Panel Discussion on Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted and Talented Students

Come listen to a panel of experts discuss the social and emotional needs of gifted and talented students. Diagnostic, assessment, treatment/intervention, educational, parenting and theoretical issues will be addressed. Resources will be shared. This program is intended for parents of children within the full range of high ability (i.e., not only the profoundly gifted).
This event will be held on Thursday, January 13 in McDaniels Auditorium of the Doyle Administration Building at 7:00 p.m. Please note that this is a location change from Room 209.
Please note: Questions for the panelists are heartily encouraged. Questions may be submitted before the meeting at

The panelists:
Nira Scherz-Busch, M.S., is a licensed school psychologist now working in private practice. She is the owner and director of Child & Family Psychological Services Clinic located on the west side of Madison. Nira has worked as a school psychologist and a coordinator/assistant director of special education services for both the Jefferson County and the Dane County Departments of Special Education, as well as for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales, WI. Since 1980, Nira has owned and operated Child & Family Psychological Services Clinic, an outpatient mental health clinic that specializes in meeting the needs of children, adolescents and adults who are “different” learners. Services provided at the clinic include the assessment and treatment of the gifted/talented, the “twice exceptional”, and learners with dyslexia and other developmental learning disorders. Clinic staff also specialize in identifying and addressing the social and emotional needs of the different learner. Since the inception of Eagle School and WCATY, Nira and her staff have provided the initial cognitive/intellectual assessment for students at the Eagle School, public school children from around the state and WCATY. They continue to work closely with Eagle School staff and public school TAG coordinators to meet the emotional needs of gifted students and different learners. In addition to her professional work, Nira is the mother of four children, including two with different learning styles and needs.
Donna Rae Clasen, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the UW-Madison. She was the director of Project STREAM at U.W.-Whitewater for thirteen years. Project STREAM is a university/school collaboration supporting gifted secondary minority students. The program was developed with a three-year Jacob Javits grant and supported by the university, the state, and participating schools when the grant expired. Dr. Clasen is a long-time advocate for gifted and talented youth and has worked extensively with school districts, gifted and talented coordinators, and classroom teachers in meeting the needs of high-ability students. Her work has emphasized attention to all needs of the individual, from the educational to the socio-emotional.
Wendy Johnson, Ph.D. Dr. Johnson is a licensed school psychologist. She currently works at Toki Middle School, where she facilitates discussion groups for gifted 7th and 8th grade girls and works closely with the middle school TAG coordinator to assist in the assessment of and programming for gifted students. As a school coordinator for the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY), where she is also sits on the advisory board, Dr. Johnson facilitates the participation of talented low-income Toki students in the Midwest Talent Search and WCATY summer programs. In her private practice, Dr. Johnson assesses gifted students with areas of skill weakness relative to their significant strengths; recommends strategies to foster children�s academic and personal development; evaluates students for grade acceleration (which provides exciting opportunities for expanding the knowledge of teachers and administrators regarding the unique needs of gifted and talented youth); and provides cognitive assessments as part of the initial evaluation process for admission to Eagle School and Madison Country Day School.