BRIGHT & QUIRKY PRESENTS

Solutions for Smart but Struggling Students

A 5-WEEK MASTERS SERIES TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES AND UNWRAP YOUR CHILD’S GIFTS

Expert Bios

Browse our amazing line up of master educators and psychologists helping bright & quirky kids around the world.

Susan Baum, Ph.D.

Director, Bridges 2e Center for Research & Professional Development

Susan Baum is the Director of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy and Provost of Bridges Graduate School for Cognitive Diversity in Education. Recipient of many awards for her work with twice exceptional, she is widely published in the areas of twice exceptional education and gifted education. Her award-winning, seminal work -- To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength based strategies for Helping Bright Students with LD, ADHD, ASD, and More is now in its 3rd edition.

Book: To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice-Exceptional Students With LD, ADHD

Website: https://www.bridges.edu/2e-center.html

Ross Greene, Ph.D.

Clinical Child Psychologist, Founder, Collaborative & Proactive Solutions Model

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the originator of the innovative, evidence-based approach called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), as described in his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. He is also the developer and executive producer of the documentary film The Kids We Lose, released in 2018. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is now Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance. He is adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Greene has worked with several thousand behaviorally challenging kids and their families, and he and his colleagues have overseen implementation and evaluation of the CPS model in hundreds of schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities, with dramatic effect: significant reductions in discipline referrals, detentions, suspensions, and use of restraint procedures and solitary confinement. Dr. Greene lectures throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine.

Book: The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

Website: https://www.livesinthebalance.org/

Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.

Child Psychologist and Author

Mona Delahooke, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience caring for children and their families. She is a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting families of neurodiverse children, adolescents and adults. She is the author of Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges (PESI, 2019), and Social and Emotional Development in Early Intervention: A Skills Guide for Working with Children (PESI, 2017). Her popular blog, at www.monadelahooke.com covers a range of topics useful for caregivers and childhood providers.

Book: Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges

Website: www.monadelahooke.com

Jonathan Mooney

Dyslexic Writer and Activist

Jonathan is a widely sought after speaker whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, HBO, NPR, ABC News, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.

Book: Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines

Website: https://www.jonathanmooney.com/

Debbie Reber, M.A.

Founder, TiLT Parenting

Debbie Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker who moved her career in a more personal direction when she founded TiLT Parenting, a website, weekly podcast, and community for parents raising differently wired children. The TiLT Parenting Podcast has more than 1 million downloads and a slate of guests that includes high-profile thought leaders across the parenting and education space. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is "Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World" (Workman Publishing, 2018). In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxAmsterdam, delivering a talk entitled Why the Future Will Be Differently Wired. After living abroad in the Netherlands for the past five years, Debbie, her husband, and 14-year-old son recently moved back to New York City. 

Book: Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World

Website: http://www.tiltparenting.com/

Dayna Abraham

Founder of Calm the Chaos, Blogger, Author

Dayna Abraham, author of best-selling book The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day and founder of the Calm the Chaos® Framework and popular blog, Lemon Lime Adventures, helps parents and education professionals unlock the unique super powers in children so they can live a more peaceful life filled with clarity, connection and empowerment by providing them with a proven plan designed to Calm the Chaos® of everyday life. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking lots of coffee and being the best sidekick possible for her own three Superkids.

Book: The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day: Awesome Games and Crafts to Master Your Moods, Boost Focus, Hack Mealtimes and Help Grownups Understand Why You Do the Things You Do

Website: https://lemonlimeadventures.com/

Rose R. Blucher, M.Ed.

Educational Consultant, Blucher Educational Services 

Rose R. Blucher, M.Ed., is the Director of Blucher Educational Services for Boundless Potential (BES). For more than 20 years, she was a 2e Specialist/Director, developing programs for twice exceptional students. She has taught at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate level at Johns Hopkins University where she taught the course, Teaching the GT/LD Learner. Ms. Blucher served on the Maryland Advisory Council for Gifted Education; the board of directors of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students; and currently is on the board of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development. She is an award winning educator and is known nationally for her various publications and teacher training sessions.

Website: https://www.blucheredservices.com/

Jacqui Byrne

Founder, Flex School

Jacqui is the visionary behind FlexSchool, learning communities designed just for gifted and 2e students. She loves all of the creative, quirky, asynchronous minds, and she finds figuring out how to reach each child very satisfying. Jacqui has deep experience in education, teaching, counseling, and writing. Jacqui earned a B.A. from Yale and has children who are twice-exceptional and gifted.

