Ann Smith, President
Ann Smith serves as President for the California Association for the Gifted. Ann is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Gifted Support Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Gifted Support Center provides support to families of gifted children, offering assessments, consultations, parent groups, and resources, and works with underserved schools in the Bay Area providing a music and arts-integrated language arts curriculum that is aligned with the Common Core and Visual and Performing Arts standards. Ann serves on the advisory board for the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee for USC/US Department of Education Jacob Javits Grant Project CHANGE, on the Editorial Board for the Gifted Education Communicator, on a public policy committee for the Institute for Educational Advancement, and as an advisor to UPP, the Untapped Potential Project.
Krista Landgraf, President-Elect
Krista Landgraf has had several roles for the California Association for the Gifted including Joshua Tree Educator Representative, Education Chair, and Parent Chair. Currently, Krista serves as President-Elect. Krista has been an elementary GATE teacher for 20 years and has received the Sarah D Barder-Johns Hopkins University Lifetime Fellowship Award, CAG Distinguished Service Award and Teacher of the Year for Chino, California from the State Assembly. Krista is a speaker throughout the state on gifted education and serves as an adjunct instructor for the UC Riverside GATE Certification Program.
Jennette Harper, Treasurer
Jennette Harper has been a teacher and administrator for the past thirty-nine years in Southern California. Jennette has worked with Gifted children in mathematics as a teacher. As an administrator, she oversaw the GATE services for the Rialto Unified School District until she retired in 2016. Jennette worked with the identification and placement of the students, curriculum and instruction, differentiation and teacher training. Jennette was instrumental in bringing in partnerships for training teachers and assisting them in earning their GATE certification. Jennette is the mother of two gifted adult children. Currently, Jennette is the Chief Financial Officer for the California Association for the Gifted and volunteers her time to continue the work of meeting the needs of all students and supporting educators in that process.
Paul Bailey, CFO
Paul Bailey has served as a teacher and administrator in California for the past twenty years. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the nationally recognized Western Center Academy in the Hemet Unified School District. The school focuses on STEM education and serving the unique needs of high achieving students. He has worked with his team to develop an innovative program that combines a variety of pathways through science exploration, Advanced Placement courses, and college coursework. Paul also serves on the California STEAM Symposium Steering Committee working to bring unique educational experiences to educators throughout the state. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands with a focus on Knowledge Management and Marketing and is an active member in the California Association of School Business Officials. Paul looks forward to continuing to build on the culture of success that CAG has developed over the past 50 years working to support students, parents, and educators throughout California.
Krisa Muller, Secretary
Krisa Muller recently became the GATE program specialist for Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. Prior to that, Krisa was a cluster model and magnet school teacher in the GATE program for Placentia-Yorba Linda School District. Krisa received her MA in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut. Krisa has served as the Orange Region Educator representative for CAG and now serves as Secretary on the Executive Board.
Sue Ann Bussey, Educator Representative Chair
Sue Ann Bussey is an energetic advocate for gifted students as well as the educators and families who support them. For over twenty-five years, Sue Ann has worked in the field of gifted education in myriad capacities. Throughout her career, she has served as a classroom teacher, district-wide GATE mentor teacher; a member of a district committee to develop a portfolio GATE identification system; a CAG Board Educator Representative; and an organizer of the CAG/Oceanside Unified Summer Demonstration School for the past five years. In the arena of professional learning, Sue Ann empowers educators and parents through trainings in literacy, differentiation, GATE, inquiry, and design thinking. When Sue Ann is not helping GATE students to achieve their potential, she is inventing new recipes, enjoying time with her family, playing with her Australian Shepherd, and traveling to historical sites.
Julie Hull, Parent Representative Chair
Julie Hull has worked in the field of education for over twenty years in various capacities. As a secondary classroom teacher, Julie taught GATE and Advanced Placement classes, as a master and mentor teacher, Julie worked with credential candidates and new teachers in classroom management and pedagogy, and as a site GATE coordinator, she assisted in identification and GATE program development. Julie currently works at the Orange County Department of Education and serves on the board of two educational non-profits which gives her the opportunity to advocate for gifted education in Orange County through professional development and parent education events. Additionally, Julie is the parent of three children who are gifted.
