Dr. Christine Deitz, associate director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Children at UA Little Rock, has been elected as a state representative to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Board of Directors, the largest advocacy association focused on the needs of talented children and adolescents in the U.S.
Through education, advocacy, community building, and research, the NAGC aspires to help individuals who work to improve the growth and development of gifted and talented children.
“Serving the children, their families, and educators of our state has prepared me for the national position,” said Deitz. “My chief role and responsibility at the state level was to advocate for all children to develop their gifts and talents, and now I will be able to do that at the national level.”
Deitz is one of 15 elected board members with the responsibility to read and research current issues, engage deeply in conversations, and help the board reach a consensus on issues that impact children. She also has volunteered for the NAGC Conference Committee, where she previously attended for over 20 years, to ensure equal representation and inclusiveness.
Upon leaving the Little Rock School District as the secondary coordinator for gifted services, Deitz is currently a UA Little Rock faculty member going on six years in the Jodie Mahoney Center, where they work alongside the School of Education to help teachers obtain their gifted and talented licensure.
“The University of Arkansas Little Rock is very fortunate to have a national leader in gifted, creative, and talented education on our campus at the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education,” said Dr. Ann Robinson, director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Children and past NAGC president. “Dr. Deitz has recently completed her term as the president of our state organization, Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education, and is now joining the board of directors of the National Association of Gifted Children. She brings creativity, diplomacy, and keen insight to her new role as an NAGC Board member. To be sure, we appreciate her here in Arkansas, but it is also very gratifying to know that her superb leadership and her gracious collegiality are recognized across the country.”
Deitz has been actively involved in NAGC since she began as a graduate student here at UA Little Rock. She has frequently presented at the national conferences, served as the chairperson for NAGC’s Middle Grades network, and wrote many articles on gifted education. She won the A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Award in 2007 and was named Doctoral Student of the Year in 2013 by NAGC.
Along with her career, she served as the president of Arkansas for Gifted and Talented Education organization for two years from 2018-2020.
The nationally recognized advocate’s success was no small feat running against two other well-qualified applicants and now, thanks to her, Arkansas will have a voice at the national level. Deitz’s first aim is to engage and network with the 47 states who have NAGC affiliate memberships in meaningful conversations and to support the affiliates in reaching their goals.
“I’ve been in gifted education for most of my teaching career and having the opportunity to serve at the national level is truly an honor,” said Deitz. “I’m thankful to NAGC’s membership for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”
Deitz received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University. She completed her master’s degree in gifted education and a doctorate in education leadership with a co-emphasis in gifted education from UA Little Rock.
“UA Little Rock has played a critical role in shaping my professional career,” said Deitz. “I’ll carry my Trojan spirit with me as I take on my new leadership responsibilities with NAGC.”