Lori Leibowitz Named Gifted Coordinator of the Year by the National Association of Gifted Children

Lori Leibowitz named Gifted Coordinator of the Year by the National Association of Gifted Children
Posted on 08/20/2020

Norwalk Public Schools Gifted and Talented Coordinator Lori Leibowitz was named Gifted Coordinator of the Year by the National Association of Gifted Children. The award was created to recognize significant contributions to gifted students in a district by a district gifted coordinator. Leibowitz was nominated for the award by Dr. Joseph Renzulli, gifted education pioneer and leader.

Over the past three years, the NPS Gifted and Talented program has evolved to ensure an equitable opportunity for students. In addition to a multi-level approach that looks at both achievement and potential, all NPS students benefit from the implementation of the Student Enrichment Model (SEM).

“From implementation of the Gifted and Talented redesign program to implementation of SEM, assisting staff to coach children to successfully participate in national competitions, all while revising procedures and piloting early identification of potentially gifted children, Norwalk can celebrate Lori’s work knowing the best is yet to come,” said Yvette Goorevitch, NPS Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Support Services.

NPS continues to be at the forefront of SEM implementation, serving as a sought-after expert resource for other schools and districts, both across the country and internationally.  With topics based on student and teacher interest, six to eight-week long enrichment clusters offer everything from belly dancing to boxing, baseball braniacs, zany xylophones and virtual travel. The Student Enrichment Model was originally piloted at Tracey and Cranbury elementary schools, and was expanded to Rowayton and Kendall last year.

Additionally, as part of the district’s commitment to increase rigor in academic programs, the Gifted and Talented team oversees a variety of regional and national competitions throughout the year. This year, twelve students from across the district were named finalists in the National Invention Convention. Students also placed in the National History Day competition.

Over the summer the Gifted and Talented Department partnered with the mental health professionals in the district to create workshops to engage all students around social-emotional learning aligned with Teaching Tolerance standards. Workshop topics included Environmental Justice and the National Parks and Committing to a Cause. Students created a product or service at the end of the virtual workshop to culminate their learning.

Prior to joining NPS in 2018, Leibowitz worked at Greenwich Public Schools for 20 years, having started as a classroom teacher.