Sandra Kaplan, Education Chair
Dr. Sandra Kaplan has been a teacher and administrator of gifted programs in an urban school district in California. Currently, she is Professor of Clinical Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California. She has written articles and books on the nature and scope of differentiated curriculum for gifted students. Her primary areas of concern is modifying the core and differentiated curriculum to meet the needs of inner-city, urban, gifted learners. She is a past president of the California Association for the Gifted (CAG) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and has been nationally recognized for her contributions to gifted education. She was named for the NAGC Legacy Award. Currently, Dr. Kaplan has been awarded Department of Education Jacob Javits Grants in the areas of non-traditional identification techniques for young gifted learners and the development of differentiated reading strategies for gifted and special education students.
Kari Hanson Smith, Legislation Chair
Kari Hanson-Smith is a tireless advocate for advanced learners. Eminently qualified, she has more than fifteen years of experience working in gifted education. Kari holds a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Talented Education from the Three Summers program within the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. While there, Kari studied with Dr. Joseph Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis, authors of the Enrichment Triad Model, and the Schoolwide Enrichment Model. Kari’s breadth of expertise includes GATE program design, talent development, differentiating instruction at the K-8 level, the social and emotional needs of gifted individuals, working with students from diverse populations, and gifted education theory. In addition to serving on the CAG Board as the Capitol Region Education Representative and Legislation Chair, she is the Coordinator for GATE and AP Programs at Sacramento City Unified School District. Kari has also worked as a GATE Resource Teacher and as a classroom teacher. Kari is passionately dedicated to urban gifted education and advocating for the academic and emotional needs of gifted and high ability learners in public school systems.
Julia Nyberg, Executive Director/ Publications/Technology Chair
Dr. Julia Nyberg serves as the Executive Director and Publications/Technology Chair for the California Association for the Gifted. Dr. Nyberg is a leading K-12, gifted, and curriculum development expert with professional experience in the United States and in China. Julia has taught, delivered demonstration lessons, and provided professional development for grades K-12 at various school districts in the United States. Julia serves as a faculty member in the School of Education in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Purdue. A graduate of the University of Southern California (USC), Julia holds a doctorate with an emphasis in Teacher Education. Julia’s research and practice focus on differentiated curriculum and instruction for diverse gifted and talented students.
Dana Reupert, Public Relations/Membership Chair
Dana Reupert is a former GATE Teacher, K-12 GATE Coordinator. and Principal in Riverside Unified School District. Dana has served twice as CAG President and twice as CAG Secretary, in addition to being the Joshua Tree Education Representative. Dana is presently a CAG Board Member, UC Riverside Extension Instructor for the GATE Certificate Program, a member of Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Business/Education Council, and Chair of the Annual Riverside College and Career Fair. Dana presents at the California Association for the Gifted, National Association for Gifted Children, and World Council for Gifted Education conferences.
Kathy Alexander, Special Needs Chairperson
Kathy Alexander has recently retired after twenty-two years as a middle school teacher in Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa. Kathy has been involved in gifted education for twenty of those years, including time as site GATE mentor teacher, GATE Identification Committee member, District GATE Coordinator and Consulting Teacher in Rincon Valley’s K-8 district, and CAG board member (Educator Representative for four years, and currently, Underrepresented Gifted Populations Chair). Kathy earned her Master of Education in Curriculum, Teaching, and Instruction, with a focus on Educational Technology at Sonoma State, and her thesis focused on Higher-Level Thinking within the Student-Centered Classroom. When not working to help teachers meet the academic needs of their gifted students, she enjoys reading, being outside, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Lucas Thornsberry, GEC Webmaster
Lucas Thornsberry graduated UC Santa Cruz in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science: Computer Game Design. After graduating, Lucas worked for Intel Corporation as a computer software validation engineer, where he identified and debugged potential issues with the design of video processing hardware on Intel microprocessors. In 2014, he left Intel to become an independent software developer to design and create phone applications and games. Since 2015, Lucas has managed the editing and publishing of CAG’s quarterly online journal, The Gifted Education Communicator.
Kristyna Mason, CAG Website Developer/Graphic Designer
Kristyna Mason is majoring in Computer Science with an emphasis in International Business at Fort Hays State University. In her adolescent years, Kristyna resided in Singapore and now she lives in Greater Los Angeles, California. Kristyna has a background in developing various professional and social websites, as well as designing unique graphics including logos and other artistic digital designs. Currently, Kristyna manages the websites and designs for various international organizations and since 2016, has been the website developer and graphic designer for California Association for the Gifted. When not working or going to school, Kristyna spends her time volunteering at local youth homeless shelters and providing free tutoring for high school and college students.