Skip to main content
2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

Full Program »

3.4.1 Re-envisioning culturally proficient leadership to expand student success for all: Examining the identification of underrepresented minority gifted children in rural Colorado

What factors influence the identification of racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse gifted students in rural contexts? This research is being co-constructed by practitioners, university researchers, and the State Department to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority gifted children in rural, remote contexts. This boundary-spanning work focuses on increasing the identification of gifted Latino and Native (indigenous) students (Oakes, 2005), along with students who live in poverty, in 17 rural and remote schools. We examine local assumptions and beliefs, as well as the leaders’ cultural proficiency, which act as barriers to the identification of all gifted learners.


Kristina Hesbol
University of Denver
United States

Kristina A. Hesbol is Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Department at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. She has taught preK-graduate school, has served as a principal of three multi-lingual, multi-cultural schools, coordinated school improvement for a diverse school district, and served as a district Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. Hesbol earned her Ph.D. at Loyola University (Chicago), and currently serves as a member of the Right4Rural Research Team, examining the impact of school and district leaders on the identification of culturally and linguistically diverse rural students.

Norma Hafenstein
University of Denver
United States

Dr. Hafenstein’s award-winning professional career spans numerous positions in leadership and scholarship. She is a Full Clinical Professor in the Teaching and Learning Sciences Department, founded the Ricks Center for Gifted Children, a PS-8 school on the campus, in 1984, and founded the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education in 1997. She presents extensively on giftedness at national and international conferences. Dr. Hafenstein has presented at the International Dabrowski Congress, Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted Annual Conference (SENG), World Council on Gifted and Talented Children Biennial World Conference (WCGTC), and the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA).

Justine Lopez
University of Denver
United States

Justine López, MA, is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver. She is currently a member of the Right4Rural Research Team/Javits Grant, examining the impact of school/district leaders on the identification of underrepresented gifted students in rural areas. Teaching experience includes affiliate faculty at Regis University’s Dual Language Program; Department of Marketing, The Colorado Women’s College, Multicultural Voices of Discovery at the University of Denver; and Graphic Arts Communications instructor at the Community College of Denver. Her leadership perspectives align with 15+ years as a business owner, educating, leading, building, implementing, and guiding non-profit and for-profit business ventures.

Julia Watson
University of Denver/ Colorado Department of Education
United States

Julia Watson, PhD, serves as the Gifted Education Regional Consultant for 19 school districts in NW Colorado and as a researcher and professor at the University of Denver. She has been an educator for 40 years, as a teacher (K-college), administrator, staff development, teacher-coach, and district facilitator. She has worked in Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska, and 13 years in Hawaii. Her areas of expertise include Curriculum, Assessment, Leadership, and Gifted/Talented. She was nominated as Outstanding Educator of the Year, for Outstanding Dissertation (1997) and has been inducted into the Colorado Academy of Educators for Gifted, Talented, & Creative.


Powered by OpenConf®
Copyright ©2002-2017 Zakon Group LLC