SCPS High School GATES

Gifted and Talented Educational Services Newsletter

Back to School Edition (August/September 2022)

We are Your High School Gifted Resource Teachers

Welcome to SCPS’s gifted program. There are so many programs, it can make one’s head spin-it can make one crazy! But fear not, there is help to maneuver the crazy, hectic path that is high school. We are your Gifted Resource teachers. Although our students’ education will take various forms and pathways while in SCPS, we are here to help, counsel, and guide you and your students.


We hope your child’s time in SCPS will be exciting and academically challenging. Hopefully, you will take advantage of the many opportunities our schools have to offer. As high school Gifted Resource teachers, we are available to answer any questions you may have about the gifted services and programs that are available to our students.


Unlike the elementary and middle school programs, the gifted program in high school is not a pull-out program. Hopefully, students will be participating in programs like the Commonwealth Governor’s School, the College Board’s AP Capstone Program in which you are enrolled in honors and AP courses, or the International Baccalaureate program to ensure there is rigor in coursework.


We encourage students to take challenging courses that offer higher level thinking skills and that address individual needs, interests, and strengths--courses that will prepare students for university studies. If you have any questions or concerns about classes, please do not hesitate to contact your Gifted Resource teacher. Our role is to be an advocate for you in your search for learning opportunities whether those are classes, activities, or summer programs.


We are available as a resource to all students in SCPS who are interested in pursuing enriching learning opportunities. Our hope is that each of you finds your time at school full of rich experiences that will inspire your love of learning—both inside and outside the classroom.

Contact Information

Kevin Bouffard (BPHS) bouffardkj@staffordschools.net

Feli Cardenas (NSHS) cardenasfh@staffordschools.net

Susan Easter (CFHS) eastersl@staffordschools.net

Kali Hamill (MVHS) hamillkm@staffordschools.net

Helga Purnell (SHS) purnellhj@staffordschools.net

Stephenie Fellinger (SCPS Gifted Facilitator) fellingersl@staffordschools.net

Practice Makes Perfect!

Stafford County Public Schools will be administering the PSAT to 9th, 10th, and 11th graders on Wednesday, October 12.The test provides juniors with the opportunity to experience what the SAT will be like and gives them a final practice before they sit for the real test. Students can then strategize as they think about their college applications. Juniors can also qualify for scholarships, including the highly selective National Merit Scholarship Program. For 9th and 10th graders, students can identify where there strengths are as well as fill in where there are gaps in their knowledge. All students should link their College Board accounts with Khan Academy to receive individualized practice to prepare for the PSAT and the SAT. Watch the video below for how to do this.
How to Link Your College Board + Khan Academy Accounts

Why Should I Take the PSAT...?

Top 4 Reasons for Taking the PSAT 10 in 10th grade

  1. The assessment scores identify academic strengths and weaknesses early in high school, when there's plenty of time to improve before career and college opportunities.

  2. It's a great way to practice for the PSAT/NMSQT in 11th grade, which qualifies them for the National Merit Scholarship Program and a chance to win recognition and money for college.

  3. When they take the PSAT 10, your child can opt in to Student Search Service and connect to over $300 million in scholarships. Learn more about scholarships.

  4. Create your career roadmap using Roadtrip Nation: Roadtrip Nation is free for all PSAT test takers. Here you can create your own career roadmap.

Top 4 Reasons for taking PSAT/NMSQT in 11th grade

  1. NMSQT is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test: US High School students enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT® (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). The test must be taken no later than the third year in grades 9 through 12.

  2. Good indicator of how the student needs to prepare for the SAT

  3. Students can avail of the College Board’s Student Search Service: A great score on the PSAT can get you noticed by several colleges and scholarship boards. Avail of the College Board’s Student Search Service. It is free!

    The PSAT/NMSQT (11th grade) test takers are asked if they want to participate in the College Board’s Student Search Service. If a test taker opts in, the College Board shares limited information about the test taker with colleges and scholarship programs looking for such students. For PSAT/NMSQT test takers, this service provides information about educational and financial aid opportunities from close to 2000 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs

    Many colleges and universities use PSAT scores to identify students they think may make a good addition to their student body and who may be deserving of scholarships. Having schools express interest in you and connect with you can certainly boost your confidence.

  4. Receive AP, DE, and IB Potential feedback from the College Board.

Summer Learning...had me a Blast!

Andrea Loza Vargas: Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership

This past April, I was my school’s representative to attend HOBY’s Leadership Seminar in June. The Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation held a four-day seminar that took place at Randolph-Macon College. Throughout the seminar, I participated in a variety of hands-on leadership activities, met and heard from different leaders, and explored my own personal leadership skills as well, while learning how to make a positive impact in my community.

Anthony English: Summer Residential Governor's School (Humanities)

SRGS Humanities was an amazing experience to meet some of the most educated and talented students of Virginia, speak directly with college professors and learn fascinating and engaging topics, interact closely with my peers and develop close friendships, and overall have a taste of what college might similarly entail. SRGS is a communal program, with many students spending their class time interacting with one another, with many educated discussions, eye-opening debates, and ethical dilemmas. I would highly recommend this program to others, as it is an experience that I believe all who have high aspirations for their future will be pleased to find those who are also as driven and as knowledgeable as themselves, in an environment that generates thought, friendship, and community.

Ayyan Qureshi: Girls State

During ALA Virginia Girls State, rising high school seniors from around the state of Virginia come together at Longwood University to form a mock government. Students have the opportunity to run for various positions at the local and state government level. They can participate in the legislative, judicial, or executive branch. Additionally, students get to hear some incredible guest speakers share their stories and experiences. For example, this year we heard from Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Winsome Earle-Sears. This is a phenomenal opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people during the summer!

SCPS Career and College Pathways Night at Brooke Point High School

Thursday, Sep. 22nd, 6-8pm

1700 Courthouse Road

Stafford, VA

The Career & College Pathways Night was created to help students and their families understand the programs and courses Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS) has to offer to support student career and/or college goals. The night is geared towards middle school families and will provide the first step to help students plan their high school journey and beyond. Exhibit booths and information sessions will highlight the career clusters, pathways, and programs available to begin the planning process to achieve goals and aspirations.

Parent Resources: Additional Resources for the Gifted and Talented Community

National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC)

https://www.nagc.org/


Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

https://www.sengifted.org/


Hoagies Gifted Education Website

https://www.hoagiesgifted.org/


Davidson Institute

https://www.davidsongifted.org/