Mark Hess's Bio
I have spent 34+ years in K-12 public education and am currently the Gifted Programs Specialist in Colorado Springs D-11. My passion areas in gifted education are the social-emotional needs of gifted, nonverbal brilliance, and gifted boys. I am an Executive Board Member for Serving the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) where I am the Associate Editor of the SENG Library. I also serve on the Advisory Committee for NAGC’s Teaching for High Potential. I am proud to have published 9 books and to have shared over 25,000 lessons and units I’ve designed for gifted learners; and I am absolutely so very proud to be CAGT’s President for 2023-24!
Doug Alexander's Bio
CAGT’s president-elect, Doug Alexander, MA NBCT, is a passionate educator advocate for gifted education. He joins the CAGT executive board with years of experience having been president of CAGT affiliate Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented, CAGT Communications Chair (as editor of both The Happenings and The Kaleidoscope), and CAGT Conference: Family Institute Co-Chair. Doug has presented at multiple education conferences, believing that each student has a right to learn something new everyday. Doug has a master’s degree and National Board certification in gifted education, and is currently pursuing an education doctorate in gifted education.
Colleen Urlik's Bio
Hi! My life revolves around gifted education! I am the mother to two gifted children, am the Principal at Hulstrom K-8, Adams 12 Five Star School District’s advanced academic and gifted magnet program, and the immediate Past President for CAGT. I hold my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Gifted Education from the University of Denver and am the co-author of Accelerated Learning for All. I love working with CAGT and all the amazing people across the state and beyond!
Sheri Collier's Bio
HI! My name is Sheri Collier and I am excited to serve this term as the CAGT secretary. This position really allows me to stay connected with the gifted population and community. I am currently the principal of Discovery Magnet School K-8 in 27J Schools, a problem based learning magnet school. I hold a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Gifted Education from University of Denver. I am an Air Force wife and a mother of two gifted sons. My oldest son is a cadet at West Point Military Academy and my youngest son is in the class of 2023 PTECH at Northglenn High School. I look forward to meeting new people through this journey!
Treasurer / Membership
Connolly Sherwood's Bio
After my child, age 5, was identified as highly gifted (and later 2e), I spent the past decade steeping myself in all things gifted and 2e. During this time, I was inspired to establish SoMe, a CAGT affiliate whose mission is to create community. Eventually, I earned an M.Ed in gifted and talented. With a professional teaching license with endorsements in special education and gifted and talented, I am the gifted specialist for Sheridan School District No. 2. When not working or volunteering, I am raising my child with my husband, spending time with my family and friends, traveling, and discovering the strengths that accompany being 2e.
At-Large Representative – Eastern Plains
Miranda Harper's Bio
I live in Fort Morgan with my husband, Chris, and two children, CJ and Loganne. I have been the Gifted Coordinator for Morgan County School District since 2013. I love working with gifted students and getting to know their passions and interests. I truly value my role in advocating for their unique needs and supporting parents. In my free time, I can be found reading, gardening, remodeling my home, or camping in the beautiful Colorado Rockies with my family.
At-Large Representative – Western Slope
Heather Baskin's Bio
My experiences vary from preschool teacher to college professor, Biopsychology major to ESL Master’s Degree, and trainer of lifeguards to developing leaders. Currently, I am the Gifted Director for Mesa Administrative Unit which includes 3 districts (120 students to 23,000 students). I am excited to serve on the CAGT Board as the Western Slope Regional At-Large Representative. I believe we need to ensure CAGT’s mission and vision are applicable and accessible to all areas of Colorado. In the last 19 years of working in the field, I have consistently focused on advocating for gifted youth and education.
Nanette Jones's Bio
A veteran teacher of over 33 years, my work with gifted and 2e children began almost three decades ago when it was apparent my son was gifted, and in school was diagnosed with ADHD. With a Masters in Education and M.A. endorsement in GT, most of my career was spent as a GT Teacher and Gifted Facilitator at a gifted magnet school. When “retired” I became a 2e Consultant for the Colorado Department of Education. I’ve been with CAGT for over a decade and am now the Executive Director. A former principal said I eat, sleep and dream gifted – it’s truly my life’s work!
Jessica Rickert's Bio
20 years ago I began my elementary education career. While teaching I obtained my master’s degree in reading and my principal’s license. I then became a literacy coach for elementary teachers. Having been a bookworm all my life, literacy teaching and learning was fitting. In addition to teaching I assumed many roles in CCIRA Inc., a nonprofit literacy organization, I have been a part of for most of my life. I served as President, planned and supported the annual conferences, and led leadership meetings since 2009. I am excited to continue involvement in education by supporting gifted education with CAGT.
Committee and Appointed Chairs
Communications – Molly Gibney
Community Outreach – Shalelia Dillard
Education – Teresa Brown
Legislative – Paula McGuire
Diverse Populations – Vanessa Ewing and Cecilia Quintanilla
CAGT Student Liaisons – Dana Ko and Zach Rojo