Our blog has a new name

Because of the restructuring in the gifted department and my new building assignments, I thought it was appropriate to change the name of the blog to represent who this blog will serve starting in the 2013-2014 school year.  I have many updates to add from the 2012-2013 school year that will be a summer project for me, so check back often.  Or better yet, become a subscriber to this blog, and you’ll receive an email anytime I add a new post.

Wishing you all the best for a fantastically fun summer!  See you in August.

Mrs. D’Amico

The Top 10 Resolutions I Wish Gifted Kids Would Make

The Top 10 Resolutions I Wish Gifted Kids Would Make

By Tiffany O’Neill

I am fortunate to spend the majority of my day working with gifted students and their families. Many of the struggles I see young people encounter are the same, played out again and again in the disappointments and frustrations that they share with me.

With 2013 upon us, I, like many others, have been thinking a great deal about resolutions. Although I really should spend some time developing resolutions for myself, (goodness knows I need some) I thought about what a list might look like if I could magically create one for each of my students. 2013 would be a great year if gifted kids would make these resolutions!


  1. I will value my unique strengths and embrace my shortcomings. Not everyone can be good at everything. I won’t try to be. I will focus on what I do best and be creative about how I can transform my weaknesses into assets.
  2. I will advocate for myself in school and in the community. I have a voice. Since I’m pretty smart, I owe it to myself (and humanity at large) to share my ideas.
  3. I will spend more time creating. Whether it is art, poetry, music, or robots, the process of creation, with its many pitfalls and peaks, will strengthen all of my endeavors.
  4. I will read more. Not just novels assigned to me in class, but also what interests me, what entertains me, what takes me away from the realities of the world.
  5. I will seek out new learning experiences. I know that I will struggle and probably embarrass myself, but I am confident that the benefits of diversifying my experiences will outweigh these temporary discomforts.
  6. I will accept—no, relish— failure. Failure is an opportunity for me to problem solve and to find out how strong I really am.
  7. I will seek opportunities to pursue my special interests, whether they be focused around physics or parkour. I will take time to research, experiment, and practice my interests to see how they might impact my future.
  8. I will develop and nurture my own kindness. I will put my gifts to work to help others.
  9. I will find time to play. I realize that creativity and play are intertwined. If I am working on something meaningful to me, whether in school or out, that work will feel like play.
  10. I will keep in mind that school is not everything. My gifts have a broader setting than academia. My grade point average does not define me. It will not be in my obituary; all of the allotted space will be taken up with the details of my discoveries, creations, and adventures.



Wow! This year has already just flown by – here we are at Progress Report time – and this is my first post. There are some new posts I am going to put up about some wonderful gifted opportunities for both parents and students. As always, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

We are on our way…

Students have been in their Discover / Gifted Pull-Out classes for a month or so.  I hope everyone having an enjoyable time learning new information and making some new friends.  November/December newsletters have gone out – make sure you read all of the information.  I have included information on advocacy that I would love for you to read over.

Enrichment Extension for Gifted Students


Ephrata Area School District

K-12 Gifted Parent Night


Enrichment Opportunities for Gifted Students

When:             Wednesday, October 19, 6 pm.

Where:           Ephrata Area Middle School Media Center

957 Hammon Ave. Ephrata PA 17522

Format:          Presenter: Linda Deal


Enrichment Extension for Gifted Students


Description:  Go beyond the school day with activities that will blend school content with community, family and fun opportunities.  A series of different strategies and ideas that will appeal to students of different ages and interests will trigger a list of possible enrichment to use for one minute or half a day.


Please feel free to bring your students and other children.


Please RSVP to Lori Hatt 717-721-1150 Ext 0 or email at  l_hatt@easdpa.org  by October 17, 2011


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact:

Susan Summers-Steffy  (721-1150)

Coordinator of Student Services

Ephrata Area School District.

Dr. James Delisle

Dr. James Delisle will present Doing Poorly on Purpose: Underachievement and the Quest for Dignity on Thursday, November 17, 2011, at The Conference & Training Center at IU-13 (1020 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601).  The fee is $15 per person.  Pre-registration is required to:

Lindsay Risser

(717) 606-1762


Here is an overview from the flier:

Most of the “antidotes” for reversing academic underachievement in gifted adolescents
are punitive and disrespectful.  It’s no surprise, then, that they are also ineffective and
emotionally debilitating.  This session provides a new look at “underachievement” from
the eye of the students who wear this label.  A series of suggestions and solutions that
can be applied at home and in school will be offered, each one bearing a similar  
foundation: preserving the dignity of students who choose to perform poorly on purpose.  

Dr. Jim Delisle has taught gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more
than 30 years.  The author of more than 250 articles and 16 books including The Gifted
Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook, Jim’s work has been translated into multiple  
languages.  He has been featured in professional journals, The New York Times and on
The Oprah Winfrey Show.  A frequent presenter on gifted children’s intellectual and  
emotional growth, Jim has addressed audiences in 48 states and in nations as diverse as
England, Greece, China, and Saudi Arabia.  His new Teen Survival Guide is being released
this summer, and he has just been contracted to write a book entitled, Saving Smart
Kids: American Educational Reform and the Crisis for Gifted Education. 


Dear Parents:

I hope you and your family enjoyed your summer together.  Now that the school year has begun, it is time to look at the Discover program and what it offers in middle school.  I am delighted about the offerings this year and working with many new seventh graders as well as my returning eighth graders.

Packets were sent home during the first cycle.  If you have not seen yours, please ask your child for this important information.

Here is my contact information for the year:

email:      amy.damico@pennmanor.net

by phone:

Marticville Middle School:        Days 1, 2 & 3       284.4135   x3397

Manor Middle School:       Days 4, 5 & 6       872.9510   x3109

Thank you!

Thank you to all of the families that came out last night to Marticville Middle for the Gifted Transition Meeting for the rising 7th and rising 9th graders.  I hope you each found it informative and many of your questions about the next chapter of your child’s academic career were answered.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about transitioning to middle school.

A special thanks to: Emily H., Zac S., Evan T. and Allie W. for serving on the panel and answering questions.  Your insight was invaluable!!

Don’t forget our Gifted Transition Meeting next week

Dear 6th and 8th Grade Parents of Gifted Students:

In an effort to provide you with information regarding your transition from elementary to middle school and from middle school to the high school level, we would like to invite you to attend a Gifted Information Night scheduled for Monday, May 9th at Marticville Middle School.

The presentation/discussion for 6th grade parents and students will run from 6:00-6:45pm and for 8th grade parents and students, 7:00-7:45pm. (6th grade parents and students, you are welcome to stay for the 8th grade session.)

This evening has been designed to give you the opportunity to meet the Teachers of the Gifted at each level as well as provide you with an overview of the program so you know what to expect as you prepare to transition to the next level in your educational careers. Students as well as the Teachers of the Gifted will be presenting information. We will also be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time.

Please feel free to give me a call at 872-9500 ext. 2250 if you have any questions about the evening. We look forward to seeing you!


Vickie Hallock

Penn Manor Gifted Coordinator