Website: http://www.flexschool.net/

William Dodson, M.D.

Psychiatrist and former faculty, Georgetown University

Dr. Bill Dodson is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who has specialized in adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder for the last 25 years. While Dr. Dodson has been on the faculties of Georgetown University and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center he is primarily a clinical practitioner who tries to combine evidence-based practice techniques with practice-based evidence.
In recognition of his clinical contributions to the field of ADHD he was named a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2012. He was the 2006 recipient of the national Maxwell J. Schleifer Award for Distinguished Service to Persons with Disabilities. He is one of two experts from the US to the World Anti-Doping program for the development of guidelines for the use of ADHD stimulant medications in the world’s athletes.
Dr. Dodson has a private practice in Greenwood Village, CO, specializing in adults with ADHD.

Website: http://www.dodsonadhdcenter.com/

Melanie Hayes, Ed.D.

Founder, Big Minds 

Dr. Melanie Hayes has made it her life’s work to help gifted and twice exceptional persons find their niche and work to their strengths. She is an expert in the needs of gifted/2e persons and works with a wide range of clients to help them thrive. Dr. Hayes created Big Minds, an educational model for 2e children that lets them learn without limits through mentoring and supporting their intellectual, social, and emotional well-being. She recently received SENG’s Educator of the Year award, and is a past winner of the Jefferson Award for Public Service for her work with 2e persons.

Book: We Tried Normal: 2e Family Stories

Website: http://www.bigmindsunschool.org/

Maria M. Kennedy, M.Ed.

Phoenix Division Director, Bridges Academy

Maria began her career in education working with gifted children, which lead to a quest to ensure all students had a passion to learn. For the next ten years Maria taught the gifted, as well as those with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences. During this time, she become head of science and wrote a science curriculum which improved the test scores of the students in her school and was adopted for use by every public school in Manchester, England. Maria has travelled internationally not only teaching students but also training teachers to be innovative starting always where the students are and taking them to the next level by engaging their natural curiosity and offering challenges in a supportive environment. Mom to an amazing young man she has also experienced the same struggles faced by the parents of gifted children. After more than 20 years in education she discovered Bridges Academy in California where she is now the Director of the Phoenix Program. Finally, she says she has the opportunity to work in a system where everyone is on the same page, starting with the strengths of the students, which means no limits to what they are able to achieve.

Website: https://www.bridges.edu/

Rachel R. McAnallen, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant

Known simply as Ms. Math to children across the country, Rachel McAnallen has devoted her life to sharing the joy and beauty of mathematics with learners of all ages. A professional educator for over 60 years, she travels the globe teaching her subject at every grade level. In addition to her experience in the classroom, Rachel has served as a department chair, a school board member, and a high school administrator. She claims the latter position is responsible for the majority of her grey hairs. She has a passion for teaching, birds, and mathematical modular origami, though not always in that order. A life-long learner, Rachel went back to school at age 70 and received her PhD at age 75. She approaches the world around her with a boundless curiosity and a playful sense of humor that is reflected in her teaching style. Rachel believes that mathematics is a language to be spoken, a music to be heard, an art to be seen, and a dance to be performed. She loves to dance.

Book: Awesum Alex: The Subtraction Problem Implementation Manual

Website: https://mathematicreativity.weebly.com/ms-math.html

Richard Olenchak, Ph.D.

Professor, Purdue University

F. Richard “Rick” Olenchak currently serves as Professor of Educational Psychology and Research Methodology and in the Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute at Purdue University. Previously, Rick served as a department chair and as one of the associate provosts at the University of Houston, and prior to that, he was Chair of Special Education as well as Director of Teacher Education at the University of Alabama. His Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, emphasizing Giftedness and Talent Development, was completed at the University of Connecticut. He later completed a post-doctoral internship at a secure medical facility for adolescents.
Having served as President of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), Rick also has served as President of the International Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP), President of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS), and as Chair of the Research and Development Division of the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented (TAGT).
Publications which he has either authored or co-authored number over 100, including the award-winning books Social-Emotional Curriculum with Gifted and Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults, which was named ForeWord magazine’s Psychology Book of the Year in 2005. He is currently at work on a number of chapters and articles about the social and emotional aspects of giftedness and talent development, including a significant examination of the construct of “hope” and its implications on the holistic development of each student. His interest in twice-exceptional students serves as a platform for all of his work.

