.  Compliment your child as he or she moves forward and tries again or finds other endeavors to pursue.  Your support can lessen the disappointment and provide encouragement at a challenging time in your child’s life.