At its annual conference in November, the South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education presented Dr. Nancy Breard of Converse College with its most prestigious award, the Richard W. Riley Award for Accomplishments in the Field of Gifted Education.
The award has been presented only ten times during the past 20 years and is reserved for those individuals whose efforts have resulted in changing the face of gifted education in the state of South Carolina. It was established in 1986 to honor former South Carolina Governor Riley for his efforts in implementing the Education Improvement Act which included a legislative mandate for gifted programming and the first permanent state source of funding for gifted services.
Breard is an associate professor of education at Converse. She coordinates the colleges Gifted Education program—the only degree program of its kind in South Carolina.
For more than 25 years, Dr. Breard has been a tireless advocate for gifted students; teaching in and coordinating programs in South Carolina and her native Louisiana to provide professional development training and graduate course work for thousands of teachers who are working in the field of gifted education, said Anna Pruitt, who is a board member and past president of the Consortium. She has served on several state task forces for gifted education, the Governor’s Advisory Board for Gifted Education and was a founding member of the Consortium.
In addition to courses in gifted education, Breard also teaches Educational Psychology, Reading in the Content Area, Curriculum Principles and Methods for Secondary Social Studies Education and courses for the Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction.
Breard also directs the Athena Program which, for two weeks each summer, provides gifted children the opportunity to interact with each other while Converse education students gain the experience of developing curriculum solely for gifted children. Now in its 25th year, the program remains the only one of its kind in South Carolina.