Supporting and advocating for appropriate education for the gifted and talented of Massachusetts


 

MAGE Board of Directors


OFFICERS:


Carol Lach, President

Vicky Oatley, Vice president

Suzanne Fedorka, Treasurer

Andrea Roda, Secretary

Amy Duke, Clerk


DIRECTORS:


Janis Baron, Educator Liaison

Michelle Barmazel, Liaison to GT Organizations

Anne Fallon, Core Documents Committee Chair

Gerry Mroz, Legislative Liaison

Magalie Pinney, Communications Committee Chair

Franklin Shearer, Development Committee Chair

Magdi Sobeih, Technology Manager

MaryGrace Stewart, Parent Liaison



JANIS BARON - Educator Liaison

Janis has over forty years of experience teaching, developing and administering children’s programs, training faculty and administrators, and conducting follow-up demonstration lessons and small group consultations with K-12 staff. Advisor to principals and superintendents, as well as mentor to teachers, parents and students in diverse communities, resulting in a unique perspective on successful practices in the classroom. Proven track record of success in strengthening teachers’ abilities to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners.

Founder and Director of 28-year-old KITE summer program for high ability students in Grades K-8.  KITE is a sponsor of the Nicholas Green Award.  Longtime advocate for gifted education, beginning with a role as Director of Andover’s GT Program in the 1970’s.  Author of “Fulfilling the Promise: Enrichment Strategies for the Regular Classroom” for the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Office for Gifted and Talented, 1981.  Member, Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, Massachusetts DESE.

 

MICHELLE BARMAZEL – Liaison to Gifted and Talented Organizations

Michelle Barmazel is an advocate for the highly gifted.  A former McKinsey consultant, she has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from UCLA.  She recently earned an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School’s mid-career program with a focus on gifted education policy.  While there she was asked to speak at the TEDx HGSE conference on “Why gifted may not be what you think”.   She is a founder of Gifted Research and Outreach (GRO), a new non-profit that focuses on research on the highly gifted. Michelle sits on several boards including NFTE and is the current chair of PG Retreat.  She lives in Boston and is the mother of 3 highly gifted children, one of whom she guided through 3 years of homeschooling. Michelle has sponsored meetings and events for MAGE at her home, provided many connections with organizations and individuals in gifted education, and recently negotiated a substantial donation from the producers of the movie “gifted’.

 

AMY DUKE – Clerk, Events Coordinator

Amy Duke has been a gifted/talented teacher and program coordinator at the Ottoson Middle School in Arlington for almost 20 years. She has been a member of the MAGE Board for the past four years, and has enjoyed the opportunity to work with others advocating for this special group of children. Amy has taken on many responsibilities for our organization, coordinating the Arlington Parents Forum in February for the past 3 years, serving as events coordinator, stepping up our efforts to gain Sponsors, doing the work to obtain our swags, and much more.

 

ANNE FALLON – Chair, Core Documents Review Committee

Ann became a gifted advocate out of necessity-as a mother of a gifted/2e learner, Audrey-Rose, now a teenager. In coming to understand her daughter’s needs and opportunities, she has come to understand the challenges all of us in the gifted community face. She is deeply concerned by the lack of funding, programming opportunities, early intervention, teacher training, community awareness and cultural acceptance of/for the gifted learners. As a specialist with a private practice in Milton, Anne is an educator, researcher, and advocate with expertise in the design and delivery of mastery-based curricula. Anne is also a co-founder of Unleash Potential, Inc., a national advocacy group for 2e families, learners, and educators.  Anne loves traveling and creating art in her spare time.  She coordinated our Spring Conference in conjunction with Boston University Academy in the spring of 2017- the best attended in over 10 years.

 

SUZANNE FEDORKA – Treasurer, Chair of the Awards Committee

Suzanne started her journey into gifted education and advocacy as the mother of three gifted sons and led to an educational career as a Gifted Education Resource teacher, the same kind of teachers who jumpstarted her quest to help her sons. She holds degrees in Wood Engineering, Middle School Education and a Masters in Gifted Education (focus on gifted in poverty and special populations). Upon becoming a science teacher, she differentiated and pre-tested all students from the first week. Suzanne created a middle school gifted program involving continued identification, teacher professional development, co-teaching classes, Creative Thinking (a multi-age Gifted class), and parent education. This emphasis ‘raised the boat’ for all students. She currently substitutes at Concord and Concord/Carlisle Public Schools and continues to educate and work with parents of gifted children. Suzanne has served as MAGE Secretary for two years, and chair of the Nicholas Green Award Committee.

 

CAROL LACH - President

She is currently President of MAGE. Carol became active 5 years ago because her children were fortunate enough to attend school in one of the few districts in our state with a gifted program, and their successes inspired her to work so all bright kids could have appropriate educational opportunities.

During her ten years at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) she was the Liaison to the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council, and the only person with any responsibility for GT at DESE.  As a grant coordinator in Instructional technology and Math and Science, she visited schools throughout the state, worked on professional development, math standards, and financial literacy prior to retirement after ten years.

Her PhD in biochemistry afforded her the opportunity to work in Cancer research, which she did for ten years. Carol’s teaching experience spans kindergarten to college from upstate New York, to Mississippi, North Carolina, and most recently Framingham. After retiring, she keeps busy with MAGE activities, writing historical fiction and producing and co-hosting the show, Novel Ideas on Access Framingham TV.

She is passionate about growing MAGE into a dynamic and empowered community for our bright children, their parents and educators, a place to turn for support, resources, friends and fun!

