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SENG 2017 Annual Report

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Changing lives, changing futures!

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted-SENG

2017 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

"The support provided by SENG indicates a deep understanding of and commitment to individuals who exhibit gifted behaviors" 

- Anonymous


Evelyn King Metcalf

Friends of SENG,

I rely on poetry as I rely on SENG. Both have been touchstones of transformation in my life. When I first attended a SENG conference, I felt like Emily Dickinson describing her way of recognizing poetry: “When I feel so cold that no fire can warm me, I know THAT is poetry. When I feel physically as if the top of my head were lifted, I know THAT is poetry.” In the company of kindred spirits, comrades in the trenches of a field that is so often misunderstood, I rejoice. I commune in community!

Our time on this Earth is short. The decisions we make have impact and value. For YOUR decision to contribute to SENG, I thank you. Whatever circuitous path you followed to get here, I venture to guess you found SENG and suddenly felt the air leaving your lungs, then inhaled a fresh new breath of relief. That sense of relief, however, doesn't last long! There is work to be done! Inequities to be rectified! Expansion to communities that have not had access or exposure to SENG! We can become so much more than we currently are!

In honor of SENG's phoenix-like rise out of tragedy, in hope that others will benefit from its existence and find peace of mind, I offer you a glimpse (by means of our 2017 annual report) of what we've accomplished, and of course, a poem: 

To be of use


The people I love the best

jump into work head first

without dallying in the shallows

and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element,

the black sleek heads of seals

bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,

who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,

who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,

who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge

in the task, who go into the fields to harvest

and work in a row and pass the bags along,

who are not parlor generals and field deserters

but move in a common rhythm

when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.

But the thing worth doing well done

has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,

Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums

but you know they were made to be used.

The pitcher cries for water to carry

and a person for work that is real.

In Gratitude,


?The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is
secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.? ~ Jane Addams
Dear SENG Community,
We are grateful for each of you - you are the reason
we are here! SENG enjoyed connecting with new
people, reuniting with familiar friends and expanding
our understanding and services during 2016. Each
new relationship and learning experience was the
result of thoughtful planning and mission oriented
decision making, and also signals new opportunities
for growth in the years ahead.
Last year, the SENG team shared a commitment to
celebrating community members with boots on the
ground living the SENG mission. We have been
overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity we
have witnessed among those caring for the complex
and sensitive among us. By focusing on what is
working, we have been able to accelerate SENG?s
progress. Sadly, SENG?s most in demand
programming continues to relate to the loneliness of
the experience of being a cognitive outlier. Learning
to talk about giftedness using other terms has both
increased SENG?s reach and also invited new
conversations with people who previously held myths
and misconceptions about giftedness.
The launch of SENG?s new website has enhanced
our ability to communicate with each of you. Over
more than thirty-five years, SENG?s library of
resources exceeded its technological and
organizational capacity. The clean-up work was
arduous and our team is proud of the new site
which is the result of diligent, focused efforts.
Importantly, SENG has also introduced
structures to consistently and proactively
solicit input from each of our community
members. We have improved our capacity
for responsiveness in programming which
has resulted in higher participation and
engagement levels. We are reminded that
the need is greater in certain communities,
especially rural and urban areas, which will
inform SENG?s goals and actions in 2017.
More than anything else, SENG spreads our
mission in each human interaction, in how we
relate to and care for one another. One of the
more significant ways SENG has evolved this
past year relates to new leadership practices.
Historically, SENG has operated under a
relatively hierarchal leadership structure.
While familiar, the traditional model was
incongruent with SENG?s mission and equity
goals. Our new distributed and democratic
leadership practices, coupled with healthy
communication practices, have facilitated
stronger community. We feel the privilege of
belonging. Thank you for transforming the
lives of the gifted individuals you touch ? we
are grateful for your partnership. Together we
hope to affect even greater change in 2017.
In Gratitude,
Kate and The SENG Team


SENG’s mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.


Tracy Riley, Director

Evelyn King Metcalf, President


Will Dwyer, Finance Chair-Elect

Kristina Henry Collins, President-Elect

Sam Kohlenberg, Director

Barry Gelston, Finance Officer

Laura Paul, Director

Kate Bachtel, Immediate Past President, Current Secretary

Kasi Peters, Director

SENG Governance

The governing body of SENG is the Board of Directors. Under the guidance of an elected Executive Committee, the board works in collaboration with SENG's Executive Director to oversee the development and implementation of SENG's strategic plan.

Requirements of Board membership are uniform and follow the best practices for corporate boards. The selection of members is accomplished through Executive Committee recommendation and nominations are then submitted to the full board for consideration. New Board Members are approved at SENG's annual Board Meeting in January

Corporate governance principles are featured in SENG's Bylaws and a series of documents adopted by the Board. Each is reviewed periodically to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the organization and reflect current industry best practices.

