Allen Gifted was started as an idea in 2009 when Robert and Kim Oake became more interested in gifted education after their child was invited into the AIM program at Norton Elementary. Working with other gifted and talented community members, such as Len Avecilla (founding member and former president of the Keller GT Parent Support Group and active member of Texas Association of the Gifted and Talented) and Jessica Gitzinger, the Gifted and Talented Specialist at Norton Elementary, they started talks that would lead to the formation of our organization.
Barbara Myer, the District Gifted and Talented Coordinator for Allen ISD, was also interested in the formation of a parent support group. In 2010, monthly meetings began which led to established goals, by-laws and our non-profit status. Robert Oake was elected as the first President of Allen Gifted.
In January 2011, Allen Gifted was open for membership enrollment.
Since then, we have added more programs and grown to include parents, teachers and other community members charged with adding education and enrichment activities for our gifted population. For 2012-13, we added a Destination Imagination program and it marked the launch of our first two AGILE Summer Camps (Allen Gifted Incredible Learning Experience).
Since then, we have been introduced the STEM Club (now renamed STEAM) that allows our kids to be exposed to more experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. We have had field trips to companies like TI and Flexlink and had workshops and classes in everything from robotics to Mandarin Chinese to hands-on science!
We also introduced Allen Gifted Children’s Theatre in 2013, offering classes in acting, improvisation and scenework.
We sponsored a Math and Chess Club for several years and have sponsored Allen Gifted Family Game Nights (and Days) for our membership.
Allen Gifted continues to grow and strives to provide more opportunities for support and enrichment for our parents, teachers and students!
Board Members 2017-18
President – Anju Bisht
VP Programs – Charlotte Taylor
Treasurer – Ping Xiong
VP Communications – Becky Buehner
VP Programs at Large – John Garcia
Secretary – OPEN
Allen ISD Liason – Jessica Gitzinger