Leaders

Board Officers

Kim Farbisz
Chair

Sabrina James
Treasurer

Angela Hanan
Secretary

Emily Villamar-Robbins
Vice Chair for Outreach

Myiesha Taylor, M.D.
Vice Chair for Marketing

Lin Lim
Vice Chair for Fundraising

Jorge Rodriguez
Vice Chair for Advocacy

Kim Farbisz is a parent of two highly gifted students, a past President of Grapevine-Colleyville Supporting and Advocating for Gifted Education (GCSAGE), and a GC-SAGE board member for eight years. GC-SAGE helped to create the GCISD ASPIRE Academy for the Highly Gifted which her daughter attends. Kim is beginning her seventeenth year of volunteering for PTA and just completed a two year term as President of the Council of PTAs in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. She currently sits on five different boards, all of them related to public education. In her professional life, she is an experienced international corporate consultant and has provided business strategy and advice to companies all over the globe. She currently owns her own business coaching firm and works primarily in the DFW market.

Sabrina James is a 2E parent with two gifted sons (one 2E) who have been in RRISD (Round Rock ISD) in the TAG program since first grade. She has been involved in the RRISD TAGPAC (Talented and Gifted Parent Advisory Council) since it was created approximately eight years ago, serving as the president for the last two years. She is also a member of the newly created RRISD GT Advisory group. She has been in the IT field for almost 20 years, deploying and administering technical applications in a large corporation.

Angie Hanan is the mom of a teen in public high school. She has been active in education in multiple areas over the past 30 years including teacher, literacy coach, administrator, consultant and volunteer in public schools.. Angie is a past president of PACE, a GT parent support group in Fort Bend ISD. Currently, she is an exectutive board member of the Gulf Coast Region Destination Imagination Affiliate and a school board trustee in Fort Bend ISD. Supporting public education has been a long-time passion and Angie continues to champion the needs of diverse learners at the local and state level.

Emily Villamar-Robbins is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a GT parent, and a supporter of public education. She holds a Graduate Academic Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education from UNT, served for nine years on the SAGE (Special and Gifted Education) Committee for the Richardson ISD PTA Council, and has written and presented about multiple areas of GT advocacy. Her areas of GT interest include parent education, special populations, and improving diversity in GT services. Her past work included representing low-income clients as a staff attorney at Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. She continues to support her district, and she serves as a member of the Texas Education Commissioner’s Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted Students.

Dr. Myiesha Taylor is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana with a degree in chemistry, and subsequently University of Southern California School of Medicine. She is an American Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. She holds an College Counseling Certificate from UC San Diego. Dr. Taylor has successfully homeschooled her children through high-school and into college with her oldest daughter graduating TWU at age 16 and is a current second year law student at age 17. Together with her daughter, she has co-authored a memoir, how-to fusion book entitled The Homeschool Alternative which endeavors to empower parents of Black children to take charge of their educational experience.

Lin Lim had a colorful educational journey, with primary and secondary schooling in Singapore followed by a Bachelors in Economics with a minor in environmental studies at Boston College. She then completed a direct doctoral program in Psychology at Boston University, with an interest in attitudes and beliefs. Lin has a Graduate Academic Certificate in Twice Exceptional Education from Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education, and will complete a Graduate Academic Certificate in the Mind, Brain and Teaching Graduate Academic Certificate in 2021 (Johns Hopkins University). She is very involved in non-profit and education related groups, having served on several board of directors. Lin has two children, one gifted and radically accelerated, and the other who is twice exceptional. Lin is currently a parent advocate at the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development, and serves on the Bridges Graduate School Certificate Program Advisory Committee. She has a special interest in twice exceptional, gifted and Autism population.

Jorge Rodriguez, originally from Puerto Rico, has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez, a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wiisconsin-Madison and an MBA in Marketing Management from the University of Dallas. He has worked as a Senior Product Manager in the Tech industry for over 20 years. Jorge was elected to the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Board of Education in 2008 and re-elected in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020. He completed his TASB Master Trustee Certification in June of 2022. Jorge worked with the GCISD Administration and SAGE, the GT parents support group, to significantly improve the GT program in GCISD and create the Aspire Academy for the highly-gifted in 2013. In 2011 Jorge founded Exito Hispano, a program that guides Hispanic parents to help their students succeed in GCISD. He also worked with the GCISD administration and READ, the dyslexia parents support group, to partner with the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital to bring the Take Flight program into the district, significantly improving the performance of students with the condition.

GT Parent Advisory Council

Parent leaders of statewide GT Parent Groups are invited to join our Parent Advisory Council. Please email us at giftededucationfamilynetwork@gmail.com if you are interested in participating, or with updates to your listing below. The Parent Advisory Council shares the needs of gifted families in their community and helps shape the direction and activities of our network. There is no fee associated; we are committed to ensuring support and access to connections for GT parents from all income levels.

