Speaker/Attendee Biographies G-L

Bios as submitted by attendees. Please send any changes to Bridges 2e Center: admin@2esymposium.com 🙂

Nicholas Gelbar is a Licensed Psychologist from Connecticut that co-owns a private practice with his wife, Sara. He has conducted several research studies concerning 2E individuals.

Max Goldberg joined the Bridges Board of Trustees in 2015, becoming the Board’s first ever Bridges Alumnus to serve as a Board Member, having graduated with the Class of 2003 at Bridges‘ original campus in Sherman Oaks. Max achieved a Bachelor of Arts from Emerson College in Boston, studying Entrepreneurial Studies and stand-up comedy, helping to create Emerson’s first ever Stand-Up Comedy Major. Producing successful online content led to his launching several online marketing businesses, as well as serving the role of Senior Search Engine Marketing Specialist for advertising agencies and Fortune 1000 companies. Max’s actively strives to bring a “Bridges kid’s perspective” to all Board-related activities.

Janet Gore
Janet Gore is former Vice President and Acquisitions Editor of Great Potential Press, a publishing company devoted to social and emotional needs of gifted children and adults.  She also did developmental editing, where she worked closely with authors. She is co-author with Dr. James T. Webb, of two award winning books – A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children and Grandparent’s Guide to Gifted Children. 

Janet has taught graduate courses in gifted education and has presented at local, state, national and international organizations. She has presented workshops relating to the educational and social/emotional needs of gifted children. She served as the first State Director of Gifted Education in Arizona, where she had a leadership role in maintaining the quality of gifted education programs and creating new legislation and funding. 

Her experience includes work as a teacher, guidance counselor, administrator, policy maker, author and parent. She has also enjoyed leading  SENG model parent support groups.

Dr. Daniel Greenwood is a career counselor with over 30 years experience as a teacher, head of school, and an educational association executive. Dr. Greenwood developed the Greenwood System 120 to assess the four domains of a person’s interests, values, personalities, and abilities to make career matches. Using big data, the Greenwood System is able to leverage the strengths and minimize the deficits for individuals with exceptionalities. As CEO of Greenwood Associates, Inc., Dr. Greenwood also trains counselors and programs around the world to use the Greenwood System.

Cynthia Hansen was initiated into the world of gifted education by her two twice exceptional boys. She is now an Educational Therapist/Professional in private practice specializing in gifted and creative individuals with executive function delays, ADHD, dyslexia and uncommon learning profiles. As an award-winning, California credentialed educator for over 35 years, SENG Model Parent Group facilitator and advocate, Cindy enjoys bringing community together by presenting workshops at local and national conferences and as a consultant with public and private schools.After earning her Master of Education and Teaching Certificates from UCLA, her post-Masters Certificate in GATE at UCSB, Cindy is now pursuing her doctorate through the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. Currently, Ms. Hansen is on the boards of California Association for the Gifted, Association of Educational Therapists, and the advisory board for The G Word movie due for release in 2021. Connect with Cindy at www.CynthiaZHansen.com

Dr. Melanie Hayes has focused on helping gifted and twice exceptional persons find their niche and work to their strengths. She holds a master’s in gifted education, a doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on twice exceptionality, and is currently interning as a marriage and family therapist at Summit Center. Her research and outreach over the past decade has been centered on building support and understanding for the 2e population. Dr. Hayes is also the founder of Big Minds, an educational model for 2e children that mentors and supports their intellectual, social, and emotional well-being.

Allison Hertog
I am a former special education teacher and a J.D. who has a national practice advocating for 2e students to receive accommodations on college and graduate school entrance exams.

Shama Hinard
Shama has over 20 years of experience in teaching and school administration working with students who learn differently. She is currently the Head of School at Athena Academy a school focused on harnessing the strengths of our dyslexic children.

Alexis Hopper holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BFA in Music from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. Her work with children and families includes 20 years of experience teaching and coordinating educational programs for institutions such as Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago Children’s Museum, and Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. Prior to her work at IEA, Alexis served as Program Coordinator for adult English language programs in Los Angeles, where she provided academic support and advisement to a diverse community of students and fellow teachers. She is thrilled to be contributing to a team that is uniquely equipped to respond to the needs of gifted children and looks forward to fostering existing and future ties within the community. In her free time, Alexis loves to explore local neighborhoods by foot, bicycle, train and car, and looks forward to planning her next great camping adventure.

