National Expert on Gifted Education to Speak at UM, MCPS

February 23, 2015

Jim DelisleMISSOULA – Nationally renowned expert and speaker on gifted education Jim Delisle will visit Missoula on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to provide two public lectures on gifted children, their education and how best to meet the needs of this unique population.

Delisle has taught both gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more than 30 years. A former classroom teacher and counselor, Delisle retired from Kent State University, where he served as director of undergraduate and graduate programs in gifted education for 25 years.

Hosted in conjunction with Missoula County Public Schools, this will be a unique opportunity to discuss recent progress in the field of gifted education, what gifted education really means and challenges facing gifted students. 

“Jim Delisle is a leader in the field of educating teachers and parents about exceptional children and their needs,” MCPS director of gifted education programs Shirley Lindburg said. “MCPS is dedicated to meeting the needs of all of our students, and we are excited to offer this opportunity to our teachers, our parents and our community.” 

While in Missoula, Delisle will provide two lectures. The first, “Learning to Exhale: Meeting the Intellectual and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children,” is slated for 4:15 p.m. in UM’s Gallagher Business Building Room 106. This talk will be geared toward K-12 teachers and administrators and will focus on understanding giftedness, accepting personal imperfections in self and others, and recognizing the fact that being gifted means a whole lot more than simply being smart. 

The second lecture, “Parenting Precocious Kids: Understanding the Ups and Downs of Growing Up Gifted,” will be held at 7 p.m. in GBB Room 106. The talk will be geared toward parents and teachers and will focus on how best to meet the intellectual and emotional needs of gifted children, what giftedness is and how that label impacts other family members, and how to advocate for gifted child in a school setting mired in “bringing up the bottom” rather than “raising the bar” at the top.

“We could not be more thrilled to have Dr. Delisle visit our campus and community and provide his invaluable insight,” said Georgia Cobbs, professor and chair in UM’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “Exposure to such a critical thinker in a unique field will be fascinating and most welcome as we launch our new gifted-education curriculum within our teacher education program.” 

“We appreciate our ongoing partnership with UM for making this possible, and we look forward to continued collaboration to help meet the needs of all Missoula children,” Lindburg said.

Delisle has served on the board of directors of the National Association for Gifted Children, Duke University Talent Identification Board, Council for Exceptional Children and the Roeper School for the Gifted.

The author of more than 250 articles and 15 books, Delisle’s work has been published in multiple languages worldwide. His work has been highlighted in The New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine and on Oprah. His book, “The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook,” which was co-written with Judy Galbraith, is among the most popular books published in the field of gifted child education, with more than 200,000 copies in print.

For more information on the UM visit, call Peter Knox, communications and outreach manager for the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, at 406-243-4911 or email

Contact: Peter Knox, communications and outreach manager, UM Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, 406-243-4911,; Shirley Lindburg, director, MCPS COMPASS/Gifted Education and English Language Programs, 406-728-2400 ex. 1057,