Gifted & Talented

D51 gifted education supports academic and social-emotional growth by equitably recognizing and nurturing our diverse youth with gifts and talents so they may develop their individual potentials.

Each gifted student in School District 51 is identified by their strength areas and needs. Educational programming is designed and implemented to match their identified needs. Student progress and achievement are monitored through ongoing dynamic assessment. Teachers of gifted students participate in professional development to increase knowledge, skills and understanding of gifted students and required instruction.

Gifted children mean those persons between the ages of five and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so outstanding that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs. Children under five who qualify may also be served. Gifted students are capable of high performance in any or a combination of these areas:

  • General or Specific Intellectual Ability
  • Creative or Productive Thinking
  • Leadership Abilities
  • Specific Academic Aptitude
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Mathematics
    • Social Studies
    • Science
    • World Language
  • Specific Talent Aptitude
    • Visual Arts
    • Performing Arts (Drama/Theater)
    • Musical
    • Dance
    • Psychomotor Abilities

GT Teacher/Liaison Directory and Schedule 

Gifted and Talented Frequently Asked Questions

Telephone Number (970)254-6903
Address- Compass Bldg 2768 Compass Dr., Ste 200, Grand Junction, CO 81506

Name Title Phone Number
Patti Virden Executive Director of Student Services & Support (970)254-5497
Heather Baskin Gifted and Talented Director (970)254-6903
Mandy Budd Administrative Assistant (970)254-6903
Brandy Headlee Gifted and Talented Coach  

GT Staff
2022-2023 Teachers & Schools


Sue Jerome Appleton Elementary School
Sean Gregersen Broadway Elementary School
Sue Jerome Chatfield Elementary Schools
Lance Powell Chipeta Elementary School
Regina Black Clifton Elementary School
Lance Powell Dos Rios Elementary School
Gisela Ferguson Dual Immersion Academy (DIA)
Jennifer Dennison Fruitvale Elementary School
Taryn Noll Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary School
Shannon Morlan Loma Elementary School
Taryn Noll Mesa View Elementary School
Meredith Thornhill Monument Ridge Elementary School
Christena Nelson New Emerson School
Regina Black Nisley Elementary School
Shawn Carstensen-Hays Orchard Avenue Elementary School
Janelle McGowan Pear Park Elementary School
Kristi Beale Pomona Elementary School
Meredith Thornhill Rim Rock Elementary School
Jennifer Dennison Rocky Mountain Elementary School
Christena Nelson Scenic Elementary School
Kristi Beale Shelledy Elementary School
Kacey Daugherty Taylor Elementary School
Sean Gregersen Thunder Mountain Elementary School
Rochelle Morrison Tope Elementary School
Susan Dailey Wingate Elementary School


Stacy Feather Bookcliff Middle School

Tina Sleigh East Middle School & Challenge Program

JG Bonner Fruita Middle School

Allison Bohall
Grand Mesa Middle School
Allison Bohall Mount Garfield Middle School

DebbieBeth Hoffman Orchard Mesa Middle School

Tawnya Bangert Redlands Middle School

DebbieBeth Hoffman West Middle School


Lissy Blanchette Central High School

Colleen Stabolepszy Fruita 8/9 School

TBA Fruita Monument High School
Nicole Auld Grand Junction High School

TBA Palisade High School

Brenda Chinn R-5 High School


Brenda Chinn Grand River Academy

Katie Brown Independence Academy

Annette James Mesa Valley Community School

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