AIG Conference

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Keynote Speakers

Ian Byrd

Ian Byrd, Byrdseed

Ian taught gifted students in Garden Grove, California where he grew up as a gifted kid himself. On his journey to become a teacher, he earned a degree in Computer Science, briefly played bass in an almost successful rock band, and married a fashion designer. Ian writes about gifted education at to an audience of over 25,000 monthly visitors.
Brian Housand

Brian Housand, Associate Professor, East Carolina University

Brian Housand is an associate professor and co-coordinator of the Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program at East Carolina University. In 2014, he received the Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education at ECU. Dr. Housand earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut’s Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development with an emphasis in both gifted education and instructional technology. He currently serves on the NAGC Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large. Brian frequently presents and works as an educational consultant on the integration of technology and enrichment into the curriculum. He is currently researching ways in which technology can enhance the learning environment and is striving to define creative-productive giftedness in a digital age. His website is or follow him on Twitter @brianhousand.


Shelagh Gallagher, Engaged Education
Dr. Shelagh Gallagher is a curriculum writer, consultant, and trainer in gifted education, working with teachers from Concord, NC to Astana, Kazakhstan. She is a Fellow at the Institute for Educational Advancement, working with highly gifted students at Camp Yunasa. She spent 15 years directing gifted education programs at UNC Charlotte; prior to that she worked as Associate Director at William and Mary’s Center for Gifted Education and at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She is recipient of the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence from UNC Charlotte, the NAGC Article of the Year Award, and 6 NAGC curriculum awards.
Lucas Gillespie, Director of Academic and Digital Learning, Surry County Schools
A passionate gamer and educator, Lucas explores the intersection of games and learning. He is the creator of the WoWinSchool Project, exploring the educational potential of online games like World of Warcraft with middle schoolers and leads one of the largest school-based Minecraft implementations in the world. He shares gaming resources with educators and even makes an occasional blog post at
Andrew Julian, Digital Learning Specialist, Lenoir County Public Schools
Having started my career as a high school science teacher, I was quickly able to recognize the benefits of creating engaging lessons that were suitable for different students, based on their individual needs. Through the use of technology I was able to streamline this process to ensure that each day all students were interacting with content in a manner that was most appropriate for them. When the opportunity arose, I took a position as a Digital Learning Specialist. Within this new role I am able to help facilitate the integration of differentiated instruction and mastery learning into
1:1 classrooms.
Ray Pastore, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Dr. Ray Pastore has multiple years of instructional design experience, which includes extensive corporate, K-12, and higher education experience. He earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems with a minor in Educational Psychology from Penn State University and is currently an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Sheila Sokolinsky, Business Education Teacher, NBCT, Isaac Bear Early College
Sheila Sokolinsky, is a National Board Certified Business Teacher, Microsoft Certified Educator and Google Educator currently teaching at Isaac Bear Early College. Her students and colleagues value her unique approach to integrating technology into the classroom, particularly her innovative methodology to engage students in personal explorations of identity through the use of digital portfolios. Sheila also teaches online and serves as a consultant in online instructional design and delivery.

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