News on High Ability
National Correspondent - Austria
Mag.Dr. Rupert Sodl
Specialist in Gifted Education
Pädagogische Hochschule Oberösterreich
Mag.Dr. Rupert Sodl studied at the University of Salzburg and received his magisterium in 1992 and his doctorate in 1994. Since then he has been working as a teacher of mathematics, geography, informatics and descriptive geometry (and CAD-modelling) in beautiful Upper Austria. For more than 15 years he conducted courses of the ÖMO (= austrian mathematic olympiad) for gifted pupils aged from 14 to 18. In 2008 he completed the ECHA course successfully and received the diploma "Specialist in Gifted Education". Since then Rupert Sodl held a lot of courses for pupils with high abilities located in several schools. Beside his work as a teacher in the public school system, he was engaged for a longer period in the education of gifted children from 9 to 18 years. The next successful steps followed in 2012: Rupert Sodl became a member of the honourable team of talenteOÖ, which is connected to the Education Board Upper Austria. In the same year he was permitted for the first time to hold some seminars on gifted education and mathematics at the university college of education of Upper Austria for secondary school education. He followed some invitations as lecturer to conferences or training courses in Upper and Lower Austria and Carinthia and he also planned training courses in gifted education for teachers in Upper Austria. Two years later he was appointed "Länderbeirat für Oberösterreich" and then, in July 2016, Rupert Sodl was elected President of ECHA Austria. Looking back over 25 years as teacher Dr. Sodl is optimistic about the future. He believes in the validity of the quotation from Prof. Joseph Renzulli: "A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships", and is firmly convinced that School development can only achieve long-term success, if all the participants are taken into consideration.
National Correspondent - Slovenia
Mag. Maruška Željeznov Seničar
Reška ulica 11
Telefon: +386 0590 72 730
National Correspondent - Canada
3830 W. 18th Avenue
Vancouver, V6S 1B5
Tel: +1 604 838 3135
After receiving her Masters degree in Economics from the University of Oxford, Karin Tischler worked as a management consultant for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) in Germany, the UK and in the USA. She then led the Competitive Intelligence Department at PETsMART.
When Karin could not find a community for her two very young children, she co-founded a local Yahoo Group for parents of young gifted children in the USA. This group led to playground and museum meet ups and to long-term friendships. After Karin relocated to Vancouver, Canada she decided to create a similar Yahoo Group. This Vancouver group has since then led to 3 different Facebook Groups (general parenting and homeschooling support and services offerings) for more than 400 parents of gifted children in British Columbia.
Besides creating a local support community for parents of gifted children, Karin was the Vice President of the GCABC (Gifted Children Association of British Columbia) for the past two years as well as a member of the Board of the Vancouver Westside German School.
As a native German citizen, Karin Tischler attended the ECHA 2016 conference in Vienna to learn more about the gifted community in Europe. Most recently, she has joined the Daimon Institute founded by the psychologist Patricia Susan (Sue) Jackson as the Head of Research & Development. In this capacity Karin has organized and accompanied Sue Jackson on her European speaking tour in the fall of 2016.
The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted provides psychotherapy and educational consulting to support the overall development of exceptionally and profoundly gifted people. Patients are all ages and reside throughout the world. Patricia Susan Jackson has been conducting research and providing professional development workshops, seminars, lectures and keynotes since 1994.
The Daimon Institute is international in scope with participants on 5 continents. Most recently Sue gave presentations at the 2016 EU Conference on the Fostering and Development of Talent in Bratislava, the ECHA European Talent Centre in Budapest, the ÖZBF in Salzburg as well as to psychologists, teachers and parents in Nuremberg and Munich.
National Correspondent - Ireland
Dr. Colm O'Reilly
Dublin City University
Colm O’Reilly PhD is the Director of the Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) at Dublin City University. CTYI provides fast paced classes for academically talented students aged 6 – 16 years from all over Ireland and overseas. Currently the Centre caters for over 5000 students per annum and it is the only recognised teaching centre for gifted children in the Republic of Ireland. CTYI run over 120 academic courses annually for gifted students. Colm has worked in the area of gifted and talented education for the last 15 years and has published articles and presented papers at numerous conferences around the world. He has experience in teacher training for gifted students around Ireland and is responsible for the implementation of many classes and initiatives for gifted children and teachers in Ireland. Colm has recently been appointed as Secretary of the European Council for High Ability and serves on Advisory Boards for gifted programmes in Virginia, Arizona and Maryland.
National Correspondent - Croatia
Željko Rački, Ph.D., Dipl. Psych
ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education
University of J.J. Strossmayer in Osijek
Faculty of Education
Cara Hadrijana 10, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
Office Tel.: +385-31-321-735
Mr. Željko Rački, Ph.D., ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education, is a licensed educational psychologist by the Croatian Psychological Chamber with fifteen years of work experience in the educational system, including primary schools and institutions of higher education. His fields of research interests include educational psychology, the psychology of creativity, and psychology of giftedness. He is employed at the Faculty of Education in Osijek, Croatia (Europe). As a psychologist, an educator, and a mentor, he is a member of the Croatian Psychological Chamber, the Croatian Psychological Society, and the European Council for High Ability (ECHA).