SENG Standing Committees:

Executive Committee: In 2017, the Executive Committee continued to update governance reform that had begun in 2015. Changes were adopted in January 2016 and updated in 2017. In addition to a more clear oversight and strategic role for the board, highlights of governance reform include:

  • Amended and Restated Bylaws
  • Revised Board and Committee Structure
  • Creation of a Communications Policy
  • Annual Affirmation of Service
  • Individual Director Self-Appraisals
  • Director Conflict of interest forms
  • Ethics, Conduct, and Compliance Resources & Forms
  • Policy Manual Review

The Development Committee: Chaired by Michael Postma, the Development Committee worked to add some new initiatives for SENG including updating the membership program, adding Regional Conferences, and SENG Connect.

The Editorial Committee: Chaired by Tracy Riley, the SENG Editorial Committee engaged in a review of the editorial submission process. The editorial committee also assisted in the new SENG E-Book co-chaired by Kate Bachtel and Kristina Collins.

The Professional Advisory Committee: Chaired by Marianne Kuzujanakis, the PAC is tasked with assisting SENG generate ideas to connect to untapped communities in health and mental health care.

SENGinar Program Chair: Chaired by Michael Postma, SENG webinars provide convenient access to many of the top experts in the gifted field.

SMPG Program Chair: Kate Bachtel, with the assistance of veteran SMPG trainers Carol Malueg and Kasi Peters, oversaw the continued development of new initiatives including a new FAQ document, the development of a hybrid online version of SMPG, and much more.

Conference Program Chair: Conference oversight includes the annual SENG Conference and Children's Program. Co-chairs Tracy Riley & Michael Postma collaborated to deliver an exceptional event in Chicago.

Special Thank you to Keynote Speakers: Dr. Jaime Castellano, Dr. Nicole Tetreault, Dr. Joanna Haase, Dr. Susan Daniels, Dr. James Delisle, Dr. Dina Brulles, and Dr. Scott Barry Kaufmann.


At SENG we have a wonderful team of dedicated employees whose goal is to further the mission of SENG in all aspects of work. In 2017 we witnessed some transition gaining new staff who have added to the professionalism of the team. Together this small group worked extremely hard to maintain the level of achievement attributed to previous staff.

Michael Postma: A former Board Member, Dr. Postma took over the role of Executive Director in early April of 2017 as an Interim ED. With decades of work in the field of gifted and talented education as a teacher, administrator, consultant, and author, Dr. Postma is dedicated to promoting the Mission, Vision, and Goals of SENG across the globe.

Saba Seyoum: Saba has been the Finance Manager of SENG since 2016, and maintains the highest level of professionalism in her work with SENG to ensure accuracy of all financial reporting.

Natalie Monaghan: Natalie joined the SENG team in May of 2017 and serves as Program Manager. Natalie manages the database, office, events planning, registration, communication, and many other functions of SENG. She has been a great addition to the SENG staff.

Melody Yourd: Mel Yourd works as an independent contractor for SENG managing all the media and external communications. Mel (along with Trent) are also involved with SENG beyond their job descriptions. For example, both assisted in leading the 'Gifted Young Adults' Support Group and both have presented at both the SENG annual Conference and in webinars (SENGinar). We appreciate their dedication to the organization.

Trent Cash: Trent is an Intern for SENG from The Ohio State University. Trent has been invaluable in helping to launch SENG Connect and has contributed in many other ways. How many of you know that Trent put together the Conference Program Guide for the Chicago Conference? Thanks for all your efforts, Trent!

2017 Welcomed new staff members:

Dr. Michael Postma, Executive Director

Natalie Monaghan, Program Manager

Trent Cash, SENG Connect Project Manager (Intern)

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!" -Helen Keller

Melody Yourd, Communications Manager

Through our internship program, individuals gain professional non-profit experience and exposure to critical issues. Interns also have the chance to explore hands-on work at the local, national, and international levels as they work with other SENG members across the world and develop a comprehensive perspective on our mission. Internships are available virtually and on-site.

Mike Postma, Executive Director

Trent Cash, 
Connect Project Manager

Saba Seyoum, Finance Manager

Natalie Monaghan, Program Manager



SENG has worked to offer support and guidance to the gifted community through education, research, and connection. With the right intellectual and emotional support, gifted people can accept themselves and fulfill the potential of their incredible capabilities. 

With the goal of further expanding its activities and reaching more people, SENG embarked on an aggressive new public relations campaign in 2017. 

The growth across all platforms was substantial.