GT Professional Advisors

Dr. Todd Kettler
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
Baylor University School of Education
Chair, Texas Commissioner of Education’s Advisory Council for Gifted Education

Dr. Kettler conducts research on access to advanced academic learning opportunities in schools, including access to gifted education. He studies the features of learning designs that support outcomes of exceptional performance including the development of critical thinking and creative capacity. His book, Modern Curriculum for Gifted and Advanced Academic Students (Prufrock Press, 2016) won the Legacy Award for the best scholarly book in the field of gifted education in the United States in 2016.

Dr. Kristina Collins
Assistant Professor, Talent Development
Texas State University
President of SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted); Member, NAGC Board of Directors (National Association for Gifted Children)

Dr. Collins is the core faculty for Talent Development at Texas State University, San Marcos. She serves as President of SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) and is member-at-large for NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Board of Directors. Dr. Collins holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Ed.S. in Gifted and Creative Education (University of Georgia) along with advanced degrees and educational certifications in mathematics, technology education, and computer science. She is an engineer by training (B.S., University of Alabama) and her research foci include social, emotional, and cultural (SEC) contexts of gifted, advanced, and talent development; STEM identity development in underrepresented students; and mentoring across the lifespan. Among many honors, Dr. Collins was awarded the 2011 Mary Frasier Equity and Excellence Award presented to her by the Georgia Association of Gifted Children (GAGC) for her work in advancing educational opportunities for underrepresented students in gifted education.

Dr. Fred Bonner
Professor and Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership and Counseling
Executive Director, Minority Achievement, Creativity and High Ability (MACH-III) Center
Prairie View A&M University

Fred Bonner is Professor and Endowed Chair of Educational Leadership and Counseling in the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education at Prairie View A&M University. He also serves as the Founding Executive Director and Chief Scientist of the Minority Achievement Creativity and High Ability (MACH-III) Center. His research foci illuminate the experiences of academically gifted African American males across the P-20 pipeline, diverse faculty in Academe, and diverse populations in STEM. He is co-editor of two books with Stylus Publishing, Building on Resilience: Models and Frameworks of Black Male Success Across the P-20 Pipeline and Diverse Millennials Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs. His Book Series Diverse Faculty in the Academy is published by Routledge Press and his new refereed journal (Journal of Minority Achievement, Creativity, and Leadership) published by Pennsylvania State University Press is slated for release Fall 2020. Bonner is currently developing a theoretical framework, ‘Mascusectionality’ that will explore the engagements of Black men.

Dr. Anne Rinn
Professor of Educational Psychology
Director, Office for Giftedness, Talent Development, and Creativity
University of North Texas College of Education

Anne N. Rinn, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas, where she also serves as Director of the Office for Giftedness, Talent Development, and Creativity. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Houston and a doctorate in educational psychology from Indiana University. She has authored around 75 publications related to the social and emotional development of gifted and talented individuals and the psychosocial skills necessary for the development of talent. She has published two textbooks, Social, Emotional, and Psychosocial Development of Gifted and Talented Individuals (Rinn, 2020) and From Giftedness to Gifted Education: Reflecting Theory in Practice (Plucker et al., 2017). She is an active member of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, the National Association for Gifted Children, and the American Educational Research Association, and was the co-editor of the Journal of Advanced Academics from 2018-2022.

Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Education and Human Development
Texas A&M University

Dr. Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University. Prior to her becoming an academic, she was a classroom teacher in Texas for ten years where she worked with mathematically talented students, which still provides much inspiration for her work. Her research focuses on the assessment of educational interventions to improve STEM education, and access for all students— particularly high achieving and underrepresented students— to high quality education. Along with her research teams, she has received over $3.4 million in grant funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Rambo-Hernandez was the 2006 District Teacher of the Year in Coppell, Texas, and she received the National Association of Gifted Children’s Early Scholar Award in 2019.

Legislative and State Advocacy Committee

  • Sabrina James, parent, Round Rock ISD
  • Emily Villamar-Robbins, parent, Richardson ISD
  • Angie Hanan, parent and current school board member, Fort Bend ISD
  • Kimberley Davis, parent and past school board member, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Jorge Rodriguez, parent and current school board member, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Tracy Fisher, parent and current school board member, Coppell ISD
  • Dr. Todd Kettler, Baylor University
  • Dr. Meredith Austin, GT Coordinator, Humble ISD
  • Dr. Jaret Hodges, University of North Texas
  • Justin Vawter, M.Ed.

Regional Liaisons

The Gifted Education Family Network supports and provides connections for families and GT parent groups in all twenty Texas ESC (Education Service Center) Regions.  Our Regional Liaisons help ensure that GT parents in all regions of Texas have access to connections, information, and advocacy support.    

All board members, volunteers, committee members, advisory council members, professional advisors, and liaisons serve on an unpaid, volunteer basis. GEFN is grateful for the time, dedication, and invaluable contributions of every individual involved with our organization.

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