National Correspondent - USA
Pamela R. Clinkenbeard, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Foundations; Co-Director, Challenging Advanced Learners Programs
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Dept. of Educational Foundations, UWW, 800 West Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190 USA
Dr. Pamela Clinkenbeard is Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA, where she teaches educational psychology, educational research methods, and gifted education. Prof. Clinkenbeard received her Ph.D. in psychology and gifted education with Prof. John F. Feldhusen at Purdue University. She was on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children (USA), and currently serves on boards at Northwestern University (Center for Talent Development) and Purdue University (Gifted Education Resource Institute). She has written several book chapters and has published articles in Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for Education of the Gifted, Roeper Review, and the European Journal of Psychological Assessment. She serves on the editorial review boards for Gifted Child Quarterly and Gifted and Talented International. She was on the faculty at Yale University working with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, and is currently a Fulbright Specialist. Her research interests include student motivation, economic policy and gifted education, the neuroscience of giftedness, and diversity among the gifted.
National Correspondent - Turkey
Prof. Dr. Ugur Sak
Anadolu University Center for Research and Practice for High Ability Education
Phone number: 00905337452701
Prof. Dr. Uğur Sak
Üstün Zekalıların Eğitimi ABD Bşk.
ÜYEP Merkez Müdürü
Editör, Türk Üstün Zeka ve Eğitim Dergisi
National Correspondent - Switzerland
Tel: +41 313 3232
After the teaching certificate (1983) and teaching for 20 years at the elementary school, Salomé Müller-Oppliger went back to study in the field of Gifted Education at the Neag Institute for the Gifted and Talented at University of Connecticut USA (Prof. Dr. Joseph Renzulli & Prof. Dr. Sally Reis), at the University of Education Northwestern Switzerland and at the University of Education in Vienna for her Master of Arts in Gifted Education and Talent Development. Together with Victor Mueller-Oppliger she built up the Master’s program on gifted education and talent development at the University Northwestern Switzerland (2003). She has been working as a professor in the field of gifted education with highly gifted children ever since and also at the University of Northwestern Switzerland with students and teachers. She is specialized in the diagnostic of gifted children and the counseling of their parents and schools. Salomé is also a lecturer and mentor for students at the teacher training college and holds seminars in didactic and methods of differentiation and collaborated learning. She helps schools to implement gifted education in their programs, holds workshops and seminars all over Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Being a member of the eVOCATIOn program in Germany, Austria and Switzerland she is also responsible for the courses in the pedagogical diagnostic and the implementing of gifted education at different schools and colleges in those countries. Since 2007 Salomé has been Swiss Delegate from the Worldcouncil for Gifted and Talented Children.
National Correspondent - Sweden
Elisabet Mellroth Specialist in Gifted Education
PhD student in Educational work
Department of Educational studies
+46 (0)54-540 16 72
+46 (0)70-35 21 222
Elisabet Mellroth is a doctoral student in educational work at Karlstad University, and her research is focused on giftedness in mathematics education. One important perspective in her work is to make sure that gifted pupils are included, both socially as well as pedagogically, in inclusive education. She leads professional development programs on gifted education for in-service teachers. In Sweden, as well as in other countries, she gives seminars and workshops on theories and methods in gifted education for student teachers, in-service teachers and school leaders. The National agency of education and other organizations has used her as an expert in giftedness, for example to give comments on reports or to participate in writing them. Elisabet is an upper secondary teacher in mathematics and chemistry and has an ECHA-diploma, Specialist in gifted education. The combination of her interest in giftedness and mathematics has resulted in that she initiated and runs math clubs and support national summer camps in mathematics for children. Find her researcherid and more about her on https://www.kau.se/forskare/elisabet-mellroth
National Correspondent - Serbia
Professor Blanka Bogunovic, Ph.D. in Psychology, B.A. in Music
University of Arts Belgrade, Faculty of Music
Kralja Milana 50, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: + 381 11 2659 466
Tel/Fax: + 381 11 2643 598
Professor Blanka Bogunović, Ph.D. in Psychology and B.A. in Music (Flute) is affiliated as Full Professor of Psychology and teaches Psychology of giftedness in music, Psychology of music, Psychology of music performance and Education science, with the Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, teaching on undergraduate, master and doctoral study levels, and at the University of Belgrade, Department for Psychology,. She has diverse professional experience: as university teacher and senior researcher, psychologist-councellor in specialist music school for gifted children and adolescents, lecturer at music tearchers’ training courses, psychotherapist, as well as a music teacher and chamber music performer. Blanka Bogunović is the author of the book Musical talent and successfulness (2008/2010) that received National Award for contribution to Psychology in Serbia (2009) and co-editor of the book School and family cooperation (2007). Special interests in research fields: giftedness in music, education and expertize in the field of music, as well as interdisciplinary studies in psychology and music. She is the co-author of the book Interdisciplinary research in music: Listening, performing, composing (2014). She published in international and national journals, international proceedings and participated at conferences in Serbia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Greece, France, United Kingdom, Finland and Macedonia. She carries on the running project theme Giftedness in music, arts and dance at the Institute for Psychology, University of Belgrade.