 

GERRY MROZ – Legislative Liaison, Chair of the MAGE Advocacy Group

MAGE’s Legislative Liaison, has been an advocate for appropriate education and development of gifted students within the public schools for many years from Washington DC to Beacon Hill. He addresses education policy and reform issues from a broad knowledge base. Gerry engages collaboratively at the local, state and national levels, challenging the public education system to provide gifted students the specific opportunities and supports they need to develop to their full potential. He works to connect gifted advocates, and often provides support for students, parents and parent groups to assist in advocacy. 

 

VICKY OATLEY – Vice President, Chair of the Membership and Nominating Committees

Vicky has her undergraduate degree in Elementary Ed. from Stonehill College, a graduate certificate from the UMass Boston in Creative and Critical Thinking, and a Master's degree in Gifted Education from UConn. She has been a teacher for sixteen years. She has taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, and was a gifted education teacher for four years. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of MAGE since 2007, serving as secretary, president, and currently vice-president. Vicky has been crucial to our organization for a number of years. In addition to holding the office of Vice-President, she has been membership chair, nominating committee chair and steps up to the plate filling in many other roles.

 

MAGALIE PINNEY – Communications Committee Chair

Born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts to second generation, struggling Haitian immigrants, she had been provided a quality private education in parochial schools and graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in 1989 with many honors throughout her 12 years there. She earned her Communication baccalaureate, cum laude, with a minor in Sociology from Regis College, as a result of merit scholarships and grants.

Megalie worked in the retail industry from high school through college to partially support her single mother and her education. She moved into the Financial Services industry working in customer service, telecommunications, retirement services, and securities operations at companies, such as Boston Financial, John Hancock, IBT and is currently a Senior Operations Associate at State Street Corporation.

She is invested as a woman, wife, and mother who regularly advocates for her multi-exceptional children, partners with their schools, volunteers as a parent editor, distributor and contributor for Brockton Parents Magazine, and volunteers at her Church.

 

ANDREA RODA - Secretary

Andreais currently a Middle School Math Specialist/Teacher and Math Curriculum Team Leader for Stacy Middle School in Milford, MA. She attended the UMass Amherst Javits course on Advanced, Talented, and Creative Learners, and is a two-time delegate to the NAGC Affiliate Conference in Washington, DC. Andrea also earned her STEM certification from UMass in 2010 and is a parent advocate for gifted education. She has served as MAGE Treasurer for over 5 years.

 

FRANKLIN SHEARER – Development Committee

Franklin Shearer currently serves as Director for Accountability & Strategic Planning at Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, where he oversees accountability, external relations, and family engagement.  Prior to Boston Renaissance, Franklin spent four years as an Associate at The Boston Foundation, one of New England’s largest philanthropies and research institutions.  As a member of the Foundation’s Education team, he conducted grants analysis, worked on education reform campaigns, and organized public forums and panel discussions.  He served as primary liaison for the Foundation’s partnership with the MA Executive Office of Education, MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education, Boston Public Schools, and a range of public and nonprofit organizations. 

Earlier in his career, Franklin served in case management and program management roles at nonprofit youth service agencies.  He earned his B.A. in Sociology from Boston College in 1999, and his Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2005.  Franklin lives in Malden, MA, with his wife and their two sons, ages 9 and 4.  Their oldest son is identified as a gifted learner and twice exceptional child, and attends the Acera School in Winchester, MA. Franklin’s interest in gifted education stems from his experiences as an educator and a parent, and his belief that every child has the right to a personalized, appropriate, meaningful education. 

 

 

MAGDI SOBEIH –Technology Manager

Magdi is a practicing pediatric neurologist with a focus on neuro-development and neuro-behavior. As such, he sees many children with unique gifts and talents, children who struggle to be understood and because of misconceptions, are mislabeled or not provided with adequate instruction. This has led to his belief that all children deserve focused, individualized care and instruction. As much of a child’s life is spent In school, it is essential that our school systems come to understand the many faces of children’s gifts and talents. He seeks to be an advocate for all children in both his professional and personal life.

Magdi holds degrees from Johns Hopkins and an MD PhD from Columbia University. His studies and research on gene expression in neurons and neuronal migration in fetal brain development have provided him with an understanding of the uniqueness of this process. This knowledge has served him well in his residencies in pediatrics and neurology and his current private pediatric neurology practice.

Magdi has been active on our MAGE advocacy team, stepped up to handle the technology of Google hangouts, and formed important relationships with sponsors.

 

MARYGRACE STEWART – Parent Liaison, Editor of the MAGE Newsletter

MaryGrace Stewart has been a talent development teacher for over 25 years, in three states, grades K-12, in all subjects. She has been a presenter on gifted education at several conferences including NAGC, and has provided professional development to educators in various states.  She has degrees in Mime, Art Education, Physiology/Art/Education, Gifted Education, and is currently working on her doctorate at U.S.C. in Organizational Change & Leadership with plans to help MA improve its commitment to gifted education through the state and any other resources possible.  She has been a board member and parent liaison for the MAGE, and received a service award in 2016 for her work on that year’s state conference. She is a member of several NAGC networks and serves as an editor for Teaching for High Potential magazine. This year she is also program chair for the Parent & Community Network at the annual NAGC conference.  She is particularly interested in issues of gifted minority and other underserved populations especially in the state of MA.

MaryGrace has used her talents in art and marketing to do flyers, conference programs, newsletters and more. She has an in-depth knowledge of gifted education, which she shares with our advocacy group, and most important, with parents across the state.

 



Upcoming MAGE Events

02/01/2018 7:00 PM • Ottoson Middle School, 63 Acton St., Arlington MA

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