Paula Olszewski-Kubilius Heads National Gifted Organization

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius Heads National Gifted Organization

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
A national leader in the field of gifted education, professor Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, the director of the Center for Talent Development at SESP, is now president of the National Association for Gifted Children.

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, teachers, educators, other professionals and community leaders who seek to address the unique needs of gifted children and youth. NAGC engages in research, staff development, advocacy, communication and collaboration to improve the quality of education for all students. Olszewski-Kubilius received the Distinguished Scholar Award from NAGC in 2009.

Olszewski-Kubilius joined Center for Talent Development (CTD) in 1982 and became director in 1987. CTD offers services for gifted students in preschool through grade 12, including a range of school-year and summer programs at multiple locations. Overall, more than 500,000 families have participated in programming at the widely respected center for gifted education over the years, including approximately 8,000 students in the Saturday Enrichment Program and summer programs last year. CTD is widely respected for its combination of programs and research related to gifted education.

As the new president of the National Association for Gifted Children, Olszewski-Kubilius looks forward to contributions she can make to the field of education. She contends that gifted education, with its focus on the development of talent, has a great deal to offer other areas of education such as school reform and closing the achievement gap. “We’re not often asked to be at the table in those discussions,” she says. She is eager to change that.

Olszewski-Kubilius has designed, implemented, assessed and improved outstanding educational programs for learners of all ages. She has also conducted research and published more than 80 articles and book chapters on talent development issues, particularly the effects of accelerated educational programs and the needs of special populations of gifted children. By creating research-driven program models, assessing those programs and then writing about them, Olszewski-Kubilius strives to make CTD programs replicable, for even greater impact.

In addition to heading NAGC, Olszewski-Kubilius is a member of the board of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children and a trustee of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She is also a member of the editorial board of Gifted Child Today and Gifted Child Quarterly. In the past, she has edited, co-edited and served as consulting editor and editorial advisory board member on numerous gifted education publications.

Olszewski-Kubilius earned her master's and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University in educational psychology and her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Xavier University in Chicago. She teaches courses in gifted education for the School’s Master of Science in Education Program.

According to Olszewski-Kubilius, a key to CTD’s success is that it excels at both research and programming. “Most centers do one or the other well but not both,” she says. “This is a place where we take the research on talent identification and development, and enact it.”

“Kids thrive and grow when they are challenged,” states Olszewski-Kubilius.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 9/27/11