A good friend is something very special. A few days ago I asked my friend, Penny Choice for an interview and she agreed.
Who is Penny Choice?
Penny Choice is retired Staff Development Coordinator for the Regional Office of Education, Grayslake, IL. She is a specialist in Gifted Education, differentiation and problem-based learning. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Drama from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M Ed in Gifted Education from National-Louis University, Evanston, IL and an MA in Educational Administration from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago.
Penny’s areas of expertise include curriculum development, staff development, gifted education, the Visual-Spatial Learner, problem-based learning, and fine arts education with a focus in integrating the arts and the use of process drama, a classroom instructional tool. She is co-author of the 2010 book, The New RtI: Response to Intelligence, published by Pieces of Learning.
Currently, she is adjunct professor with Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. Until she retired she was adjunct professor in Gifted Education with National-Louis University and Aurora University, Aurora, IL. She has taught classes on identification and characteristics of gifted children, differentiation of instruction for mixed-ability classrooms, gifted in the regular classroom, creativity, and social-emotional needs of the gifted child. For many years she has represented the Illinois State Board of Education as an official state trainer for gifted education verification for teachers.
An international consultant Penny has spoken extensively and conducted workshops for groups of teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents since 1985. As a consultant with Education Consulting Service she traveled for nine years throughout the country teaching strategies for working with students with diverse needs. She has provided technical assistance in program development for many districts, for the Illinois State Board of Education, and for several universities. Currently, she works with the Gifted Development Center, Denver, as the Midwest trainer on the needs of the Visual-Spatial Learner.
Penny is also a specialist in the use of a critical and creative thinking instructional strategy called process learning. It involves the use of drama in the classroom combined with problem-based learning. Process learning incorporates multiple intelligences and meets the needs of all learning styles. Sometimes called “process drama” it is an excellent instructional tool for all ability levels, all grade levels, and all content areas.
She is a featured presenter at national and state conferences in differentiation, gifted education, the Visual-Spatial Learner, drama-in-education and teaching in mixed-ability classrooms. Highlights include several presentations for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and for the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, an international organization. She is Past Chair for both the Arts Division and the Global Awareness Division/Network for the National Association for Gifted Children and serves as Co-Chair for the Diverse Gifted Populations Committee for the Illinois Association for Gifted Children.
Written publications include articles for several professional journals, the Illinois State Board of Education Gifted Arts Resource Guide and the Illinois Theatre Association publication, Followspot. She has received awards of excellence from the Illinois Theatre Association, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Northern Illinois Planning Commission for Gifted and Talented Education, and has received fellowships from the American Association of University Women and the Illinois State Board of Education. She is listed in several editions of Who’s Who including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. In March1998 she received a second Award of Excellence in Teaching from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and in 2002 was honored to be included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and is currently listed in Cambridge Who’s Who. On May 25, 2004, Penny was featured on the Jim Lehrer News Hour (Merrow Report) for PBS. In 2005 and again in 2007 she represented the National Association for Gifted Children and the People to People Ambassador Program in China and Egypt. Her book, The New RtI: Response to Intelligence (co-authored with Sally Walker) was awarded the 2010 Legacy Award for Educators.
I am so greatful for this interview and her kindness. On this way I would like to thank her for everything she did or still does for gifted children and gifted education.
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