Website: (averaging 10-11,000 hits per month)




SENGVine: SENG's Monthly Newsletter reaches 8-10,000 persons monthly


In 2017, SENG implemented a new membership strategy built around its Premier Membership option. Implemented in August 2017, this new strategy allows for more flexible membership programs while simplifying the recurring donation process by introducing automatic monthly or annual payments. Additionally, the Premier Membership program is designed to give members access to SENG Connect.

Membership Statistics:

Total Membership: 427

Membership Strategy


Membership Benefits 

*Discounts of Conferences and SENGinars

*Access to SENG Resources

*Access to SENG Connect

*Access to SENG Support Groups

*SENG Publications

SENG Webinars (SENGinars) provide convenient access to many of the top experts in the gifted field. The 90-minute webinars are designed expressly for parents, educators, and mental health professionals who work with gifted children. Join us on-line for the latest presentations on giftedness. Members and non-members who purchase a live SENGinar receive a recording of the event.

2017 Statistics:

Number of live webinars: 22 

Attendees: 356

Contributing Speakers: Jaime Castellano, Christine Turo-Shields, Ken Dickson, Josh Shaine, Megan Nipcon-Foley, Nicole Dietrich, Richard Cash, Sharon Barnes, Joanne Foster, Claudia Lammarouex, James Webb, Deb Douglas, Barbara Kerr, Kevin Besnoy, Melody Yourd, Trent Cash, Sharon Barnes, & Kate Bachtel


SENG Model Parent Groups (SMPGs) bring individuals and families together to discuss the challenges associated with raising a gifted child. The co-facilitators of these groups, though knowledgeable about parenting and gifted education, do not attempt to give advice. Instead, their facilitation provides a non-judgmental and nurturing atmosphere for individuals and families to exchange ideas.

Hosted by two SENG Certified facilitators, discussion topics include issues like motivation, discipline, stress management, peer relationships, and more. The groups meet weekly for approximately 8-10 weeks. 

In 2017, SENG introduced the SENG Connect initiative to offer SMPG-style groups online so that they would be more accessible to those who do not have a local SMPG facilitator. Our most senior facilitators reorganized our programs to meet the needs of online communication. SENG utilizes Google G-Suite as used by many other non-profits and educational facilities.

Initially, test groups were run in the Spring to support a successful rollout in the Fall. Rather than staying with the same format, SENG Connect Support Groups are more time-friendly and focused on particular demographics. These online support groups are organized with themes so that participants can focus in on their particular needs and interests. The initial groups have been based on themes of Homeschooling, Twice Exceptionality, General Parenting, and Young Adults. New themes will be added in the future to broaden coverage of age groups and topics. 

Traditional trainings in 2017 were hosted in Las Vegas, Chicago, Colorado, and the Netherlands.

Total Number Trained: 115

In 2017, SENG introduced SENG Connect for membership purposes. In SENG Connect, an online community has begun to form. All of the G-Suite tools are available to our members which includes a private SENG Google Plus community.

Within SENG Connect, members can post resources, formulate chat groups, ask questions, post research, and generally connect with other gifted individuals or communities across the globe. SENG Connect will continue to grow in 2018 with the development of new resources for connecting gifted adults.

SENG Connect Workshop Series

In 2017, SENG launched the Connect Workshop Series which consists of a schedule of live presentations where members can engage directly with the presenter. These presentations are meant to be less formal than SENGinars and cover a wide range of topics. In order to make the Workshops accessible to as many community members as possible, each presentation is recorded and stored within the SENG Connect archives for later viewing.Volunteers are welcome to engage to support and develop our online community and make it a place where gifted people of all ages can find support, friendship, knowledge, and community.

Workshop Statistics:

Workshops Held: 16

Workshop Presenters: Mike Postma, Barry Gelston, Lisa Hancock, Alonzo Kelly, Kathy Courchene, Carol Malueg, Josh Shaine, Charissa Owens, Kris Happe, Kate Arms, Adriane Ransom, Lee-Anne Gray, Terry Friedrichs, Kasi Peters


The James T Webb Scholarship currently extends the opportunity for identified gifted and talented students from low-income families to participate in the SENG Annual Conference accompanied by their parent or guardian. 

To qualify, the student must be between the ages of 6-16, submit a letter of aptitude/talent from their school or clinician, craft a written statement detailing their interest in attending the SENG Conference, and provide proof of free or reduced lunch program eligibility. 

Conference attendance fees are waived for scholarship winners, Transportation and accommodations are the responsibility of recipients.

The number of scholarships awarded is based on availability of funds.

New in 2017: In addition to the James T. Webb Scholarship, interested parties that are able to submit a statement of need may be considered to have Conference attendance fees waived in exchange for serving as a volunteer. Please contact the SENG Office for more information.


