About me

I'm Deb Douglas.  My advocacy for gifted children grew out of my own life experiences as a student, mother, and teacher. 

Fresh out of college I taught high school English, speech, and theatre. Following a stint as stay-at-home mom, I served as gifted education coordinator for the Manitowoc (WI) Public School District for almost 20 years and also developed their International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.  

I spent nine years of the board of the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted, serving as President from 2011-2013, advocating for children in the Upper Midwest and beyond. 

I live near Madison with my husband, Ray Aldag, a professor in the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin.  Between us we have four talented children and Lily, a wickedly gifted Bichon Frise.  My guilty pleasures include travel, British murder mysteries, kayaking, gardening, morning coffee, and the NYT crossword.
The unique concerns of gifted and talented children are near and dear to my heart. It seems that passion has been building for a lifetime as I’ve found my voice of advocacy, going from student to teacher to parent to G/T educator. I hope you’ll forgive a bit of story telling as I reflect on the sources of my passion for educating gifted children. (I’m guessing anyone reading this will see themselves in here somewhere!)

I spent my childhood as a creatively divergent kid in a teeny conservative Wisconsin town and knew first hand the secret loneliness of being different. My first teaching job was in high school English before the days of differentiated instruction and I really struggled with the one-size-fits-all curriculum that ignored the needs of the most intellectually gifted students. Then I was a stay-at-home mom when my own kids entered our local G/T program where they loved the enrichment classes but faced the teasing of other students and callousness of some teachers, something a parent can’t control. Next I went back to work as a G/T Junior Great Books leader, reveling in the lively discussions but exhausted from covering 6 grades in 6 different schools. And finally I moved on to full-time G/T coordinator, in charge of revising an out-dated program in a district of 5500 students, with only a little administrative support and even less money! (Sound familiar?) 

Through each of these roles I came to value the unique characteristics of gifted children and the struggle we face when advocating for their appropriate education. I also learned the value of collaborative advocacy. 

Sadly, one voice often sounds like whining; many voices sound like a cause.

It's my hope that this blog, and many others like it, will help us join our voices and in one way or another improve life for the bright and talented children around us.