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Alumna receives national award for commitment to gifted education

Kathryn Kao

October 2, 2017


Heather Vaughn (EdS '17), an assistant director of advanced academics at the University of Texas at Austin High School and an alumna of the College of Education, recently received the 2017 Master's and Specialist Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).

Heather Vaughn

The award recognizes Vaughn's work in facilitating the social and emotional development of gifted and talented students, as well as her commitment to learning more about the nature and needs of gifted students.

"I am humbled to represent the work of so many that have come before me and who continue to inspire me to advocate and serve the gifted population," said Vaughn. "I am especially honored to receive the award since it acknowledges my advocacy and professional development for teachers in Texas, as well as my research and personal development at the University of Georgia."

NAGC is a membership organization that aims to enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building and research.

The organization will honor Vaughn's commitment to gifted education at the 64th annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this November. She looks forward to sharing her expertise and work at the University of Texas at Austin High School with UGA professors and other colleagues at the convention.

Vaughn joined UT High School in 2015 as the coordinator of advanced academics. During the last 14 years, she has served as a district K-12 gifted and talented specialist, a gifted and talented enrichment teacher and a core curriculum teacher in elementary and middle school. Most of her career has been devoted to curriculum development for advanced students.

"With the handful of exceptional teachers who have impacted my life's work thus far, my goal is to pay that forward to other gifted students who are navigating their journey to their greatest potential," said Vaughn. "Knowing that I can impact gifted students and their life experiences is what energizes me."