The 2017 Conference in Chicago was a splendid success! 356 attendees as well as SENG staff and members of the SENG Board gathered for four days of workshops, keynotes, sessions, and fun. Highlights of the Conference Included:

* 8 Pre-Conference APA Accredited Workshops

* 5 Excellent Keynotes featuring Dr. Scott Barry Kaufmann, Dr. Jaime Castellano, Dr. Nicole Tetreault, Dr. Joanna Haase, Dr. Susan Daniels, Dr. James Delisle, Dr. Gil Whiting, and Dr. Dina Brulles

* 70 Plus regular conference sessions

* Childrens Program

* SMPG Training

* Awards Ceremony and SMPG Awards Breakfast

* Ambassadors Volunteer Program

* SENGtuary

* James T. Webb Scholarship Program

* An Evening with Film Director Marc Smolowitz

* And much More!

SENG 2017 - Chicago

In 2017, SENG began hosting smaller, regional conferences designed to complement the annual conference experience or provide an alternative to community members for whom the annual conference is not feasible. These pop-up conferences last for 1 day (2 with SMPG training) and include a full-day of the top gifted experts from the region. To augment the Pop-Up Conference experience, SENG has also begun offered CEU credits and training hours at each regional event. The first of these Pop-Up Conferences was held in Los Angeles, California in November, 2017 and many more are on the way!

Pop-Up Conference Statistics:

Conferences Held in 2017: 1

Conferences Planned for 2018: Seattle, Long Island, Columbus, Louisiana, Toronto, Los Angeles, and New Haven, CT

Average Conference Attendance: 75-125


The Honor Roll of Outstanding Educators was created to recognize educators who have made a difference in the lives of others, and to provide scholarships for current  Education students.

2017 Nominees Include:

Dion Cook: Seattle Country Day School, Seattle, WA

Roger Fisher: EXCEL Pullout, Evergreen School District, Vancouver, WA

Barry Gelston: Mr. Gelston's One Room School House

By supporting the program with your tax deductible donation you are invited to submit names of honorees with a brief description of why they are being honored. Honorees are sent a congratulatory letter from SENG as well as being presented a memento of thanks and appreciation for their outstanding contribution to excellence in education. Honorees' names are listed on the SENG website along with other donors' names and descriptive paragraphs they wrote about their nominees.


Honor Roll of Outstanding Educators

SENG's Resource Library includes original and reprinted articles and columns from world-renowned experts on the social and emotional needs of the gifted. Organized by topic, the library is widely used by individuals, parents, educators, and health care professionals. In total, the library includes over 500 titles. 

Categories include:

For Families     

Our Community      

Diverse Populations

For Individuals

For Professionals 


Emotional Needs

Intellectual Needs

Social Needs

Spiritual Needs




Statement of Activities


Total Income

Total Expenses

Net Profits




Individual Donations


Jan-206Dec '17








"SENG has forever changed my life. I am finally beginning to comprehend my gifted nature, and for the first time in my life, I am excited to be gifted."




Lori Comallie-Caplan 

Celi Trepanier

Pamela Shaw

Christine Cipriano

Kathy Courchene

Natalie Monaghan

Nathalie Dore

Linda Zanieski

Evelyn Metcalf 

Nancy Gleyze

Debbie Wallenfang 

Lana Fischer

Valeri Rosman

Saba Seyoum

Brigit Brinkman

IBM Employee Contributions




Darlene Sanders

Rachel Smith

Sarah Macintosh-Wiseman

Kathleen Crom

Barbara Schuh

Adriane Ransom

Joy Navan

Rebecca Hilger

Pamela Clinkenbeard

Lisa Hancock

Andrew Showen

Robin Herbison



Fiona Smith

Jim Delisle

Tara Smith

Rosina Gallagher

Judith Roseberry

Jenny Curzan

Helen Amick

Dan Peters

Marianne Kuzujankis

Lori Camillie-Caplan

Anonymus Facebook Donations

Fredrick & Arlene DeVries

Nancy Ann Schifo-Green

Jane Hesslein

Janet H. (In memory of Sidney Elkes)

Michael Postma

Kate Bachtel

Michael & Corrine Kohlmeyer-Hyman



Jean Goerss

Edward Amend

Barry Gelston

Rosina Gallagher

James Webb

Evelyn Metcalf

Facebook Anonymous Donations

For the individuals whose generosity makes our work possible.

Total Donations for 2017:




Stargate School Foundation on behalf of Kate Bachtel

Barry Gelstons One Room Schoolhouse

P.O. Box 1184
Schenectady, NY  12301


30 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY  12305


844-488-SENG (7364)