Jack Horner is a dyslexic paleontologist! He is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University in Orange, CA, and Regent’s Professor of Paleontology Emeritus at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.  He is known for his groundbreaking discoveries of the first dinosaur eggs in the Western Hemisphere, the first evidence of dinosaur colonial nesting, the first evidence of parental care among dinosaurs, and finding the world’s first dinosaur embryos.

He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost paleontologists, noted for his fieldwork in Montana where he has amassed one of America’s largest dinosaur collections.  Horner is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant,” and has been awarded 2 honorary doctorates, one from the University of Montana, the school he attended, and another from Pennsylvania State University.  He has named 10 new dinosaur species and has had 4 dinosaur species named after him. Horner has more than 300 publications including 8 popular books and 2 co-edited technical volumes. He has been the subject of numerous TV documentaries. He served as the technical adviser for all 5 of the Jurassic Park (and Jurassic World) movies and is the inspiration for the movie’s lead character, Dr. Alan Grant.

Horner is currently co-directing a developmental biology project attempting to retro-engineer dinosaur characteristics that have been lost during the evolution of dinosaurs to birds by creating what he calls a “Chickenosaurus.”  He uses the project to interest children of all ages in technical sciences such as genetics and developmental biology. Jack is the co-founder of Horner Science Group, a business creating augmented reality Apps and exhibitions about dinosaurs.  Jack also lectures on dinosaurs, evolution, and dyslexia. He lives in Orange, California.

Lamis Jabri
I have been fascinated with variations of the human mind since my early teens. I attended medical school at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. I completed the General Psychiatry Residency Program at Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. I had my son Adam during those early training years. It was only my son was born that my educational journey TRULY began. My little Mathematician-Musician-Coder keeps me on my toes. The Autism and the Giftedness seem intertwined somehow, bundled into a joyful stubborn opinionated passionate curious funny little boy. I deeply believe in 2e education, and I hope to create a network of “can-do” mentors for our family. More importantly, I advocate for celebrating individuality and appreciating the infinite manifestations of the human mind, focusing on nurturing strengths rather than merely addressing challenges. I organized an inclusive conference “Mozart & The Mind: Orchestrating Strengths On the Spectrum.”

Betsy Jones
Ms. Jones has been an educator, researcher and administrator of educational programs for over 30 years. Ms. Jones served as the Associate Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Director of the Western Region for ten years prior to co-founding the Institute for Educational Advancement, a nonprofit that provides support and services for gifted youth across the country, in 1998. As President of IEA she was contracted to assist in the creation and implementation of the Davidson Young Scholars program. She went on to lead in the creation and implementation of the award-winning Yunasa summer camp for the gifted and the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship program. Ms. Jones currently serves on the Advisory Board for GRO Gifted and the Board of Directors for Math Academy.

Kimberlee Joseph
Kimberlee received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Sonoma. She is the parent to two gifted children (including a 2e son), an advocate, community builder, maker and graduate student. 

After a decade long career as an entrepreneur, management and training consultant and writer, her focus shifted to supporting the needs of her differently wired children.  In recent years, she has served as the managing producer for a youth musical theatre program serving over 300 public elementary school children and has worked extensively in parent driven programs in both private and public school environments. Inspired by the many passionate professionals, advocates and educators that she has come to know through her family’s 2e journey,  she is now pursuing an M.Ed at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity.

Paul Kallee Grover is an Equality Diversity & Inclusion Champion as well as a Neurodiversity Role Model from the UK. He working across the private, public and charity sector on promoting the benefits a different range of thinking skills can bring to business. Paul has written a number of articles on this subject as well as delivering key note speeches on the subject of how the property and construction sector can reap the benefits of a diverse workforce. Paul believes that it is vital to have a truly inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their full potential.

Maria M. Kennedy joined the Bridges Academy staff as Phoenix division director after more than 20 years as an educator. While performing at the Manchester Youth Theatre, Maria was encouraged by the program director to go to drama school. While there working with elementary students, she discovered her passion for teaching. Maria received her B.Ed. and M.Ed. in education from Manchester University, as well as several advanced teaching certificates and diplomas. Early in her career she created a new curriculum for a student in her class who was struggling to learn the same way as his peers. This led her to search for innovative teaching methods for other students with educational challenges. She has traveled and worked in different parts of the world in order to gain more insight into how children learn. Maria taught for 10 years in Manchester where, because of her abilities to develop new curriculum and her skills in the classroom, she was awarded Advanced Teacher Status by the Department of Education. As a result of her work, she has received several awards: “Teacher of the Year,” in North Carolina, “Golden Apple, Elementary Teacher of the Year,” in the Cayman Islands and “New American Hero, an award for teaching and leadership excellence,” in Louisiana. Maria believes that to be an effective educator you must continue to learn and grow as a person. With this in mind, she constantly reads and works closely with leading educators in the field of 2E education.

