Gifted and Talented

Participating Districts

Bentonville, Decatur, Elkins, Farmington, Fayetteville, Gentry, Gravette, Greenland, Huntsville, Lincoln,  Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Springdale, and  West Fork.


Amanda Allen – GT Specialist


The Gifted and Talented Program seeks to recognize and develop talents in advanced learners. The G/T Specialist position provides support and services to the public school districts in our NW Arkansas region (Benton, Madison, and Washington Counties) as guided by the ADE-DESE Gifted and Talented Program Standards. The position leads professional development on the needs of gifted and talented students as well as other as needed PD requested by participating school districts. In collaboration with ADE-DESE and participating school districts, aim to better identify traditionally underrepresented student populations to ensure greater equity. The G/T Specialist also aims to provide gifted services and enrichment opportunities to all students to provide positive experiences and student growth.

Program Summary

The GT Specialist functions as a contact person and GT Program resource to a variety of educational stakeholders; including district GT coordinators, GT facilitators  (teachers), administrators,   students,  parents, community members, and community business partners in support of Gifted and Talented  Education.  Some of the key responsibilities are:

  • facilitating and ensuring that each NWAESC school district meet all of the ADE’s GT Program Standards, especially those districts slated to be monitored
  • functioning as a conduit for information  and positive dialog  between the ADE Office for Gifted Programs, Advanced Placement, and IB Programs with NWAESC school districts
  • providing and conducting monthly meetings with NWAESC GT coordinators
  • making on-site visits to local school districts to provide support and/or in-service topics for all educational stakeholder members
  • attending monthly meetings and staying connected with other ADE Education Service Cooperatives GT Specialist
  • hosting various student academic competitions supported by NWAESC schools
  • developing and engaging in  positive working relationships with local district personnel and ADE office employees  connected with GT education and AP testing
  • conducting appropriate needs- assessment questionnaires related to GT Specialist job
  • facilitating,  hosting, and presenting educational workshops and trainings; including  College Board Pre-AP and Secondary Content trainings
  • responding to requests from NWA teachers  to provide specific workshop topics upon need; such as a GT Scope & Sequence Review workshop and a GT Curriculum Writing workshop
  • actively participating in the annual AGATE state conference and other advocacy opportunities, along with belonging to appropriate professional organizations
  • supporting and volunteering for GT related events: i.e. Quiz Bowl moderator, AP testing proctor, or member of Arkansas Governor’s School application selection committee
  • managing all documentation and financial record keeping required by ADE and NWAESC related to the ESC GT Specialist position (i.e. Strategic Management Plan & Monthly GT Specialist Report, & maintaining yearly applications for College Board and GT Specialist Grant).
  • encouraging district personnel to participate in professional organizations (i.e. AAGEA, AGATE)  as well as educational opportunities (Arkansas Governor’s School, Arkansas School for Math, Science, and Arts)
  • maintaining a positive working relationship  with NWAESC clientele and staff members
  • attending an assortment of State of Arkansas Common Core Standard workshops and gathering resource materials and notes to be shared when appropriate.

Activities Sponsored by GT Specialist

  • STEAM Wars (grades 3-6, 7-9, & 10-12)
  • Quiz Bowl tournaments (4-6), (7-9), & (10-12)
  • Chess Tournaments (grades 2-12)
  • Cube Competition for (grades 3-12)
  • Debate Competition for (grades 5-6, 7-9, & 10-12)
  • Real-World Guest Lecture Speakers
  • Robotics Exploration for (grades 3-12)
  • Amazing Shake Competition (grades 4-5)
  • Webinars for student and educator professional development
  • Regional Parent Information Nights
  • Monthly G/T Coordinator meetings
  • Assistance with grant writing and latest research in gifted education