Lisa Kallies is an elementary school teacher in the city a Crosby, Texas – a suburb of Houston. Kallies attended Sam Houston State University for a year and left college to get married. While married, she attend a junior college and received a vocational nursing license. After working in the medical field and attending night school, Kallies left her job to raise her three daughters. At about 35 years of age, she decided to return to college and complete a degree in education. She obtained a teaching position immediately following graduation and teaches in the Crosby School District. Kallies’s current passion is working with both regular and gifted and high-ability students. She have been teaching in the gifted program for nearly eight years.

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kallies)

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kallies)

What is your educational background?

“I received a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Houston in 2001.  Presently, I am one course away from my master’s degree in education with a specialization in gifted education.”

What do you currently do?

“In my current position I have two classes of third-graders. One is a class of regular education and the other is gifted and high-ability (based on an IQ test and teacher and parent observations). In both classes, I teach the state required standards. The gifted students accelerate through the required curriculum and spend an hour a day participating in independent study… I am on a personal mission to see that our gifted students are not overlooked and underserved in public schools. I believe we are wasting some of our nation’s most capable students because we are overly concerned with meeting the minimum standards required by the state of Texas and our nation. Gifted students are considered a guarantee for meeting the requirements, so we do little else to nurture their awesome potential. This population of students has special learning needs, just like those that fall within special education. This will not change until parents and citizens lobby for change, just like special education parents.”

How does your education help you in your job?

“My current masters degree coursework is what helped me to develop this type of learning opportunity for my gifted and high-ability students. These kids have an innate desire to explore their personal interests. These projects allow them to authentically ‘think,’ not regurgitate what is taught. My goal at this point in my career is to design a district-wide program that will serve our gifted and high-ability students. I would also like to become involved in developing state policies that will do the same.”

Richard Carranza is a reporter from the Houston, Texas area and published his first work in 1990. His education includes a bachelor of arts in chemistry from Cornell College, master of science in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a masters of business administration from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, Richard is involved in the design of petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, oil/gas facilities and ethanol plants. He also carries out writing assignments for publications like Chemical Processing Magazine, Maritime Executive Magazine and Chemical Online.