Book: Social-Emotional Curriculum with Gifted and Talented Students (Critical Issues in Gifted Education)

Website: https://www.education.purdue.edu/faculty-profiles/name/f-richard-olenchak/

Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Roberto Olivardia is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of ADHD, executive functioning issues, and issues that face students with learning differences. He currently serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD), The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders. He sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude, is a featured expert on Understood and an active member of Decoding Dyslexia–Massachusetts.

Website: https://add.org/professional-directory/name/roberto-olivardia/

Seth Perler

Executive Function Coach

Seth Perler is an Executive Function & 2e Coach in Boulder, CO, who helps make life easier for students who struggle with homework, motivation, underachievement, organization, grades, focus, study skills, time management, emotions, overwhelm & resistance.

He empowers these complicated, misunderstood, outside-the-box, neurodiverse learners to turn it around in a baffling system, so they can launch a successful future. Parents often feel helpless, watching a child drown in school, as they spin their wheels with cookie cutter approaches that don't cut it.

There's no time for this, life isn't a dress rehearsal. Parents are desperate for tools that are 1) practical, and 2) that recognize a child's unique needs. His SethPerler.com blog gives parents and teachers game-changing answers in a sea of misguided educational fluff.

Website: https://sethperler.com/

Dan Peters, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist/Executive Director, Summit Center

Dr. Dan Peters, licensed psychologist, is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Summit Center, specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families. Dr. Dan speaks regularly at state and national conferences on a variety of topics including parenting, gifted and twice-exceptionality, anxiety, and dyslexia, as well as writes for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. Dr. Dan is author of Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears, and it’s companion book, From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears. He is co-author of The Warrior Workbook: A Guide for Conquering Your Worry Monster, as well as co-author of Raising Creative Kids. Dr. Dan is also Co-founder of ParentFootprint.com, an on-line interactive parent-training program, and Camp Summit, a sleep-over summer camp for gifted and 2e youth.

Book: From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears

Website: https://summitcenter.us/

Sally M. Reis, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor. University of CT

Sally M. Reis recently completed a six-year term as the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and currently is the Letitia Neag Chair and a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Educational Psychology Department of the Neag School of Education at UConn. She has authored and co-authored more than 250 articles, books, book chapters, monographs and technical reports, and generated over 50 million dollars in grants with a UConn research team. Sally served as the President of the National Association for Gifted Children, has won many awards for her work and research, and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. Her specialty areas in research include 2E students, gifted girls and women, underachievement of high potential students, curriculum compacting and differentiation, talented readers and the Schoolwide Enrichment Model. She has served as an evaluator of numerous programs and projects.

Book: Curriculum Compacting: A Guide to Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction through Enrichment and Acceleration

Website: https://education.uconn.edu/person/sally-reis/

Sara Renzulli, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of CT

Dr. Sara Renzulli is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the faculty at the Neag School of Education, Dr. Renzulli was the Learning Specialist and Academic Counselor for UConn Athletics. Dr. Renzulli received her Master’s in School Counseling and Educational Psychology in 2011 and her Doctorate in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology in 2013, both from the University of Connecticut. In 2018 Dr. Renzulli and Dr. Nicholas Gelbar co-founded Educational Testing and Consulting, https://www.educationaltestingandconsulting.com/. Dr. Renzulli, lives with her family in Connecticut.

Website: https://www.educationaltestingandconsulting.com/.

Joseph S. Renzulli, Ph.D.

Professor, University of CT

Dr. Joseph Renzulli is the Neag Professor of Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut where he also served as the Director of The National Research Center On The Gifted and Talented, during which time he was awarded over 50 million dollars in research grants. He has spent his career on research focused on identifying and developing creativity and giftedness in young people and the use of gifted education pedagogy to increase engagement and achievement for all children. His proudest accomplishment is the professional development he has done resulting in the practical application of his work in schools around the world. His work on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model was one of the first efforts to promote a whole-school focus on creative productivity and investigative learning and his work on curriculum compacting and differentiation were pioneering efforts in these areas. His books and articles have been translated into over 15 languages, and he has lectured in over 30 countries. He was recently voted as # 12 among World's Top 30 Education Professional for 2019.

Book: Enrichment Clusters: A Practical Plan for Real-World, Student-Driven Learning

Website: https://gifted.uconn.edu/

Susannah Richards, Ph.D.

Literacy Specialist, Eastern Connecticut State University

Susannah Richards is an Associate Professor of Education at Eastern Connecticut State where she teaches courses in reading and language arts, literacy and books for youth. She completed her doctorate in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Gifted Education at the University of Connecticut. Her specialty is igniting, delighting, and cultivating literacy learning using fiction and nonfiction to create readers, writer, and thinkers.

