Gifted Services

Gifted education is an intervention placement that is designed to meet the unique needs of students who score significantly above their age peers on state-approved achievement and ability tests. Typically these students:
  • acquire knowledge quickly;
  • manipulate knowledge easily;
  • see relationships between discrete pieces of information;
  • understand knowledge at a complex level;
  • are capable of abstractions and generalizations;
  • show perseverance;
  • are independent in thought and judgment;
  • are curious about many problems and issues; and 
  • are motivated by the unknown. 

While these characteristics are seen in other students, gifted students demonstrate them well before their chronological peers.

Due to these qualities, gifted students need unique and diverse opportunities to meet their educational needs. The district's mission is to allow them to excel and to achieve their potential.

Gifted Definition

Gifted students are defined by the State of Ohio as those who “perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of the Ohio Revised Code.” The state requires gifted identification in the areas of superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability, and the visual and performing arts.

Criteria for Gifted Identification
Superior Cognitive Ability:  a score within the preceding twenty-four months at least two standard deviations above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on an approved individual or group intelligence test, OR performance at or above the ninety-fifth percentile on an approved individual or group standardized basic or composite battery of a nationally normed achievement test, OR attainment of an approved score on one or more above grade-level standardized nationally normed approved* tests.

Specific Academic Ability:  a score within the preceding twenty-four months in the 95th percentile or above at the national level on an approved* individual or group standardized achievement test of specific academic ability in that field.

Creative Thinking Ability:  a score within the preceding twenty-four months at least one standard deviation above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on an approved individual or group intelligence test AND a qualifying score on an approved individual or group test of creative ability OR sufficient performance on an approved* checklist of creative behaviors.

Visual and Performing Arts:  a demonstration of superior ability in a visual or performing arts area to a trained individual through a display of work, an audition, or other performance or exhibition AND exhibition of sufficient performance to a trained individual, as established by the Department of Education, on an approved* checklist of behaviors related to a specific arts area.

* Approved means inclusion on the Ohio Department of Education's List of Approved Assessments.

Gifted Identification & Services Guide

This guide  contains  answers to frequently asked questions  about gifted identification procedures and gifted services in the Upper Arlington City Schools.


Jaclyn Angle, Ed.D.
Director of Student Services
Phone: (614) 487-5197

Kevin Gorman, Ed.D.
Associate Director of Student Services
Phone: (614) 487-5197

Jeanne Beaver
Gifted Services Coordinator
[email protected]
Phone: (614) 487-5197

Cynthia Ballheim
International Baccalaureate & Advanced Placement Coordinator
Phone: (614) 487-5240 x2736

Gifted Intervention Specialists

Barrington Elementary 
Jane Reyer (Math)

Catherine Rinko-Gay (Math & ELA)
Greensview Elementary 
Sarah Hurdzan (Math)
Christina Balderaz (ELA)
Tremont Elementary
Shelly Bloom (Math 3, 5B/6, ELA)
Christina Balderaz (Math 4/5A)
Wickliffe Elementary 
Melissa Szabrak (Math)
Catherine Rinko-Gay (ELA)
Windermere Elementary
Amy Graver (Math)

Catherine Rinko-Gay (ELA)
Hastings Middle 
6th grade 
Kelly Tederous
[email protected]
7th and 8th grades
Caroline Stieg
Jones Middle
6th & 7th grades  
Alice Speegle
7th and 8th grades  
Kathy Preston
[email protected]
Online Academy
Amy Graver (Math 3)

Sarah Hurdzan (Math 4/5A)

Melissa Szabrak (Math 5B/6)

Shelly Bloom (Gifted ELA 5)

Alice Speegle (Concilium ELA 6)

Jill Bixel (Concilium ELA 7 & 8)
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