The Advanced Program works under the leadership of Director of Special Services Joseph Kwisz and is supervised by Brooke Lannan.
The Advanced Program uses the services of:
- Certified Retired Teacher Consultants
- Certified Elementary High Ability Cluster Teachers
- Certified Middle School Teachers
- Certified High School Teachers
Our staff includes a high ability coordinator and retired teacher consultants as follows:
- Susan Stewart is the current advanced program coordinator at the elementary level. She holds a BA with a double major in English and Communication, MAT, +30 rank, and post-graduate work with credentialing as an elementary school principal and GT endorsement. She has taught graduate level courses for the gifted and talented endorsement as an adjunct instructor at IUS. She comes to the public school system after having worked as a director of management training development for a Fortune 500 company. She serves as a member of the Frazier Teacher Advisory Board, was awarded an IPLACC Fellowship, served as the high ability consultant and a writer for IU’s Internationalizing the Academic Standards Project, and is a team member of the IICE Deliberation Teacher Team. She is the parent of a high ability child.
- Mickie Magnuson has successfully taught in both the parochial and public sectors for 20 years. She also brings a stellar business background in retail management. (She was named a top-40 producing manager out of 500+ managers consistently in a national chain.) She has served as a high ability cluster classroom teacher for 17 years. She was the writing coach for her school where she was responsible for training teachers on the best practices for teaching writing. She embraces technology in her teaching. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Elementary as well as an endorsement in middle school math from IUS. Ms. Magnuson is currently working to complete her GT endorsement through Ball State University. She is the proud parent of three adult children, each having his own unique talents. Two of her children are identified as high ability. One is a commercial pilot and in the National Guard; one is pursuing his degree in mechanical engineering at Speed School at the University of Louisville and is in the Air Guard; one is in management for a Fortune 500 company.
- Debbie Adkins joined the Advanced Program in 2013-2014. She holds a masters + 30 and is also certified to work with children with learning disabilities, mildly mentally handicapped, and severe disabilities. She worked for GCCS for 26 years and worked both as a special needs teacher and as a high ability cluster classroom teacher during that time. She also brings a background as a published writer, entrepreneur, and artist to the position. She is a proud parent and grandparent. Her grandchildren are in advanced and gifted programs throughout the U.S.
- Robin Miller retired from GCCS after serving for 26 years at the elementary level. She taught first grade for 23 years and in a learning disabilities class for three years. Robin holds a BS and MS in Elementary Education from IUS. She holds +30 rank with additional post-graduate level work. She was the designated first-grade high ability cluster classroom teacher for the last 10 years of her tenure at TJES and is trained in differentiating lessons for the needs of high ability students.
- Frances Dillard just completed her fifth year as a consultant with the advanced program. She taught in JCPS and retired from GCCS as an elementary teacher. She is a Hands-on Equations specialist. She is a proud parent and grandparent.
- Pat Buechler retired from Utica Elementary, where she served as a high ability cluster classroom teacher for several years. Pat took coursework in high ability education and numerous hours of training and coursework in differentiation. Pat is the proud parent of two identified high ability adult children, an attorney and an engineer.
- Jackie Olson is our phenomenal technology specialist. She has worked with the Advanced Program for the last 14 years. She taught for 33 years as well as served as the technology resource specialist at Bridgepoint Elementary. As well as co-maintaining the website, she offers enriched technology programming and serves as a Hands-on Equations specialist. She is the proud aunt of numerous nieces and nephews who are identified as high ability.
- Judith Wortham retired as the coordinator for the advanced program. She is a licensed school psychologist, clinical social worker, and mental health counselor and holds +30. She is licensed to teach English and psychology in grades 7-12 and taught at Jeffersonville High School prior to coming to SPS. She initiated and established the Honors Program at Jeffersonville High School. She has taught graduate level gifted and talented courses at IUS. She is the proud aunt of numerous nieces and nephews who are identified as high ability. She continues to consult with GCCS as well as conducts high ability testing.
- Sonia Gardner offers more than 35 years of teaching experience and has served as a consultant with the advanced program for 16 years. She started a highly acclaimed multi-age program at Parkwood Elementary, created an outdoor lab and started the PES Nature Club. She was named Greater Clark Teacher of the Year and Semi-Finalist Indiana Teacher of the Year. She received the Chamber of Commerce Achievement in Education Award, Clark County Conservation Educator of the Year, and the Rotary Club Service Above Self Award. She is the mother of three and the grandmother of nine, a number of whom are in the GCCS Advanced Program. She is a published author.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the program, please contact us:
• Susan Stewart (Coordinator) 812-288-4840 ext. 50223 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Judie Wortham (Psychologist/Consultant) email@example.com