Website: https://www.ctgifted.org/website/publish/professional_development/presentersDetail.php?Susannah-Richards-PhD-4

Sharon Saline, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Sharon Saline, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author of the award-winning book, What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life, specializes in how ADHD, learning disabilities and mental health issues affect children, teens, young adults and families. Her unique perspective, namely growing up in a household with a sibling who wrestled with untreated ADHD, combined with decades of clinical experience, assists her in guiding families as they navigate the confusing maze of information, emotions, stress and conflict related to ADHD. She helps them appreciate the positive aspect of living with ADHD and create successful dialogues, interventions and connections. Dr. Saline has also worked extensively with schools on mental health issues in the classroom, interpreting psychological evaluations and improving teacher/parent communication. As an internationally sought-after lecturer and workshop facilitator known for combining her expertise in psychology with a background in theater, she addresses a variety of topics such as understanding ADHD and executive functioning, new tools for managing anxiety, making sense of the teen brain and working with different kinds of learners. Dr. Saline is a regular columnist for ADDitudemag.com and Psychologytoday.com. She appears monthly on the WWLP Mass Appeal show as their resident child and family psychologist. She is a part-time lecturer in the Continuing Education Program at the Smith School for Social Work. A magna cum laude graduate of Brown University, she received her master’s degree in psychology from New College of California and her doctorate in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University.

Book: What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life

Website: https://drsharonsaline.com/

Robin Schader, Ph.D.

Author and 2e Expert, Bridges Academy

Robin Schader holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a focus on talent development and the role of parents. She was the National Association for Gifted Education (NAGC) Parent Resource Specialist for 10 years. Prior to graduate school, she was founder and director of Music House, a non-profit “home away from home” for highly gifted pre-college music students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has served on the boards of several public and private institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Neag School of Education Advisory Board, the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, and Apple Computer’s National Dealer Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Bridges Academy Board of Trustees, as well as Bridges 2e Center for Research and Professional Development.

Book: To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice-Exceptional Students With LD, ADHD

Website: https://www.bridges.edu/

Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz, LMFT

Founder/LMFT, Bright & Quirky

Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, LMFT is the founder of Bright & Quirky, licensed marriage and family therapist, and mom of two twice exceptional teen boys.

She and the Bright & Quirky team are fueling a global movement to ease the struggle for uniquely wired kids, to help them self-actualize into confident, capable adults.

She earned her BA at Middlebury College and her Master’s degree in child, couple and family counseling at Antioch University.

Website: https://brightandquirky.com/

Nicole Tetreault, Ph.D.

Neuroscientist & Author

Nicole A. Tetreault, PhD is a neuroscientist, author, meditation teacher, and international speaker on topics of neurodiversity, neurodevelopment, creativity, mental health, and wellness. Dr. Tetreault received her PhD from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in biology specializing in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders. As the founder of Awesome Neuroscience, she is dedicated to translating the most promising neuroscience and positive psychology for individuals to live their best life. Dr. Tetreault has authored and co-authored numerous academic papers on intelligence, autism, brain evolution, neuroanatomy, neuroinflammation, brain development, and behavior in journals such as Trends in Cognitive Neuroscience, Annals in New York Academy of Sciences, European Journal of Neuroscience, and Intelligence. Her science writings can be found in 2e Newsletter, Variations Magazine, SENG Newsletter, Gifted Unlimited, and Great Potential Press. Television credits include guest appearances on Addiction Unplugged on A&E and 100 Humans, a Netflix Original Series. As a Milton and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize recipient from Caltech, Dr. Tetreault is creating Beyond the Cell, a transformative program to rehabilitate incarcerated women through teaching guided meditation, neuroscience, literature, and expressive writing to cultivate positive neural, mental, and behavioral patterns for healing. Her forthcoming book, Insight into a Bright Mind, explores groundbreaking research examining the experiences of unique, creative, and intense brains through interviews, storytelling, and literary science, while advocating for new directions and dialogue of human and neurodiversity. For more about Nicole, please visit nicoletetreault.com.

Website: https://www.nicoletetreault.com/

Daniel Zucker

Musician/Neurodiversity Advocate

I began playing bass at the age of eleven and never looked back. After playing with many bands and all sorts of venues, including the Hollywood bowl and radio city music hall, I knew I hadn’t found my tribe. A little over three years ago one of my best friends from college reached out and wanted to start a band centered around an incredible vocalist. We all immediately clicked and Perta was born. We have created a brotherhood and a family that has taken us to such an exciting place in our industry. We are now signing a major management and label deal and I couldn’t be happier.