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Regional Representative (Orange)


Orange Region

Includes Orange County

alison-demarkDr. Alison DeMark
Educator RepresentativeContactEducatorRepButton

IMG_1624Patricia Chiles
Parent RepresentativeContactParentRepButton


Welcome to the regional page for the Orange region of the California Association for the Gifted (CAG). The Orange region includes the Orange County.

Regional Representatives: About Us  

Educator Representative

Dr. Alison DeMark is a principal at a GATE-magnet school in the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District. Previously, she served as a GATE coordinator for 6 years and as the President of the Orange County Council for the Gifted. Alison has spent 17 years in public education with over a decade of classroom teaching experience. Her expertise is in teacher pedagogical practices, and working with the gifted. Alison is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California where she teaches courses in academic writing and creativity in the Doctor of Education Program. Alison enjoys collaborating with educators, baking, and updating her dog’s Instagram account.

Parent Representative

Patricia Chiles is the GATE Coordinator for the Fullerton School District and the President of the Orange County Council for the Gifted. Patricia has worked in public education for 22 years, both in the classroom and as an administrator.  She has worked closely with teachers, leaders, and parents to understand the diverse and varied needs of their gifted students and children. In addition to working as a GATE Educator, she is also a parent to three (very different!) gifted children, giving her a unique perspective on the diverse needs of gifted students,  their strengths and struggles.


Membership in CAG supports advocacy efforts for gifted students in the state legislature, continued educator training opportunities, direct access to the Gifted Educator Communicator, and discounted conference fees.

CAG Regional Meetings  

CAG Regional Meetings provide opportunities for administrators, educators, parents, and policymakers to gather to discuss gifted education in response to the diverse social, emotional, and intellectual needs in their region of California. In Orange County, we meet monthly as OCC GATE.  We offer informational presentations for parents and educators at our monthly meetings.

9/13/18 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: OCDE
10/11/18 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: Placentia Yorba Linda SD
11/8/18 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: Fullerton School District
1/10/19 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: Santa Ana Unified School District
2/14/19 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: ABC Unified
3/14/19 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: Buena Park School District
4/11/19 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: Brea Unified School District
5/9/19 Time: 9:00-10:30 Location: Huntington City School District

RSVP for a CAG Regional Meeting by contacting your Educator Representative and Parent Representative.

Professional Development and Conferences

57th Annual CAG Conference

Palm Springs, California

February 22-24, 2019

For more information, visit the CAG Conference section of our website.

County Office of Education Links

CAG collaborates with county offices of education to support the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of gifted students in the state of California.

Orange County Department of Education

Differentiated Instruction

This 2-day workshop, August 1-2, 2019, is designed for teachers new to gifted instruction or those who need a refresher.  The workshop will include differentiation strategies including the prompts of depth & complexity, Socratic seminars, curriculum compacting, and many more ready to use practices to implement immediately into classroom instruction.  All participants will receive a set of color prompts and a certificate of completion.

Regional Events

The following regional events are not hosted or sponsored by CAG, however, we would like to provide you access to information in your region that supports gifted education.

OCC GATE Parent Education Night:

This free event is for parents of students who are gifted. Join us to hear Lisa Van Gemert discuss Nurturing the Needs of the Gifted. One great presentation at three convenient locations. Registration is required for this free event. Click here to view the flyer

Regional Resources



The Orange County Council for Gifted and Talented Education (OCC GATE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a consortium that holds networking meetings for district GATE coordinators, university liaisons, and CAG representatives. Its purpose is to provide support for member districts in strengthening GATE programs and services.


The office of Gifted and Talented Education is committed to advocating for the needs of gifted and talented students throughout Orange County.  Through trainings, guest speakers and student events, our office is dedicated to being a resource to teachers, parents, and students.  Support activities include speaking at District GATE Parent Nights, teacher trainings on differentiation and instructional strategies, conference presentations and other educational events throughout the year.

OC Mensa

We are an award-winning chapter of American Mensa! Orange County Mensa consistently has received awards from American Mensa in recognition that we rank very high in terms of activities and member participation compared to Mensa local groups of a similar size (Class II = 400 – 899 members).

The Summit Center

Summit Center provides educational and psychological assessments, consultations, and treatment for children, their parents, and families. We work with all kids – including those who are gifted, those with learning challenges, and those who are both gifted and have challenges. The Summit Center has assembled an expert team of professionals and specialists led by founders Dr. Dan Peters and Dr. Susan Daniels. Offices are located in Northern California (Walnut Creek, Napa, Cupertino, Millbrae, and Oakland) and Southern California (Los Angeles and Torrance).

Bowers Museum

Kidseum is high-tech and interactive children’s museum with a focus on its mission, “Igniting imagination through exploration,” stressing the excitement of art, archaeology, and world cultures. Be sure to check out the new “Glow Cave” with its fun art-making activities, ride the magical Wells Fargo stagecoach through time in the “Green Screen Time Machine,” and explore archaeology like never before in our new Archaeology Lab. There is a lot of visual stimulation and engaging education with new smart tables, smart boards, and computers.

Discovery Center

Homeschool Days – Discovery Cube welcomes homeschool families to use the Cube as a teaching tool. We periodically offer special discounts, offer exclusive workshops and other unique opportunities for homeschool students and their parents.

Sleepovers – Grab your sleeping bags and flashlights and get ready to spend the night at Discovery Cube! Overnight Explorers sleepovers are great for groups of all ages! Many sleepovers incorporate programming that aligns with Boy Scout Merit Badge and Girl Scout Journeys requirements.

Summer Camps – When school ends, the science adventure begins as we travel beyond the classroom to explore during week-long, immersive, hands-on camps. Scientists ages 5-10 will find themselves engaged in experiments, science challenges and outdoor activities that make them laugh, think, and discover new concepts.