At present, Holly Kincaid is an Advanced Placement teacher in English and mathematics and a gifted coordinator in Simms, Montana. Holly has taught in K-12 public schools for 15 years. Currently, she is in the doctoral program for Twice-Exceptional Education at Bridges Academy. She received an MA in Educational Psychology(Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development) from the University of Connecticut. She holds certifications in 5-12 English and mathematics with an endorsement in Gifted Education for both Montana and Alaska. She has had the pleasure of teaching Yupik Indigenous Children in rural Alaska to kick start her career in gifted education. In addition to her education and teaching experience, Holly is the current present of AGATE Montana’s Association for Gifted Children.

Amy Kirigin
Currently a full-time mom of three children, all of whom have different learning profiles, one of whom is 2E. I am a designer. I have founded startups, worked as an interaction designer, and dabbled in home design. I have a master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction from CMU and an BA from NYU in Independent Study: Computer Science & Philosophy. I have spent several years leading volunteer organizations within my children’s schools, and am currently the Logistics Coordinator for the Common Ground Speaker Series, a SF Peninsula parent education consortium which brings cutting-edge speakers to our school communities. I am here to learn more about the latest in 2E education, and am seeking opportunities to bring dedicated 2E school options to the Bay Area.

Uyen Kry
I have a teen daughter who is 2e. I look forward to learning about ideas and resources in this area and meeting folks immersed in researching and supporting this population.

Heather Lai
Heather is a Canadian middle school teacher at Westmount Charter School. Her practice focuses on the education of the gifted, with a content specialization in math and science. She is also inspired by the practices of Reggio Emilia and therefore interprets curriculum and builds her instruction through a student-centered, negotiated and generative approach.

Doug Lenzini has served as Director of Admissions at Bridges Academy since 2001. Prior to joining Bridges, he was director of Sylvan Corporation learning centers in the Compton, CA. public school district. The centers are designed to help inner-city students improve their reading and math skills. For several years, Doug was Director of the Theatre of Arts, Los Angeles’ oldest school for the performing arts. He has worked as a professional actor, writer, producer and director in film, television, radio, commercials and industrial films and was president of Benson Productions, a Denver-based entertainment corporation. He still occasionally conducts acting workshops across the country and has co-written film scripts produced in Europe. Doug spent the first decade of his career as a journalist working in virtually every medium—newspaper, magazine, wire service, advertising, marketing, and public relations. At age 23, he was the youngest managing editor of a daily newspaper in the U.S.

Dr. Jann Leppien is the Margo Long Endowed Chair in Gifted Education and Professor in the Graduate Studies in Education at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. Whitworth’s Center for Gifted Education supports and develops policies and practices that encourage the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups and offers educators a specialty endorsement and master’s degrees in gifted education. Prior to this position, she taught courses at the University of Great Falls in Montana in curriculum and assessment, gifted education, and educational research. Before joining the faculty at the University of Great Falls, she worked as a research assistant for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) at the University of Connecticut, where she obtained a master’s and Ph.D. in gifted education. She has been a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of a gifted education program in Montana. She is the co-author of The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum, and The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High-Ability Students and numerous articles in designing high quality curriculum for advanced students. She conducts workshops for teachers in the areas of differentiated instruction, curriculum design and assessment, thinking skills, and gifted program development. She has served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children and currently serves on the Diversity Committee. She is also a board member of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) and serves on the advisory board of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development located on the campus of Bridges Academy, a school for twice-exceptional students (http://www.bridges.edu).  She is also President of Edufest, a summer teaching and learning institute in gifted education held in Boise, Idaho (www.edufest.org). Her current interest is in assisting schools in designing comprehensive services for highly capable students.

Melody Lowman
Melody is an Educational Consultant who provides placement and behavioral and educational problem solving for 2e students, preschool through college.

Teressa Lowrance
I am a mother of two 2e children ages 11 and 13 and am also a SENG parent facilitator. I teach Special Education in San Antonio.